“The wine doesn’t start in the barrel; it starts in the vineyard.” — Louis Papadopoulos (Southern Living, October 2006)
This quote describes perfectly the experience my husband and I had at Mediterranean Cellars. The memorable moment began in the parking lot of the vineyard. Immediately, we were welcomed by a beautifully spirited (yes, felt this instantly), woman (Katie, the owner). Surprisingly, she recognized me and welcomed me back to the vineyard.
Yes, this was not my first or second visit. My first visit, which was years ago was not pleasant (there’s no need to rehash the experience ). What kept me coming back to the Mediterranean Cellars was its beauty, in particular the grapevine pathway to the tasting room that transferred you to the Mediterranean. In addition, Mrs. Papadopoulos’ interest in the guests opinions of the wines; just that personal touch kept me coming back and the beautiful views.
One cannot write a blog on Mediterranean Cellars without discussing the owners Louis and Katie Papadooulos unique background. Did you know, the owners of Mediterranean Cellars are jewelry designers? YUPPER, DIAMONDS! Louizos E.L.P. Goldsmiths, Inc. is a family own business for four generations. For the past twenty-three years, they sell diamonds at wholesale prices. The jewelry store is operated by their son and located in Oakton, VA, (www.louizoselp.com).
The 2013 Chardonnay, which is the first wine in the tasting have Vidal Blanc flavors. The 2011 Moscato does not possess true Moscato characteristics. The 2013 Viognier, the last wine in the tasting is aged in oak and produces hints of butter and creaminess and taste like a Chardonnay. ???? Perplexed, my mind is flooded with questions; what is the winemaker’s thought process? What is his reasoning behind restructuring the composition, creating flavors that we are not accustom to tasting? I check the wine bottles wondering if they are mislabeled; the Tasting Room Clerk smiles. My senses are like a circuit board that is misfiring. Feeling confusion and delight, I find myself wondering if we are merely part of the winemaker’s experimentation and there’s some hidden camera evaluating each guest reaction to the wine :).
Foot stopping, head swaying from side to side, tongue gracing my lips with every sip. I’m trying to find logic of what I’m experiencing, searching for some form of “traditional” characteristics of each varietal, which only produces more questions. The Tasting Room clerk explains in maintaining the true winemaking tradition, there’s less filtering, which allows the grapes true characteristics to emerge. Hmmm…. interesting.
2008 Calypso – a rose’ aged in stainless steel and french oak. fruit aromas and citrusy flavors. STAR
Time for Some Reds:
2013 Chambourcin – 100% full-bodied red wine with spicy flavors – STAR
2008 Cabernet Franc – aged french oak with plum and spice flavors. Yes, I gave it a STAR.
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – rich garnet color, full-bodied; yes, I’m picking up blueberries flavors. FANTASTIC – STAR
Then there’s Rechina, known as “Retsina” in Greek. Retsina is only produced in Greece and the U.S. exclusively by Mediterranean Cellars. Mediterranean’s Rechina is refreshing, “mentholing”. Retsina has an unique taste because pine resin is added to the white wine. Folks, this is indeed an unique wine. – STAR
Being red wine lovers, we are very impressed with Mediterranean Cellars red wines!
Perfect Summation – With traditional European and American winemaking techniques, “the end product is a unique combination of tradition and new ideas, as the winemaker’s spirit and inspiration is experienced in each sip of every wine.”
If you’re looking for warm hospitality and unique wines, I encourage you to visit Mediterranean Cellars and maintain an open mind. In addition, if they’re not crowded, you can even enjoy a cigar :).
8295 Falcon Glen Road
Warrenton, VA 20186