Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery sits on approximately 450 acres of land of which about 80 acres are planted with a variety of grape vines. The day I visited was rain-soaked but I still had a great time. The walk from the driveway to the tasting room was a short distance but was very picturesque and the rain held off for a short spell to allow me to get some pictures of the winery sign at the entrance and this one showing the tasting room.
Upon entering the tasting room you see two wine bars although the first one seems to be reserved for purchasing wine, signing up for their wine club, etc. They have two wine clubs available for receiving wine right at your door. You can sign up for either their 4- or 12-bottle shipments that come out three times a year. They also have a VIP club that provides special deals whenever you visit the winery or their on-line store. The VIP membership is free with the 12 bottle membership but costs $20 for the 4 bottle membership.
The second wine bar, just pass the fireplace, is where they conduct the wine tastings which are $6 for the wines available on their tasting menu. You do not get a signature glass either but I did get to meet CJ and Kyle (the sommeliers) that explained the nuances of their wines.
First on the tasting menu was their 2000 Blanc de Blancs: Made from 100% Chardonnay in stainless fermentation, this bubbly was quite dry (I prefer this), had a pale straw color with an apple aroma with a hint of grapefruit and yeast on the nose. It was a very pleasing aroma. The flavor, however, was what really pleased me as I found grapefruit, tart apple, and a subtle finish of apricot. I really liked this sparkling wine.
Next was the 2006 Westport Brut RJR: Again I got an apple aroma with a hint of grapefruit but found less yeast on the nose. The flavor was much the same as well as my impression of the bubblies – quite good!
2009 Chardonnay: Apple pie and apple blossoms on the nose with flavors of pear and apple delicately balanced where neither flavor overpowered the other. It was a very nice Chardonnay.
2010 Pinot Noir Rose: Candied apple aroma led into a red berry flavor (I couldn’t pinpoint a particular red berry so I just categorized it as just red berries) with a distant flavor of cranberry.
2009 Riesling: This wine opened with tropical fruits on the nose, had crisp acidity with minimal minerality – a very decent balance of the two. This had predominately apple flavors, the others I couldn’t detect.
NV Pineau de Pinot: This dessert wine was awesome and my favorite wine here. Aged in French oak for approximately three years the wine had a pinkish color and a delectable combination of red cherries, apricot, and orange on the nose. The flavor was reminiscent of Cognac with candied cherry, fig, and honey. I didn’t know if I was drinking a dessert wine or a Cognac.
In their gift shop you can purchase other items in addition to their wine such as t-shirts, wine accessories, and books. It was a fun place to visit and the wines were quite good. If you haven’t been here yet, it’s worth the trip. I know I’ll make more than just one trip here.
BTW, CJ says to watch out for an independent movie called Footprints, a Shepard film.