In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to blog about a winery I recently visited that has some Irish heritage. Cobbler Mountain Cellars is growing and evolving in strides just like other VA wineries. Instead of waiting until it was financially feasible to open a separate tasting room, the family decided to host tastings in their basement for the first two years. However, there is no sign of this when you visit their website. Instead, the photos are all of the vine, so when I arrived, I was extremely disappointed.
Luckily for all visitors from now on, Cobbler Mountain has opened a brand new tasting facility that is separate from the owner’s house. Wine club members have a private tasting room . I was surprised to see how much they cater to their wine club members. Since their wine is somewhat pricey, receiving a wine club member discount is probably worthwhile.
Cobbler Mountain offers many different varietals and blends including a Meritage. Meritage, pronounced like heritage, is word coined as the American version of a bordeaux blend. Meritages are popping up in wineries all over Virginia because it’s actually a certification that the vinter used the very best crop of only “nobel” bordeaux grapes. Read more here.
At Cobbler Mountain Cellars, there is only one tasting option and it isn’t a full tasting (which again isn’t mentioned on their website). The lack of having a full tasting as an option means you miss out on most of their offerings. I think they might change their tasting list frequently, because our pourer had trouble remembering what was on the wine menu for the day. Fortunately, her mixups aided us in getting to taste a few more of their wines, including the 2009 Merlot. This Merlot wasn’t on the tasting list but turned out to be my mom’s favorite.
The pourer kept assuming that I wouldn’t enjoy anything she served me because of my age and assumed inexperience. I’m not sure if it was because I was wearing a JMU t-shirt or because I’m not a wine club member. The owners and employees of Cobbler Mountain were not overly friendly. It may have been the stress of opening the new tasting room, but I was not thrilled with the service.
Though not all grapes are grown on the Cobbler Mountain property, the owner grows the rest on a co-op’d farm near charlottesville. It is very impressive to find a owner/winemaker combo who grows all the grapes and who has received multiple awards in the first two years of opening.
Cobbler Mountain is pretty out in the middle of nowhere. Their driveway is gravel and 3/4 of a mile long. Siri actually suggested that I park my car and proceed on foot. Make sure you bring a map or screenshot your directions because there isn’t much cell service when you get close. Finally, call ahead no matter when you are planning your visit. Their website suggests you call ahead on weekdays, in case they are in the fields or making deliveries! When I spoke to the owner, he told me that they plan to close the whole winery for weddings and events.