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Mediterranean Cellars
by
K.L. Sullivan

Driving along many country roads, we made our way to Mediterranean Cellars, a family owned winery. Although they opened in 2003, the owners have been making wine for forty plus years. At Mediterranean Cellars the emphasis is on old world culture, wine and the wine experience. Louis Papadopoulos started making wine in Greece in 1961. Mediterranean Cellars is located in the Virginia countryside; the Papadopoulos family produces 41 tons of grapes.

As one walks from the parking area to the building, there are several tables and chairs set outside on the patio. An outdoor fire stove adds to the ambience of the area. The view of grapevines and countryside invites you to buy a glass of wine and take it to a table outside to enjoy. The front of the winery is made of wood and the tasting room looks warm and cozy from outside. As we were about to enter, Mrs. Papadopoulos was at the door and invited us into the tasting room.

 

The inside of Mediterranean’s tasting room is as warm and friendly as it looks from the outside. We were fortunate that Mr. and Mrs. Papadopoulos were available to talk to about Mediterranean’s wine history. Mr. Papadopoulos had us sample various wines and emphasized the uniqueness of the wines he produces. He is very concerned with the quality of the wine he produces. “I want every wine to have its own individual grape. I want to make my wine…the best.” At Mediterranean Cellars the emphasis is also on the experience of the wine tasting. While we tasted wine, two different but excellent cheeses were put out along with crackers. As we discussed the various wines they produce at Mediterranean Cellars, the word “recipe” was frequently used. We could really connect with the idea of making wine with a “recipe.” (At the same time, the quality of the grape and the area in which it is grown must be taken into account.)

We were invited to see their barrel room and the tank room. The barrel room also has wood walls. The Vidal Blanc is fermented in stainless steel tanks while Belleview Blanc is fermented in oak barrels. Rechina is a Greek wine and Mediterranean Cellars is one of two places in the world that produces this wine. It was recommended to compare a bottle of Rechina from Mediterranean Cellars with a bottle of Rechina from Greece. Rechina is one of the best selling wines. Belleview Blanc is also a big seller. Romance is a blend of four different grapes.

The tasting counter is located near the door, so it is very easy for the newcomer to be greeted and asked to participate in a tasting. The friendliness and ambience is what makes visiting wineries so wonderful. Three tables are set in the tasting room where one can sit and enjoy a glass of wine.

If a group of ten comes for a tasting, that tasting can take place in the barrel room where there are several small tables. This might be just the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion. If you decide to do this, please call ahead. We were fortunate to be offered a tasting from a barrel.

The wines available for tasting on the day of our visit included: Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, Belleview Blanc, Viognier, Rechina, Sweet Lucia, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Romance and Sweet Romance. The Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin are made with 100% of the varietal.

 

Mediterranean Cellars
Warrenton, Virginia

 

 

 


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