North Gate Vineyard

March 2012

St. Patrick's Day | Vineyard Update | Winemaker's Update

St. Patrick's Day 3/17, 1-5.  Music by Doug Bell.  Irish-inspired cheesecake ($6/slice)

Frederick Wine House Tasting
3/17, 1-5.

Music: Deane Kern 3/24, 2-5pm

Music: Moon Music 3/31, 2-5pm

Closed for Easter 4/8
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Barrel Stacks
Barrels of 2011 Reds


Farmers Markets
We continue to attend several markets in the area, throughout the winter, including:

Falls Church Market, Saturdays, 9am-12pm

Purcellville Community Market, Every other Saturday, 10am-1pm

Leesburg Market, Every other Saturday, 9am-12pm


What comes to mind when thinking about St. Patrick's Day?  When we were younger, it was all about leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold.  As we got older we realized the true meaning of St. Patrick's Day - an excuse to drink beer!  Since we can't actually serve beer at North Gate, we decided to put it in our food! Shepherdstown Sweet Shop Bakery makes a reduction of Genuine Guinness Irish Stout, combines it with chocolate toffee pieces, and swirls in into their classic cheesecake, complete with a chocolate cookie crust.  Real cream cheese, sugar, whole eggs and pure flavorings make this a truly special treat!  We are offering slices of this fabulous cheesecake on Saturday for $6, while supplies last.  I'm imagining the Chambourcin would pair nicely with this!


And while you're enjoying your cake, relax to the music of Doug Bell.  Although it's not specifically Irish music, he promised me he would learn a couple tunes appropriate for the day!

Vineyard Update
It is hard to believe that as we write this, it is 70 degrees out and it is 10PM in the evening!  Where did winter go?  It never showed up this year.  While we love the early warm weather, it makes us a little anxious when it comes to the vineyard.   If this warm weather continues, we will definitely have bud break early this year; maybe the first week in April.  Once our vineyard starts growing this spring, it becomes vulnerable to any cold weather or frost that might come along in April or early May.  We have been getting the vineyard pruned in anticipation of an early bud break.  For our younger vines, this means making decisions on which canes to lay down for "cordons" and which to prune back.  On the mature vines, we simply cut back the old canes to make room for the new growth that will hold the grapes for this year's vintage.  We should be done pruning by mid-March so that should get us ahead of any early bud break.

We are also expanding the vineyard by another 2 acres.  We are planting Petit Manseng this spring and in a couple of years will source our own Petit Manseng for an estate wine.  We may even have enough to make a dessert wine!  We'll keep you posted on our planting progress!
Winemaker's Update
The challenging 2011 harvest is progressing nicely in the winery.  We are getting ready to bottle our 2011 Viognier, Chardonnay, and Apple wines, as well as our 2010 Roussanne.  The aromas and flavors of these white wines are quite good and compare to any in the last few years.  On our vineyard site, we have become accustomed to our early ripening Viognier which means we had some nice ripe Viognier fruit that was harvested before the torrential rains of this Fall.  Our Chardonnay growers in Round Hill, Jack and Cindy Lowther of Wild Meadow Vineyard, did a great job getting their Chardonnay harvested in a tough fall season with very nice sugar levels, well-balanced acidity and good ripeness.  We hope you can try these wonderful 2011 whites in our tasting room starting mid-May.  As always, we'll see how they progress once in the bottle.  As for the 2011 reds, we finished racking them out of the barrel, cleaning the barrels, and putting the reds back in the barrel for further aging over the summer.  So far, all indications with our tastings show that our 2011 reds are on track and should continue our legacy of producing high quality, good value Virginia wines!  Tune in to our Facebook page where we regularly post photos and the status of our winemaking activities!
Private and Corporate Event Rentals
After a year of having the tasting room up and running, it finally feels like we're getting into a great routine, and actually have some time to work on setting up some things that you have been asking for, like our wine club.  We also recently completed our research for our event rentals.  We have many requests from people interested in renting our space for birthday parties, rehearsal dinners, or meetings. Read more about renting North Gate for private functions or corporate meetings.

Thanks for your continued support. Hope to see you soon!




Mark and Vicki Fedor
North Gate Vineyard