A Good Year

Collaborative red blend commemorates four centuries of winemaking. 


Photo courtesy of Chris Pearmund

Virginia’s 400-year history of winemaking began in 1619 when the House of Burgesses passed Acte 12, which required every landowner to plant 10 grapevines. 

Today, on the eve of this anniversary, 16 wineries across the Commonwealth have collaborated to produce a red wine blend commemorating that seminal decision. “Virginia has a long history and heritage of winemaking,” says Chris Pearmund, owner of Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run and Effingham Manor Winery in Nokesville, who initiated the project. “My goal is for people to respect and recognize that.”

Virginia’s Heritage, made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Tannat and aged in Virginia oak barrels at Effingham Manor Winery, consists of a barrel of wine contributed by each of the wineries. Ten thousand bottles were produced to represent the 10,000 vines initially brought over from France, along with eight vignerons, to establish vineyards in the New World. 

The result is earthy and smoky with flavors of wild black cherry and “a long, refined finish with notes of sweet tobacco, cedar and spice,” says Pearmund. It’s “Virginia in a glass.” 

The wine, bottled in August, will be available to the public for first tastings and sales at the Fall Wine Festival at Mount Vernon, Oct. 5-7, and will then be available for purchase at participating wineries and VirginiasHeritage.com.

October is Virginia Wine Month. For a schedule of events, visit VirginiaWine.org

This article originally appeared in our October 2018 issue. Look out for more stories on Virginia wine in our inaugural Drink issue, coming to newsstands in November.

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