Friday, February 1, 2013

Big Pippin

View from the Porch at Pippin Hill

Recently I was cleaning out some of the junk in our garage to make room for more baby gear and I came across an empty bottle of Pippin Hill's Summer Farm Rose. I had meant to write about the wine and the winery back in rose season, and clearly I haven't. Seeing the bottle reminded me of how much we enjoyed our time at Pippin Hill winery over the summer. Although a newer winery, Pippin Hill is fast becoming a popular destination in its own right. And why shouldn't it? It has some of the most spectacular views of any winery in the Commonwealth - as captured both by my amateur hand as well as the professionals they had populate their website with beautiful photos. 

Of course, being such a scenic location can have its drawbacks. Too often the quality of the product suffers when the location can't be beat. Luckily, that is not the case with Pippin Hill. Their wines are quite good - with the rose, Cabernet Franc and Merlot Reserve being the key standouts. I particularly liked the Merlot Reserve with its abundance of dark fruit, oak and cedar flavors, it gave me a new appreciation for Virginia Merlot. 

After a long day of tastings, I go for an artsy shot
Of course, the drawback of making wine in a beautiful setting is that the place can get packed on the weekend. Couple this with the fact that Pippin Hill pushes its wedding packages heavily and you may find yourself in a situation where you aren't able to sit and enjoy the wines and the scenery. Not to bemoan Pippin Hill's success. They are popular because they deserve to be popular given their atmosphere and the quality of their wines that continues to improve. 

Bachelorette parties and weekend throngs aside, Pippin Hill is well worth a trip, and they still are committed to producing good wines. True, there is a link to booking a wedding on their front page, but they're also are water and soil nerds - hyping Pippin Hill's unique terrior and sustainable winemaking practices. Why else would they have one of the most unromantic paragraphs possible on their website: 

"Pippin Hill Farm is underlain by a granitic pre-Cambrian formation that provides a stable foundation. Water is sourced from a sustainable aquifer groundwater. Our soils are comprised of six distinct soil series with an abundance of rich texture: two ancient and four alluvial fans."

I'm glad I found that empty bottle in the garage and hope to get back to Pippin Hill sometime in the future. 

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