Ingleside has been producing wine since 1980, and that history and experience is evident in all aspects of the winery’s operations. The smooth functioning of the tasting room, the large gift shop selling any number of Virginia and wine-centric tchotchkes, the impressive calendar of events and, of course, the wine itself all serve as a testament to the value of experience. I was pleasantly surprised by some of their wines and downright impressed with a few of them – particularly the Petit Verdot - which we couldn’t help but buy a bottle of.
One of the things that really impressed about Ingleside is that it both produces an impressive array of wines and also grows an impressive array of their own grapes. Included in the grapes that they grow are Sangiovese, Charbono and Syrah - varietals that aren’t normally associated with Virginia wine. Many wineries grow the grapes that go into their wines, yet I don't know of another winery in the state that is growing such a wide variety of grapes and producing such a wide range of drinkable wines.
If you visit the winery I would recommend taking the tour. It is short and informative and you get to visit their barrel room, which is available to rent for private parties. It is an impressive, yet intimate room – though I thought only college dorm rooms decorated with year-round Christmas lights.
What you smell is what you get. Chocolate, licorice, coffee, and yes, a bit of fresh tar, make this big, well-structured and balanced wine one that lingers long after you have taken a sip.
On a related note, the Virginia Wine Showcase is being held this weekend. Ingleside will be one of the 40 or so wineries that will be there. The Virginia Wine Showcase is one of the best opportunities to try myriad different wines from around the state in one location.
I hope to see you there. And to try the Ingleside Petit Verdot again.