Loudoun's Wine Wednesday
Welcome, Carroll Vineyards
For more than two decades Loudoun's wine lovers have been stocking their cellars with vin from Mike Carroll's Leesburg Vintner, tucked cozily on the corner of King and Loudoun streets.
This year the Vintner's patrons have a chance to grab a bottle donning Carroll's name.
Carroll launched his inaugural vintage – 2012 – of Carroll Vineyards wine this year with a nearly 500-case production overall of cabernet franc, merlot, chambourcin, chardonnay, traminette and apple wine. Bottles of viognier and petit verdot are forthcoming.
“We've been thinking about this for probably the last three or four years now,” Carroll said Tuesday. “Now, to actually do it and see your name on the bottle, it feels good you know ...”
While Carroll recently planted grapes on his Paeonian Springs property, those won't be ready to produce for a few years. So for now he's growing on winemaker and partner Lori Corcoran's property in Waterford.
Lori, her husband Jim, Mike and his wife JoAnne Carroll recently opened the Leesburg Brewing Company pub next door to Leesburg Vintner, a spot that will carry some of Carroll's labels. Additionally, Carroll will be hosting frequent tastings of his juice at Leesburg Vintner.
Sunset Hills hits another, lesser-known milestone
What a year it's been for Sunset Hills Vineyard.
First, the Purcellville winery's offerings garnered high praise from competitions in Virginia and New York, including a spot in the Governor's Case as one of the top 12 Virginia wines in the 2013 Governor's Cup for their Bordeaux-styled Mosaic.
And now Sunset Hills has the distinction as the largest producer of solar power in Loudoun County. Since installing solar panels on the roof of its Amish-restored barn and tasting room two years ago, Sunset has hit 100 megawatt hours of solar output, the equivalent to powering 10 homes annually from completely renewable sources, according to the county's energy manager.
“We’re making wine from sunshine in two ways; once with the growing of our grapes and the second with our solar panels producing the electricity we need to power our winery and tasting room,” said co-owner Diane Canney.
Her husband and fellow owner Mike Canney noted, “We are passionate about making great wine while being good stewards of the environment. I am a physicist by training who developed a passion for Virginia wine 15 years ago ...”
Patience, Wine Kitchen loyalists, patience
Trust me, we're just as antsy as you are.
While Wine Kitchen co-owners Jason Miller and Michael Mercer had their sights set on an early spring opening for the restaurant and wine bar's new location in the Purcellville Gateway development, that dream seems increasingly unlikely. Due to regulatory and construction snags, the popular Wine Kitchen, which has locations in Leesburg and Frederick, Md., won't open its doors at spot No. 3 for several more weeks.
Staying optimistic, we like to think that glass of bubbly at the new spot will taste that much better when the doors finally open.
Tarara's Harris makes Wine Enthusiast's '40 Under 40'
Jordan Harris, the winemaker and general manager of Tarara Winery north of Leesburg, was listed in Wine Enthusiast's “40 Under 40: America's Tastemakers” Tuesday.
Wine Enthusiast editors said this of Harris, the only Virginia vintner named in the list: “While many of Virginia’s vintners are concentrating their efforts on the sure sellers … Harris champions varieties that are oft overlooked in the Commonwealth. Pushing the boundaries of his blends, Harris is blazing trails in the state with bottlings like his 2010 #SocialSecret, a heavy-hitting hodgepodge of Tannat, Petit Verdot and Pinotage; and his 2010 Honah Lee White, a sapid mix of Viognier, Roussanne and Petit Manseng.”
"Wine Wednesday" for April 4 -- The Middleburg AVA; ‘Epicurience’ update; and ‘Virginia Uncorked’