Often fully-ripened on our westward-facing mountainside, Cabernet Franc carries with it the warmth of the sun. Ripe, rich, and full-bodied, our Cabernet Franc is suited well for grilled meats and Wednesday nights.

Vineyards

Located on the west slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, between 1000 and 1400 feet above sea level. We have two plantings of Cabernet Franc, each about an acre. Different exposures, soils, grade, and trellis allow a different crop from each, which helps to balance the differences in growing seasons, especially between veraison and harvest. Learn more about our vineyard →

Vintages

Season

2007 can be classified as extraordinary. After a mild winter, spring was cool with normal rainfall amounts. Beginning with flowering on May 30 and extending just past the last day of harvest on October 20, we experienced below normal rainfall and average to above average temperatures. It was especially warm and dry during the critical ripening months of August, September, and October.

Winemaking

The grapes were hand picked and chilled overnight. A double sorting, (pre and post destemming) was performed and the berries were destemmed without crushing. The whole berries filled small one-ton fermenters and were cold soaked for 3 days. Moved into the fermentation room, the bins were warmed to 60ºF and inoculated with yeast. Fermentation lasted about 7-10 days with 2 cap punch downs each day. The wine was pressed off, allowed to settle overnight and racked into barrels the next morning. The barrels were inoculated with a malolactic culture and this fermentation lasted about 30 days. Once ML fermentation was complete the wine was racked out of the fermentation room back into our cellar and allowed to rest. In the summer of 2008, the wine was transferred from primarily new French oak barrels to old, neutral barrels for further aging. Unfined and unfiltered it was bottled on February 6, 2009.

Varietals

100% Cabernet Franc

Production

183 cases

Aging Potential

2010 – 2015

Season

Except for being rather cool, 2008 was a normal year in Virginia with much-varied weather throughout the growing season. After a cool and wet spring, we experienced very dry and hot weather during flowering and then wet again for late June through early July. Dry conditions returned for late July through August but with very cool and comfortable temperatures. A couple of hurricane remnants blew through late August and early September but only dropping a small amount of rain. Then in late September, a nor’easter storm system left us 3 inches of rain. After this storm, we were completely dry for the remaining 4 weeks of harvest. Watching the weather while tasting the developing grapes and harvesting around and in between these systems, helped salvage this troublesome vintage.

Winemaking

The grapes were hand picked and chilled overnight. A double sorting, (pre and post destemming) was performed and the berries were destemmed without crushing. The whole berries filled small one-ton fermenters and were cold soaked for 3 days. Moved into the fermentation room, the bins were warmed to 60ºF and inoculated with yeast. Fermentation lasted about 7-10 days with 2 cap punch downs each day. The wine was pressed off, allowed to settle overnight and racked into barrels the next morning. The barrels were inoculated with a malolactic culture and this fermentation lasted from 30-60 days. Once ML fermentation was complete the wine was racked out of the fermentation room back into our cellar and allowed to rest. During the summer of 2009, the wine was transferred from primarily new French oak barrels to older, neutral barrels for further aging. Unfined and Unfiltered, the wine was bottled in March 2010.

Varietals

100% Cabernet Franc

Production

107 cases

Aging Potential

2010 – 2018

no information currently available for this vintage

Season

2010 was an extraordinary winegrowing year in Virginia. High heat and extremely dry conditions prevailed throughout the growing season. Add in an early bud break and no season-ending tropical storms, we enjoyed a long growing season which in turn allowed our red grapes time to attain ultimate and full ripeness. These are hedonistic red wines.

Winemaking

The grape clusters were hand-harvested in the cooler morning hours and then chilled in our large walk-in cooler for 24 hours. The next morning the clusters were sorted through to remove leaves or damaged berries, destemmed without crushing, then a second sorting to remove all stem fragments was performed, before entering the fermenter. After a four-day cold soak in the walk-in, the grapes were brought inside the winery, warmed and yeast was added. Fermentation lasted about 10 days, with twice-daily cap punch downs. Malolactic cultures were added and the grapes continued to macerate in the fermenters for another 10 days before pressing. After a day of settling, the wine was put into barrel for 15 months aging. Bottled in March 2012.

Varietals

100% Cabernet Franc

Production

200 cases

Aging Potential

2012 – 2020

Season

2011 was a fine growing season but ended on a down note with a very challenging and wet harvest season. Bud break occurred normally, around mid-April and flowering too was normal, around the first of June. Summer temperatures were normal, with some hot days and some cool ones. Rainfall was normal for most of the summer, turning very dry in August just before harvest. On August 25, 1.5 inches of rain fell from the remnants of hurricane Irene. Then on September 4, the onslaught of Tropical storm Lee began, bringing 5 inches of rain, and the rains did not stop for another 30 days. We left our red grapes to hang through the rains and when it was all over they had gained ripeness but about 50% was lost. All of our red grapes required bleeding off juice soon after crushing to reduce the dilution effect from these rains.

Winemaking

The grape clusters were hand-harvested in the cooler morning hours and then chilled in our large walk-in cooler for 24 hours. The next morning the clusters were sorted through to remove leaves or damaged berries, destemmed without crushing, then a second sorting to remove all stem fragments was performed, before entering the fermenter. After a 4 day cold soak back inside the walk-in, the grapes were brought inside the winery, warmed and yeast was added. Fermentation lasted about 10 days with 2 daily cap punch downs. Malolactic cultures were added and the grapes continued to macerate before pressing. After a day of settling, the wine was put into barrel for aging. Bottled in August 2012.

Varietals

100% Cabernet Franc

Production

380 cases

Aging Potential

2012 – 2015

Season

2012 was an excellent year for growing grapes in Virginia. It was reminiscent of the stellar 2009 vintage. Bud break occurred very early, around the last couple days of March. Flowering was also early, at the end of May. Summer temperatures were normal, with some hot days and some cool ones. Rainfall was rather low for most of the summer, turning very dry in August just before harvest. A couple of minor rain events occurred in late August and early September but after these rains past, the rest of harvest was beautifully dry, sunny and warm during the days and very cool and crisp during the night time hours. Harvest began in late September and lasted through the middle of October.

Winemaking

The grape clusters were hand-harvested in the cooler morning hours and then chilled in our large walk-in cooler for 24 hours. The next morning the clusters were sorted through to remove leaves or damaged berries and destemmed without crushing. Then a second sorting was performed to remove all stem fragments before entering the fermenter. After a 4 day cold soak, the grapes were brought inside the winery, warmed and yeast was added. Fermentation lasted about 10 days with 2 daily cap punch downs. Malolactic cultures were added and the grapes continued to macerate before pressing. After a day of settling, the wine was put into barrel for aging. Bottled in August 2014.

Varietals

100% Cabernet Franc

Production

380 cases

Aging Potential

2014 – 2020

Season

2013 consisted of a troublesome growing season and a beautiful ripening and harvest season. The spring and early summer months were warm and wet resulting in the vines growing wildly and rapid. This, in turn, caused us to work long and rapidly just to keep up. But by mid-August and through October the rains ceased and the vines stopped growing and put their energies into ripening their fruit. There were no tropical systems in our area and we enjoyed many sunny and warm days and very cool crisp nights. Harvest began in late September and lasted through the middle of October. Harvest began in late September and lasted through the middle of October.

Winemaking

The grape clusters were hand-harvested in the cooler morning hours and then chilled in our large walk-in cooler for 24 hours. The next morning the clusters were sorted through to remove leaves or damaged berries and destemmed without crushing. Then a second sorting was performed to remove all stem fragments before entering the fermenter. After a 4 day cold soak, the grapes were brought inside the winery, warmed and yeast was added. Fermentation lasted about 10 days with 2 daily cap punch downs. Malolactic cultures were added and the grapes continued to macerate before pressing. After a day of settling, the wine was put into barrel for aging. Bottled in August 2015.

Varietals

100% Cabernet Franc

Production

225 cases

Aging Potential

2015 – 2020

Season

Following an extremely cold winter, spring was wet and cool and the first half of summer was wet and hot. In August, the rains stopped and we enjoyed a relatively dry and warm harvest with no tropical storms moving through our area. Harvest began in late September and lasted through the middle of October.

Winemaking

The grape clusters were hand-harvested in the cooler morning hours and then chilled in our large walk-in cooler for 24 hours. The next morning the clusters were sorted through to remove leaves or damaged berries and destemmed without crushing. Then a second sorting was performed to remove all stem fragments before entering the fermenter. After a 4 day cold soak, the crushed grapes were brought inside the winery, warmed and yeast was added. Fermentation lasted about 10 days with 2 daily cap punch downs. Malolactic cultures were added and the grapes continued to macerate before pressing. After a day of settling, the wine was put into barrel for aging. Bottled in August 2016.

Varietals

100% Cabernet Franc

Production

275 cases

Aging Potential

2016 – 2025


This list includes previous vintages up to the present. See which wines are currently available →