50% Vidal Blanc, 41% Pomme Gris apple, 9% Damson Plum
Bluestone Vineyard – Rockingham County, 1240’ elevation. Southwestern sloping vines overlooking the confluence of the North River and the famed Mossy Creek.
Countryside Farm & Nursery – Augusta County, 1260’ elevation. Located in the heart of the Shenandoah valley, Raul and his wife Mary focus most of their energy on feeding the growing cider industry with young trees and top working over existing orchards. What limited quantities of fruit they grow we covet.
Pomme Gris apples were ground and rested overnight. Vidal Blanc was foot tread whole cluster and left for 24 hours before combined together with ground apples. The mixture was pressed together directly to a 500L neutral french oak puncheon the third week of September 2020. A full native primary fermentation was done in barrel, followed by an undisturbed seven month élevage. Upon racking off its gross and fine lees, a small amount of pure Damson plum wine was added in tank. In April of 2021, the wine was bottled sparkling via the traditional method and left undisgorged. Bottles were further rested for an additional six months. No additions of SO2 were made at any stage of the wine.
Vidal Blanc is showing promise in Virginia as a more sustainable grape to grow, handling our climate much better than some of its European counterparts. In 2019 we dabbled with our first Vidal Blanc, curious to see how it come mesh with other fruits. In 2020 we narrowed down the co-ferment to predominately a single apple varietal, Pomme Gris. The goal was to create a slightly leaner, more focused rendition that carries less weight but still featured a highly flavorful body. A smaller addition of pure Damson plum wine helps create more dimension and perks up the wine’s color. The result is one of the more approachable and inviting fruit wines we have made to date.
Store in cellar conditions. Serve chilled.
This wine is part of a new series of ciders that will not be replicated in the future but rather offer a fleeting snapshot of converging, creative energy in the cellar. The label artwork is derived from the ever inspiring book The Valley Road by Fay Ingalls, a look back into the golden years of Virginia Hot Springs. Each chapter’s artwork, drawn by Margaret Lowengrund, depicts a landscape or scene from varying places within the Warm Springs Valley.
70 cases produced, Alc. 8.2% by Volume, 750mL