Friday, Megan and I had the day off from work so we decided to take advantage and visit some wineries that we had been talking about for a while. We visited 5 wineries on the day, 3 of which were new visits for us. Today’s post will talk about one of the new (to us) wineries which also happened to be one of our top picks for the day.
Glen Manor Vineyards is just a few miles from skyline drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. You can actually see the thin line of Skyline Drive tracing across the mountain tops that surround the estate forming a natural glen that envelop the vineyards. For fans of Virginia wines you may recognize the name Glen Manor, as vineyard manager and now winemaker Jeff White has been supplying grapes to Linden Vineyards since the vineyard was planted in 1995. Jeff worked side by side with Jim Law for many years and Jim’s style of winemaking is evident in the wines that Jeff is producing now. But great wines come from great vineyards and Jeff’s passion for the land is evident, and you can hear it in his voice when he describes the different vineyards that are surround the newly constructed winery and tasting room.
There have been two major plantings of vineyards since Jeff has been managing Glen Manor Vineyards. The first six acres in 1995, at an elevation between 1000 and 1100 feet is comprised of Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. In 2008 an additional 4 acres was planted on 25 acres of land that has been cleared with Petit Manseng, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. This site is at a slightly higher elevation and will utilize a VSP trellis system versus the Open Lyre system that the original vineyard uses. In 2009 another 4 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc will be planted on the 25 acre site.
Currently in the tasting room Jeff only has two offerings, both of which were fabulous.
The first we tasted was the 2007 GMV Sauvignon Blanc coming from primarily 12 year old vines with about ½ an acre of 5 year old wines as well. The grapes were whole cluster pressed and primarily the free run juice was used for the final bottling after fermenting and aging in stainless steel tanks. On the nose were luscious citrus, apple, pear, and grapefruit notes with honey, spice, mineral and a hint of jalapeno on the finish. It was very Marlborough – esque in flavor and acidic profile but had much more minerality most likely coming from the rocky content of the vineyard soil.
The second was the 2005 GMV Petit Verdot coming from 8 year old vines from an elevation of 1100 feet. Double sorted both pre and post destemming before heading into French, Hungarian and Virginian Oak for 28 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. On the nose were notes of raspberry, cherry and smokey/leathery notes followed up by blackberry and cinnamon spice flavors that lead into a long finish with leathery tannins.
Before we left with our purchases of both wines, we decided to enjoy a glass Petit Verdot on the back patio of the winery and look over at the mountains that had finally peeked out from the clouds of a rather gray day. Definitely give Jeff a visit, he is great to talk to and you will not be disappointed by the wines or the views.