Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Greenvale Chardonnay



As a amily, we often took a house in Rhode Island for a week, every summer. A few summers ago I dragged Dominique to yet another winery. And we ended up at the nicest New England winery we ever saw - Greenvale Vineyards.

Greenvale Vineyards of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, a 19th century Victorian farm, is entering its tenth year as a winery operation and its 20th year as a vineyard operation. The Parker family, now in their fourth generation, built the "Ferme Orne" throughout the 1860s.

Cortlandt and Nancy and their four children started their vineyards in 1982 in an effort to develop a productive use of the family farm located along the Sakonnet River. We began as growers. Greenvale's first release was the 1993 Chardonnay. 350 cases were produced and very well received. Greenvale's 1995 Chardonnay totaled 550 cases and the 1996 Chardonnay totaled 850 cases. The Cabernet Franc produces 250 cases a year. In 1997, we produced 2,400 cases of wine. At full capacity, the winery will produce approximately 5,000 cases of wine annually.

We had bought several bottles of the 2001 Greenvale Chardonnay. Recently, we pulled out a bottle of it while in upstate New York. Suddenly, the summer winds of several years ago washed over us. We took one sip and closed our eyes. We could see the beautiful estate, and feel the Rhode Isalnd seas breezes as we tasted this wonderful wine.

This is a well-balanced dry, light white wine with lovely, fruity aromas. 75% was aged in Frenc oak, and the other 1/4 was aged in stainless steel, giving it a lovely smooth taste, but with the perfect amount of acidity. Fabuous.

We may be in the upper Hudson Valley this summer, but this chilled little bol=ttle of white brought the memeories of the wonderful Rhode Isalnd summers right back.

Go and try some and expereince your own lovely New England summer.