Terroir is the French term in wine used to describe the role geography, soil and climate of a certain place plays on a grape variety. To put simply, you either have it or you don’t. Glen Manor Vineyards, located in Front Royal, Virginia, certainly has it. Owner and winemaker Jeff White has turned his 4th generation family farm into one of the true gems in Virginia wine and has produced a noteworthy lineup of wines that showcase the true potential of the state. His mineral-driven Sauvignon Blanc is one of, if not the best, example from the state. The Hodder Hill and Vin Rouge red blends deliver razor-sharp focus and balance, challenging whether or not Viognier should be promoted as the states signature grape (another story for a different day).
Situated on the western flank of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the vines grow high on steep mountain slopes, in very deep and well drained rocky soils. Nearby mountains, ranging between 1400 and 3400 feet in elevation, surround the vineyards forming a “Glen”. The vineyards are comprised of Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot vines. A $5 tasting fee affords visitors the opportunity to taste what I consider to be some of the best wines the state has to offer. It’s difficult to choose a favorite.
Glen Manor is a special place. The kind of place you plan an entire trip around. Stressing quality over quantity and staying true to his farming roots, Jeff has built a winery that not only does the state proud, but makes me proud to pour Virginia wine. Cheers!