Cunningham Creek Winery & Farm Store

Great visit to a winery that’s off the beaten trail. They are a good 20 minutes from the nearest wine cluster, and GPS guidance wasn’t much assistance because of a lack of phone signal. Still, I found it, and was quite impressed.

They’ve been open as a winery only a year, although I think the vines have been producing for several years. 12 acres under vine, plus they get some grapes from other VA vineyards (although they are moving to 100% estate). I don’t know the production; they are on the new side, so they likely haven’t hit their stride.

Although I describe them as ‘off the beaten path’, you’d never know it by the tasting room. Cozy and well appointed, they have 3 x mini tasting bars instead of a single long bar, so you get a more personalized experience. My server (who was also the wine maker) was fun too; he talked us through all their wines, and was happy to trade his own wine-visiting stories.

They had a large variety, although only a portion were on the tasting menu. On trust alone I bought their Petit Verdot (especially since it was aged 21 months in French Oak). The reds I had were on the lighter, less tannic side, although I deeply appreciate the 18 month (minimum) aging they do.

What I tried:

15 Chardonnay: Made in new French Oak; exceptionally good (although I’m biased towards Chards in new French Oak).

15 Viognier: Citrus notes; after the Chard this didn’t blow me away, although it was nice in it’s own right.

15 “Cycle 76” (Pinot Gris): Very light.

15 Cabernet Franc: For reds, on the light side.

14 Merlot: Nice cherry nose and light body.

14 Meritage: I liked it…but it needs time. Leave it alone for a year or two.

Don’t let the dogs mooch you! They may act hungry, but both were pretty spoiled.

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