To get to Giles Mountain, prepared to do a lot of driving. Fortunately this is a good thing, since the scenery here is drop dead gorgeous! Nestled in a small valley in the Blue Mountain AVA, Giles is a farm-turned-winery about 40 minutes away from Blacksburg. Suffice to say, unless you’re a local only people who are really interested in expanding their palate or chalking off names of a very long wine list are likely to visit.
My server explained how this was a passion project that sorta got out of hand (a common theme among wineries, no doubt). The tasting room is just around the corner from the owner’s home. The room was brand new, and takes advantage of the hilltop views.
As with most wineries in this area, they specialize in hybrids. The terroir of this area doesn’t lend itself to your typical Bordeaux varietals, so instead they planted 3-4 acres of Chambourcin and Vidal. All their wines are estate with the exception of some Cabernet Franc.
Given how much Chambourcin they have, they were doing flights of different vintages and ever decided to experiment a bit. What I tried:
“Prelude” Vidal: No notes on this one, although (truth in advertising) Vidal isn’t my favorite grape.
White Chambourcin: Reminded me of a dry rose. It’s called a ‘white’ because it’s made without any skin contact, so it looks like a white wine even though it’s a red.
Duet (Chambourcin/Cab Franc): Not bad, although the Cab really stood out.
2015 Chambourcin: Very fruity, even by Chambourcin standards. I ended up with a glass of this while I enjoyed the view outside.
2016 Chambourcin: I liked it, but not quite as much as the 2015.