Cabernet Franc | July 2013

In our short viticultural history, Cabernet Franc has long served as the Mid-Atlantic’s ‘go to’ red grape. It is relatively easy to grow and has enjoyed a certain marketing panache. The wine style is somewhat difficult to define.

Read More
Jim Law
The Vintner’s Year | May 2013

The busy season in the vineyard has started. The cellar has been abandoned as we head for the hills. All hands are on the vines. Quite literally. In a typical growing season (May through August) a vine is touched at least 12 different times.

Read More
Jim LawVintner's Year
The Vintner’s Year | January 2013

January is a month of rest for the vines and the grower. This seasonal pause allows the grower a time of reflection rather than reaction to the rapid-fire succession of small problems and decisions during the growing season. In January one goes for a leisurely stroll in the vines.

Read More
Jim LawVintner's Year
Merlot | December 2012

Virginia’s Piedmont is home to hundreds of acres of Merlot vines, yet this globally ubiquitous variety continues to fly below the radar. Merlot is an enigma, It has a reputation of producing easy, utilitarian, fruit forward wines, yet the highly acclaimed (and very expensive) Chateau Petrus, is 100% Merlot in most vintages.

Read More
Jim Law
Cabernet Sauvignon | Fall 2012

In Virginia, Cabernet Sauvignon has been long overshadowed by its cousin Cabernet Franc. Recently however, Cabernet Sauvignon is beginning to raise some eyebrows amongst winemakers, critics and consumers.

Read More
Jim Law
Visits | Summer 2012

I can go into a wine shop, randomly pick out any bottle, contact the winemaker, and with few exceptions arrange an in-depth visit where vast amounts of valuable, unfiltered technical information would be available to me.

Read More
Jim Law
Green Work | March 2012

This is not a p.r. article expounding on the virtues of yet another environmentally friendly winery (green fatigue). This green work refers to the meticulous handwork done by quality conscious winegrowers from May to August. It is often referred to as canopy management, but I think that the translated French (travail en vert) is more direct.

Read More
Jim Law
Finding My Terroir | January 2012

Terroir is a French term that is not accurately translatable. I define terroir as wine’s expression of the influences of climate, soil and winegrower choices. All sites have terroir, but it may not be of high quality, or its full potential may not have yet been realized.

Read More
Jim Law
Bon Courage | December 2011

In early September 2011 I was dining with Jean Philip Roby, a visiting consultant from Bordeaux. We had just dodged a bullet by the name of Hurricane Irene, but were in the midst of the constant unending rains of Tropical Storm Lee. Jean Philip does not carry the stereotypical pessimism that seems to be the trademark of many of my French colleagues. In the time that I had known him there was always a refreshing optimism that spirited me on.

Read More
Jim Law
Wine Appellations | March 2011

A wine appellation is a government endorsed region that shares a common geography and climate. The region’s wine styles reflect this commonality. Like most things in the wine world, it all started in France in the 1930’s.

Read More
Jim Law