And then there’s our other new venture, our very own Vineyards.
Thanks to our friend and neighbor Dean Gruenberg (who has his own Castle Gruenberg Vineyards and Winery just around the corner from us on Meander Run Road and set to open in August), we now have nearly 2 acres of grapes growing here at Meander.
The vineyard actually started last year with planting of a half-acre each of Cabernet Franc (a staple Virginia varietal) and Petite Manseng (our favorite white varietal) at the top of the field to right of the driveway. There is fruit on the vines and Dean says we’ll make about 30 bottles from them this year. But it will be 4 years before we will be able to produce the quality of grapes we want.
Just planted in the field to the left of the drive is an acre of Crimson Cabernet, a brand new hybrid cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Norton. This is an extremely new hybrid and we are, to our knowledge, only the second vineyard in the state to plant this grape (Dennis Horton at Horton Vineyards and Winery is the other) that has the taste properties of Cab Sauv with the disease-resistance, hardiness of Virginia’s native grape, Norton.
Thanks to Dean for all his hard work of planting and maintaining the vines and thanks to Ron Kilby, our extraordinary gardener, for keeping the rows tidy. What a beautiful site as you approach The Inn to see grapes growing!
We’re thinking of naming the new vineyards Elim Vineyards which comes from the original name of this property in 1726. When the plantation was patented by Col. Joshua Fry, he named it Elim which is an oasis mentioned in the Bible.