Glen Manor Vineyards with Skyline Drive Above

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

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