Virginia Grows What?

6 of 6
Rkatsiteli

Jordan Harris, winemaker and general manager of Loudoun County’s Tarara Winery, is a bit of a renegade when it comes to winemaking, and his experimentation with Rkatsiteli is a case in point.

This white variety hails from the Republic of Georgia—one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world—where it’s traditionally vinified into so-called orange wines. To craft these bottlings, Georgian vintners allow the juice to macerate with the skins in qvevri (clay amphorae) that are buried underground. This process yields wines that are orange in hue, oxidative in flavor and strengthened by tannins—an uncommon attribute for most whites.

Although Harris’s 2012 Boneyard Skins—a 100% Rkatsiteli wine—isn’t made in subterranean earthen crocks, it’s a product of a modified Georgian-style vinification. He allows the juice to ferment on its skins for 31 days in stainless-steel tanks. This method is more controlled than the customary Georgian process, but it still lends the finished wine an exotic edge and a pleasant astringency.

“I tend to push the envelope more than most, but the idea of classic Rkats winemaking scares the hell out of me,” he says. “Our version of an orange wine is more about precision … having the faith to just set it [in qvevri] and forget it is just too scary.”

Tarara 2012 Boneyard Skins (Virginia)
abv: 11.5%   Price: $20

Get to know Old Dominion's growing regions >>>

Explore Virginia's top tasting rooms, dining hotspots and significant sites >>>

6 of 6

See Other Slideshows

4 Bourbon Cocktails

Celebrate September’s National Bourbon Heritage Month by sipping these top-rated brown spirit-centric tipples.

4 Multi-Cultural Jewish Recipes

These modern, authentically inauthentic dishes incorporate global influences and pair with a wide range of beverages.

The Institute of Masters of Wine Welcomes Six New Members

Plus other news and notes in the world of wine, beer and spirits.

Argentina’s Alternative Top-Rated Wine

Malbec is Argentina’s defining wine, but a growing number of ­top-quality Cabernet Sauvignons—and a few Cabernet Francs—prove that the country is no one-trick pony.

Virginia Grows What?

6 of 6

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Shop

>

Related Web Articles