On our way to drop Edie off at camp yesterday, we discovered a new winery literally next door. Of course we stopped in, because after dropping one’s only child off for the next three weeks, a drink is in order.
I had previously known of Jump Mountain Winery, having had a glass of of their 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a neighbor’s house last fall. The owners, Mary and David, live in Charlottesville, heading up to Rockbridge Baths to make wine on the weekend. My neighbor Kate is among the friends they’ve tapped along the way to lend a hand in the work it takes to establish a winery. I knew the winery was located near camp, but we were delighted to discover how close it was. Take a right out of the driveway for camp and Jump Mountain is the first driveway on your right. That close.
Currently, Jump Mountain Vineyard offers a 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a newly released 2012 Cab Sauv. 2011 was a lousy year for Virginia red wines – the harvest was plagued by too much rainfall, which caused havoc for the local wineries. Jump Mountain’s 2011 Cab Sauv is lovely though. A bit lighter than the traditional Cabernet Sauvignon, it resembles Cabernet Franc with a touch more depth. Fruity, light on tannins and highly drinkable, we brought a bottle home. The 2012 vintage is a heartier wine that I think will age wonderfully. I thought about buying a bottle or two of that to hang on to, but realized the bottles would stand a better chance of aging not in my wine rack.
As their white wine vines are not yet producing, the tasting room at Jump Mountain winery features the white wines of another Virginia winery, Reynard Florence. Located in Barboursville, the vineyard is owned by friends of Mary and David. We sampled the 2013 Reynard Blanc, a blend of Traminette, Vidal and Petit Manseng as well as the 2013 Petit Manseng. The fellows (we had our friend Ryan along for the ride) really enjoyed the 2013 Petit Manseng to the point that not only did they sample it a second time, we enjoyed a glass before purchasing a bottle to bring home with us. And yes, that bottle got chilled and opened last night, that’s how much Pat enjoyed it. (My dear husband is not known as a fan of vino. In fact, I can’t recall him ever enjoying a wine quite so much.) Fruity without being too sweet, the Petit Manseng has notes of honey as well as being just the right touch of acidity.
It was a delightful visit. In addition to being a new, family owned winery that gives you a glimpse into the amount of work required in such an undertaking, Jump Mountain Vineyard is located in an absolutely gorgeous area of Virginia. Walkers Creek Road might not be on the most beaten path, but that’s part of the charm. We find ourselves spending quite a bit of time up in that area during the summer – not just because Edie goes to camp there, but also because it’s part of the watershed Pat covers as the Upper James Riverkeeper. You should consider checking that part of the state out sometime. Tell the folks at Jump Mountain we sent you.
(Jump Mountain wines are available in Charlottesville at Rio Hill Wine & Gourmet)