With visitors to Charlottesville in town, we spent a day visiting some local vineyards. The wine industry here is booming, with the results ranging from bad to very good, although most is something along the lines of “pretty good.”
We hit three relative newcomers, Stinson, Mountfair and Glass House, along with the veteran White Hall. None of these places are putting out a bad product, although Stinson and White Hall seem to be producing a more consistent lineup.
Mountfair makes big, dark reds and pours them in a charming, low-key spot. Maybe the wines just need a little more time in the bottle, but once again I found that each had a distinctly rough edge—enough to literally catch in my throat in one blend—that detracts. Still, they give the indication of being on the right path.
Glass House is pouring some decent wines in a beautiful space, but none were compelling enough to need to take home. And the labels always strike me as kind of tacky.
The newest of the bunch, Stinson, is a much more small-scale affair, with a modest tasting room and the owners often pouring the products. It’s all quality stuff, and the 2010 cab franc is particularly nice.
White Hall, meanwhile, is one of the local pioneers, and it’s easy to forget about them amidst all of the new competition. They remain remarkably consistent, however, and manage to keep most prices well below the $20 mark. Their viognier remains one of Virginia’s best white wines year in and year out.