We wanted to grow something unique for Virginia and luckily, our vineyard site allows us to do just that. Our vineyard is small and manageable, just under 2 acres. Our site is different than most Virginia vineyards with an elevation of 1800 ft and very rocky soil, and excellent air drainage. When we first took our vineyard consultant, the renowned ampelographer, Lucie Morton, to the proposed site, she stood there and looked around, studying the land. After many moments of reflection, she turned to us and told us we might be able to grow Pinot Noir here. This could be one of those rare Virginia locations where Pinot might do well. We are cooler during the day and we have great air movement. It might work! “Little Burgundy” she offered. This could be Virginia’s Little Burgundy!
We were surprised but excited at the possibility. We were told by most involved in viticulture circles that you can’t grow a decent Pinot Noir in Virginia. Pinot Noir is a very fickle grape variety. It has very thin skins and is extremely susceptible to mold, mildew and disease. This was going to be a challenge. And on top of that, we were planning on implementing eco-friendly, low input viticulture practices. But because we trusted Lucie’s expertise and her opinion that our micro climate is a good fit for this finicky, yet lovely grape, we accepted the challenge of growing Pinot Noir in an eco-friendly vineyard in Virginia!