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Tarara Winery Making an Old Winery New Again with Artisan Wines

October 28, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Lifestyle, Vineyards No Comments

It has been 21 years since Tarara Winery first opened its doors as one of the pioneer wineries in Loudoun County. Since its grand opening, much has changed in Loudoun and in the whole wine industry world. Many wineries want to rest on the idea of being one of the first, and want to continue to make wine as they always have. At Tarara Winery that is where things are different.

The first 20 years at Tarara Winery gave a great foundation for what they are able to do today. For twenty years Tarara Winery acted as a favorite for many wine styles and some fabulous events. In 2007, the team at Tarara Winery decided to take those loyal patrons that had visited for 20 years and offer them some new angles to their winery. Tarara Winery has since then been remodeling itself to be new again.

The first change that was made was that they worked harder at understanding their vineyards and what grows well in each of the vineyards they are partnered with. With this knowledge they have changed their wine line up to include classic varietals that are showing the best qualities and working to define the vineyard. This started Tarara Winery’s Vineyard Designate wine series that showcases the best vineyards. Some of the standout vineyards and wine that are starting to get released are Nevaeh Red and White, Tranquility Red, and Honah Lee Red and White. Nevaeh Red is a blend using Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot in varying quantities per year, and the Nevaeh White is a charming blend of Viognier and Chardonnay with some Pinot Gris in select vintages. Tranquility Red is a powerful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat coming from a steep slope just outside of Purcellville. Lastly, the Honah Lee White is dominated by Viognier but some vintages will also be blended with Rousanne, Petit Manseng and Chardonnay, and from the high elevation steep south west facing slope in Orange, VA, the red is a rustic and massive blend of Petit Verdot and Tannat with Pinotage sometimes making an appearance. Ultimately the idea is to recognize some of the best vineyard sites in Virginia and showcase them with Tarara’s minimalist but precise winemaking style.

Although there will not be many wines at Tarara created for their variety, but rather the vineyard, there will still be some added selections to showcase Virginia as a whole. The blended wines simply mean that the wine may have come from multiple vineyards to show top varietals in Virginia or unique styles. The Cabernet Franc, Three Vineyards Chardonnay and Viognier are expressions of how the grape variety can do all over the Commonwealth.

Long Bomb and Charval are unique blends crafted to showcase a style and please many palates. The Long Bomb is a tribute wine Tarara Winery’s founder Whitie Hubert who always went for the big play. It is crafted to be big, bold, complex and approachable, much like Whitie and normally contains Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Tannat and Petit Verdot. The Charval is their aromatic crisp blend that is equally suited to enjoy any day of the week by blending Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Viognier into s slightly off-dry, but crisp palate.

In 2010 Tarara Winery also released their newest luxury line of wines called the Commonwealth Collection. The wines include CasaNoVA, SuperNoVA, and TerraNoVA and are Tarara’s benchmark wines for showcasing terroir in Northern Virginia. These wines have already been sold out and were rebottled August 2010. The winery is now accepting requests to be added to the waiting list for an allocation of the 2009
vintage, being first showcased as barrel samples on October 10, 2010.

All of these changes with the wines have come in a full package with the winery’s new philosophy. Gone are the days of large festivals with face paintings and dunk tanks. Tarara Winery has strived to create only events that best showcase the finest vintages. Their Fine Vine … Just Say Viognier is a celebration of Viognier in Virginia. It is a five-course affair using all local and seasonal ingredients by local chefs paired with 5 of Virginia finest Viogniers, selected by an elite panel of wine writers and sommelier surrounding the DC metro area. Tarara
Winery also has continued their Toast to the Tunes Summer concert series where one can enjoy a bottle of Tarara’s most recent wines with the smooth sounds of local artists. The concerts occur every Saturday evening from the start of June until the first weekend of October
to kick off Virginia Wine Month.

With all of these changes Tarara Winery has also completely re-modeled its brand to best represent their ideas and their wine. The wines are showcased in elegant, yet simple wrap labels and an unassuming screw top closure. Their thought is that it is all about what is inside
the bottle that counts. The labels do showcase a striking piece of art painted by Martha Hubert that will change with each vintage. The art and wine seem to pair each other so well, and at Tarara they like to say they are “Artisan Wines.” With the launch of Tarara’s new brand and their new website that will be online.

Be sure to get online and check their website: www.tarara.com to see the latest happenings.

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