Sunday, August 13, 2006

Wineries of Louisa County
Saturday Megan and I decided to take a quick trip to Louisa county for some wine tasting. We packed up some cheese and fresh baguette and headed off. First stop of the day was Cooper Vineyards. We have been to Cooper before, back in March we went and were able to witness their mobile bottling truck in action.

Tasting is done in the Barrel Room at Cooper

John Tasting at Cooper

While at Cooper we tasted 8 wines, 2005 100% Estate Grown Chardonnay, Coopertage Blanc (20% Viognier and 80% Chardonnay), 2005 Viognier, 2003 Cabernet Franc, 2004 Merlot, 2004 Norton and then 2 sweet wines - Rhapsody (Chardonel and Viognier blend; 3% residual sugar and Sweet Louisa (Munsen, Norton, Concord and Roussane; 6% residual sugar). Of the whites our favorite was the 100% Viognier showing beautiful peach, apricot and honeysuckle; interestingly it was aged in French Oak for 8 months which gave the wine a little more roundness on the tounge, simply delightful. On the red side, our favorite was the 2004 Merlot, a new release at Cooper. We were lucky enough to do a small vertical with the 2003 Merlot which was only available for tasting. The 2004 had excellent fruit character of cherry with a smooth medium bodied texture.

Bird Netting on the vines at Cooper Vineyards

Next we headed a few miles up the road to Green Spring Winery. This was our first trip to Green Spring, and they are relatively new to the VA Wine Trail, opening their winery doors last October although the vineyard has been operating for 8 years. Green Springs winemaker is Gabriele Rausse who has a great following here in virginia, and the owner is Lewis Gioiosa who has run Gioiosa Vineyards for about 8 years. The winery is beautifully constructed with a great wide open tasting room, and a beautiful wrap around deck.
Winery

Megan at tasting bar with Lewis Gioiosa (owner)
We tasted 4 wines while at Green Spring, a Chardonnay, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Cabernet Franc and a Rose with 6% residual sugar. All the wines were very good, even the Rose as we are not sweet fans. Our favorites were definitely the reds. The Cab Franc is from grapes grown at Redlands Vineyards in Albermarle county and provides excellent fruit character of raspberry and cherry with a smooth medium bodied finish, very good cabernet franc. The Cab. Sauv. was another good wine and is made from grapes grown in Lynchburg. The wines shows off Black Raspberry and chocolate flavors with a smooth spicy finish, again very good. We got a glass of the Cab Franc and a glass of the Cab Sauv to enjoy with our cheese and bread and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the awesome weather. We took home a bottle of the Cab Franc, to enjoy later, and would've have taken home the Cab Sauv as well, but couldn't justify the $28 price tag, although it was a very good wine.
Megan enjoying some wine with the beautiful Green Spring property as her backdrop.

Shot of the winery and part of the vineyard

3 comments:

Winer said...

We haven't been to either Cooper or Green Spring. Might be time for another road trip. Nice photos. Sounds like you guys enjoyed your visits.

Dezel said...

Hi John,

2 more places I have not been but sounds like a nice day trip. Very nice pictures and write up. From what I have read on your blog, Paul and Warren's and myself, the 2005 Whites are not disappointing!

Happy Sipping!
Dezel

Megan W said...

your wife sure is perty.