This past weekend I was up in Northern Virginia visiting family, helping Gray Ghost with the last of their harvest (a post for later this week), and of course drinking some wine. On Saturday my mother mentioned a new winery that had opened just up the road in Fairfax and suggested we go check it out as she had heard good things about it from friends. The good son that I am I quickly encouraged this idea.
A 30 minute drive brought us to the small winery. The small farmhouse has been outfitted with a wine bar, and while the space is admittedly a little cramped, on warmer days there’s an outdoor pavilion where they also have tastings, which is where we did our tasting, that offers more space and a nice view of the 36 acres of property.
Paradise Springs Winery is owned by Jane Kincheloe and Kirk Wiles, a mother and son, whom inherited the property from Jane’s Aunt several years ago. While not all the grapes are grown on site, Paradise Springs does manage what grapes they grow at other vineyards, instead of just buying grapes that others have grown and bringing them in.
As for the wines. We tasted eight wines: 4 whites, 1 rose, and 3 reds. Our first wine was the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc ($21). There was very light citrus on this, but what really came through to me was a petrol flavor that I didn’t find very appealing. Second was a 2008 Chardonnay ($21) that was aged in French Oak for 9 months. The oak butter finish was subtle and very enjoyable. A good one to check out for people that prefer steel Chardonnay but are trying to branch out. Next up was a 2009 Viognier ($23) that was very nice. Good floral notes made this refreshing and we actually bought a bottle of this to enjoy at the winery.
Our final white was a 2008 Vidal Blanc ($24). Featuring 1.5% residual sugar, it wasn’t what I would call sweet, though there was a subtle sweet note to it that would do a great job of cutting through spicy food such as Thai food. Next up the rose, the 2009 Nana’s Rose’ ($25). I’ll admit to having been on a bit of a rose’ kick as of late, and while this wasn’t my favorite, it was refreshing on the warm day.
Moving into the reds we started off with a 2008 Cabernet Franc ($23) that had great pepper. We actually bought a bottle of this to bring home so expect a review sometime in the future. Our second red was a 2009 Merlot ($25) that featured plenty of ripe fruit but was nice and smooth. Virginia’s been producing really good Merlot as of late and while I won’t say this one is a must have, it’s certainly worth a look if you’re checking out the state’s Merlot.
Our final taste was of the 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($29). Nice raspberry and blackberry flavors with enough tannins on the finish to make this a definite steak wine. Also, for a reserve, it’s very well priced. Paradise Springs also offers what they call their Apres ($43), which is a sparkling Viognier. They don’t taste it at the winery, so if you do go there and buy a bottle, I want to hear your thoughts, because I was certainly intrigued by it.
For a new winery, Paradise Springs is on the right path. There’s obviously a lot of growing for them to do, but for such a young winery they’re already producing wine they can be proud of and everybody there was incredibly friendly. Visitors are more than welcome to wander the grounds, and you can even see glass-blowing being done. If you’re in the Fairfax area and love wine, there’s not reason not to take a trip down here, and I for one look forward to checking them out again in the future to see how they’re growing.
To learn more about Paradise Springs Winery, their wine, or to get directions, visit their website at: http://www.paradisespringswinery.com .