After purchasing an abandoned farm in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains in 1983, winegrower Jim Law began planting vines from cuttings and grafts in 1985. Varieties included Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Vidal and Seyval. The first vintage was 1987 and Linden winery was opened in 1988.
The relatively small 5,000 case production is Jim’s “sweet spot,” and to exceed this he’d have to sacrifice his winegrowing time – not something he’s prone to do. It was an interesting dichotomy out in the vineyard. Jim had recently replaced a block with new denser plantings – like babies, small and petite; while back behind us, stood an army of tall wooden lyre trellises, waiting for the older vines to climb to the top. They’ve been experimenting here with different varieties, placement, trellising, and som on over many recent years, and from the end product, it seems they’re getting closer to defining the mid-Atlantic region. Jim Law seems to be at the forefront of all of that. “We’re still young. We don’t have all the answers yet,” he would say. Not too dissimilar to what one hears from almost any winegrower on the West Coast. But somehow when Jim said it, it seemed more mystical, as though he looked forward to coming back some generation later, reincarnated as… what else, a winegrower, to see the fruition of his and others’ labors.
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Video #20: Linden Vineyards – Video