Saturday marked the last day of Virginia Wine Month – the annual event held each October to celebrate the Virginia wine industry and Virginia wines. To kick off the 34th annual Virginia Wine Month, I attended the Virginia Tweets event hosted by Virginia Tourism Corporation and Virginia Wine Marketing Office, and I finished Virginia Wine Month by opening a bottle to remember one of the Virginia wineries we lost in the last year.
Sadly, 2008 marked the last vintage for Oakencroft Winery – founder and owner, Felica Rogan, retired on December 31, 2008, and closed Oakencroft’s doors after 25 vintages. When the winery opened, it was one of only five wineries in Virginia. (The new owners of the property did not continue the wine making tradition at the Oakencroft farm.)
Given the close proximity to UVA, I visited Oakencroft on many occasions during frequent trips to Charlottesville. I always enjoyed the rustic charm of the tasting room – red barn exterior complemented with the dark wood interior. A large pond, always full of geese, provided a place to relax during a visit to the winery. The last time I visited Oakencroft in early Fall 2008, my son and I sat in the red Adirondack chairs at the ponds edge and played checkers while I enjoyed a glass of Oakencroft Viognier.
To close out Virginia Wine Month, and in memory of Oakencroft, I opened the Oakencroft 2005 Estate Chambourcin. I can’t remember how much I paid for this wine when I purchased it a couple of years ago. I’ve never been a fan of Chambourcin, but I did appreciate the simplicity of this one (simplicity in a good way). I liked the straightforward dark cherry along with hints of freshly ground coffee beans, and sweetart candy on the finish.
Hat tip to Felica Rogan and the difference she made in the Virginia wine industry… here’s to remembering one of the wineries we lost…