Erin Scala



Dennis Horton and his wife, Sharon, with their Viognier vines at the Horton Vineyards property in January 2015. Photo by Erin Scala

Dennis Horton was an innovative pioneer for Virginia wine

Dennis Horton of Horton Vineyards died June 19 at age 73, but his enduring vision for Virginia wine lives on. Horton helped shape a generation of winemakers by introducing them to now-iconic Virginia wines made from Viognier, Norton, Rkatsiteli, Tannat grapes and more. In a 2016 article about Horton Vineyards, Horton referenced his “willingness to confront […]

Bill Curtis of Tastings has long been a champion of Oregon wines, in particular the wines made by Michael Etzel of Beaux Frères winery. Photo by Amy Jackson

Oregon wine’s enduring relationship with Virginia

In most wine shops and restaurants in Virginia, you’ll find an excellent Oregon wine selection—one that locals may take for granted. But Virginia’s high-quality Oregon wine niche is no accident, it’s driven by a core group of passionate people. Though Oregon’s pre-Prohibition wine history dates back to the 1840s, today’s winemakers put down roots in […]

A 30-some-acre spot on the top of Veritas Vineyards’ “saddleback” contains viognier and cabernet franc. It’s the first site, says winemaker Emily Pelton, with “considerable elevation and gorgeous aspect.” Photo courtesy of Stephen Barling.

The sweet spot: Zeroing in on special vineyard sites

Several decades into Virginia’s booming post-Prohibition wine economy, we are starting to home in on some special vineyard sites throughout the state. In France, you’ll find heavily protected and coveted grand cru and premier cru sites; in other wine-centric countries you’ll find similar infrastructures protecting the best vineyards. What sites are emerging as Virginia’s equivalent […]

Linden Vineyard’s founder Jim Law has been making Virginia wine since the 1980s and consulting with other growers for just as long. Photo courtesy of subject

Drink it up: A look at the impressive wines in NoVa

Here in Charlottesville, there’s great enthusiasm for our local wines. The Monticello AVA (American Viticultural Area) loyalty is so hyper-local, in fact, it’s easy to forget there are wineries in other parts of the state. This week, I put down my glass of Crosé to explore another Virginia wine region: Northern Virginia, nicknamed NoVa. If […]

Ankida Ridge. Photo: Courtesy Ankida Ridge.

The sweet spot: Zeroing in on special Virginia vineyard sites

Several decades into Virginia’s booming post-Prohibition wine economy, we are starting to home in on some special vineyard sites throughout the state. In France, you’ll find heavily protected and coveted Grand Cru and Premier Cru sites; in other wine-centric countries you’ll find similar infrastructures protecting the best vineyards. What sites are emerging as Virginia’s equivalent […]

Dr. Konstantin Frank learned his craft at ancient wineries in (then) Soviet Georgia before coming to the United States in 1951. Once here, he advocated for the plantings of the Vitis vinifera grape varietals that dominate our current wine business.
Courtesy of Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery.

The East Coast revival is a boon for Virginia wine

The Virginia wine scene exists within a larger post-Prohibition wine revival sweeping across the United States. Before Prohibition, the East Coast had a thriving wine trade. But following the 1920 constitutional ban on alchohol, only a few wineries remained standing, such as New York’s Brotherhood Winery (in operation since 1839), which produced sacramental wine to […]

(From left): Horton Vineyards' sparkling Viognier, Early Mountain Vineyards' Pétillant Naturel, King Family Vineyards' orange Viognier, Lovingston Winery's Pinotage, Stinson Vineyards' Rkatsiteli.

K&F: Oenology obscura: Virginia’s new wave of unique, experimental wines

Virginia’s wine identity orbits around Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Bordeaux-style blends. Increasingly, however, winemakers are pushing the boundaries of possibility and bottling some unique wines. Part of the new fascination with experimentation, says winemaker Jake Busching, is driven by a desire to learn more about getting well-suited grapes planted on the right sites and learning […]

With years of wine experience, Melissa Boardman brings exciting choices to the lists at Keswick Hall. Photo by Amy Jackson

Melissa Boardman gets ahead of the latest wine trend

Local sommelier Melissa Boardman is about to celebrate one year at Keswick Hall, and she’s used that time to build up a dynamic wine program. She organizes several wine lists: a grand list for the hall, a members-only list, a by-the-glass list for the villa and another by-the-glass list for Fossett’s restaurant. She has continued […]

Virginia Tech professor Tony Wolf’s experiments and monitoring of Virginia terroir have an ongoing influence on our region’s winemakers. Courtesy of Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s impact on what, where and when to grow

You’ll often find a university at the epicenter of many of the world’s great wine regions. Learning institutions help drive and fund research and increase wine quality. Since 1905, the University of California, Davis has conducted vine and wine research just outside of Sacramento. Its findings have had an immeasurable impact on winemaking in Napa […]

Emily Pelton is one of the founding members of the Virginia Winemaker’s Research Exchange, a group making an impact on the future of wine. Photo: Eric Kelley

Local winemakers forge a groundbreaking research exchange

The idea for a research exchange sparked when a few local winemakers gathered to share their bottles and ideas. For the first couple of years, the group included Kirsty Harmon (Blenheim), Emily Pelton (Veritas), Matthieu Finot (King Family), Ben Jordan (Early Mountain), Scott Dwyer (Pollak), Jake Busching (Michael Shaps), Michael Heny (Horton) and Stephen Barnard […]