I’ve been here several times, but this last visit really stood out. And I learned that Michael Shaps – one of the Virginia’s most famous wine makers – is behind the wines! Even better, as of last year, they made this place into a cidery (curtesy of one of the owners) in addition to the winery! The good news keeps on getting better.
Kindred used to be a horse farm, and the tasting room is the former stables (horses are a key motif here). The tasting room is totally cozy, with a fire burning and comfy chairs all over. Even before drinking, the appearances had me impressed.
Production-wise, this place is small; likely under 1000 cases/year, some estate grown (Chambourcin and Viognier) but most grapes purchased from other vineyards. But when you have Mike Shaps as your wine maker, this is not a bad thing since he sources from all over.
Normally my tasting notes differ from what my servers suggest, but here everything they described was spot on. They have 3 tasting options; red, white, and sweet, plus a cider option (up to 6). So you definitely won’t go thirsty here!
Whites: The Viognier was crisp, clean, and notes of peach – one of the nicer ones I’ve had in a while. The Chardonnay was nice as well. The Petit Manseng was made in a desert style; so sweet, but more syrupy than sugary sweet. I even liked the Rose (a rarity for me), which had a great orange-y color but more of a semi-sweet, with nice acidity.
Red: Malbecs are hard to find; the fruit came from Charlotsville and had notes of tart strawberry, like you get when you pluck them straight from the patch. The Cab Sav had obvious notes of being in American oak, almost overpoweringly so. The Chambourcin was one of the bolder ones I’ve had in a while, also made in American oak. The Merlot was just OK.
Cider: I couldn’t resist a flight of 3 x cider samples. I skipped the ones advertising hops or sweetness, although maybe that was a mistake since I found the Hard Times too dry for me. The Cinifoot was advertised as cinnamon flavored, although I barely tasted it. But I LOVED the Cherry Bomb, which interestingly enough had a jalapeno finish (I like jalapenos, BTW).
I finished everything off with some mulled wine, which was perfect for this winter day.