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A Historic Spring for Barboursville

Luca Paschina of Barboursville Winery

Luca Paschina with another guest beneath the portico of the British Embassy in Washington DC at the reception for the wedding of Prince William, April 29th.

Winemaker Luca Paschina interrupted an intensive program of new plantings on April 29th to accept the British Ambassador’s invitation to attend the Reception celebrating the marriage of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge the same day. Earlier in the week, he had received a call from the Embassy, announcing their selection of Barboursville’s Octagon 2006 and Viognier Reserve 2009 for the evening, capping honors for that vintage of Octagon which had included the Monticello Cup in 2009 and the Gold Medal of the Beverage Testing Institute.


Equally exciting over the long term for Barboursville, the vineyard was enjoying its largest expansion since its founding in 1976, with some 40,000 new vines being planted in 26 acres, including one varietal the vineyard had never seen, Petite Syrah, and one the Commonwealth had never seen, Vermentino, which the winery’s owners grow extensively at their estate in the Maremma region of Tuscany, Rocca di Montemassi. The first vintage of Vermentino, from 2010, is already slated for release and sale at a celebration hosted by Chef Melissa Close of the winery’s Palladio Restaurant on June 26th, together with two of Food & Wine’s Top Ten New Chefs of 2010, John Shields of Chilhowie’s Town House and Clayton Miller of Clifton’s Trummer’s on Main. This small vintage could well sell out that day, so the winery’s commitment to planting more is very good news.

But speaking of feasts at Palladio Restaurant, the international high point of the season at Barboursville will be the celebration lunch on Sunday, June 5th, of its week-long engagement as the winery of choice for the Park Hyatt hotel group’s annual Masters of Food and Wine events in the United States. Chefs from the Park Hyatt in Washington and in San Diego will join Palladio’s Melissa Close in a feast climaxing a week in which Luca Paschina had been presenting Barboursville’s wines at a gala dinner at their Blue Duck Tavern in Washington.

As one of Virginia’s most sought-after emissaries of wine, Luca was invited by The Wine Spectator to as the sole representative of Virginia at its first annual New World Wine Experience last October, in Las Vegas, and hit the road again this May for the magazine’s annual Grand Tour, in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Boston. Even with all the legwork that is certainly still required to gain recognition for Virginia’s production of fine wines of European heritage, it was dramatically promising, that among the many winegrowing regions of America where a diplomatic mission could reach to celebrate the marriage of the heir-apparent to their Crown, the British turned to Virginia for wines to suit the occasion. Things are looking up, for those who set their sights high for this growing region.

Barboursville Vineyards can be reached at (540) 832-3824. Information and reservations for Palladio Restaurant, (540) 832-7848.