Glen Manor Vineyard

GMV is a textbook example of how great vineyard management results in amazing wines. Out of about 100 wineries, they crack my top 5, both for wine and hospitably. A great stop just a few minutes from the entrance to Shenandoah park.

The husband/wife owners are Kelly (who runs the tasting room) and Jeff (the wine maker). Kelly is super friendly and will regale you with the story of the family’s 100 year history with the farm. One a previous visit she literally ran down the road to return a credit card someone left behind. I’ve never met Jeff because he’s always working the vines; it’s a shame, because I’d love to hear about his time working at Jim Law’s vineyard at Lindon. That’s right – the wine maker spent 13 years working with Jim, so he knows his stuff.

The reds: mostly Bordeaux styles, with different blends favoring different grapes. Everything was really good to excellent, and had a great nose. I LOVE the Cab Sav heavy 2012 Hodder Hill; excellent dark fruit palate. The 2012 Vin Rouge had a slight cherry flavor. But the best nose was the 2012 Cab Franc, which actually was a little fruity. This time around they were out of my favorite, the Merlot/Cab Franc heavy T Ruth.

The whites: this time they only had a Sav Blanc and a Rose. They previously served one of my favorite Petit Mansengs anywhere but were sold out! As a red drinker I typically don’t shed a tear over a lack of whites, but this was one I had been looking forward to.

I usually don’t bore people with geekiness about grape vines, but this place deserves special treatment. They have one of the best vineyard locations I’ve ever seen, right on the steep slopes of the Shenandoah. In fact, you can see the vineyard from Skyline drive! Many vines are over 20 years old, but the youngest are still 6 or 7 years. While they grow 14.5 acres, they drop about half their fruit to improve quality.

GMV is a place for wine lovers who enjoy relaxing with a glass and enjoying the scenery. Since they don’t allow groups of more than 6 people, you always get personal attention. But if you find something you like, get it – with small batches, it will likely be gone soon enough.