Another stop along the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail was Vault Field Vineyards. Vault Field is located in Kinsale, Virginia, only a few miles from General’s Ridge Vineyard and Winery. Appropriately, the winery is located off Vault Field road and is surrounded by beautiful cornfields and vines. Pulling along the drive to the tasting room, visitors pass by the rows of vines which are labeled according to the grapes being grown.
On the day we visited, they were picking the Chardonel. When we first entered the tasting room, there was a bundle freshly picked of Chardonel grapes for visitors to taste. It was a great hands-on educational opportunity. I really enjoyed this chance to taste the grape followed by a tasting of the wine they were hoping to emulate with that grape. This was the first time I went to a tasting and had the chance to actually eat the grapes I was sampling.
The tasting was free – another plus. Of the six wines tasted, our favorites included:
- 2008 Reserve Red ($20.00 a bottle) – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. This wine particularly stood out because of the peppery snap when it first touches the tongue. (As you can tell from previous posts, I love peppery Cab Sav wines that air well with a steak) We preferred the 2008 over the 2009 because of this black pepper initial taste.
- 2009 Red ($18.00 a bottle) – A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chambourcin. A smoother wine… I love the addition of the Chambourcin to balance out that Cab Sav. This wine makes a great table red.
The tasting room of Vault Field Vineyards was not quite what I expected. It was small, with no seating to sit and enjoy a bottle of wine. However, the tasting room immersed the visitor with the wine-making process. It was a different kind of tasting being surrounded by the barrels that currently had wines aging in them. Mixed with the addition of the grapes for us to sample, it was a nice experience that made me feel more of an intimate connection with the vineyard. Behind the barrels in the tasting room, the back access was open. As the grapes were harvested that day, they were being brought up for crushing and the start of the wine production process. We got to walk right up and watch them at work!
In addition to the tasting, we received a little history lesson of the property (my favorite!) The lesson was on the history of how Vault Field got its name. It was long believed there was a vault on the property (hence the name), but no one really knew where the vault, if it existed, was located. During the construction of the production center and tasting room, the construction crew came across something solid buried in the ground…. a vault. The vault is still there, covered. The mystery that remains for me is who did the vault belong to and what was their family’s history with the land?
Enjoy a tasting at Vault Field Vineyards along the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail! I was excited to add another stamp to my Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail passport. We paired the visit to this winery with our trip to General’s Ridge and then to Hague Winery. The cool part was, when we were at General’s Ridge, they sent us over to Vault Field. While we were at Vault Field, they then sent us over to the Hague Winery. I loved how these wineries worked together and sent us along our journey.