Until our trip to Virginia to the North American Wine Bloggers Conference last summer, we felt that the Finger Lakes and Ontario were the kings of Cabernet Franc. It may still be true, but the number of citizens in the kingdom is growing. Virginia is producing some classy Cab Franc in addition to its signature white, Viognier.
Rappahannock Cellars is a boutique winery in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia that produces about 6,500 cases of wine annually. The 75-acre farm has 20 acres of vineyard including such grapes as Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Norton, and others (including Cab Franc).
The estate vineyard at Rappahannock is Glenway Vineyard. It’s location in the northern Blue Ridge Mountains has proven to be very favorable to growing vinifera grapes. The vineyard features sandy-loam soil for good drainage and an elevation of about 900 feet.
This estate Cab Franc has medium tannins and an earthiness to it. It drank rather tight at first, but opened up as our tasting team members sipped it. It is a dry and elegant wine.
It’s a good Cabernet Franc and we’d like to try more. It hasn’t yet toppled the Kings of Cab Franc from their lofty perch.