Promoting wine tourism opportunities in the Eastern United States
Owner(s): Chris Pearmund
Winemaker: Chris Pearmund
Seating inside the tasting room.
At the Pearmund tasting bar.
During my visit, I was fortunate enough to meet Chris Pearmund. Following a brief conversation, he told me to grab my glass and follow him. I gathered my things as he disappeared into the barrel room. I spent the next hour tasting wines and listening to Chris expound upon his winemaking philosophy and details of his career. Keep your ear to the ground. We're going to hear more about Chris Pearmund.
Even when I like all of a winery's offerings, I typically find two or three wines that stand out and focus on them. Pearmund challenges my typical format, because every one of the wines was genuinely exceptional. I'm not exaggerating. I guess that's a good problem to have, but I'm forced to chose from a field of crazy-good wines.
Among the white varietals, the Petit Manseng, Viognier and Riesling are all medal winners. The newly released 2011 Old Vine Chardonnay is produced from the oldest Chardonnay vines in the state and hasn't won anything yet, but almost certainly will. All are incredible, so you can see why I'm conflicted. I will go out on a limb and say that the Viognier was unlike any that I've tasted in Virginia. It starts out in stainless steel and then spends eight months in neutral French oak and Acacia Wood. Acacia is a hard wood that imparts no tannins with a result that the quality of the grapes is uncorrupted. It's an absolutely fabulous wine with a big mouth feel, citrus notes, perfect balance and a finish unlike any I've ever encountered in a Viogneir. Don't take my word for it, you've got to try this wine for yourself.
A few bottles of Pearmund wine.
The Pearmund tasting room.
The reds on the list included a single 2007 and the rest were 2010s. Great years and all are equally great wines. The 2010s included a Cab Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Ameritage (Bordeaux blend) and an Ameritage Reserve. All are medal winners. The 2007 Collaboration is the collective effort of Pearmund Cellars and Kendall Farms in Walla Walla, Washington. As I tasted the reds, I kept thinking I'd found a favorite, but they just got better and better. This was possibly the result of too much wine, but it wasn't palate fatigue. Perhaps it was some enchantment. Maybe each was legitimately better than the one before. Whatever. I will say that the finish on the 2010 Ameritage really stood out. It's a beautifully balanced wine with lots of black fruit followed by the longest velvety finish. You could get lost in that wine. You could get lost in any of the wines. All are wonderfully crafted.
A reader's poll conducted by Virginia Wine Lover just recognized Pearmund Cellars for Best Tasting Room. Melissa poured my wines for the conventional part of the tasting. If she is a typical wine steward, it's easy to understand how Pearmund earned that honor. She has only been with the winery for about a year, but she seemed to know everything. As we worked through the tasting list, Melissa expounded upon the characteristics of each wine and adding interesting detail. It was the kind of tasting experience I'm always looking for. Two thumbs up.
I was recently at a gathering of friends and someone commented that they'd never tasted a Virginia wine that they liked. I tried hard to disguise my contempt. I'm not sure what she'd been drinking, but Pearmund topped my list of recommendations. For an excellent tasting experience and some of the best wines in the Commonwealth, this should be on your list. A visit to Pearmund Cellars is a must for anyone serious about exploring Virginia wine.
Open to Public
Daily 10 to 6
Pearmund Cellars Profile
Written by Brian Dec 12, 2013
The Route 29 corridor is a traffic-choked artery lined with assorted businesses. Pearmund Cellars is only a mile and a half from the highway, but it might as well be on a different planet. The area around Pearmund is peaceful and bucolic. It's difficult to imagine all that congestion that is so close by.
Chris Pearmund purchased Merriweather Vineyards, which became the site for Pearmund Cellars. The property has fifteen acres under vine, the oldest of which date back thirty-six years to the earliest days of Virginia viticulture. Additional grapes are sourced from a number of vineyards around the Commonwealth, which allows the winery to produce about 8000 cases per year. This means that Pearmund is on the high end of what is considered a "boutique" winery. I must say that I've only seen this kind of attention to detail and consistent wine quality in much smaller artisan operations. This is the reason that one hears about Chris Pearmund everywhere in Northern Virginia. He has a sort of rock-star status in winemaking circles. He has been involved in every aspect of the wine industry and has made wine for at least a half dozen wineries.
6190 Georgetown Road; Broad Run, Virginia 20137
email: See website