Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Visit to Paradise Springs

I have said a lot about Paradise Springs in the past – about their battle with Fairfax County, about finally being able to open, and the quality wines that they produce. From what I was told on my most recent trip, the winery is doing great. They are doing so well,in fact, that they cannot accommodate all the groups that want to pay them a visit, which is a great problem to have. Although they are still new, Paradise Springs can do wine tastings well – they were able to accommodate a group of 50 of us without making us feel crowded, cluttered or rushed. We arrived before they opened, and even after their doors swung open for other people, the personal attention never wavered. In fact, I got the sense that the only reason our group left the winery at all is because we had a lunch and two more wineries to get to during the day. Otherwise, everybody would have been happy to stay put, drinking and buying wine and learning about the winery’s history – both recent (as a winery) and historic (as the land has been in the proprietor’s family for generations).

I have mentioned in the past Paradise Spring’s 2008 Viognier and their 2008 Cabernet Franc. I will add to this their Cabernet Sauvignon. While not as thick, bold and aromatic of Napa cabs, it is good for a Virginia Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a little thin, but still has a nice aroma to it – with hints of blackberries, currants and chocolate – with a nice raspberry taste on the finish. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon that goes down smooth, albeit with less body than I usually like. It is a drinkable wine, though at $32 is a bit overpriced. In terms of white wine, I would stick with their Viogniers and stay away from their Chardonnays, which get into the bad habit of spending too much time fermenting in oak, overpowering any other flavors other than firewood that would be present in the wine. That said, their Vidal Blanc, while not quite as intricate as their Viognier, is a very nice, fruit-filled wine with a sweetness that is well-balanced against spicier, heavier foods.

The first time I went to Paradise Springs, it was cold and snowy. The last time I was there, it was warm, sunny and crowded. It is great to see a winery that fought so hard to open its doors continue to grow its base of fans and supporters, as well as expanding the number of wineries in Virginia that are producing interesting wines.

No comments:

Post a Comment