Virginia Wine: Afton Mountain Vineyards Our winery guide, Blue Ridge Wine Excursions, tells the stories of the people who make the Virginia wine country and the Virginia wine industry and what it is today. Charlottesville wineries and wineries in Virginia are owned and operated by entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds, philosophies, and experiences. Blue Ridge Wine Excursions Wine Trail Guide showcases the mosaic that is our vibrant local wine community. We invite the reader to enjoy these stories and to join us on the Monticello Wine Trail!
AFTON MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS
Albemarle County Natives Renew and
Expand a Nelson County Hidden Gem
By: Matt Brown
Nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the stunningly beautiful Afton Mountain Vineyards grows not only Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, but also varietals not frequently seen in the Monticello AVA (American Viticultural Area): Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and Albariño. If their slogan “grapes don’t grow in ugly places” is true, they have nothing to worry about: their vineyard is surrounded by beautiful vistas. Some of the vines at Afton Mountain date back to the 1970s: in an emerging wine region, it is rare to find vineyards of this age, and the fruit of these mature plantings adds to the character of the wine. These older vines have deeper, hardier roots and, even at nearly 40 years old, they are still in the prime of their lives.
Tony and Elizabeth Smith purchased the vineyard in 2009 to live out their dream of growing grapes and making wine. The transition from office work to fieldwork has been an adventure for the Smiths, and with the help of their skilled winemaker Damien Blanchon and viticulturist Brandon Bangley they have achieved local and national recognition for the fruits (and wines) of their labors ... (continued)
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Paperback - ISBN 978-1-304-05730-3