Giles Mountain Vineyard & Winery
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Giles Mountain Vineyard & Winery

290 Moye Road
Staffordsville, Virginia 24167

WEBSITE:
www.gilesmountainwinery.com

FACEBOOK:
www.facebook.com/gilesmountainvineyardandwinery/

HOURS:

Open by appointment only, and closed in the winter. The owner is very responsive, though, so give her a call or text.

CALL FOR APPOINTMENT:
(540) 818-0566


OWNERS:
Tom and Diane Mullis. Tom is a former psychologist who worked with Radford University. He is the idea man and insisted on buying the property while Diane was more skeptical. Being a retired Special Education teacher, perhaps, she had inside information into her husand’s thought processes.

WINEMAKER: Maarten Van Gelder, originally from the Netherlands

LOCATION DESCRIPTION:
  This winery is located very close to the Appalachian Trail, so as you can imagine it is very scenic. There is a teenie tiny little sign at the end of the driveway that is easy to miss, so keep your eyes peeled. The “road” to the winery is more of a gravely path than a road, and there are absolutely no conveniences nearby so be sure and stop at the bathroom before you venture in – I wish I had, but at least the “road” is secluded enough that … well … I shared the experience with the cows.

TASTING ROOM DESCRIPTION:  There isn’t actually a tasting room. There is a small bar set up in the cluttered garage next to the smallest fermentation tanks I’ve ever seen, but Diane and I sat outside on the driveway where they had placed a couple sets of wrought iron tables and chairs. I have to say, the outdoor views are spectacular and the weather was beautiful, so the lack of tasting room wasn’t a big deal.

DATE/WEATHER/TIME IN-TIME OUT:  2/24/2017  |  73⸰  |  2:31pm-4:06pm

MY RIDE ALONG (My side-kick for this visit): The Lone Day Drinker rides again.

TASTING FEES: $5 for 7 wines

POURER: Diane

THE TASTING: I have to be very honest and tell you I was not terribly impressed. The owners did not know much about their own wines and even said they didn’t particularly care for a few of them. Um… how are you running a business selling something you don’t like? As I asked questions, they had to call the winemaker for the answers. The wines are all priced at $15 because, well “that’s the number they came up with,” and named for musical terms because … uh … “it was a random idea.” The wines were not properly ordered on the tasting sheet, which is traditionally the order in which they are poured – they were tasted in the order of my notes below.

 

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?
Dumped.
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.
It’s whatever.
[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 Giles Mountain Vineyard & Winery wines – please remember, these are just my opinions …

Staffordsville White
It was crisp, tart, herbal and acidic. I like my Traminette to be floral and fruity.
Rating [M] Price $15
Sweet Serenity
Now THIS is more what I expect from a Traminette. 5% residual sugar is a bit high, but the wine was delicious.
Rating [N] Price $15
Intermezzo
I think I could mix this with a bit of water and use its high acidity to clean the kitchen. It’s a Vidal Blanc and Chambourcin blend – it’s whatever. (Note: I found the typo Vidal “Bland” – perhaps, I should have left it as such.)
Rating [M] Price $15
Amplitude
Fucking pungent! What the ever-loving hell just went in my mouth? Pretty sure I have never had an accidentally effervescent Chambourcin with notes of fuel oil.
Rating [W] Price $15
Amplitude – take 2
Okay, clearly the first bottle had turned to vinegar. How long was that thing sitting open? Diane opened a new bottle and this one was alright, but it’s a 2015 and might be even better after a few years on the shelf – UNOPENED.
Rating [M] Price $15
Duet
It’s Chambourcin/Cabernet Franc from Pulaski county. Okay, so?
Rating [M] Price $15
Tango
I think I bought this one more out of obligation than because I really loved it. It was good, but not “Oh hell yes” good. I can’t believe I didn’t take better notes at the tasting, but I broke down and bought a bottle, so “no worries, I can try it again before my review.” The thing I remember most about this wine is when I got the bottle home it slipped from my hand and broke in the street. Well shit. The bottle shattered under my car tire and the wine glistened beautifully on the road under the street light. That’s my review.
Rating [N] Price $15
Sweet Dreams
This one was pretty good, it had an effervescent feel to it. Not in that Amplitude sort of way, but in the right way. I love when Chambourcin smells like vanilla.
Rating [N] Price $15

 

SUMMARY: Giles Mountain Vineyard & Winery just opened in 2014 and hasn’t been included in the VirginiaWine.org winery guide which is unfortunate because they are the first and only winery in Giles County.

I think their ratings may have been better if some of my pours were not from wine that had been open and sitting for several days. Aside from the fact they don’t know much about the wine business, Diane is an absolute sweetheart and Tom is friendly and personable. I’d like to say I’ll visit again soon, but I think I will wait a couple years and let their winemaking improve a bit.

Diane recommended I visit the County Store in Floyd. She says “The first hour is gospel, you might want to miss that, but the flat footing is next.” Not knowing what flat footing was, I went online – please, I beg you, do not look it up in UrbanDictionary.com. I’m convinced it’s actually Flatfoot Dancing, similar to clogging, and NOT the aforementioned urban definition to which Diane was referring.

Anyway, go visit Giles Mountain Winery and let me know if you have a better experience. In the meantime, I wish Diane and Tom all the success in the world!

Giles Mountain Vineyard & Winery Tasting Sheet:

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