Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery Profile
Written by Brian—May 28, 2017
As of this writing, there are only four wineries in the state of Delaware. Previous to a recent trip to Rehoboth Beach, I had visited only one. So I am happy to say I have now visited half of the state’s wineries.
Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery was originally named Fenwick Wine Cellars. It was little more than a tasting room in a small strip mall in Selbyville, Delaware. In 2016, owners Adrian and Jessica Mobilia moved to property a few miles west, planted a couple acres of vines and built a proper tasting room.
Adrian is from a winemaking family in northwestern Pennsylvania. So after his move to Delaware, opening a winery was probably a natural progression. Adrian draws on his family experience to take on the winemaking role at Salted Vines. He has also worked with consultant Michael Vorauer, but the reliance on Vorauer is waning as Adrian gains experience.
Since the move from the old Fenwick location there has been some fluctuation in production, but the long-term goal is to make 2000 cases annually. In order to do this, they need fruit. The 2 acres of young vines are not yet producing, but the plan is to concentrate on red varietals and source white grapes/juice from the family vineyards near Erie, Pennsylvania. Adrian does not dismiss the idea of growing whites as well, but it needs to be grapes that do not grow further north.
Regardless of the source of the fruit, I found the wines to be uniformly well made. This was particularly true of the whites made from Pennsylvania grapes. Well-crafted Pinot Grigio and Riesling were included among a number of hybrids. The big surprises for me were the Traminette, Vidal Blanc/Riesling blend and a sparkling Niagara. Also worthy of note was the Steuben blush, which at 2.5 % residual sugar was remarkably balanced and had all the characteristics of a great rosé.
The menu is currently a little light on reds. The single-variety Syrah, however, was my overall pick. It is medium bodied with a beautiful nose, dark fruit, a bit of complexity and a medium finish. It sheds light on what we may expect as the vines mature at Salted Vines.
At their tasting room in Selbyville, the Mobilias received largely seasonal tourist traffic. The new location for Salted Vines sees some tourists, but there is more of a regular local following. A host of regular patrons bodes well for the future and also speaks to quality of the wine and tasting room experience.
I strongly recommend a visit to Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery. It can easily be explored along with the wineries of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and should be on your short list, if you plan to be in the area. After you stop in, please let me know what you think.