Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Narmada Winery - Experience Virginia, Taste India (VA)

You're interest has to be peaked by any winery whose tagline is: Experience Virgina, Taste India....so sexy! Located in the scenic Blue Ridge countryside of Rappahannock County, Virginia, midway between Warrenton and Sperryville, and an easy day-trip from Washington, DC, Narmada Winery offers a unique experience you won’t find elsewhere: Indian hospitality and cuisine, award-winning Virginia-made wines, and beautiful views from the balcony outside their richly-appointed tasting room.

Pandit Patil

Grand Opening Celebration of Narmada Winery was held November 20th – 22nd in 2009. The Amissville property had been originally purchased in 1999 by Sudha and Pandit Patil. 2002-2003 saw the Narmada Barn constructed and a large pond created in the landscape. The pond, a center piece of the property is stocked with several varieties of fish including catfish, trout, bluegill, coy and butterfly fish. The first vineyard was planted in 2004 – 2 acres of Vidal grapes. The following year, more varietals of grapes were cultivated and the vineyard grows to include 3 acres of Chambourcin, 2.5 acres of Chardonelle, and 1.5 acres of Traminette grapes. The year after that, The Patil home was completed, allowing Sudha and Pandit to participate and monitor the growth of their vineyard on a daily basis. The pavilion facing the pond was also constructed at this time. Patils enjoyed their first large harvest in 2007 gathering 14-15 tons of grapes are reaped from the fields. By 2008, despite a summer hail storm, Narmada vineyards produced an exciting 44 tons of grapes. Sudha and Pandit kept enough grapes to produce their first vintage of wines and sold the remainder to other local wineries.

I happened upon Narmada at the TasteCamp 2012, at one of the grand tastings. My interest was piqued, but would the wines be any good. The first wine let me know I was in for a treat.

The 2010 Viognier was wonderful. A clean, crisp, refreshing white wine, done in stainless steel. The aromatic nose full of floral notes and tropical aromas was wonderful. I loved this wine! Viongier is a litmus test for me in Virginia. If you can make a good one, then you probably make pretty decent wine. Narmada makes very good wine!

The next one was my favorite - 2009 Yash-Vir. Narmada Winery’s Yash-Vir is a Bordeaux-style wine named for the owners’ grandchildren, Yash and Vir. The wine is made from 40% Merlot, 30% Petit Verdot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was aged in oak. There were layers of flavors here. Big fruit up front with cherry, raspberry, some bramble, a hint of plum and cassis. There was also hints of vanilla and spice. The wine had low acidity and decent tannins. A very, very pretty wine!

Narmada was a wonderful surprise! My only regret was not having some Indian food to go along with it. My wife and I are such lovers of Indian food, we had our wedding rehearsal dinner at an Indian restaurant. But you don;t need to have an exotic cuisine to enjoy these wines. What you need is a glass, and to get yourself over there for a tasting. Have a lot of fun!