I know this may be one of the most over used quotations, but it fits so perfectly that I can’t resist. For some unknown reason I have procrastinated visiting Delfosse Winery in Nelson County, but after recently running into Yvette Okros, Tasting Room Manager for Delfosse, we decided to make it a priority. With another winery also in mind, we travelled south on 151, the Rockfish Gap Turnpike, toward Wintergreen. We veered off at highway 6 in the direction of Delfosse Winery . Our GPS steered us left onto Old Roberts Mountain Road. Surely, this wasn’t the way most people visit Delfosse! Gravel road, rutted in many places and traversing over the crest of a small mountain? Definitely this was the road less travelled by!
Arriving at our destination, we found a breath-taking Virginia valley flanked by European-style terraced vineyards. We were warmly welcomed by Yvette, who ushered us in and introduced us to the owner, Claude Delfosse. Yvette arranged a table for us to sample wines and get to know Claude a bit. It was nice to have the opportunity to casually hang out with Claude and ask questions about wine making at our leisure.
Claude Delfosse, a Fulbright Scholar, decided to “take the road less travelled by” himself when he veered away from his professional career of Aeronautical Engineering. French by birth, he chose to make the U.S. his home and settle in Virginia . He was relaxed and pleasant, sipping wine with us and expounding on the attributes of some of his wines. He lights up with a big smile when reflecting on some of his award-winning wines. I really liked the way Claude named some of the wines after his family members. One stand-out wine, Reserve d’ Oriane, was named after his daughter. A complex blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of Viognier and Petit Manseng. The Merlot was excellent also, but Claude seemed most proud of the 2006 Meritage , a Double Gold Medal winner at the Monticello Wine Cup! We clearly agreed! We enjoyed homemade crepes along with our wine for an added treat!
We closed out the day and headed out to explore the grounds. Not the best day, cloudy and overcast before bud break, so no lush vines to photograph. The winery sits at the foot of a hill across from a pond with a quaint bridge for photo ops. A generous elegant patio area expands the dining space outdoors and features a whimsical frog sculpture fountain at the center. This must be a wonderful spot in warm weather and we plan to spend some time here enjoying wine with friends in the Spring and Summer!
Perched above the pond and winery and just below the Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is a precious log cabin surrounded by perennial gardens and a flagstone patio. What a heavenly spot for a weekend getaway! The cabin is perfect for a couple and you can invite friends or host a gathering from this vantage point. During the day, take advantage of the miles of hiking trails surrounding the property.
I can only say that I’m sorry I have missed out on this winery in the past and will rectify that in the future!
I highly recommend the drive south from Charlottesville on 29 with Delfosse as your final destination and enjoy the hospitality of Mr. Delfosse, Yvette and Dave ( our wine server who was knowledgeable and unintimidated while pouring in front of his employer!).