Spring 2016 Newsletter

by / Friday, 29 April 2016 / Published in Stinson Vineyards

The Latest News & Events from Stinson Vineyards




Native Plant Spring Sale
The Jefferson Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society holds their annual Native Plant Sale this Sunday, May 1st from 1pm to 5pm at the barn at Ivy Creek Natural Area. All plants are native to the greater Charlottesville region. Offerings include spring woodland wildflowers, ground covers, full season wildflowers, and local trees and shrubs. A partial listing of available plants can be found on their facebook page as well as in their Spring Newsletter. Please note that sales are cash or check only.
Hardywood Brewery
Charlottesville will soon welcome another brewery! Richmond based Hardywood Park Craft Brewery plans to open a brewery and taproom with an outdoor beer garden on West Main Street, between the University of Virginia and the Downtown Mall. The new location will feature 12 Hardywood draft beers with a focus on experimental batches. They will also offer locally sourced light fare. Look for their doors to open September 2016.
Vineyard Changes
Most of you already know our daughter Rachel Stinson Vrooman, the Winemaker here at Stinson. You may also have met Rachel’s husband, Nathan Vrooman. Nathan is the Winemaker at his family’s Ankida Ridge Vineyards and has been working  with vines for nearly ten years. 

We are very grateful that our son-in-law is now taking over as Vineyard Manager here at Stinson Vineyards! Nathan always finds creative ways to get the job done in the most timely fashion. If the weather dictates that a task must be done in the wee hours of the morning, Nathan is cheerfully there, even after having a pre-dawn bike ride. If the weather demands something happen at dusk or in the dark, he’s there cheerfully then too. He’s as happy and competent on a tractor as he is calculating vineyard sprays or supervising vineyard work, and he’s not afraid to jump in and work on the vines himself. We’re very thankful to have Rachel and Nathan as the present and future face of Stinson Vineyards. –Martha

Spring Frost
Early Spring is the time of year when winegrowers are feeling most uneasy. Mother Nature provides us the grapes that will eventually turn into beautiful wines of all different types and styles. Mother Nature can also take it all away.
Bud break marks the beginning of the growing season. This is the time when dormant buds first open and form vertical shoots to gather sunlight for the vine. These shoots will eventually bear the grapes for the current vintage, but they are extremely tender and sensitive to cold. If temps get too low for too long, these fruit bearing shoots will die, and non-fruit bearing secondary shoots will need to step in and support the vine. Wind machines and helicopters can help protect the fruit a little, but ultimately, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature.

This Spring was one in which cold temperatures threatened a lot of the grape crops in our area. On two occasions, temperatures got into the mid 20s; low enough to cause damage.  We noticed some damage to our Chardonnay and Tannat vineyards, so our yield will be smaller this year. Because the crop will be smaller this season, the vines will put more of their energy back into themselves and they will flourish in following years.
Thankfully, the rest of our grape varieties saw little damage. The vineyard is looking green and beautiful. We can’t wait to see what these vines will produce this year! –Nathan

Meet Morgan
We’re continuing to feature our amazing staff in each newsletter by introducing Morgan! Morgan has been a key member of the Tasting Room team since the Summer of 2013. You may recognize her as a Sunday staple, or from Tailgate Thursdays in the Summer months. Originally from Coastal Virginia, Morgan graduated from James Madison University in 2011. She relocated to begin a career with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, where she helps build affordable housing for wonderful families.

When not at work you can find her working out at Crossfit Charlottesville or exploring new hikes around the Shenandoah National Park. Some of her favorite things about working at Stinson include: the wine (especially the Rosé), the beautiful flowers Martha arranges each week, and all the people she gets to chat with each time she is in the Tasting Room!

Springtime Yoga
Treat yourself to a morning in the sunny spring air and join us for All Levels Yoga in the Vineyard this Saturday, April 30th from 10am to 11:15am. Class will be held on a flat patch of grass in the vineyard and is appropriate for beginners or more experienced students who enjoy a thoughtful, meditative pace.

This event is a fundraiser for Common Ground Charlottesville, and supports the organizations’s mission to make health and wellness affordable and accessible in Charlottesville. Tickets are $25, and include the class and a wine tasting directly after. Pre-registration is required. The event is capped at 20 participants. Please bring your own mat. In the event of rain, class will be held inside the winery. Please note that the Foxfield Races will impact travel on Garth Road – we suggest taking an alternate route to the vineyard.

Tailgate Thursdays Return!

Our summer music series returns on Thursday, May 26th 6pm to 9pm with local bluegrass band Gallatin Canyon! The grills will be fired up each Thursday evening so bring food to cook and your best grilling skills. Dogs and children are welcome, and meat from Free Union Grass Farm and The Rock Barn can be purchased and thawed by calling ahead. We provide grill tools, plates, utensils, and condiments. This year we’ve added expanded seating options, a fire pit, and dance floor! 

Tailgates continue every Thursday through Labor Day, with the exception of June 30th (we’ll be hosting our annual Forth of July Bash that weekend on July 2nd). Check our website or facebook page for weekly lineups and possible weather cancellations.


2015 Sauvignon Blanc
The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and flinty, with lemon zest opening into gooseberry and muted florals. This wine is still a baby, and it will gain body and complexity in the bottle.
Our Estate fruit is from two blocks. The first, planted in 2011, includes a highly aromatic mosque clone. This blends with a newer block that saw it’s first harvest in 2015 and yielded ripe green fruit with lovely acidity. The remaining Sauvignon Blanc comes to us from Mount Juliet Vineyards at Grace Estate, across the road from Stinson in White Hall, VA.
Winemaker’s Notes
Harvested in late August, Sauvignon Blanc is often more a result of the growing season than the harvest season. Cool, dry weather in 2015 allowed for near perfect ripening on this varietal a bright, elegant flavor profile in the finished wine.

Technical Notes

Harvest Dates: August 18 & 24, 2015 Varietal Content: 100% Sauvignon Blanc • AVA: Monticello • Fermented & Aged 4.5 months sur lie in a combination of concrete tanks and stainless steel barrels • End pH: 3.30 • Alcohol: 12%

Bottled: January 19, 2016 • Cases: 375 • Released: March 2016 • Price: $23.99 • Buy Online

2014 Cabernet Franc
A seriously fruit-driven example of Cabernet Franc’s drinkability. Developing tea and violet aromas result in a complexity that would be lost in riper vintages. Supple, round tannins provide hints of sweet baking spices like clove and vanilla.
Located at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, Benevino Vineyards is our primary Cabernet Franc grower. The limestone chert soil helps curb vine vigor, a special concern in Cabernet Franc. Low nighttime temperatures allow for slow ripening and balanced acidity in the fruit.
Winemaker’s Notes
2014 was an amazing growing year in that it was neither too hot nor too cold, neither too rainy nor too dry. The 2014 Cabernet Franc exudes lively acidity and generous fresh red fruit. A small percentage of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from our Estate Vineyard provide the blend with complementary structure and aging power.

Technical Notes

Harvest Dates: October 9 – 29, 2014 Varietal Content: 85% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon • AVA: Virginia • Aged 9 months in 20% new French oak • End pH: 3.60 • Alcohol: 13.5%

Bottled: August 22, 2015 • Cases: 200 • Released: February 2016 • Price: $24.99 • Buy Online


Spring Crudités a la Fleurie
with Bagna Cauda

In mid-April we attended a wine dinner at Charlottesville’s Fleurie Restaurant with Parisian Sommelier Olivier Magny. We expected to be impressed with such courses such as the Herb Crusted Sea Bass and Duck Confit with Potato Gratin, but to our surprise it was the whimsically plated passed Spring Crudités that stole the show. This Bagna Cauda recipe from Food & Wine Magazine is the perfect compliment to garden fresh veggies. 
Bagna Cauda Ingredients:
3 2-ounce case oil-packed flat anchovies, drained and rinsed
10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1.5 cups extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Spring Crudités:
D’avignon radishes, brussel sprouts, baby carrots, cauliflower, spring onions, asparagus 

In a small dutch oven, combine the anchovies, garlic and oil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the garlic is very soft but not colored, about 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the butter and lemon juice and puree until the bang cauda is smooth.

Return bagna cauda to dutch oven and serve on platter with chopped and arranged crudités.

Pair with Stinson Vineyards 2015 Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy!


Tasting Room Hours:
Thursday through Sunday, 11am to 5pm
Mailing Address:

Stinson Vineyards

4744 Sugar Hollow Road

Crozet, VA 22932





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