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Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Well-Manored Wine Dog

Glen Manor Vineyards
Front Royal, Virginia

A pawsome 39 wineries scored gold in the 2018 Virginia Governor's Cup competition. We will find out February 27 who wins the cup and who makes the Governor's Case.

Several winemakers earned multiple golds this year, among them Jeff White, who mined gold for a vertical trio of his Hodder Hill (a Bordeaux blend). Glen Manor claimed the Governor's Cup in 2012 for the 2009 Hodder Hill. This year, the 2013, 2014, and 2015 are in the spotlight.

Ecco was intrigued, and led the pack to Glen Manor Vineyards on a chilly January afternoon.

The winery and tasting room were little changed from when Virginia Wine Dogs Munchkin and Pomeroy made their first visit in 2009 (read more). All the money has been going back into the vineyards, including a recent planting of Nebiolo (all Glen Manor wines use estate-grown grapes).

And the vineyards are producing awesome wines. Carol was pouring seven wines on the day of the Wine Dog visit, and Ecco didn't find a dog in the bunch. The one white was a 2016 Sauvignon Blanc - perfect for her friend Reagan. Ecco was partial to the Morales Rose, a saignee' bleed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot (the latter two from blocks grown specifically for the Rose).

Hard to say which was the pick of the litter among the reds. Jeff says the 2014 is his favorite year for Cabernet Franc since he opened the winery. Elegant and restrained, the wine was exceptionally smooth with a very nice nose.

A newer partner to the Hodder Hill is the "right bank" ST. Ruth, named for the first two generations, Susan and Stephen who purchased the farm in 1901, and their daughter, Ruth. Late Harvest Petit Mansent is named Raepheus, honoring Jeff's parents, Anna Rae and Alpheus. Jeff's niece Ashleigh and nephew Jack recently committed four years to the winery as they decide if they will be the next generation.

The Wine Dogs have little doubt Glen Manor will be a strong player in the Virginia wine scene for years to come. A peak ahead: With very dry weather in the area at exactly the right time, the Wine Dogs were told Jeff expects the 2017 wines to be history-making for the area.

Ecco wraps up her visit to Glen Manor with a hug from owner Kelly White.
Only service dogs are allowed in the winery at Glen Manor. On winery grounds, dogs must remain leashed to their owner at all times.

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