Virginia Wine Love Weekend at Pollak!

Pollak has been on the “to visit” list for a mighty long time, and it was time to go. Good timing, because they were hosting a “Virginia Wine Love” weekend event! I made my reservation and showed up, charcuterie and notebook in hand!

There were two people already there when I arrived, and one of the hosts and her husband also got there soon after. I went right after the “Gold Medal Flight” (four of their wines that took Gold in the 2023 Virginia Governor’s Cup Competition) and settled in for some nice conversation about Virginia Wine.

It was really nice because Pollak treated Virginia Wine Love participants as club members, with all the club discounts. Because it was raining outside we were given the club room to taste in. Soon after, Nadjma and her “Melanin on the Move” group showed up (they hit three CVille area wineries on this special day).

Pollak is situated in that beautiful Greenwood area west of Crozet where I shared my visit at Septenary recently. The setting is incredible, and it matches the wine nicely.

To “Gold Medal Flight” was absolutely wonderful. It started with the 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, which is a great example. Fresh and bright – quite crisp and acidic. It really is a lovely wine, and I wish it had been sunny out to pair with this wine. Definitely worth your sip!

Next up was the 2019 Meritage, a blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, and Petit Verdot. The tasting notes describe this wine as “full bodied with silky tannins and sound acidity to frame notes of plums, blueberries, and spice box.” I love that description – it was very tannic and had a good bit of oak to it, especially considering it was aged in 70% neutral oak. But it came together very nicely in the glass and I enjoyed it.

The third taste was the 2019 Merlot Reserve. 100% merlot made in 40% new oak it was surprisingly astringent and tannic at the end, but it did have this lovely soft taste and it was a big red wine, bigger than I expect Virginia Merlot. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed this glass.

The last of the four was a 2019 Petit Verdot, 100% PV aged in French Oak. I assume this was not neutral oak, and the PV was lovely and soft. I didn’t pick up tobacco flavors as the tasting notes described, rather I got that wonderful PV fruit flavor.

I ended up with a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc and then a glass of the PV. I was hoping the winemaker or vineyard manager would swing by to talk with us or share some special tidbits and insights into the wine, but that didn’t happen.

To make sure I had a good base for drinking wine, I brought cheese and crackers and some meats for everyone to share. Our host Susan brought some chicken salad to share with all. I also sent around a round of Hershey’s Special Dark mini’s for folks to enjoy with the PV on their flights (this was a good match-up, IMHO).

The atmosphere was just so fun, new connections were made (I knew literally no one there) and there was plenty of good wine. There was a lot of discussion of other wineries and Virginia Wine and how it stands out differently from other wine regions. I love meeting people who think Virginia doesn’t need to emulate California or France or anything else and find joy in Virginia Wine. And there were photos.

I think that’s what Nancy Bauer was after when she organized this weekend and recruited hosts to lead the meetups at participating wineries. There’s so much to know and learn about wine in Virginia, and so much to share. We’re at an exciting time in the evolution of Virginia wine with experimentation in grapes, style, and how wineries interact with customers. Cannot wait to see how this community evolves further.

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