One can summarize our philosophy in a few simple words…always challenging ourselves to do better.
Being a boutique Farm Winery is tough work and we are passionate about what we do. From the winegrowing, to the winemaking, to the tasting room, we are committed to providing the best wine experience possible in each given vintage. It’s exciting being part of the Virginia Wine Industry and we want our wines to express the best the season had to offer. We can’t become complacent because Mother Nature won’t let us. See how good Virginia wines can be!
You can get away from it all, if only for a few hours. Close to Lake Anna and centered between Richmond, Fredericksburg and Charlottesville in rural Louisa County (or if you prefer, between France and California). The winery was the 53rd licensed Farm Winery in July of 1999 and began its existence as Cooper Vineyards. Nestled among rolling hills in a traditional farming community, the winery consists of 103 acres with over 20 acres dedicated to vineyard production.
Think Chill, Relax, Enjoy!
Enter through our tree lined drive into our meadowlike setting surrounded by trees. Our Tasting Room was awarded a Leeds (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum award in 2011. The building utilizes a rainwater harvesting system that filters it for irrigation and toilets and solar panels that provide for approximately 15% of the building electrical needs. It has a geothermal HVAC system; energy efficient lighting and solar tubes; natural stone and native cypress siding in addition to other energy efficient and renewable/recyclable resources such as the concrete counter tops at the tasting bar.
Our Production Building, completed in December 2017, utilizes 100% LED lighting and is made mostly of recyclable materials such as concrete and metal. Rainwater is collected in a pond that can be used for irrigation and is slowly released to the environmental to minimize damage from heavy rains.
We have two vineyards, one in Louisa County and the other on the border of Albemarle and Greene Counties.
The Louisa county vineyard sits at a ridge top level providing 50-100 feet of relative elevation over the valley floor level. The soil is classified as Nason silt loam and is a product of the original volcanic ridge line. It has excellent air drainage to a pond that serves as a cold air sink for frost protection. The white wine varieties grown there are Albarino, Chardonel, Viognier and Vidal Blanc. The red wine varieties are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Petit Verdot and Norton. Extensive replantings have occurred over the past five years to match the varieties best suited to the site. It encompasses over 20 acres of plantable vineyard space.
The Albemarle/Greene County vineyard consists of 12 acres on ridges and hillsides bordering the Appalachian Mountain range at 850 to 1100 feet elevation. The soil is the typical red clay with sandy loam and lots of shale and granite rock. The vineyard is bordered by two springs at a lower elevation which provides a cold air sink. It also has excellent water drainage and subject to frequent morning and late afternoon winds. White wine varieties include Chardonnay and Viognier and red varieties include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Both vineyards have excellent sun exposure and utilize Vertical Shoot Positioning for their trellis system. We practice dry farming, i.e. no irrigation and use sustainable practices as much as practical. For instance, we use composted horse manure for fertilizer, reduce use of pesticides by encouraging birds and bats (meaning we have to net the grapes) and put in considerable effort maintaining under vine growth for soil health and weed control to minimize herbicide use.
Our new winemaking facility is in Louisa County and became operational in December 2017. It replaced the old facility which was in use since 1999. Our winemaking efforts center around getting the best possible grapes from our vineyards watching both Brix and PH levels. We then treat them gently through the fermentation process that includes slower fermentation cycles, gentle grape punchdowns and minimizing touch points to produce wines of balance. An emphasis on a “clean” facility keeps potential problems to the wine at a minimum. We also compost all skins and stems from the press and destemmer for fertilizing our vineyards adding back most of what the plants took from the soil during the prior season.