Owner(s): Cheryl and Dan Mortland
Winemaker: Tom Payette
Open to Public
Apr-Nov Mon-Fri 11 to 5; Sat-Sun 11 to 6;
Dec-Mar Mon-Fri 11 to 5; Sat 11 to 6
3310 Freezeland Road; Linden, Virginia 22642
Fox Meadow Winery Profile
Written by Brian—Jan 28, 2015
Fox Meadow Winery was one of those places everyone kept telling me to visit. I added it to my list some time ago and added a star every time I received a recommendation. In the late fall, I was finally close by and stopped in. As I turned onto the drive, I was completely blown away by the view. Looking west across the vineyards, there is the most amazing panorama. The Blue Ridge just seems so close. That view is reason enough to visit, but there’s much more.
This twenty-acre property was originally a meadow (hence the name). The land was purchased in 2002 for the purpose of making wine. Today about twelve of those acres are under vine and seventy percent of the fruit used for producing wine is estate grown. The additional grapes are purchased locally so the winery can make about 3500 cases of largely cellar-worth wine each year. There are plans to plant another six acres. It will be interesting to see if this results in increased production or a reduced reliance on non-estate fruit.
Tom Payette is the winemaker. Tom consults or makes wine for several Virginia wineries and, as of this writing, is serving on the Virginia Wine Board. His influence extends to much of the east coast, where he enjoys a reputation for exacting quality in his work. On his watch, the first Fox Meadow vintage was produced in 2005 and the Cabernet Franc from that year won gold at the Atlantic Coast competition.
Amanda Freeze is a trained Sommelier and General Manager of Fox Meadow. She was good enough to show me around the winery and tasting room and then poured my tasting. Amanda poured seven wines and explained each of them as I tasted and frantically scribbled notes. I put stars next to too many of the wines to talk about all of them, so I’ll mention just a few.
Fox Meadow produces a great barrel-fermented Chardonnay, but the Alsatian-style Riesling just rocked my world. It had lychee and honeysuckle notes, balanced acidity and nice minerality. It was probably my favorite of the tasting. Among the reds, I tasted an exceptional Cabernet Franc and a very nice Merlot. The Chambourcin, however, is worthy of particular note. It was full of dark fruit on the nose and palate. This fruit-driven offering had just the right balance of acidity to make it a great, food-friendly wine. It was another winner in a lineup of exceptional wines.
The tasting room and surrounding property are spacious and offer numerous opportunities for visitors to relax with their favorite Fox Meadow wine and enjoy the amazing view. There are also frequent weekend music events that may draw you out that way. In any case, this is one that came highly recommended to me and I am in total agreement. Make an excuse to check them out and let me know what you think.