Notes From the Winemaker - February 11th, 2013


A vine row of one of our new plantings of Sauvignon Blanc, undressed of protective netting for its harvest. Not until our new plantings had this grape been so aromatically attractive to the birds and the bees -- as it also is to us, at last.We have just posted our Annual Newsletter online, for downloading to your desktop. 2012 was an Octagon Vintage year, and this great news is only the natural backdrop for much other excitement to report. 

Last year's vintage was a superb launching pad for our revitalized Sauvignon Blanc, and generous from our expanded vineyards in Moscato for Philéo and Malvaxia Passito. On March 16th our annual Pinot Grigio Release Celebration will also present the new Sauvignon Blanc, with Palladio Restaurant's own housemade charcuterie and fresh-baked breads, with local and imported cheeses. At last we have achieved as much varietal expression in this gorgeous wine as you would find in the Loire Valley and New Zealand, and as we expected with new plantings of four years ago. 

We announce also a historic collaboration with our sister vineyard in Oltrepó Pavese, where our founder Gianni Zonin produces world-class sparkling wines based on Pinot Noir, in the true Champagne style. Working in Italy with my counterpart in winemaking at Tenuta Il Bosco wine estate and our hands-on consultant, Nicolas Secondé from Champagne, I oversaw the creation of
Gathering with Luca to appraise the settling of the yeast sediment in a new bottle of the Brut Rosé Cuvée 1814, are Domenico Zonin of our founder's family, Piernicola Olmo of Tenuta Il Bosco, winemaker, and our consultant from Champagne, Nicolas Secondé.  two wholly new sparkling wines, to succeed (and surpass) our discontinued sparkling Brut. In March we will be releasing the Barboursville Brut Cuvée 1814 and Brut Rosé Cuvée 1814, anticipating the bicentennial of the historic mansion at this estate, designed by Thomas Jefferson for Governor Barbour. Please click here, for the full story of this historic project. 

As you have come to expect, Octagon gained Gold Medals or greater, in competitions across the country last year, both in the current 2008 vintage and the 2009, to be released in August. Also, since our report of 2007's Double Gold Medal in San Francisco and Best in Class Award for Malvaxia Passito, the 2008 vintage won the Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle competition and Chicago's Beverage Testing Institute awarded it the Gold Medal, the highest point ranking ever for a Virginia wine (94), and the designation, Best Virginia Dessert Wine.

If there could ever be a consensus "Valentine Wine," it is the Malvaxia Passito as Palladio Restaurant will be serving it with Chocolate Ganache Tart, Banana Sorbet and Honey Cashew Brittle. There still is some seating available for Valentine's Dinner, this Thursday the 14th, 7:00pm. Please telephone for reservations, (540) 832-7848.

Let us all look forward to a fine year of fine wines, both in bottle and as they develop on the vine, and happy occasions to enjoy them in our Tasting Room, at Palladio Restaurant, and at home.