Advocating for under-appreciated wine regions in the Eastern United States
The Virginia Grape
The two Brent Manor wines with the most substance were the single-varietal Chambourcin and the Chambourcin-Cabernet Franc blend. The Chambourcin in particular illustrated Jorge’s skill. That full-bodied red was complex, with rich fruit and hints of tobacco. Based on the quality of these two wines, I am very interesting to see what Jorge can do with his own estate fruit.
I really encourage you to get out and support Brent Manor and I strongly recommend visiting soon. I am certain that you will love the view. On top of that, Jorge and Tracie are extremely enthusiastic, friendly and welcoming. Finally, the lineup of wines is certainly worthy of exploration. So what are you waiting for? After you stop in, please let me know what you think.
A bottle of the single-varietal Chambourcin.
Winemaker: Jorge Raposo
There was a Sauvignon Blanc made from Washington grapes that was quite good. Two Brent Manor summer wines were made from Virginia fruit. A very fruity blend of Traminette, Niagara and Viognier displayed the grape juice aromas of Niagara, but the palate was not dominated by that varietal. The Chambourcin-Viognier blend is best served chilled and seems appropriate as a picnic wine.
Written by Brian Aug 7, 2017
Last time I stopped at Brent Manor Vineyards, I found owners Jorge and Tracie Raposo working behind the bar. The grand opening had not yet taken place. There were obvious signs of continuing construction around the property and there was little infrastructure beyond the tasting room.
Seating offers a view of the stage and the distant mountains.
The Raposos spent time looking at several properties before settling on their current location in 2009. Land was cleared, grapes were planted and the tasting room was built. They opened their doors for business in late 2015, but they are forced to source all of their fruit. Predation, primarily from deer, has decimated their vines. Until they are living permanently on the site, Jorge does not anticipate success in the vineyard.
The tasting room at Brent Manor.
In any case, they are pouring wine. Last time I visited, there were only two Brent Manor wines on the menu, so the tasting was rounded out with Gabrielle Rausse and Portuguese wines. This time there were six Brent Manor wines and three from Portugal round out the lineup. All of the wines are available for purchase in the tasting room.
Jorge grew up on Portugal in a region where nearly everyone grew grapes and made wine. So winemaking is simply coded into his DNA. I found all of the Brent Manor wines to be well crafted, but Jorge is limited to the Virginia fruit available for purchase.
If we fast-forward a couple of years to my most recent visit, Jorge and Tracie were still behind the bar, but there were many other signs of change. Seating on the hillside takes advantage of the stunning mountain views. A small stage has been completed at the bottom of the hill to accommodate music. The porch is completed and offers outdoor seating and the wine program has matured.
Jorge and Tracie Raposo behind the tasting bar.