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Loving Cup Vineyard and Winery
Kathy Sullivan

Loving Cup Vineyard and WinerySummary: Loving Cup Vineyard & Winery is an organic vineyard and winery located in the Monticello AVA. Travelers to the winery tasting room travel along a long and winding country road to reach this family-owned winery and vineyard. Visitors are welcome to carry in picnic baskets.

The tasting room, with an A-shaped ceiling, feels spacious. A large flag on the wall next to the tasting counter highlights the blue, white and green winery logo. A large, covered porch with tables and rocking chairs offers views of the vineyards and countryside.

The winery production area is located on the lower level where the grapes are brought directly in for processing. At the time of our late August visit, Cayuga grapes were being pressed.

Loving Cup Vineyard and Winery     Loving Cup Vineyard and Winery     Loving Cup Vineyard and Winery


Loving Cup Vineyard and WineryThe winery, on the Monticello Wine Trail, was named Loving Cup in remembrance of a Rolling Stones song which was an owner favorite. The winery and vineyards are located on farm property owned by Werner Hambsch. Today his son, Karl, is the winemaker and the vineyard manager. They work together to care for the vineyards and craft the organic wines. Karl’s mother is the grape tester, going into the vineyards and tasting the grapes to determine when the grapes are ready for harvest.

The logo for the winery, including a heart, is similar to the crest of Karl’s ancestral town Wiesental, Germany. According to a note in the tasting room. “The heart also represents our guiding principles of social and environmental responsibility.”

The story behind the organic winery and vineyards goes back to a time when the family had excess crabapple fruit and decided to try to make a fruit wine. They tried for numerous years to craft fruit wines out of a variety of fruits. When they eventually made a wine with grapes, the father-son team became hooked. They decided they needed to plant grapes.




Loving Cup Vineyard and Winery

The 150-acre family farm had plenty of room to plant vineyards. Researching the grapes grown in Virginia posed a problem, the reliance of chemicals to spray to keep the vines from harm’s way. Werner and Karl explored organic vineyards and the types of vines that could flourish just using organic sprays and following organic principles. They decided to plant hybrids that are more disease resistant. Currently the four-acre vineyards have Marquette, Cayuga, Corot Noir, Vidal and some red grape varieties. Organic sprays are used in the vineyards, and are approved as organic by QCS (Quality Certification Services). Another technique to help the vineyards is to keep the area biologically diverse. By encouraging beneficial insects, it is difficult for destructive insects to get a foothold.

Karl notes that “we put the way we grow grapes ahead of the way we make wine. Wine is a bonus. We take care of the vineyard in a particular way.”

Loving Cup Wines

Loving Cup Vineyard and WineryLoving Cup White 2016 was a blend of Cayuga, Vidal Blanc and three trial varieties (Aromella, Bianca, and St. Pepin). The wine was a light yellow color. The aroma was floral and offered peach notes. The taste included notes of daisies, honeysuckle and peach. The finish was crisp and fruity. This wine was refreshing. Pairing suggestions included mild Asian cuisine, chicken, shellfish and pasta.

Dudley Nose Rosé 2016, organically grown grapes and organically processed, was named Dudley referring to any dog born with a pink nose that stays pink. The wine had 11 g/L of residual sugar. The wine was a blend of Corot Noir and Marquette. The color was a dark reddish orange. The wine offered an aroma and taste of strawberry. The finish was crisp and refreshing. This is a 3P wine, good for use on a patio, porch or pool. Consider pairing this wine with a rocking chair on the porch. A $2 donation for each bottle of Dudley Nose Rosé sold goes to Nelson County’s SPCA - Almost Home Pet Adoption Center.

Loving Cup Vineyard and WineryThe 2015 Sweet Red Reserve was produced with 100% Marquette. The wine was a translucent red color with a pink hue. The aroma was of dark fruits. The taste was slightly sweet with cherry and blackberry notes.

Tellurian Red 2014 was produced with Corot Noir and a splash of Arandell. The residual sugar was .65% (6.5 g/L). The wine was a dark opaque ruby color. The aroma was of dark fruits. The taste included notes of cherries, blackberries, and leather. The wine was medium to full-bodied and had medium tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity with baking spice notes.

Sun Grape was produced with an unnamed grape variety developed by University of Florida. The 2016 year was a challenging growing season in Virginia. Karl wrote, "We were given this fruit by a horticulturalist in Orange County who has 2 acres of the variety that he is growing for propagation." The grower gave some grape vines to try out in Virginia and some grapes. The Sun Grape 2016, with .3% (3 g/L) of residual sugar, was produced with this unnamed grape and a splash of Loving Cup Marquette and Corot Noir. The wine was a red color with a pink hue. The wine offered light red berry fruit aromas. The taste was of raspberry and some blackberry. The body was light to medium. There were mild tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Loving Cup Red 2015 was a blend of Corot Noir and Marquette.The wine was a translucent ruby color with a dark pink hue. The aroma was of dark red fruits. The taste included notes of cherries and baking spices. The wine was medium-bodied with mild tannins. The finish was fruity and spicy. Pairing suggestions included Italian cuisine, red sauces and grilled tofu.

Just before leaving the tasting room, we tried the Sangria. The Sangria was fruity and refreshing. The Sangria is also available by the growler.

Add extra time to your schedule to stay at Loving Cup Winery to enjoy a glass of wine on the porch. If the weather is warm, you may want to opt for a glass of the refreshing Sangria. Bring a picnic basket to enjoy with the wine; or perhaps purchase cheese and meats available in the refrigerator at the tasting room.

Loving Cup Vineyard & Winery
3340 Sutherland Road
North Garden, Virginia 22959

GPS: N37º 57.1207’ W78º 41.1891’



Article written September 2017.

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