Oh, how the blogmasters fretted with publishing this blog. Those "in the know" regarding Virginia wine have already discovered Lovingston's wines, either through a visit to a wine store fortunate enough to carry their wares, or a trek down to their small operation between Charlottesville and Lynchburg, right off U.S. route 29. We fell onto this winery two years ago and believed then (and still believe) that their wines are among the finest in the state. And the prices...WOW. Most wines are under $15, even at the stores!
We had a long talk with the winemaker. He views the winery as a hobby to supplement his "day job" (we were a bit sauced by the time he got to his story, but recall something about telecommuting back and forth to Texas....), and his daughter has assumed the role of marketing director, making sure the wines are available even in northern Virginia, at competitive prices. The drawback: Word has gotten out and the stores don't keep his wines on the shelves for long. Because word has gotten out, we thought this was a good time to draft our essay on the pleasures of Lovingston wine.
Gravity flow. It's all about gravity flow. He's planted the vines on a hillside for maximum soil irrigation, and this technique allows for the reduction of machines and pumps. All grapes are hand picked as well--this winery is about 100% quality control. And because the owner views this as a hobby, vs. something he's put his life savings into, he can keep the prices in California range.
His whites are adequate, but the stars are the reds; mainly his Cab Franc, Merlot, and a blend called Rotunda Red. Absolutely delicious and at these prices, you can stock up (order on-line if you can't get to a store that carries his wines, or visit the winery).
Lovingston Winery is the model that newer Virginia wineries should follow--excellent product at competitive prices. This location proves that you don't need to spend nearly $30 for a high class Virginia wine.