Fauquier County wine names

By Posted on Aug 10 2015 | By

Labels span the gamut from exclusive to inclusive  

Fauquier County’s wineries cover 651 square miles. To visit them all would involve some serious road time.

But before backing out of the driveway, multiply the 26 wineries by an average of seven wines per tasting room and you’ll get a better idea of why it would take devotion and a couple tanks of gas to sip through them all.

No calculator handy? That’s 182 different wines.

Indeed, the depth and diversity of the county’s wine culture is remarkable. Here are three randomly selected wine names you’ll encounter on your odyssey.

Philip Carter Winery of Virginia:  Corotoman. A red Bordeaux blend named in honor of the home of Robert “King” Carter. Over 250 years ago, the ancestors of the owner of Philip Carter Winery were recognized by the London society and Virginia’s Royal Governor Francis Fauquier as having made quality wine from the delicious, but notoriously difficult to grow, European grape.

It is the winery’s signature red wine with a silky mouthfeel and a full-bodied red stone fruit palate.

IMG_5664Corotoman was a 17th century plantation on the Rappahannock River and the home of “King” Carter. The mansion rivaled the best of Colonial homes of the era and oversaw 48 plantations encompassing 300,000 acres. The residence affirmed the status of Carter as the most powerful planter in the Tidewater aristocracy. The wine scored a silver medal at the 2014 Virginia Governor’s Cup competition.

Desert Rose Ranch & Winery: Covert Cab. Perhaps the most whimsical wine name in the county. The moniker is driven by two dynamics. First, it is made from a new hybrid grape of Norton and Cabernet Sauvignon. No one in the county grows or produces the unique wine except Desert Rose. The resulting wine is deep-colored and full-bodied.

Secondly, the proprietor of Desert Rose served 31 action-packed years in the Nation’s clandestine service. Covert Cab blends the mystique of the grape’s heritage with the mystery of the owner’s cloak-and-dagger career. The undercover wine won best in show for reds at the 2015 Fauquier County wine competition held at Airlie Conference Center.

Granite Heights Winery: humility. That’s not a typo; in keeping with the spirit of the wine’s name it is always spelled in lower case. It is a red Bordeaux blend typically comprised of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It produces a rich, full-bodied wine that can simply be described as delicious.

The owners chose the name because it embodies their belief that humility is a silent strength rather than an act of lowering oneself in relation to others. It is a character trait that speaks well of the person or wine displaying it. As winemakers they want the wine to do most of the “talking”. To reinforce the philosophy, their tasting notes have no descriptive language on the aromas or flavors found within the bottle; just a simple list of the blended composition.

Guests taste, discover and decide on their own what secrets are unlocked as they enjoy the gifts from the vineyard. The owners believe to do otherwise would be like leading the witness or being told the ending of a book before its read.

Past vintages of humility have been recognized by wine cognoscenti and prestigious competitions, including a gold medal for the 2010 vintage from the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition and a silver medal from the Virginia’s Governor Cup for the 2011 bottling.

Here are a few other wines with intriguing back stories waiting to be revealed.  Enjoy your journey as you explore all the label tales behind Fauquier wine.

Boxwood Winery: Topiary and Trellis reds

Mediterranean Cellars: Bellview Blanc

Winding Road Cellars: Tribute red table wine

Pearmund Cellars: Ameritage

Three Fox Vineyards: Giacosa Chardonnay & Cano Passo Rose

Barrel Oak Winery: Bowhaus Red & Chocolate Lab dessert wine

Linden Vineyards: Hardscrabble Chardonnay & Boisseau Chardonnay

Fox Meadow Winery: LeRenard Rouge & Freezeland White

Morais Vineyards & Winery: Battlefield White & Sam’s Jeropiga dessert wine

Delaplane Cellars: Maggie’s Viognier & Williams Gap red

Categories : WINE ARTICLES