Rockbridge Vineyard is the fruition of Shepherd Rouse's dream to make fine wine in his native state of Virginia. As a boy in 1963 in his hometown of Williamsburg, Rouse found a round green glass bottle seal with the date 1718 embossed on it. The areaeological expert in residence at Colonial Williamsburg at the time, Ivor Noel-Hume identified it as the second oldest dated wine bottle seal yet u... Read more
Rockbridge Vineyard is the fruition of Shepherd Rouse's dream to make fine wine in his native state of Virginia. As a boy in 1963 in his hometown of Williamsburg, Rouse found a round green glass bottle seal with the date 1718 embossed on it. The areaeological expert in residence at Colonial Williamsburg at the time, Ivor Noel-Hume identified it as the second oldest dated wine bottle seal yet unearthed in Virginia. Rouse donated it for the Colonial Williamsburg collection. Ten years later on a spring semester abroad in Germany as a Washington and Lee University geology student, Rouse was intrigued by wine. Three years later, back in Germany on a Fulbright scholarship, he decided to learn how, and then to produce fine wine in Virginia. In 1978 Rouse moved to California and served an extended apprenticeship that included earning a Masters degree in Enology at the University of California at Davis and work at Schramsberg, Chateau St. Jean and Carneros Creek Wineries. He returned to Virginia in 1986 and began to learn the ropes here as winemaker at Montdomaine Cellars (his 1990 Cabernet Sauvignon won the 1993 Virginia Governor's Cup), before starting his own winery. In 1988 Rouse purchased a farm in northern Rockbridge county, in the Shenandoah Valley at higher elevation than most Virginia vineyards and planted five acres of grapes. He has complemented his own planting with grapes grown by other top-quality growers at selected locations in Virginia. From this palette, Rouse is able to produce a full spectrum of wines to match a broad range of individual tastes. By processing each wine minimally and employing traditional, small batch methods, the full intensity and terrior of each wine is captured in Rouse's winemaking. His interest in Native American culture and Geology has led to the creation of two of Rockbridge's most popular wines. Tuscarora White and Tuscarora Red are named after the Tuscarora branch of the Iroquis Federation and the hard sandstone formation which forms the prominent ridges of the western Valley of Virginia. V d'Or, Rockbridge's cyro-concentrated Vidal ice wine rivals the best dessert wines from France, Germany and California. Other French-hybrid wines have local interest names: St. Mary's Blanc, a dry, barrel-fermented Vidal Blanc, is named after the lovely waterfall in the St. Mary's wilderness area, a favorite hiking spot 7 miles from the winery; Lexington and Concord was chosen for the name of Rockbridge's sweet Concord wine - Lexington is 18 miles distant. The newest member of the Rockbridge line, a semi-dry rose made from Concord, Seyval and Vidal is named after a famous bullfrog "Jeremiah", frogs being another of Rouse's favorite childhood pursuits. Read less
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Food Pairings for Rockbridge Vineyard St. Mary's Blanc
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