Honah Lee Vineyard is one of our favorite partners. Grown by Wayne and Vera Preddy, the fruit from Honah Lee is some of the most enticing and exotic fruit we get each year. The vineyard sits high up a east facing slope just outside Orange, VA. Each year this blend will slightly change to best showcase the vineyard and the vintage. Althought the 2009 is a Viognier with a small amount of Roussanne, other years may contain Chardonnay and Petit Manseng.
||September 23, 2009
||22.3 avg brix
||10 months French Oak
||Neutral French Oak
||Indigenous yeast - French Oak
||August 9, 2010
This bright golden wine has impressive aromatics of Jonagold apple, pie crust, and ginger. The palate is full and crisp showing more of the ginger paired with clementine’s and wet leaves leading to a long and almost sweet tasting finish.
The Honah Lee Vineyard is a steep South East facing slope sitting at about 1300 feet elevation in the mountains just outside Orange, VA. The soils consist of hard red clay leading to more fruit driven wines. The wines tend to get very exotic characters to them while maintaining a balance of acidity due to their great sunlight exposure, as well as the cooler nights from the elevation. The vines are all trained on cordon pruned vertical shoot positioning to best collect sunlight exposure and minimize pressures. We have worked with Honah Lee since 2007 when we first made D9 from their Touriga Nacional. Now we source Viognier, Roussanne, Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Pinotage from Honah Lee. The 2009 Vintage was full of challenges that left us with concern for many varieties. We were tested on our patience, faith in mother nature and our quest for quality. Most of the summer was cool and wet with the exception of August. There was a moist spring, drying up just in time for bloom to assure a healthy size crop. We were forced to strongly thin the crop to maximize ripeness later in the year by over 50% in several cases. Viognier was the only variety that started with a low crop as its bloom was too wet and fruit set was uneven creating inner cluster thinning and sorting to be crucial at harvest. Mid July gave us a nasty storm that dropped nickel size hail on our vineyard for 4-5 minutes and winds that severely damaged many shoots. The lowering in the crop was not all bad and the dry two weeks post the storm allowed for the fruit to dry up and not be plagued by rot. August was hot and dry allowing the fruit to enter the harvest period ripening at a better rate. Through September and October it was all about waiting for the best physiological ripeness of the grapes. At times deer and potential weather tempted us to harvest early, but we stayed on course and allowed the flavors to ripen beautifully. Overall the 2009 vintage gave us a really neat crop for Jon and me coming from Canada. It gave us fruit characteristic to what we were used to with ripe flavors at higher acidities and lower alcohols. The wines of 2009 will be marked by their elegance more so then their power.
The Honah Lee Viognier was fermented on indigenous yeast in barrel with a max temperature around 76 degrees F. The wine was racked off the lees post fermentation and returned to barrel very clean with no lees stirring. The wine spent 10 months in barrel before being blended and filtered. The wine did not go through any malo-lactic fermentation.
The Honah Lee Viogier is a great wine to pair with Mill Creek Whole Chickens roasted, or pasta in a simple cream sauce or fresh basil pesto.