Owner(s): Scott and Linda Culver
Winemaker: Scott Culver
Open to Public
Thu-Mon 11 to 6
4289 Leeds Manor Road; Markham, Virginia 22643
email: No available email
Winding Road Cellars Profile
Written by Brian—Feb 4, 2015
Winding Road Cellars is another of the very new Virginia wineries. The opened in August of 2013, so by the time I stopped in, they had been open just over one year. Scott and Linda Culver opened the winery as an eventual retirement project. Scott is making the wine and Linda oversees the tasting operation. Based on my observations from this single visit, their initial efforts seem to be paying off.
The Culvers currently have 5.5 acres under vine with plans to eventually plant more. They are growing international varietals, among which are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot and Pinot Noir. Yes, they are growing and making wine from Pinot! The first vintage was bottled in 2007. So doing the math, it was another six years until they opened. I will just point out that most of the wines I tasted were at least four years old. Nothing is served before its time at Winding Road.
Scott learned the winemaking trade by apprenticing Mediterranean Cellars. I tasted six of his wines and I’d say Scott has certainly learned his craft. There were a pair of whites on the menu. I tasted a nice sweet Vidal Blanc and a Chardonnay aged in neutral oak. Both were very good wines, but reds are the real strength.
The reds included an excellent Cabernet Franc, that spent three years in oak. This was from the first vintage, so it had some age, but it also displayed bright acidity without overpowering fruit. Because of the acidity, I strongly recommend drinking it with food. The Cabernet Sauvignon was another winner. After spending three and a half years in oak, it had amazing complexity and nice structured tannins. But let me tell you about the sweet Chambourcin. When do I ever point to a sweet red as my top pick? Never! Until now… This was a late-harvest Chambourcin. Now I’ve heard it all. It was paired with chocolate and a pumpkin cake. I could make a meal of that pairing. It was fantastic.
The tasting room is beautiful finished and tastefully decorated. Linda was behind the tasting bar. She was full of information about the wine and answered all of my questions about the winery. It’s such a relaxed, welcoming setting and it doesn’t hurt that the wines are good. There’s no reason not to check this one out. Be sure to let me know, when you do.