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2017 VA Gov Cup goes to Barns at Hamilton Station; Veritas' Emily Pelton Wine Person of the Year; King Family's David King Recognized for Lifetime Achievement... Jim Law (Linden) & Diane Flynt (Foggy Ridge) James Beard Award Semi-finalists... VA Wine Strikes Gold in SanFran (7 double golds; 2 best of class)... VA Wine Sales Up 6%; Cider taking off... International Winery Review "Virginia Wine Has Come of Age"...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wine Dogs Swim (or Drink) with Dolphins at Delaplane Cellars

Delaplane Cellars

Delaplane, VA

The Virginia Wine Dogs were the second customers through the door on November 27 as Delaplane Cellars officially opened for business (Munchkin confesses to spending a tad too long on her topknot that morning, but a girl's got to look her best at an opening). They were warmly greeted by Jim and Betsy Dolphin, proprietors of the classy new winery, which they began creating in July of 2007.

The first thing that strikes one when entering the tasting room is the dramatic view. Floor-to-ceiling cathedral windows offer a panoramic sweep across vineyards (seven acres currently under vine) and picturesque farmland framed by the breathtaking Blue Ridge mountains.

Betsy planned it that way.

Indeed, Betsy's taste and attention to detail have created an environment that is sophisticated and inviting. Walls are painted soothing hues of gray and blue that complement the scenery outside and the room's clean architectural lines. An advocate of sustainable agriculture, when black walnut trees had to be removed from the property because they are toxic to grapes, Betsy had them milled down and used the rich dark wood for the bar and doors.

The staff, dressed in simple black, adds to Delaplane Cellar's sophisticated image, intended to appeal to GenB (for Baby Boom) wine connoisseurs. If tasting room manager Autumn looks familiar, you may have seen her at her former post at the Inn at Little Washington.

Munchkin and Pomeroy felt right at home as they settled in to try Jim's wines. Jim has been tiptoing around the periphery of the Virginia wine industry for years.
"The more I learned about it, the more interested I became," he explained.

Jim took a winemaking course with Linden's Jim Law and began making wine as an amateur, much like Munchkin and Pomeroy. In fact, Munchkin first met Jim last year during her grape adventure gathering fruit from BOW for her own first homewinemaking attempt.

Jim met with more success than his canine counterparts. His three refreshing whites include a barrel-fermented Chardonney and two Viogniers, the one from Maggie's Vineyard near Breaux set Pomeroy's tail wagging.

The reds had Munchkin begging for more. All three are from the superb 2007 Virginia crop. There is a CabFranc and a beautiful Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petiti Verdot, aptly named Left Bank. The star of the collection is the Syrah, which Jim has tagged as an up and coming grape in Virginia. Forget what you know about New Zealand's offerings, this wine is full bodied, rich and lush.


"Delaplane... I think they've got it!" yipped Professor Pomeroy. "Luverly," Munchkin agreed.

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