If you’ve been following me on social media (@historyandwine), or pay any attention to my quarantine tasting notes posts, you’ll know that I took part in a Virginia Petit Manseng Trio tasting last week hosted by Early Mountain Vineyard, which was just fantastic.
Living in Miami has made it fairly difficult for me to drink Virginia wine on a regular basis, something I’d love to do. However, I try to get an order in when I think about it. It’s tough to be so far away from the many Virginia wineries I’ve come to love over the years.
During this tasting with wines from Early Mountain, Walsh Family Wine, and Michael Shaps Wineworks, I remembered how much I miss going to those wineries every weekend while living outside of D.C. and soaking in the Virginia wine knowledge. I love that so many VA wineries have young winemakers (and older ones, too) who are experimenting and doing different things with different grapes that aren’t done in say, California.
One of those “different” grapes is Petit Manseng, originally from Southwest France.
What a fun, versatile grape! You may think of Petit Manseng as usually made into dessert-style wines, but in Virginia, winemakers are producing it in dry styles, as well as co-fermenting with white and red grapes.
From France to Virginia, Petit Manseng is making its mark–although, maybe not as big as other grapes like Cabernet Franc or Viognier. In my latest piece for Winetraveler.com, I was able to put together a grape profile for Petit Manseng and shed some light on a white grape variety that is growing quickly in popularity in one American East Coast wine region.