Boxwood Winery of Middleburg, Virginia, is the site of a National Historic Landmark. Boxwood was one of the earliest horse farms in that part of Virginia and the home of General Billy Mitchell, pioneer of military aviation. More than half a century later, it became home to the visionary winery first dreamt of by Rita and John Kent Cooke (you might know him – former owner and manager of the Washington's NFL football team!). The pioneering estate is currently managed by their daughter and Bordeaux wine expert Rachel Martin.
Boxwood grows French government-certified wine grapes: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Once the vineyard is fully established, they’ve committed to producing no more than 5,000 cases of wine a year.
Their 19-acre sustainable vineyard might very well have the “tightest” planting on the East Coast. In the Bordeaux tradition, rows of vines are spaced two meters by one meter, trained on special trellises and cane-pruned. The estate and winery were designed together with the help of an architect, a university professor of enology and a renowned viticulturist. Easy on the Mouth and the eyes!
An underground circular cave maintains 55-65 degree temperatures for a circle of barrels made of wood sourced from French forests – oui, très Francais. The wine ages for up to 12 months, and barrels are replaced every three years.
Boxwood Winery actually started the petition that would establish Middleburg as an American Viticultural Area in 2006. The AVA designation essentially gives wines produced there an Appellation of Origin, like France’s Champagne made in the Champagne region, or Brie cheese made in the Brie region. An AVA designation requires that at least 85% of grapes used to make a wine are grown in that area, so you can be sure this is an excellent taste of Virginia, and a very specific taste of Middleburg at that.