West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery
CALL TO CONFIRM:
OWNER/WINEMAKER: Paul Hric
LOCATION DESCRIPTION: As you enter the property, to the right of their driveway stands the property’s original farm house built in 1840. I would have loved to take my ghost hunting equipment and spend a couple hours inside. Paul’s great grandparents purchased the farm in 1914 and it has remained a family operation.
TASTING ROOM DESCRIPTION: A lot of tasting rooms feature a fireplace with comfy furniture, and this one is no different. West Wind Farm also offers a selection of retail items made by local artisans – I love how these small business owners support each other. Through the French doors is a large room where they can accommodate special events with a view overlooking open land and a randomly placed gazebo. It looks as if someone was flying overhead with the gazebo, dropped it, and it landed in the middle of the field, and the pilot said “fuck it, that’s where it will stay.” No path, no landscaping, just a gazebo in a field.
DATE/WEATHER/TIME IN-TIME OUT: 2/24/2017 | 61⸰ | 10:50am-11:35am
MY RIDE ALONG (My side-kick for this visit): No ride along today … [sigh] … but no biggie, I’ll day drink alone!
TASTING FEES: Taste 3 wines free, taste more than 3 or all for $5, tasting and a glass is $7, the glass alone is $3. Yes, of course I tried them all, silly question.
POURERS: Jason Manley is Paul’s nephew, what a sweetie!
THE TASTING: Let me start by describing my greeting. I was wandering around the building and property taking photos and as I’m walking back toward the tasting room, this man heads me off in the parking lot looking at me with a mean side eye and skepticism in his voice wondering what the hell I was doing. I explained I was there for a tasting but you would have thought I told him “I’m here to take over your winery and ruin your life”. He escorted me to the tasting room, probably making sure I didn’t steal the shrubs and outdoor furniture along the way. Paul, this angsty owner, handed me off to Jason, the pourer, then disappeared, probably to call the police. Jason was a delight, very friendly and happy to share what he knows about the farm and their wines, and I finally felt safe.
|This represents a 1-5 scale with What the fuck? being the worst and Oh, hell yes! being the best.
The W-I-N-O tasting scale (the M is silent because who cares about the Ms?)
|[W] – What the fuck?
If I won’t drink it, it’s fucking bad because I’ll drink anything.
|[I] – I’ll pass.
Not good, but not dumped. That would be wasteful.
|[M] – Meh.
|[N] – Now we’re getting somewhere!
This is a goodie. I may have bought it, or it might not be worth the money, or I’ve already spent too much.
|[O] – Oh, hell yes!
I probably bought this one.
Here we go, the wines – please remember, these are just my opinions …
|Gewürztraminer  Sometimes I write too quickly – my notes say “not sweet like man”. Um … a lot of men are sweet, I love men. Do you know a nice single one? Anyway, let me see if I can help you pronounce this grape – guh-verts-trah-meaner. You’re welcome.||Rating [N] Price $18|
|Pinot Gris  With 1.75% residual sugar, of course this one is a local favorite. All the beginners like the sweet stuff, but then again, so do I.||Rating [N] Price $17|
|Riesling  Just what I would expect from a Riesling – lots of citrus without being overly sweet.||Rating [N] Price $17|
|Chambourcin  Fruity with a great color. So my notes are sparse, so shoot me. If you need more fluff, their tasting sheet is at the bottom of the page.||Rating [N] Price $16|
|Merlot  Here we go … Merlot is near the bottom of my list of favorites. This one was spicy and actually not bad for a Merlot, but it’s still whatever.||Rating [M] Price $19|
|Cabernet Sauvignon  Atypically herbacious! Very interesting.||Rating [N] Price $22|
|Galena Creek Red  This one is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chambourcin. I thought it was a bit too acidic. Sometimes, the purpose of blending is to neutralize tannins or acidity or whatever. In this case, maybe they just had a bunch of shit leftover that they needed to use before it went bad.||Rating [M] Price $19|
|Heritage Reserve  Um … yeah. Their most “meh” wine is also their most expensive. They only bottled 50 cases of this “special wine” (thank goodness) which explains the price.||Rating [M] Price $35|
|Galena Creek Blackberry
This is a blend of Cambourcin, Merlot, and blackberry. The Merlot spice comes through and I appreciate that the blackberry flavor was not lost in the two bold reds with which it was blended. SOLD!
|Rating [O] Price $14|
|Galena Creek Peach
This one reminded me of a peach flavored Jolly Rancher candy. Apparently, it’s good to mix with orange juice for breakfast – dude, now you’re speaking my language!
|Rating [N] Price $14|
|New River White
Dammit! What is it with the water rinsers? I was under impressed with this watered down wine.
|Rating [M] Price $14|
|New River Red
It’s unusually floral for a Concord wine, and the 8% residual sugar hides the concord flavor. Not terrible, but not what I like from my Concord.
|Rating [M] Price $14|
SUMMARY: If you are looking for a breathtaking drive, I-77 is it, the drive alone made it worth the trip! Paul, reappeared at the end of the tasting and we chatted about how much I enjoyed his wines and the blog and who knows what else. He softened and his friendly-farmer personality finally shown through. He even offered to sell me the winery for $1 per day for a few days – I was pulling out my dollars when he retracted the offer, but he does want to sell so if you’re looking to purchase a winery go buy this one and let me know so I can come compare the new management! Overall, the wines were very good and the facility was comfortable.
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