Hammerstone Cellars is definitely a work of passion. The owner had farmland, a love of wine, and decided “Hey, let’s put this land to use”. 5 acres of vines, many of them experimental plantings to see what grows best.
The wine tasting room is part of the owner’s home – it has an enclosed porch but the tasting ‘room’ itself is tiny. It’s so small, comparing Hammerstone to larger ‘destination’ wineries is like comparing apples & oranges. If you’re looking for a small place where you can chat with the wine maker, you’re in luck! Because he was behind the bar and took my geeky wine questions.
They only opened in May 2017 and for now, their selection of wines is a mix of their own Hammerstone labeled bottles and some ‘guest’ wines. Their grapes are from VA, but with almost 5 acres planted they will be estate in a few years (or close enough). Fortunately, their wine maker is the same person who works for Pearmund Cellars & others, and he happens to be one of my favorites in the area!
What I tried (PS – all these wines had excellent price points for the value):
14 Cabernet Franc: Unusual for Cab Francs; I swear I had raspberry notes.
13 “Social Cluster” (Cab Sav/Merlot): Big wine, and it’s nice to see Cab Savs blends in VA that don’t break the budget.
Norton: Blended with another grape (I don’t remember which) to take the bite off. Nortons aren’t my favorite but this was better than most.
Viognier: Creamy, not overly floral like others. As Viogniers go, this was downright subtle.
16 Chardonnay: Creamy nose & finish.
Social Cluster white blend: Nice complexity to it; I forget the grapes but likely Chardonnay heavy.
Cuvee Blanc: Traminette based, although the nose wasn’t quite as overpowering as other Traminettes.
Rose: Strawberry nose and watermelon finish.