Rosemont of Virginia Winery
Summary: The Rosemont of Virginia Winery was developed to preserve the Rose family farmland which has been in the family since 1858. The Rosemont farm is one of Virginia’s Century Farms. Today the winery offers a variety of traditional wines produced by the 5th and 6th generation family. This is a Southern Virginia winery with a wonderful past and a bright future.
The Rosemont of Virginia Winery tasting room offers a delightful experience. The tasting room and winery built in 2006 is located on a historic farm property. The tasting room areas occupy the first and second floors while the winery is located below ground. The combination of white columns in the front, red brick chimney and red roof add to the sense that this building could have existed for decades. The two-story tasting room offers a large tasting counter with additional small tables.
The tasting counter of dark polished wood is highlighted with the backbar of the same dark wood. Small shelves showcase the Rose family crest and a framed Virginia Century certificate. The room is enhanced with the re-use of old wood from tobacco barns and an old courthouse. The old wood is seen in the beams, flooring and stairs. A double-sided fireplace is shared by the large front room and the tasting room. Throughout the area numerous local artisan crafts are displayed. Adjacent to the main tasting room, a smaller room has several antique tables with chairs for small gatherings.
The second floor of the facility has numerous round tables for seating eight. The white walls are decorated with original works of local artists. A small deck overlooks the main entrance of the winery.
Inside the tasting room, we met Justin and Aubrey Rose and Justin’s father, Stephen Rose, who brainstormed the Rosemont winery. Aubrey Rose is the marketing manager and said, “We are the next generation of farming.” Stephen was the first Rose to return to the old farm property and decide to plant vineyards. Justin is the winemaker. All three of the Roses were eager to share their story of Rosemont. Stephen Rose emphasized the history of the farm and the aspects of the large tasting room that included the re-use of old tobacco barns and wood for the floor joists from the old Brunswick Country Court House.
History of Rosemont
The origins of the Rose family go back to the Scottish Rose clan. Latanius Rose was originally from Brunswick County, Virginia. It was Latanius who purchased the large farm of 458 acres in 1858. Early on, the farm grew commodity crops that included orchards and tobacco fields. Latanius was a medical doctor during the Civil War. As a medical doctor he took his oath seriously. The family story notes that Latanius was captured by the Union forces. Upon learning that he was a doctor, the army forced Latanius to treat a severely injured Union Sergeant. The mansion on the Rosemont property, which can be seen in the distance, was where the doctor nursed the soldier back to health in a room that is now known as the Union Room. Eventually the army decided to return Latanius' satchel to him. The owners commented that because of this history, they wanted to have a place to come, slow down and tell a story.
Eventually the farm turned from the traditional orchards and tobacco crops to a dairy farm. Then for 30 years the farm went dormant as the family members spread their wings to other occupations. Upon anticipating his retirement, Stephen Rose focused on returning to the farm and doing something with the family land. After a considerable amount of research and contacting Lucie Morton about a vineyard, Stephen planted a vineyard in 2003. Between 2003 and 2004 he planted 22 acres. As of 2017, there are 24 acres of vineyards that include 12 varieties. Lucie Morton continues as the vineyard consultant. Grape varieties growing on the farm include Chardonal, Pinot Gris, Traminette, Vidal Blanc, Petit Verdot, Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin. The entire grape harvest is kept for use at the Rosemont winery.
The Rose family bottled their first wine on the 150th anniversary of the farm. Justin Rose is the sixth generation on the property. While attending UVA, during the summers Justin worked in the vineyard. Eventually Lucie Morton took Justin to Napa where he worked a harvest. Justin decided to stay in Napa while earning an oenology certificate. He returned to Rosemont in 2007.
From a balcony behind the tasting area, visitors can view parts of the winery production area.
Virginia White 2014 was a pale yellow color. This wine was produced with a blend of three white grapes. Blending varieties were Vidal, Traminette and Chardonel. The aroma reminded one of tropical fruit. The wine was light-bodied and crisp. The finish was long. Traminette 2015 was a light yellow color. The wine was aromatic. The taste offered a fruity taste of white fruit with a hint of perceived sweetness. The finish was long and fruity. Lineage 2015 was a wine club member only wine. The pale yellow wine offered an aroma of chalk and citrus. This dry wine had notes of fruit including sweet apple. Lineage is a food-friendly wine.
Virginia Red was a translucent light ruby color. This was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chambouricn, and Syrah. This wine is also available as a box wine. The wine offered notes of cherries and violets. The wine was medium-full bodied with mild tannins. There was a bit of leather and the wine had a long aftertaste. Merlot 2013 was a translucent ruby color. The aroma was of black fruits. The wine offered a taste of cherries and some blackberries. This was a medium-full bodied wine with medium tannins. The finish was fruity yielding to baking spices.
Cabernet Franc 2014 was a translucent dark ruby color. The aroma was of dark fruits and spices. The taste had blackberry and some plum notes with cloves and cinnamon. The wine was full-bodied with medium bold tannins. While tasting this wine, it was noted that 2014 was a “wet year.” Kilravock 2013 was named for a castle in Scotland. This wine was a blend of Caberent Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The aroma was of dark fruit. The taste offered notes of plum, blackberries, blueberries, cloves and cinnamon. The wine was full-bodied with medium-bold tannins. The finish was fruity with a cocoa aftertaste.
Rosemont also produces a port-style wine. This wine was offered as a barrel tasting. It has been aging for five to seven years. It was produced with a blend of Merlot, Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauvignon and blueberries. This yummy wine offered notes of dried fruits and had no alcohol burn.
Events at Rosemont
Typically Rosemont has one event per month. They also offer special dinners and are available for weddings. An annual event at the winery is the Wine & Art Festival which includes numerous artists and craftsmen plus food, music, wine tastings and winery tours.
Rosemont of Virginia Winery offers a delightful experience for anyone who enjoys wine but also for those who appreciate history and preservation of the past. The winery is close to the tourist area of Lake Gaston where many of the vacationers will make their way to the beautiful Rosemont winery tasting room. While visiting Southern Virginia be sure to include a visit to Rosemont of Virginia Winery.
Rosemont of Virginia Winery
1050 Blackridge Road
La Crosse, Virginia 23950
GPS: N36º 35.473’ W78º 03.942’
Article written February 2017.
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