Barboursville Vineyards is Virginia Wine @Barboursville


“Wine is part of the conversation, but shouldn't be the conversation. Wine unites people.”
— Luca Paschina, Winemaker Barboursville Vineyards

When the host of Virginia Wine Chat asked me to participate in a Barboursville Vineyards wine tasting, I immediately said "Yes!" Barboursville Vineyards is Virginias oldest winery, established by Gianni Zonin in 1977. I had the pleasure of visiting Barboursville Vineyards in 2011 where Gianni Zonin was our host and his winemaker, Luca Paschina was our guide. They impressed me with their stunning wines, professional staff, delicious food prepared by their on premise James Beard nominated chef and their commitment to historical preservation. They have preserved the ruins of Governor Barbours mansion designed by Thomas Jefferson which is on their Estate. The original floor plan is part of the label design on their Octagon wine.

It seemed evident in 2011 that Barboursville Vineyards was a gem of Virginia wineries. Since then the accolades and acknowledgements have only increased.

Estate Vineyards Barboursville Vineyards Virginia.

Winemaker Luca Paschina came to Virginia from Italy in July 1990. He was there for the harvest and to learn about Virginia wine country. He felt there was potential and that a lot of work was needed. He re-planted vineyards and worked hard to improve things. Wine on the table has been a key part of his upbringing. Mr. Paschina has earned more than 40 gold medals for his signature Barboursville Octagon wine alone. Last Fall, Vineyard and Winery Management named Luca Paschina one of the top 20 most admired winemakers in North America. Founder and owner Gianni Zonin was recognized last year by Wine Enthusiast, for a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Yes, I was quite excited to sample and review three signature Barboursville Wines from their Charlottesville, Virginia Estate.

Luca Paschina, Winemaker.
"Elegant over Arrogant" 
— Luca Paschina, Winemaker Barboursville Vineyards 

A) 2013 Barboursville Viognier Reserve Tasting Notes
Color: Yellow green.
Nose: Lovely with stone fruit, mineral, honey, toast, floral as it warmed.
Palate: Lovely, crisp, tart, stone fruit, minerality, pretty feminine quality, lime, creamy fresh finish.

Thoughts: Lively, delivered a satisfying experience. Pairing with shellfish, crab or lobster would be perfect. I left this opened bottle of wine in the refrigerator for six days. On day six it was grapefruit, lime, mango deliciousness. Recommended.

  • Viognier is the designated state grape of Virginia. 
  • "We would have never come to a consensus on a red :)" — Luca Paschina, Winemaker. 
  • Barboursville Vineyards has close to 19 acres of Viognier planted. 

Stainless - no oak.
Closure: Agglomerated cork.
ABV: 13%
SRP: $22
Sample provided by winery


B) 2011 Barboursville Nebbiolo Reserve Tasting Notes
Color: Clear orange-ruby.
Nose: Soft, candied raspberry, rosemary, spice, dark notes preserved strawberry fruit.
Palate: Hello strawberry! With boysenberry, dry, fruity, proper acidity pulled it together. Wow. Surprised me how good this wine was and how well I liked it. Refreshing.

Thoughts: Pair with red meats. Yum! Highly recommended. Ready to drink now. Reminded me of a premium Pinot Noir. I left this opened bottle of wine in the fridge for six days. On day six it was strawberry heaven! Big like! Highly Recommended.

  • Nebbiolo naturally high tannin and acidity.
  • Nebbiolo most weather tolerant variety (thick skin) - Luca Paschina.

No new barrels used.
Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 13.2%
SRP: $35
Sample provided by winery


C) 2010 Barboursville Octagon
Their 2010 Octagon is a Virginia original and a blend of deep Italian roots.
Color: Dark, inky purple.
Nose: Sexy nose, deep aromas, concentrated, blackberry, smoky, black pepper, dry sage.
Palate: Inky, licorice, dry, lovely mouth feel, vanilla, blackberry, big finish.

Thoughts: Aging potential with this vintage. Well done. Held open bottle of wine in the fridge for five days. Exceptional flavor and finish with deep berry and mocha. Highly Recommended.

  • This wine is their effort to make the best wine they could. 
  • Octagon is not made every year. 
  • Mission accomplished.

Blend: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot.
Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 14.3%
SRP: $55

Barboursville Vineyards
17655 Winery Road
Barboursville, VA 22923


This wine tasting was a true thrill and an affirmation of the quality wine produced in Virginia by Barboursville Vineyards. It took a great deal of passion and hard labor to plant the vineyards and coax the fruit to produce so well. That passion and labor is evident in the quality of these three wines. Bravo! Well done, well done. I encourage you to bring these wines home to share with family and friends. Visit their winery and restaurant when you are in Charlottesville, Virginia. Discover Virginia Wine Country.

*Note: You can join us on the next Virginia Wine Chat, hosted by Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like on June 26, 2014 at 7:30pm EST/4:30pm PST, use  #VAWineChat on twitter.

Related Post: Dreaming of Virginia Wine


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