We always have fun making the multiple variety blends like Five Forks and Foothills. Both wines are made from vineyard blocks that produce fruit that stands in contrast to how we are told red wine or white wine should be. Over several vintages, we have noticed that Foothills inherently embraces classical Virginia vintages, even to the point in riper years, we find ourselves blending towards aromatics and a palate weight that could even be considered refreshing. While we typically blend a small bit of Petit Manseng into this red blend, 2022 is unique in that we utilized Petit Manseng to a greater extent, at final blending. We have always considered Foothills a “Bordeaux-ish” blend, with Petit Verdot being used at much higher percentages, but allowing for a lot more play using other varietals, like Petit Manseng. It is this non-committal approach to blending that makes Foothills such a unique and vibrant wine.
2022 was an eventful vintage for Early Mountain, with climatic events varying significantly from site to site.
Early spring, we experienced few frost events, escaping significant fruit damage. Throughout spring and into summer, we saw typical showers, which thankfully cleared up around bloomtime, returning shortly after, resulting in a bit more of a rainy season than 2021 experienced.. As the season progressed, we saw greater variability in rainfall depending on site, throughout the state. The late season rains, leading to harvest were also accompanied by notable drying, and at times, significant diurnal shifts, which allowed for balanced vineyards to fully ripen prior to seeing the remnants of Hurricane Ian.