Summary: Lovingston Winery, a family run winery, is located about 45 minutes from Charlottesville, Virginia. This is a small boutique winery. Anyone planning to visit the winery should make an appointment. Most of the wines are sold wholesale. It is important to the owners that they make a consistent product and help people increase their awareness of Virginia wines and wines on the east coast.
The journey from Charlottesville, Virginia to Lovingston Winery is delightful. The area is covered with country scenes and rolling hills.
Ed and Janet Puckett are the owners of Lovingston Winery. The owners had lived in Georgia where they maintained a vineyard but discovered that Georgia is not ideal for the growing grapes they wanted to grow. Eventually they decided to move to the Charlottesville area of Virginia where Ed had attended the University of Virginia. Stephanie and her brother also attended UVA. At the winery, we met Stephanie who is assistant winemaker and marketer. Ed is the vineyard manager. Riaan Rossouw is the head winemaker.
The white winery building is located near the bottom of a hill. Looking up the hill, the top of a vineyard can be seen. This vineyard is known as Josie’s Knoll Vineyard. Josie had owned the home on the property in the early 1900s. Other vineyards are on the winery site. In 2003 the first five acres of vines were planted. This included four acres of Merlot and one acre of Cabernet Franc. The winery facility was built in 2005. In 2008, they added one acre of Pinotage. In 2010, the Pucketts plan to enlarge the onsite vineyards by adding 1½ acres of Seyval Blanc, ¼ acre of Petite Verdot and ½ acre of Chardonnay.
The winery building was designed to take advantage of gravity. Rather than pumping the grapes to move them from one spot to another, the winemakers use gravity to help move the grapes, juice and wine. Currently, barrels were on the higher level of the facility. Wine in the barrels was undergoing malolactic fermentation. Stainless steel tanks are on the bottom level of the winery. There is a mid level on one of the sides of the winery. The area has a small tasting counter. Visitors have good views of the working areas of the winery.
According to Stephanie, the goal of the winery is make good wine consistently. Currently the winery produces 2,000 cases of wine, most of which are sold wholesale.
Petite Menseng 2008 had a residual sugar of three percent. The aroma had apple and floral nuances. The taste was of a tropical fruit salad and apples. The crisp finish balanced the sweetness.
Pinotage 2007 was a dark purple. The taste was full bodied with cherry notes. The finish was very fruity with tannins. Cabernet Franc 2007 was a dark purple with an herbal aroma especially pepper notes. The taste was of dark fruit while the finish was fruity with tannins. Rotunda Red 2007 was a dark purple/black color. This wine was produced with Chambourcin and Tannat. The aroma had raisin nuances while the taste was of plums and raisins. The finish had fruit notes with bold tannins. Merlot 2006 was a dark purple. The aroma was earthy and the taste had nuances of dark fruit. The finish was of dark fruit and tannins. Merlot Reserve 2006 was a dark purple and the aroma was earthy. The taste was of dark fruit and the finish was fruity with tannins.
When you plan a visit to Lovingston Winery, call ahead for an appointment.
885 Freshwater Cove Lane
Lovingston, Virginia 22949
GPS: N37º 43.651’ W78º 54.805’
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