AWG Correspondent

Brian Yost

DelFosse Vineyards Photos

DelFosse Vineyards Review

Regions: Monticello AVA, Virginia

Reviewed: October 30, 2013 by Brian Yost
Published: November 5, 2013

Traveling south from Charlottesville, Virginia on Route 29, you will cross the Nelson County line. You must then remain alert as you look for the state-posted winery sign. After passing the sign, you will turn onto Hickory Creek Road and head west for what seems like a long time. The road will turn from pavement to gravel and you will periodically see a sign telling you that you’re almost there. Keep going. Be patient. DelFosse Vineyards and Winery is worth the drive.

Claude and Genevieve DelFosse tried to carve out a space that would be reminiscent of France, and the terraced vineyards do give it a European feel. The French vibe is obvious, but there’s much more going on. DelFosse occupies a site that was originally Virginia farmland surrounded by National Forest. The 330-acre parcel has room to explore. The trailhead for a five-mile hike is located on the hillside near a historic cabin that has been restored and is available as a weekend rental. At the bottom of the hill, near the tasting room, is a pond with space for a picnic or a quiet stroll. The grounds have an idyllic quality.

Inside the tasting room, there is a small tasting bar at one end, and the remainder of the space is filled with tables. There’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a glass or bottle of your favorite DelFosse wine. There’s also lots of room for the numerous food-inspired events that are hosted throughout the year. Genevieve’s culinary talent is at the heart of all the food offerings. At least once each month, both sweet and savory French crepes are offered. There are frequent food and wine pairing events and periodic formal dinners; all are paired with the DelFosse wines. I’ve attended at least one of each event, so I can attest to their quality. A variety of other events dot the winery’s calendar, but if food is involved, you should make it a point to visit.

Although it’s reason enough, I can’t have you driving all the way out there just to sample the food.

There are many things that keep me going back the DelFosse, but chief among them is the wine. The premier Virginia red varietals, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, are standouts and display all the classic qualities of those grapes. I’m also a big fan of he Cabernet Sauvignon, but as I was writing this review, I learned that the newly released 2007 Meritage was awarded gold in the Governor’s Cup. I’ve tried it, and it is definitely medal worthy. So DelFosse produces excellent reds, what about the white wines?

The New Zealand-style Sauvignon Blanc is exceptional and shows all the classic citrus notes you might expect. The Reserve d’Oriane is a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Petit Manseng. It’s a pretty, complex white with bright citrus notes and bit of lemon in the finish. My favorite by far, however, is the Viognier. This is Virginia's state grape, and DelFosse produces one of the best I’ve encountered. It has the classic peach on the nose and in the mouth, but it really opens up on the palate and has a beautiful finish. It’s a great summer wine, but I can drink it in any season.

As you can tell, I’m a huge fan. DelFosse seems a bit remote, but it’s really only about 30 minutes from Charlottesville. You should definitely keep an eye on the calendar and try to time your visit to coincide with an event, but if you can’t, stop in anyway. Explore the property and try the wine. I may see you there!

Address & Contact Information: 500 DelFosse Winery Lane Faber, Virginia 22938. Telephone: 434-263-6100, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Wed-Sun 11:00-5:00 and by appt..

Overall Rating:  

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