Rappahannock Cellars

Rappahannock Cellars Vine To Bottle

About

Recognizing the promise in Virginia wines, we moved our family’s winery from California to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of Virginia. With careful tending of the vineyard and exacting knowledge of the cellar, we strive to create rich, supple, and elegant wines, dedicated to the winegrower’s art.

Location Description

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of Virginia.

Contact

Fax: (540) 635-8720

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Average Bottle Price

$ 22

Winemaker

John Delmare - Proprietor/Executive and Winemaker

Theo Smith - Winemaker

History

Nearly 20 years ago, my wife and I embarked on a simple journey …we wanted to raise our family where we could be connected with the land (and each other) on a farm. Our yearning to achieve this goal, reinforced by Marialisa’s 100 year-old family farming and fruit packing background, led us to Saratoga Vineyards (formerly “Congress Springs Vineyards,” now “Savannah Channel Vineyards,”) in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. We “cut our wine making teeth” so to speak, in that vineyard. It was populated by 90 year-old Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel vines, and situated 1300 feet above the beautiful Santa Clara Valley with views to San Francisco (only 30 miles north.) We crafted those varietals into wine in a 100 year old redwood winery, cellar, and tasting room. We learned to love our family wine business and the tending of the vineyard; but most of all, we loved having our kids alongside us in such a magnificent venture.

The Team

John Hagarty, Off-site Events Manager

Allan Delmare, Wine Club Manager

Kelly Knight, Tasting Room Manager/Events

Practices & Techniques

1.) Under vine row cover cropping: We have all but eliminated the use of herbicides underneath the vines and are using a specialized mower for control of grasses and weeds. This provides the following benefits:

-Chemical herbicides can acidify the soil which creates an environment that is toxic to the micro organisms that live there. These organisms are critical to the decomposition of organic matter and in making nutrients available to plant roots.

-The plants that exist under the vine row send roots down through the soil, which help hold the soil in place and create “channels” by which water can percolate through improving drainage. This not only reduces the potential for erosion, but also keeps the vines from getting “wet feet”. These plants also compete with the vine for water and nutrients which, in turn helps us control/reduce vine vigor.

-When we mow down the plants, they decompose and return valuable nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Currently, we have only allowed the native weeds and grasses to return to the areas under the vines. I am hoping to begin to establish controlled crops in the vine row which can be customized to the site and to different varieties to improve the performance of all of the above. We are also experimenting with a new machine that utilizes flame technology to super heat weeds, thereby disrupting their cell structure, causing them to die.

2.) Composting: I have implemented an ‘on farm composting program’ that utilizes winery waste (pumice) and spent horse bedding imported from local farms. These are mixed in a 50/50 ratio in long pile called a “windrow” and turned every so often until completely composted. This compost is nutrient rich with high amounts of organic matter. Currently, I can create about 40 tons of compost annually which is enough to cover roughly one third of the vineyard. Composting in the vineyard allows us to dramatically reduce the amount of chemical fertilizers we need to use to feed the vines as well as improve soil structure and health. The other big benefit to my program is that there is little to no cost to us (besides labor) to generate this compost and we are able to return to the vineyard what we remove. Other farms in Virginia use compost in the vineyard but most of them have to purchase it from a compost manufacturer at a significant cost (much more than chemical fertilizer). Few make their own.

3.) Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Unfortunately, mildew and rot pressure in Virginia vineyards (as a result of our climate) will not allow us to avoid the use of fungicide sprays or grow organic grapes at this time. However, we try to use as many natural compounds (such as sulfur, copper, hydrogen dioxide, and phosphorus acid) and biological fungicides and insecticide products as possible. These products too have their limitations in how much we can use (before they have a damaging effect on the environment) and their relative effectiveness, so we cannot rely on them exclusively. Our best approach is to rotate these products with other chemicals and use the most advanced equipment to deliver them to their target so we can achieve the most effective sprays at critical intervals. This should allow us to use less chemical less often. My spray program changes constantly based on weather and disease pressure and I have a large ‘tool box’ of products at my disposal so I don’t have to over use any product to damaging levels.
Also, we are currently researching several other programs to reduce our environmental foot print. These include but are not limited to; establishing habitat for beneficial insects that are predators to harmful pests such as leaf hoppers and Grape Berry Moth, and converting to bio-diesel fuel to run our tractors.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Our estate vineyard at Rappahannock Cellars is commonly known as the “Glenway Vineyard,” as it’s located on the historic Glenway Farm in Rappahannock County (circa 1804.) We strive to grow the highest quality grapes in Virginia, while at the same time being environmentally sensitive to the land, and leaving the smallest possible footprint on our farm. We are keenly aware that not only do we derive our livelihood from this land, but we also live and raise our children on it.

Awards

2014

2012 Cabernet Franc - Best in Class, Indy International; Double Gold, Finger Lakes International
2012 Chardonnay Black Label - Double Gold, Finger Lakes International
2013 Chardonnay - Double Gold, Indy International; Silver, Finger Lakes International
2012 Cabernet Franc VS - Double Gold, Indy International
2013 Rosé - Gold, Indy International; Silver, Finger Lakes International
2013 Seyval - Gold, Indy International
2013 Viognier - Gold, Indy International
2013 Noblesse Blanc - Silver, Indy International
2013 Chardonnay - Silver, Indy International
2013 Chardonnay VS - Silver, Indy International
2012 Chardonnay - Silver, Indy International; Silver, Finger Lakes International
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon VS - Silver, Indy International
2012 Meritage - Silver, Indy International
2012 Port - Silver, Indy International
2011 Meritage - Silver, Finger Lakes International
2012 Noblesse Cab Franc - Silver, Finger Lakes International
2012 Noblesse Rouge - Silver, Finger Lakes International
2012

2011 Rosé – Gold, 2012 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2010 Noblesse Rouge – Gold, 2012 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2011

2010 Viognier, Gold – 2011 awc Vienna (Austria) International Wine Challenge
2009 Chardonnay, Gold – 2011 Consumer Wine Awards at Lodi
2009 Cabernet Franc, Gold – 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2010

2008 Cabernet Franc, Gold – 2010 awc vienna (Austria) International Wine Challenge. Largest wine competition in the world.
2007 Meritage, Gold – 2010 Indy International Wine Competition
2009 Viognier, Gold – 2010 Indy International Wine Competition
2009 Noblesse Viognier, Gold – 2010 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2008 Norton, Double Gold/Best of Class – 2010 Indy International Wine Competition,
Gold – 2010 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2007 Virginia Red Dessert Wine, Gold – 2010 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2007 Cabernet Franc, Gold – 2010 Grand Harvest Awards
2009

2008 Noblesse Viognier, Gold – 2009 Tasters Guild Wine Judging
2008 Rosé, Gold – 2009 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2008 Seyval Blanc, Silver – 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
2007 Chardonnay, Best White Wine & Gold – 2009 Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition
2007 Chardonnay, Best of Category & Gold – 2009 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition
2007 Chardonnay, Gold – 2009 State Fair of Virginia Wine Competition
2006 “R”, Gold – 2009 awc vienna (Austria) International Wine Challenge. Largest wine competition in the world.
2006 Meritage, Silver – 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards (London, UK) – The only wine awarded a silver medal or better to any winery outside CA/OR/WA
2008

2007 Viognier, Gold – 2008 San Francisco International Wine Competition, Highest rated Viognier at the competition
2007 Seyval Blanc, Best of Category – 2008 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition
2007 Noblesse Blanc, Silver – 2008 Indy International Wine Competition
2007 Chappell Charlemagne Chardonnay, Silver – 2008 International Eastern Wine Competition
2006 Cabernet Franc, Best of Category & Double Gold – 2008 San Francisco International Wine Competition
2006 Cabernet Franc, Double Gold – Tasters Guild 21st Annual International Wine Judging
2006 Cabernet Franc, Gold – 2008 Virginia State Fair Wine Competition
2006 Cabernet Franc, Gold – 2008 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition
2006 Meritage, Gold – 2008 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition
2006 Claret, Gold – 2008 Virginia State Fair Wine Competition
2006 25% Viognier / 75% Chardonnay, 2008 International Eastern Wine Competition
2006 Vidal Blanc (dessert), Silver – 2008 Virginia State Fair Wine Competition
2005 Meritage, Gold – 2008 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2007

2006 Viognier Reserve, Gold – 2007 Indy International Wine Competition
2006 Glenway Vineyard Chardonnay, Gold – 2007 Virginia State Fair
2006 Glenway Vineyard Chardonnay, Gold – 2007 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition
2006 Viognier, Double Gold – 2007 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2005 Meritage, Gold – 2007 Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition
2006 Noblesse Blanc, Gold & Best of Class – 2007 Indy International Wine Competition
2006 Seyval Blanc, Best of Category – 2007 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition
2006 Seyval Blanc, Silver – 2007 International Women’s Wine Competition
2006 Vidal Blanc (off dry), Silver – 2007 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
2006 Vidal Blanc (dessert), Silver – 2007 Indy International Wine Competition
2006 Vidal Blanc (dessert) Silver – 2008 Virginia State Fair Wine Competition
2005 Meritage, Gold – 2007 Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition
2005 Wild Ferment Chardonnay, Gold – 2007 Virginia State Fair
2005 Cabernet Franc, Gold – 2007 Virginia State Fair

Reviews

1 Review
Kim  Simmons Kim Simmons
Huntly, Virginia
Chardonnay was to die for!

My husband and I were in Virginia for a job meeting and wanted to do something we have never done before, I must admit we are not "big time wine drinkers" but the wine at Rappahannock Cellars was amazing!

February 2015

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Hours

Mon - Fri: 11:30 am - 5:00 pm Sat: 11:30 am - 6:00 pm Sun: 11:30 am - 5:00 pm

Address

14437 Hume Rd
Huntly, Virginia 22640
United States

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