Hodder Hill is a structured red blend (usually Cabernet Sauvignon dominant), focused on the terroir of our mountain farm. The blend of varieties and nuances of flavor change with every season, just as nature gives us different fruit every season, and we allow the best of this bounty to frame our wine.

In the same way that this wine showcases the structure that our vineyards produce, its name showcases the structure of our family; it is named for Raymond Hodder Rudacille, the second generation of our family to farm and live on this land.

Vineyards

Located on a western slope of the northern Blue Ridge Mountains, between 1000 and 1400 feet above sea level. These plantings consist of 12.2 acres under vine, growing in deep, steep and well drained rocky soils. The vines are cane pruned and trained to both the Open Lyre and Double Guyot system. 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 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 2008, the final blends were made and the wine was transferred from primarily new French oak barrels to older, neutral barrels for further aging.
Unfined and unfiltered, it was bottled on 6 February 2009.

Varietals

63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc

Production

328 cases

Aging Potential

2009 – 2015

no information currently available for this vintage

Season

2009 was a bit of a stressful and difficult year but, in the end, the fruit ripened beautifully and made very intense, structured and age-worthy wines. The beginning of the growing season was extremely wet, but from early July through mid-October we were extremely dry and quite cool. Because of this cool summer, harvest was delayed a bit but this actually worked to our advantage as grape flavor development kept pace with grape chemistry, i.e., sugars, pH, and acids. Significant rains held off just until the time of year when the vines no longer take up much water anyway, so the fruit still ripening was not compromised. We did experience a partial frost on our lower blocks of red fruited vines but continued to hang the fruit and there was just enough movement of resources within the vines and sunlight from above to obtain full flavor maturity. All in all, it was a very good year to grow wine in Virginia.

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 4 days. Moved into the fermentation room, the bins were warmed to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and inoculated with yeast. Fermentation lasted about 7 to 10 days with 2 cap punch downs each day. After about 2 weeks of maceration, 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 to 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 2010, the final blends were made and the wine was transferred from primarily new French oak barrels to older, neutral barrels for further aging.
Unfined and unfiltered, it was bottled in March 2011.

Varietals

63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc

Production

200 cases

Aging Potential

2013 – 2025

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. Very light leaf pulling was performed this vintage to slow down berry development and to protect the clusters from the blistering summer heat. These are hedonistic wines.

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 4 days. Moved into the fermentation room, the bins were warmed to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and inoculated with yeast. Fermentation temperatures reached the low 80s and lasted from 7 to 10 days, with 2 cap punch downs performed each day. After about 2 weeks of maceration, the wine was pressed off, allowed to settle overnight and the transferred into barrels the next morning. The barrels were inoculated with a malolactic culture and this fermentation lasted from 30 to 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 2011, the final blends were made and the wine was transferred from primarily new French oak barrels to older, neutral barrels for further aging. Unfined and unfiltered, it was bottled in August 2012.

Varietals

69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot

Production

350 cases

Aging Potential

2014 – 2028

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 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 4 days. Moved into the fermentation room, the bins were warmed to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and inoculated with yeast. Fermentation temperatures reached the low 80s and lasted from 7 to 10 days, with 2 cap punch downs performed each day. After about 2 weeks of maceration, the wine was pressed off, allowed to settle overnight and the transferred into barrels the next morning. The barrels were inoculated with a malolactic culture and this fermentation lasted from 30 to 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 2011, the final blends were made and the wine was transferred from primarily new French oak barrels to older, neutral barrels for further aging. Unfined and unfiltered, it was bottled in August 2012.

Varietals

64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 14% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc

Production

350 cases

Aging Potential

2014 – 2028

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.

Winemaking

Grapes were hand harvested and chilled overnight. A triple sorting, (in the vineyard, and then on the crush pad, 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 4 days. Moved into the fermentation room, the bins were warmed to 60ºF and inoculated with yeast. Fermentation temperatures reached into the mid-80s and lasted about 7 to 10 days with 2 cap punch downs each day. ML fermentation began in the bins after primary fermentation was complete. After two to three weeks of additional maceration time including daily tastings, the wine was pressed off, allowed to settle overnight and then racked into French oak barrels where ML fermentation completed. The wines rested for five months before this blend was assembled during the summer of 2014. This wine was bottled unfiltered and unfined in July 2015.

Varietals

67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot

Production

420 cases

Aging Potential

2015 – 2030


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