Wineries and Vineyards

In the Wine Light – Glen Manor Vineyards

In the Wine Light – Glen Manor Vineyards

In the Wine Light is Glen Manor Vineyards. On our return from our trip to the Finger Lakes this summer, we made a couple of stops in Virginia.  Our first stop was at Glen Manor Vineyards in Front Royal.  

Glen Manor Vineyards Sign

Glen Manor Vineyards – October, 2019

We first visited Glen Manor Vineyards in October of 2019.  We’d always heard great things about them and were super impressed with our visit, so it was a priority to visit them again.

Tasting Room and Winery at Glen Manor Vineyards

Tasting Room and Winery at Glen Manor Vineyards

Scenic Location

Glen Manor Vineyards is located just below Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park.  The vineyards are just beyond the tasting room on a steep hills.  Visits to Glen Manor are by reservation only – a feature that started during the pandemic and will likely continue thereafter.

Our appointment was a 4:30pm on an absolutely gorgeous day.  We were greeted by Kelly, one of the owners, who led us outside for our tasting.  We faced the vineyard with Skyline Drive on the mountain above. 

Glen Manor Vineyards with Skyline Drive Above

Glen Manor Vineyards with Skyline Drive Above

Century Farm

This bucolic location provides a peaceful respite from today’s busy life.  Kelly walked us through the history of the estate beginning with the initial purchase of land by the family in 1901.  Fast forward to 1995 when Glen Manor Vineyards was born with the planting of a little more than one acre of Sauvignon Blanc.  

More vines were planted in subsequent years with the most recent addition in 2017.  There are now 17 acres under vine on the 212 acre estate.  In addition to the Sauvignon Blanc, varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng, and Nebbiolo.

Tasting – Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé

We began our tasting with the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc.  Grapes on the west facing canopy were harvested on August 29, 2019, with grapes from the east facing canopy harvested on September 2, 2019.  Each harvest was fermented separately in stainless steel at 55 degrees for 30 days using two different yeasts. The separate batches were blended in October, 2019, and then bottled in January, 2020.  A grassy, lemony nose gave way to a palate of candied lemon along with a grassy, herbaceous note with a slight minerality.

Next up, we tasted the 2020 Morales Rosé, a blend of Cabernet Franc (45%), Merlot (22%), Petit Verdot (22%), and Nebbiolo (11%).  A well balanced wine that presented notes of strawberry and watermelon.

Front of Tasting Room at Glen Manor Vineyards

Front of Tasting Room at Glen Manor Vineyards

Tasting – Reds

Time for reds, so we started with the 2015 St. Ruth, a blend of Merlot (72%), Cabernet Franc (14%), and Petit Verdot (14%).  Each wine was fermented in small one ton bins with 14 days of post fermentation maceration and later aged for 20 months in French oak.  The 2015 St. Ruth had a nose of caramel, vanilla, and roasted plum.  The palate had nice roasted plum with leathery and spicy notes.

Fermented in the same manner at the 2015 St. Ruth, the 2016 St. Ruth was next.  A blend of Merlot (52%), Cabernet Franc (38%), and Petit Verdot (10%), the nose showed black tea and black cherry with more on the palate along with a bit of spice.

Next, we moved to the 2014 Hodder Hill, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (69%), Merlot (16%), and Petit Verdot (15%).  A caramel and toasty oak nose invited you in, but the velvety smooth palate of blueberry, black raspberry made you want more.  A hint of violets danced in the background as the Cabernet Sauvignon proved to be a star.

We ended the reds with the 2017 Petit Verdot which had spent 20 months in French oak.  Fresh baked blueberries on the nose and a rich palate reminiscent of blueberry pie with hints of vanilla and spice.  Glen Manor Vineyards certainly has some impressive reds.

A Fall View of the Vineyards at Glen Manor

A Fall View of the Vineyards at Glen Manor – October, 2019

Tasting – Petit Manseng

Finally, it was time for Petit Manseng!  We tasted three.  First, we tasted the 2019 Dry Petit Manseng.  Harvested on September 18, 2019, chilled overnight, whole cluster pressed the next day, fermented cold in stainless steel in two batches using different yeasts for 30 days, and finally blended together.  Bottled in January, 2020, this wine gave us pear and pineapple on the nose with candied pineapple and pear on the palate.  The acids proved to be nice and balanced.

Next up, the 2017 Petit Manseng which was fermented in a similar manner but had Petit Manseng juice added back to raise the residual sugar to 2.8%.  Candied pear showed through on the nose.  The palate presented golden baked apple and bit of pear.  Full bodied, the sugar, acids, and flavors were balanced.

We ended the tasting with the 2016 Raepheus, a late harvest Petit Manseng dessert wine.  Grapes were harvested on November 11, 2016, and placed in a walk-in freeze for 12 days.  Then, the grapes were whole cluster pressed.  The juice was cold settled for 24 hours with sediment racked off and the juice inoculated for fermentation in two thirds new French oak and one third stainless steel.  On March 5, 2017, the two wines were blended in stainless steel to age on light yeast lees for ten months.  Bottling happened in February, 2018.  What a delight this wine is!  Roasted pineapple on the nose led to a palate of candied pineapple and toasty oak.  A good acid backbone still shown through on the moderately sweet palate.

Wrapping Up

After we wrapped up our tasting, Kelly graciously gave us some recommendations for dinner.  We purchased several wines and ended our glorious afternoon at Glen Manor Vineyards.  We highly recommend you make a reservation and go visit.  You won’t regret it!

#InTheWineLight #VAWine

Posted by Joe Brock in In the Wine Light, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Reds Through the Years at Zimmerman Vineyards

Reds Through the Years at Zimmerman Vineyards

Reds Through the Years at Zimmerman Vineyards

We recently attended the “Reds Through the Years” event at Zimmerman Vineyards in Trinity, North Carolina. The theme for the evening was Bordeaux, tannins, and vintage wines.

Zimmerman opened on June 1, 2007 and has been producing top quality wines ever since.  Wines are made offsite at Childress Vineyards by Winemaker Mark Frizolowski from fruit grown in the estate vineyard. You can learn more about Zimmerman Vineyards in our episode of Cork Talk featuring owner Leslie Zimmerman and Christie Otranto.

Terrace at Zimmerman Vineyards with views of the Uwharrie Mountains

We had visited Zimmerman several times in the past and have always enjoyed our visits, the beautiful grounds, and the wine.  This particular event was our first visit since the pandemic began.  We arrived on a comfortably cool fall evening.  Tables were set under the permanent tent with plenty of room to spread out.

Cabernet Franc and Merlot

Vintage Reds at Zimmerman Vineyards

2007 Cabernet Franc and 2010 Merlot from Zimmerman Vineyards

We began with the tasting of the 2007 Cabernet Franc and the 2010 Merlot.  The Cabernet Franc was produced with secondary fruit only due to a freeze that happened after initial budbreak where primary buds were lost.  Paired with dried cherries, this wine is still holding its own.  It showed stewed cherries and figs with a hint of leather on the nose.  The palate gave notes of cherry and tobacco with medium tannins.  Next up was the Merlot which showed a leathery nose.  The fig flavors on the palate paired nicely with dried brown figs.  The tannins were grippy but not overpowering.  Of the two, the Cabernet Franc was the favorite.

Morpheus – Heir of Hypnos

Treats paired with Heir of Hypnos

Treats paired with Morpheus, Heir of Hypnos

Tasting notes for Morpheus, Heir of Hypnos from Zimmerman Vineyards’ Website

Next, we moved on to a small food plate with cheese and crackers, an olive medley, and paninos.  These treats were paired with Zimmerman Vineyards’ newest red wine Morpheus – Heir of Hypnos.  The new wine is stellar.  A non-vintaged Bordeaux style blend that is NOT oaked, proved to be a hit.  This wine showed violets and red cherry on the nose with a hint of pepper.  The palate burst with fresh red fruits with an underlying note of darker fruits.  This would be a perfect wine for your Thanksgiving table!

Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Cabernet at Zimmerman Vineyards

2005, 2006, & 2007 Cabernet Sauvignons at Zimmerman Vineyards

Next up on the tasting list was Cabernet Sauvignon.  There were three Cabs to taste 2005 – the first commercial vintage, 2006, and 2007.  The 2005 did show its age but was still very drinkable.  With caramel, black cherry, and fig on the nose, the palate gave more of the same.  The 2006 was more fresh and had more classic Cab notes.  With black fruits and a hint of spice, the tannins were firm but not overly bold.  Inky dark, the 2007 proved to be the favorite of the vintage wines we tasted.  With soft black cherry, blackberry, and smooth tannins, it paired beautifully with a chocolate truffle.

Yummy Dinner at Zimmerman Vineyards

Yummy way to close out the evening at Zimmerman Vineyards

We ended this wonderful evening with the tomato soup, a delightful roast beef crostini set off with caramelized onions, and classic pumpkin roll for dessert.  Thanks to Leslie for inviting us and our table mates for wonderful conversation.  

If you haven’t visited Zimmerman Vineyards, we highly recommend a visit.

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards – Lodi, CA

Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards – Lodi, CA

We visited Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards during the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi, CA.  Fellow bloggers recommended it and since we’re big fans for Rhône Valley style wines we had to go.  We thoroughly enjoyed everything we tasted.  For more on that trip go here:  Lodi Adventures after 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference.

Since we were returning to California for the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference, we decided to allow for some time in Lodi again.  We emailed Sue Tipton, the owner of Acquiesce, to see if she would be willing to let us come in for a tasting.  Acquiesce is normally closed on Wednesdays, but Sue graciously agreed.


We arrived just before 11am.  Before going in we took a look around the vineyards closest to the road.  Below are some of the pictures we took.  Sue grows only Rhône Valley white varietals and Grenache for making rosé.  This is because Sue only makes white wines and a rosé.  She ripped out Zinfandel, Lodi’s signature grape, to plant these Rhône Valley grapes!  Also, Sue is small production.  She opens for the year in March and is usually sold out of the previous year’s vintage by early to mid-November.  Sue is now closed for the season and will reopen in March, 2018.

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After checking out the vineyard and snapping pictures, we headed inside.  Sue was already behind the bar waiting for us to arrive.  We exchanged greetings.  Then Sue proceeded with the tasting.  Here are out notes:

  • 2016 Grenache Blanc – This wine had notes of green apple, apricot, and lime on the nose.  On the palate, it had a crisp, minerally undertone with good apricot fruit.  The finish was slightly minerally too.  Sue paired this with a thyme cracker which provided perfect balance with the wine.
  • 2016 Belle Blanc – A blend of 45% Grenache Blanc, 45% Roussanne, and 10% Viognier, light pear showed on the nose.  Mildly ripe pear with some light mineral notes showed on the palate.  Sue paired this wine with a manchego with a violet flower confit.  This brought out the mineral notes in the wine along with a lightly floral undertone.
  • 2016 Roussanne – A nose of honey and pineapple lead to a palate also of honey and pear.
  • 2016 Viognier – This wine presented a floral peach note on the nose.  Peach and apricot predominated on the palate along with a slight mineral undertone.  Its pairing was a Moroccan spiced cracker with a mango chutney.
  • 2016 Grenache Rosé – Picked at 22.5 Brix and whole cluster pressed, this showed light strawberry on the nose.  Watermelon and lime showed on the palate.


After we finished the tasting, Sue took us out to the winery.  A fairly new building, it was filled with several tanks of various sizes.  But unlike most wineries, there were no barrels.  Sue’s wines are only done is stainless steel.  She had a few more things for us to taste.

  • 2017 Picpoul Blanc – We tasted this straight from the tank.  While not the finished product, this will be a great wine.  It was highly acidic with notes of pineapple and pear.
  • 2017 Bourboulenc – Sue said we were some of the first folks in the country to taste an American grown Bourboulenc.  Again, this wine will be great.  It had notes of pear with some light pineapple in the background.  Sue has the only known planting of this grape in the US.
  • 2017 Clairette Blanche – A floral nose along with notes of pear showed on the nose.  There was more pear on the palate along with some herbal notes.  Again, it was an interesting wine.

We look forward to tasting these wines again in their finished state.

We headed back to the tasting room and selected wines for shipping home to us.  We thanked Sue for taking the time to host us, and we know we’ll be back to see her.  If you’re ever in Lodi, you should do the same!




Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, Wineries and Vineyards, 1 comment
June, 2017 –  Visit to Burntshirt Vineyards

June, 2017 – Visit to Burntshirt Vineyards

In mid-June, we planned a weekend getaway.  We headed to the Hendersonville / Asheville area.  The trip allowed us to relax, visit a “new to us” winery, and revisit other wineries in the area.  Here are some of the highlights from our visit to Burntshirt Vineyards, our first stop of the weekend. Continue reading →

Posted by Joe Brock in Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
NC Wineries Perfect for Summer Picnicking!

NC Wineries Perfect for Summer Picnicking!

Summer is the perfect time for a picnic!  It’s also the perfect time for wine.  Why not combine the two for a wonderful afternoon of fun?  Just pack your picnic basket and head to any of these wineries (or others in the state).  Here are some of our suggestions (in no particular order) for great wine and picnic adventures. Continue reading →

Posted by Joe Brock in Food, Wine, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments
Burntshirt Vineyards

Burntshirt Vineyards

Western North Carolina is surely one of the most picturesque regions of the state.  The Blue Ridge Mountains tower over the western part of the state creating an isolated feel that is truly relaxing.  One of the many benefits of the mountains is that it also creates a unique climate that sees moderately short winters with long summers.  The summer days are hot, but the evenings are cooler making this a great area to grow wine grapes.  Burntshirt Vineyards is one of the few that are taking advantage of this unique area.  We recently received an invitation to visit the vineyard and winery to take a detailed look at their process and taste their offerings.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Archive, Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments

A tale of three Yadkin Valley wineries…

This past weekend, we visited three wineries in the Yadkin Valley. We were fortunate enough to sample a few new releases on this trip as well. The weather was cool enough that we were able to bring our dog Amy. She always enjoys our wine adventures and is mostly happy to just be along for the ride.

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Posted by Matt Kemberling in Wineries and Vineyards, 0 comments