If Jake Busching has his way, Albemarle County’s newest wine label will be the terroir of White Hall. Yes, terroir.
“It’s a French word and it describes the environment, the soils, the climate, weather and everything that goes into the fruit, where it comes from,” Busching said. “I want the wine to express all of that.”
Busching has served as vineyard manager at two area wineries and winemaker for Pollak Vineyards. Now he’s taking over White Hall’s Mount Juliet Farm vineyard, a 50-acre vineyard with 10 varieties of grapes that has been selling its fruit to other Virginia wineries for more than 10 years. Busching hopes to have Grace Estates Winery — named for the farm’s owners — up and running by 2012 with as many as six wines for the offering.
“I was buying fruit from here when I worked at Jefferson and Keswick [vineyards],” Busching said, standing near the patio of a large manor home he hopes will serve as a tasting room and vineyard store. “Last year I sold to 22 customers and I could have sold about 200 tons of fruit. It makes a great statement about the wine industry in Virginia that there is that kind of demand out there.”