2006 Vidal Riesling


Papaya, ripe melon, and candied orange with a crisp acidity and slight sweetness (1.5% residual sugar).


Peaches, mango, spring flowers with some nutmeg spice.

Food Pairings

Asian cuisine, spicy sausage, summer picnics, and anything with fresh ginger.


Hardscrabble (Estate) Fauquier Co., on top of the Blue Ridge at an elevation of 1,100 to 1,300 feet on an eastern slope. Deep, well drained, volcanic-origin greenstone and granite soils. Double Guyot, Lyre and Geneva Double Curtain training. Vine age is 3 to 21 years.


I would characterize the vintage as “classic“ in that the growing season was about as close to typical as is possible. There were substantial swings in temperature and rainfall during the summer, but in fact, this is normal for Virginia. The 2006 Vidal-Riesling shows the most minerality since 1999. A dry spring and summer reduced vine vigor. By late August we were in the unusual position of hoping for rain just before harvest, as young and swallow rooted vines were showing water stress. We got more than we had hoped for in the form of Ernesto and 4.5“ of rainfall. Very fortunately, there was no berry splitting or rot, but there was some dilution. I refer to September and October 2006 as the great obstacle course, with alternating sun and rain. Harvest was early for both the Vidal and Riesling.


The goal is to retain the fresh fruit characteristics of each grape. Riesling contributes aroma, tropical fruit and acidity; Vidal gives spice, weight, and structure. The blend is cold fermented. Fermentation is stopped by chilling when the residual sweetness is in balance with the fruit and acidity. The wine is bottled in late winter and is immediately ready to drink. 77% Vidal, 23% Riesling. 1,037 cases produced.