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La Vigna Estate Winery
by
K.L. Sullivan

La VignaSummary: La Vigna is the result of a hobby that went out of control and turned the owner into a passionate winemaker and vineyardist. This is a 100 percent estate bottled winery.

Brad Hively had lived in the Charlottesville, Virginia area and has extensive knowledge of the vineyard conditions in Virginia. He started as an amateur winemaker. This interest in wine turned into a passion. He noted, “This was a hobby that went out of control.” His current trellising system is a split canopy, a system that he saw successfully used at Horton Vineyards in Virginia. Brad understands the importance of the vineyard in producing good wines and wants to be known as a winegrower.

Upon moving to Georgetown, Ohio in 2002, he purchased property near the Ohio River. The vineyards are located in the Ohio River Valley AVA. After clearing part of the wooded property and conducting soil testing, Brad determined the best location for planting his first vineyards.

The Vineyard

In the vineyard, Brad has two acres of vines. He works to increase the population of praying mantises. In 2010 his vineyards consist of Petite Manseng, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the future, Brad will add Albarino and Chardonnay. Eventually, he will clear more land towards the river and increase to 20 acres of vineyards. A portion of the planned vineyard will overlook the Ohio River.

Brad wants to be 100 percent estate bottled. He is always looking for the best way to improve doing things whether it is in the vineyard or in the winery. Currently, he is experimenting with an idea on protecting his young vines from freezing ground affecting the grape trunks. The graft of the grapevine is planted in a tube several inches below the soil surface. The tube rises to the surface. Hopefully the temperature of the soil below the surface will protect the graft. As of now it is working.

La Vigna     

The Name La Vigna

Brad married Armanda. Her family, the Brunicardi family, is originally from Bagni di Lucca, Italy. Prior to World War II, Armanda’s grandfather had a vineyard in Bagni di Lucca and produced wines for the family and neighbors. The vineyard was called “La Vigna.” After the war, the family immigrated to the United States and settled in Ohio where Brad met Amanda many years later. The estate was named La Vigna as a tribute to her Italian heritage.

La VignaWines

In 2010 La Vigna produces 300 cases of wine. These estate bottled wine labels include the phrase, “If we bottled it, we grew it.” In the winery, Brad does not like to filter the wines. He believes that filtering takes away too many aromas and tastes.

Proprietary White Wine 2009 was produced with 100% Petit Manseng. This was a light yellow color with an aroma of floral and citrus nuances and a touch of stone fruit. The wine was crisp and dry. There was a long fruit aftertaste yielding to a hint of minerality. Proprietary White Wine 2008 was also 100% Petit Manseng and was barrel fermented for 21 days. This gold wine went through partial malolactic fermentation. The aroma and taste had nuances of stone fruit. The finish was crisp with notes of stone fruit on the aftertaste. Proprietary Red Wine 2008 was a very dark purple, almost black, with a purple rim color. This Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend offered nuances of black fruit and a hint of leather on the aroma and taste. There were tannins on the finish. Air opened the wine and accentuates the fruit.

La Vigna is open Saturdays from 12Noon to 6pm. Enjoy a visit, the opportunity to taste La Vigna wines and talk with Brad about winemaking and wine growing.

La Vigna Estate Winery
6035 State Route 505
Georgetown, Ohio 45121

GPS: N38º 47.883’ W83º 58.787’

 


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