Amazing wines, especially given how small & out of the way they are. 3 acres of vines and under 1000 cases/year. Obviously they don’t get a lot of visitors so call in advance.
Getting to this place is a challenge. Don’t expect to find any signal, so pre-plan your route as best you can. Their website has directions so that helps a lot.
The name comes from an old native American story about a princess who took a nose dive off a cliff. Well, who knows? What I can tell you is the terroir is very conducive to most vinifera; they adroitly placed their Cabernet Sauvignon on the hottest slopes and have some other vines you don’t normally see, like Tannat and Refosco. Refosco particularly fascinated me; it’s one of the oldest grapes still used to make wine, going back to the Roman days. And speaking of Romans, Gabrielle Rausse is a friend of theirs!
The owners Mary and Dave Vermillion greeted me as I walked up. As Mary poured, Dave gave me the backstory of their farm. They actually work in Charlottesville, but call this home. The weekend I visited he was all set to start selling his “Livia” refosco wine, but forgot the labels! I guess I’ll have to visit them another time for that.
What I tried:
Gruner Veltiner: German grape you don’t see often. Nice citrus notes; I almost bought a bottle but got distracted by…
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon: 90% cab sav with some tannat. Overall medium tannin although the Tannat gave it some bite at the end.
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon: 100%, very nice body & complexity. I’ll drink this in another year or two.
“Livia” red blend: Primarily refosco w/ Cab Franc. I almost bought a bottle, but settled for a bottle of the last two. But I did enjoy a glass.