Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
The story of Candide has been morphed many times over, most notably in The Wizard of Oz, and so I would quote the famed witch-killer from Kansas Dorthy Gale, otherwise known as Judy Garland, "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!"
So click you heels three times. There's no place like home!
A fine old Italian grape is finding new homes here all the time. Italian winemakers at Hopewell Valley, Barboursville, and Turdo Vineyards do a great job with it! Slack in Maryland and Glass House in VA also makes a very nice ones!
This is a classic French grape, and certainly of noble parentage,. But it is obscure because it is a difficult grape, and is only grown in a few places. Done right, it is an immensely floral wine, with great nose and great character. I love Viognier! Here's a few classics! Many seem to be from Virginia! Veritas and Jefferson are among my favorites, but then so are Annefield and Barboursville. I'm leaving out half a dozen others!
Vidal Blanc is one of the mainstay work horses of the french-American hybrid grapes. I love varietals made from this grape, from straight up table wines all the way to late harvest dessert wines (always my favorites) Here's a few classics from Vidal Blanc:
Baco Noir was one of the grapes that made huge headway in the 1950s and 1960s under the wings of such winemakers as Philip Wagner in Maryland and Mark Miller in the Hudson Valley. The grape is experiencing a renaissance today! Some wonderful soft, red Burgundy-styled wines have made serious impressions on discerning wine folks. Benmarl continues to carry the flag with Hudson-Chatham and Brookview Station also producing critical successes and popular editions.
Only twin wineries currently make Chelois - Hudson-Chatham Winery and Brotherhood (which only sells it in their tasting room seasonally). Both come in small quantities. But notices for the wines have grown.These make light, bright, Pinot Noir-styled wines from a very fabulous, but little known French-American hybrid. Plantings used to be more plentiful, but dimmished. A small comeback is now in the making.
Another of the classic Italian red grapes. Barboursville does it best hands down! But breaux Vineyards, and especially Gabriele Rausse also do classic versions of this varietal. Fantastic!
This is a classic noble grape of Bordeaux, France. But again, like Petite Verdot, the chances of finding is varietal of this wine is near impossible. Peconic Bay does a very nice version. Lenz and Raphael wineries have offered single bottlings to their wine club members in the past. Whitecliff Vineyards and Hudson-Chatham have also offered very palatable versions as well. Always a surprise! A lovely, jammy red, with classic structure.
Teroldego is a red Italian grape variety currently being grown in New York state. I thought there might be some in Virginia or Maryland, but no other straight up varietals I could find. But let me tell you, this one will do, grown and made at Red Tail Ridge Vineyards, this medium-bodied dry red wine is absolutely fantastic. it's begging for some sharp cheese or lightly grilled meats or Portobello mushrooms. It's spectacular!