Mid Atlantic Wineries

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We are always on the lookout for opportunities to get out and visit some other wine regions – both in the US, and around the world. Well, we finally found some time to visit a few wineries and vineyards on the East Coast, in the Mid-Atlantic states. So, join us for a recap of our all-too-brief trip through Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, because what we found was something of an eye-opener to us.

The wines were more European in style and seemed to be a fascinating bridge between “old world” and “new world,” almost in direct proportion to their geographic location between Europe and California. Yet, these wines are almost undiscovered by most, especially on the West Coast. Largely due to shipping or low production issues, the wines are sold locally, and mostly out of the tasting room.

The winemakers we encountered seemed doubly dedicated to producing good wines, if for no other reason than the challenge of growing wine here seemed to hold its own rewards. And while some of them could envision being referred to as playing in the Minor Leagues – they hastened to add proudly that they were not making Minor League wines. It was beginning to sink in, and at one point it occurred to us: Hey, these guys aren’t undiscovered – they’re hiding out as part of some winegrower witness-relocation program.

Visits include:

Chaddsford – Chaddsford, PA – www.chaddsford.com
Allegro – Brogue, PA – www.allegrowines.com
Linden – Linden, VA – www.lindenvineyards.com
Chrysalis – Middleburg, VA – www.chrysaliswine.com
Barboursville – Barboursville, VA – www.barboursvillewine.net
Boordy – Hydes, MD – www.boordy.com
Black Ankle – Mt. Airy, MD – www.blackankle.com
LaGrange – Haymarket, VA – www.wineryatlagrange.com

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Show #165
(28:38 min 20 MB)

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Chaddsford Winery

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Mark and Jay with Chaddsford’s Eric Miller (c)

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Jay and Mark with Allegro’s Carl Helrich

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the old press – Allegro

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Linden Vineyards

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Jay with Linden’s Jim Law

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Chrysalis bottles of Norton

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Norton vines – Chrysalis

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more Norton vines – Chrysalis

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even more Norton vines – Chrysalis

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field of daffodils – Barboursville

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Boordy Vineyards

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Boordy’s Rob Deford

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Jay and Mark with Black Ankle’s Ed Boyce (l)

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Jay with Winery at Lagrange’s Fletcher Henderson

10 Responses to “Mid Atlantic Wineries”


  1. 1 Jim McMullin Aug 27th, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    As a long time Grape Radio listener, I thank you for visiting my state of Virginia. Though we don’t have the size and/or reputation of Napa, we do have over 100 wineries. You picked some of the the best to visit.

    Hope you come back.

  2. 2 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 28th, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Jim, it was our pleasure. We know we only scratched the surface here, so obviously more…uh, let’s call it research…is going to be necessary.

    Eric

  3. 3 TimF Aug 29th, 2007 at 5:29 am

    Great photos, guys! I enjoyed the show this week. Thanks for shedding some light on this growing region. I really need to plan a visit out there. I can’t wait to hear shows about NY as I really enjoyed my trip tasting in Long Island last summer.

  4. 4 Domenico Bettinelli Aug 29th, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    Great show, guys. I love it when you get out and about with your coverage. I look forward to the videos.

    I’m sure the New York shows, if you ever get to them, will be illuminating.

    Might I suggest that Texas would be another surprising source or wines. There’s some mighty fine wine coming from the Hill Country there.

    And we’re even not without our wines up here in New England. Going further north, on my honeymoon, my wife and I even found a very nice winery in Nova Scotia called Domaine Grand Pre.

    While California wines are the standard here in the US, there’s lots of good wine out there and I hope you continue getting off the beaten path occasionally to highlight it.

  5. 5 Mark L. Chien Aug 30th, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Hello Mark and Jay,

    Thanks for a very nice story on wine growing in the Mid-Atlantic. I’m really glad you took the time to come out here. You met with some of our best folks and I hope you felt you got a good taste of the region. Someone should have warned you about the distances and traffic. Brutal. But there are wine regions developing – Charlottesville, Long Island, Finger Lakes, Niagara. May I encourage you to visit these regions in particular as they are the most exciting currently in Eastern N.A. If you really want to get adventurous, go to MN, MI, OH, MO, TX, NC. There are great wines in all of these places but you have to look under the right rocks. It’s no different from Burgundy or Santa Barbara, there are always just a few passionate and driven wine growers who set the tone for the industry. The key is to find out before you go who they are. Just one comment if I may about the relative differences between CA and what I refer to as the industry “east of Reno”… we do not have commercial infrastructure – labor, professionals, equipment and materials that west coast wine regions have but we are actually more robust in research and extension services. Between Brock Univ (Ont), Cornell, Penn State, VA Tech and NC State I would argue that our research community is much stronger than UCD, OSU and WSU combined in terms of output if not manpower. Someday it might be an interesting segment to interview some of the key viticulture and enology researchers doing work on contemporary issues facing the wine industry.

    I applaud you for making the effort to come here. Ours is such a west coast-centric wine consumer mind-set. It is an interesting dynamic. The west coast is so dependent on east of Reno urban wine snobs to buy their wines. Our wineries can’t give their wines away in the city. But on a retail level at the winery the wine consumers love the local wines. I’m glad you are willing to give them a chance and some exposure.

    Thanks for graperadio.

    Sincerely, Mark

    Mark L. Chien
    Wine Grape Educator
    Penn State Cooperative Extension
    College of Agricultural Sciences

  6. 6 Jon M Aug 31st, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Dear Grape Radio,
    A very nice piece on a small segment of the east coast. Thanks for taking the time and energy to make the trip. I would also like to agree with many of the comments made by Mark Chien.

    I know you focus mostly on California wines. But I am concerned that you have never done a show on Washington State wine. They are the second largest wine producing state in the U.S. and obviously produce wines of equal quality if not better then California. They only comment about Washington that I have heard was when Doug McCrea of McCrea Cellars won the Hospice du Rhone Shoot off and a comment made by Eric during the Stoller Vineyards episode. That “They grow a lot of Riesling, I THINK?”
    When will Washington State get some coverage and respect?

    Jon

  7. 7 Steve Aug 31st, 2007 at 11:49 am

    While visiting Washington DC, my wife and I made a quick jaunt over to Mount Vernon. As we walked up to the mansion we saw they were setting up for this giant annual wine festival. Guests were picnicking on the back lawn of George Washington’s home sipping wine! It was a boxed trifecta: history, scenery and wineries.

    My immediate thoughts were 1) these people are lucky to be living so close to this beautiful place, 2) I didn’t know there were wineries in this region, 3) and how on earth could it as good as California wine.

    As I expressed these thoughts to my wife I could hear myself sounding like a pampas jackass. I realized that this is how the French must look at wine and immediately begged for forgiveness. I went to the Horton tent and sneaked us a glass. I can honestly say that my bias was cured. This includes any new or existing wine region.

    I believe there is an East Coast bias in sports and West Coast bias in wine. The French don’t like either of us so we need to stick together. We are supposed to be the United States afterall.

    Good show.

  8. 8 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 31st, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Hi JonM,

    Good news! Mark and I attended the Vintage Walla Walla festival a few months back, and we will indeed have plenty of people to tell the world about Washington wines, and in particular those from Walla Walla.

    On my comment about Reisling in Washington, no slight was intended on my part. My comment was in the context of asking Bill Stoller about the growing areas overlapping in northern Oregon and southern Washington. I used Reisling as an example of a grape variety grown in both states to ask if he thought there was any difference in the approach.

    Eric

  9. 9 Jon M Aug 31st, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    I look forward to the WA episode. Thanks for the heads up. Keep it coming.

    Jon M

  10. 10 Jeff Sep 2nd, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Kudos for venturing to a “lesser-known region”. Great show.

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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

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