What’s new in the vineyard?

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The start of a great new wine

It’s planting time! Linganore Winecellars in Mount Airy has spent the past few weeks planting three new grape varieties, which will ultimately be used for the creation of new wines and updating old favorites.

The first new crop is the Albarino, a Spanish white variety. Though this grape is somewhat similar to a Riesling or a Moscato, it actually has more of a dry finish. It has some fruit on the palette and a fresh, floral taste. Though the grape typically produces a dry dinner wine, it could also be made semi-sweet to go with fruit or dessert.

The other new white crop is Vidal blanc, which has been the base for our award winning Terrapin White. This grape is very versatile and can be used for dry wines or also semi-sweet. In the past we’ve used it for an ice wine (meaning the grapes are frozen while still on the vine), and we may use it in the future for a late harvest wine.

The third crop is a red that is brand new for Linganore. It is the Saperavi grape, which is a Russian red variety, typically used for blending. This grape has been described by Owner and Vineyard Manager Eric Aellen as very full bodied and tannic. Aellen said the grape has done very well in Virginia and is meant to give our winemakers additional blending options.

Outside of the new crops, we’ve also updated some existing crops including Syrah, Merlot and Barbera.
The process new wine creation takes about four years total. Once planted, the grapes take about three years to be ready for wine production. The new wines spend about a year in the barrel before being released.

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