August 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
Cast Your Vote for Sunset Hills Vineyard
The fourth annual “Best Of Readers’ Choice Awards” of Virginia Wine Lover Magazine is now upon us. The results of the balloting will appear in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Virginia Wine Lover Magazine.
We’ve done phenomenally well in the past, and we’re hoping for the same this year!
These are the suggested BEST that our customers have been voting in the following categories:
Best Wine Categories:
Virginia Wine: 2010 Mosaic
Chardonnay : 2012 Chardonnay
Viognier: 2012 Viognier
Meritage: 2011 Sunset Red
White Wine: 2012 Viognier
Best Red Wine: 2010 Mosaic
Wine Bottle Artwork: Merlot (Watercolor by local artist)
Best Wineries Category:
Best Winery: Sunset Hills Vineyard
Best Winemaker: Nate Walsh
Winery – Best View/Outdoor Space: Sunset Hills Vineyard
Winery – Best Tasting Room: Sunset Hills Vineyard
Winery – Best Food Offerings: Sunset Hills Vineyard
Winery – Best Special Events: Sunset Hills Vineyard
Winery – Best for Weddings: Sunset Hills Vineyard
Winery – Best Tour: Sunset Hills Vineyard
Winery – Most Romantic: Sunset Hills Vineyard
Winery – Best Eco-friendly/Green: Sunset Hills Vineyard
Best Winery – Northern Region: Sunset Hills Vineyard
Best White Wine – Northern Region: 2012 Viognier
Best Red Wine – Northern Region: 2010 Mosaic
August 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
August 5th, 2013
In the past few days we’ve seen the first signs of veraison in our vineyards. While veraison is technically defined as “the change in color of berries,” what it really signifies is a transition in the vine from berry growth to berry ripening. At this stage the vine will (should) cease growth of shoots and berries and focus its energy on just the clusters of berries, meaning that henceforth all focus is on ripening fruit. This is when the weather becomes even more important.
Most of the vineyard work previous to this stage could be categorized as “preparation” – setting the stage for the most optimal ripening. We want nice canopies with plenty of airflow, appropriate yield, space between clusters, and healthy vines. Winter pruning, shoot thinning, positioning, hedging, spraying, leaf removal, etc. – all of those activities are our attempt to set the stage best for ripening. After veraison, as things begin to ripen, most of the vineyard work slows down, and we let the vines do their thing, so to speak.
Does the onset of ripening give us an idea of when harvest will begin? Somewhat. But different varietals, clones, and vineyards all ripen at different speeds. And then there’s the weather, which from here on out will have a drastic impact on the pace of ripening. The more days we have like this past week – highs in the 80s, sunny, lows in the 60s – are perfect for slow, balanced ripening. But who knows what will come….