|Location||Barboursville, Virginia, USA|
|Key people||Gianni Zonin, founder
Luca Paschina, winemaker
|Varietals||Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Barbera, Petit Verdot, Pinot noir, Chardonnay|
|Tasting||Open to the Public, small fee required|
Barboursville Vineyards is a winery located in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the unincorporated town of Barboursville, Virginia. It is located within both the Virginia and Monticello viticultural areas.
The wine producing estate was founded in 1976 by Gianni Zonin, an Italian winemaker from the Veneto. Part of an affiliated group of wineries owned by Zonin based in Vicenza, Barboursville Vineyards is its only American venture.
The winery is built on the grounds of Barboursville, the home of the 19th Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, James Barbour, on an estate of 870 acres (350 ha) which is divided between Albemarle County and Orange County. The home was built from 1814 through 1822 and is based on an architectural design provided by Barbour's political ally and friend, Thomas Jefferson, since 1969 listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It draws approximately 80,000 visitors a year.
The estate is the first producer in the new era of Virginian wine history to plant Vitis vinifera since the failed attempts of Jefferson, initially through former vineyard manager Gabriele Rausse. Winery manager Luca Paschina first arrived as a consultant in 1990, now estimated among Virginia's leading winemakers, has a stated goal to work to achieve quality consistently over several vintages.
The viticultural area extends 120 acres (49 ha). The vines are predominantly Bordeaux grape varieties for the red wines, and also including Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Barbera, and among white varieties are Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot grigio and Sauvignon blanc.
The Barboursville Vineyards flagship wine, Octagon, is a Bordeaux-style blend, mainly based on Merlot, with parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Octagon was first produced in 1991, then again in 1995, but 1998 marks the vintage that began the run of consistency, with the exception of the 2003 vintage when no Octagon was produced.
Among a host of other wines produced, there is a Barbera Reserve, a Cabernet Franc Reserve, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot, a Nebbiolo Reserve, a Sangiovese Reserve and a Vintage Rosé. Among white wines there is a sparkling Barboursville Brut NV, a Chardonnay, Pinot grigio, Sauvignon blanc and a Viognier Reserve, and a late harvest dessert wine produced from Moscato Ottonel and Vidal grapes, the Malvaxia Passito whose character has been commended by British wine writer Hugh Johnson.
- Ray, Johnathan, The Daily Telegraph (November 5, 2005). Presidential selection
- Apple, R.W. Jr.The New York Times (September 13, 2000). Jefferson Gets His Wish: At Last, a Decent Bottle Of Virginia Wine
- McKeon, Nancy, The Washington Post (November 28, 2009). For Barboursville's vintner, wine and design bridge Old World and new
- Jefford, Andrew, Financial Times (August 31 2007). Vineyards to make a founding father proud
- Chen Sampson, Zinie, USA Today (October 25, 2007). Virginia ripe with winery destination
- Emerling, Gary, The Washington Times (September 21, 2008). Virginia's vineyards mature
- Ward, Logan, CNN.com (from Southern Accents (magazine))(October 5, 2006). Jefferson's Virginia: America's hottest new wine country
- McIntyre, Dave, The Washington Post (August 19, 2009). Preparing for Wine Judgment Day
- McIntyre, Dave, The Washingtonian (November 8, 2007). The Wine Guy Visits Barboursville Vineyards
- Haggerty, Maryann, The Washington Post (June 3, 2007). It's Not Napa, but It's Near
- DeBord, Matthew, Wine Spectator (December 10, 2002). American Way of Wine
- Berger, Dan, Los Angeles Times (June 8, 1995). The Littlest Wines