Forever Farm is a passion project for a couple who apparently thinks ‘retirement’ equals ‘more work’. Originally from New Jersey, Bob and Teri Riggs caught the wine-bug while living in California and for some crazy reason decided to open a winery on their new home in Virginia. “Retirement” as a farmer/wine maker; hey, if you love it then it’s not really work, is it?
The farm is tiny; just under 2 acres of grapes are planted (they get more fruit from elsewhere) plus a small tasting room right next to the barn. For the time being they are strictly appointment only, but may change things up once they grow their inventory of wines & get into the rhythm of running the joint.
Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are planted, but the majority are hybrids like Chardonel and Chambourcin. They also have Noriet, Geneva Red, and Corot Noir; Cornell University hybrids that are especially hardy. It’s a smart choice; too many places try to grow grapes they like rather than what the terroir dictates, so these should do the owners well.
I made an appointment on their opening weekend. When I arrived the place was hopping! Bob & Teri took turns giving me the lowdown of the property while pouring my tasting, and afterwards I settled down with a glass of their Boykin blend. Even their son got in on the fun. A practicing Yogi visiting home from India (!), he’s also the photographer responsible for the pictures on several of their bottles.
Since they don’t have a lot of estate wines, Forever Farm is supplementing them with bottles from a local distributor. Not surprisingly a few were Italian wines (Bob’s Italian heritage is another inspiration for wine making) but overall it was an eclectic mix of purchased bottles, estate wines, and wines made with locally-sourced fruit.
Of the wines they made, what I tried:
White Oak (white blend): Chardonnay and Chardonnel; big mouthfeel.
Rose: Made with Cabernet Franc; soft but not sweet.
Boykin (red blend): Named after their (dearly departed) dog George, it was a blend of Chambourcin, Merlot, and some Cab Sauv. I already liked it, but if you’re a dog lover you’d enjoy the fact that $1 gets donated to a Boykin Spaniel Rescue charity.
I enjoyed my visit! Try a glass while relaxing near the pond.