Zen and the art of growing grapes
The greatest vineyards in the world share one common trait: vines in balance. Through a combination of science and art, wine makers rigorously analyze and control a region’s key inputs, including sunlight, water, canopy, nutrients and crop load. The balanced vine yields a balanced grape, and so it begins.
At Upper Shirley Vineyards, we think of a great wine grape as a balance between complex flavors, sugars, acids and more.
We believe we stand the best chance of finding that elusive balance with our intentional lack of mechanization and by nurturing each individual vine, one at a time, as often as six times a year, all 12,000 of them.
Established in 2013, Upper Shirley Vineyards has 16 acres under vine with plans to expand. We diligently selected varieties of European vitis vinifera grapes to match our terroir.
Petit Verdot, a Bordeaux red grape valued for its spice and tannin in a blending role, has now become a successful single varietal here in Virginia.
Viognier, a Rhone Valley white grape, the official Virginia grape, has wonderful aromas of peach and pear.
Merlot, another of the five Bordeaux red grapes, ripens early and is softer in tannin than its blending partners.
Tannat, a lesser-known Basque red grape, is now making some of the most impressive wines in Virginia.