The Blue Ridge Mountains are just minutes from downtown Lexington, Virginia, but the rural nature of the landscape feels like miles from the nearest urban center. This is where you will find Lexington Valley Vineyard. It feels remote, but is really minutes from Interstates 64 and 81.
The sixty-seven acre Lexington Valley property is home to a small family farm winery, where both hybrids and vinifera have been grown for the last fifteen years. Since the first vintage was bottled in 2007, production has remained rather low. The five acres of fruit are used to produce between 400 and 500 cases annually, but there are plans to expand that total to 1000 cases. Even at that level of production, this is a small boutique winery. Emphasis is really on quality.
I tasted eight wines during my visit. It is an interesting lineup of well-made wines. The white hybrids include Vignoles, Traminette and Vidal Blanc. An oaked Chardonnay was among the white vinifera, but the Gruner Veltliner was a real standout. crisp, balanced wine, with distinct lime and herb notes. This Austrian varietal is sourced from elsewhere in Rockbridge County, but Lexington Valley is working some magic with that grape.
The reds being poured included a young Cabernet Sauvignon, a Foch and a Norton. I will say that the Norton was one of the best examples of that hybrid I have ever tasted and that is saying a lot. It had wonderful Port aromas, lacked the typical mid-palate astringency and was fruit forward without being overly fruity. I’m not always a Norton fan, but I can recognize a good example and the Lexington Valley offering is one of the best in the state.
Lexington Valley is a lovely venue with room to sit outdoors and admire the countryside. The tasting experience is also well constructed, informal and relaxed. There is every reason to visit. They are open most days. It is recommended that you call ahead, but this seems to be a formality. For those intent on lingering with a glass of wine, snack baskets can be purchased in the tasting room. There is also room outside for couples with children. So don’t hesitate. Make the drive and after you do, please let me know what you think.