I will certainly lend my endorsement to Brix and Columns Vineyards. If you have not been or, heaven forbid, not heard of this winery, make it a point to get over there. After you do, please let me know what you think.
Owner(s): Stephanie and Steve Pence
Winemaker: Michael Shaps
Steven and his wife Stephanie opened the winery in April of 2017 along with the release of seven Brix and Columns wines. The couple works with Michael Shaps, who is both consultant and winemaker. Production currently stands at about 1000 cases annually with a long-term goal of between 3000 and 5000 cases.
Overall, the experience was first rate. The tasting room was well staffed and the wine steward who poured my tasting was able to talk about all of the offerings and wine in general. I do think that the wine country feel will improve as the vines mature, but that will only improve a view that is already spectacular. The tasting room looks across the valley toward Massanutten Mountain. It is a beautiful venue.
There are currently eight acres under vines, but they are not yet producing fruit. Shaps is helping source grapes from around the Commonwealth, so that the tasting room can begin pouring wine. The hope is to eventually expand that acreage to 15 or even 20 and produce exclusively estate wine. Steven also discussed to potential for producing wine on the property, but these are still early days for Brix and Columns.
When I stopped in, I had an opportunity to taste the Brix and Columns offerings. With Michael Shaps making the wine, it goes without saying that everything on the menu was of excellent quality. I sampled three well-balanced whites that included a Chardonnay, Viognier and an aromatic blend of Vidal, Traminette, Viognier and Petit Manseng. The single-varietal Viognier really stood out. The stone fruit notes stood out but did not overpower the acidity in this extremely well crafted wine.
The wines are made by Michael Shops.
Before moving on to the reds, there was a very nice rosé made from a field blend of seven different grapes. The tiny bit of residual sugar brought out the hints strawberry making it a great wine to accompany a light meal.
The reds included a Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and a blend. All were exceptional wines, but the Cab Franc was just off the charts. It was a lighter bodied wine with a lot of red fruit, structured tannins and a hint of spice without any green notes. It is a very nice example of that varietal.
There is a very Jeffersonian vibe to the estate buildings.
Advocating for under-appreciated wine regions in the Eastern United States
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Brix and Columns Vineyards Profile
Written by Brian Aug 6, 2017
Just east of Harrisonburg and only minutes from Massanutten Resort is one of the Shenandoah Valley’s newest wineries. When approaching the 161-acre estate that is home to Brix and Columns Vineyards, you will likely be struck by the Jeffersonian appearance of the buildings. That resemblance is not lost on owner and University of Virginia (UVA) alum Steve Pence. It is intended as a tribute to UVA, which is Jefferson’s university.
Looking from the tasting room toward Massanutten Mountain.
1501 Dave Berry Rd, McGaheysville, VA 22840
Open to Public
Wed-Sun 12 to 6