Sans Soucy (pronounced “San Soo-see”) means “without worry” in French. It’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek proclamation since farming is a profession full of worry. But owner/winemaker Paul Anctil seemed worry free during my visit – likely in part because the weather had been fairly good recently, so 2019 had the makings of a good harvest.
This is one of the larger and older operations in the area. Vines were first planted in 2000, while the winery opened in 2008. Their 7 acres of vines are enough to supply around 2000 estate cases/year. While that seems small-to-medium for most places, in this area is was positively huge!
Sans Soucy is also one of a handful of locations that has both a winery and brewery on the premise. A growing trend in Virginia, Paul explained it allows him to capture a larger portion of the local crowd. He and his son share brewing duties, although his son focuses on the beer while Paul takes care of the wine making.
Paul was kind enough to give me a quick education about Virginia’s ABC laws. While it was becoming more flexible regarding beer, there still seemed to be some silly regulations – including how (depending on your license) you can take wine anywhere on the property but the beer has to stay in a much more confined space. Still, this was an encouraging trend so hopefully we’ll see Virginia relax these rules further.
The tasting room reminds me of drinking in a man cave – especially if that man cave had a keg and extensive wine rack. A picture of John Wayne and the USMC emblem were on the wall. OK I admit – I liked this guy’s style!
Sadly I didn’t get a chance to linger here; this was stop #2 of 4 (and it ended up being 5) for the day, so off I went to my next destination.
What I tried:
Viognier: Heavy; honey-ish on the palate.
Traminette: Very spicy!
2013 Cabernet Franc: Baking spice notes; very good.
2013 Tempranillo: A very finicky grower, Sans Soucy is one of the very few places to have it – and sadly, they are likely to tear it out because of it’s difficult to grow in this terroir. Also had spice notes, although different from the Cab Franc.
Oak N’ Berry: This is what I call a ‘fun wine’. Blend of Petit Verdot and blackberries. I bet you didn’t see that one coming! Paul called it a ‘red on training wheels’. Tannin structure of a red but with sweetness.
2014 Petit Verdot: Medium body, long finish, soft.
Blackberry wine: Easy drinking.