Ankida Ridge, widely known as Virginia’s “Little Burgundy” for its distinctive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, released its first sparkling wine this year, an elegant vintage Blanc de Blanc.

The 2015 Ankida Ridge Blanc de Blanc is made from 100 percent Chardonnay sourced from Mountain Terrace, a leased vineyard neighboring Ankida Ridge.

Situated on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Amherst County at 1,800 feet in elevation, Ankida Ridge is one of the most special vineyard sites in the commonwealth.

The Mountain Terrace site is slightly lower in elevation, has a more westerly aspect, the soil is less rocky and the grapes have more fruity notes than the mineral-driven Ankida Ridge.

With the release of this new sparkling wine, the family-run micro-boutique Ankida Ridge joins about two dozen other Virginia wineries that now offer a sparkling wine.

“We love sparkling wine and wanted to have one available to round out our lineup of wines,” explains Christine Vrooman, co-founder and Shepherd of the Vines at Ankida Ridge, about the decision to make a sparkling wine.

“The quality of the fruit is so beautiful, and with this leased vineyard we have more Chardonnay available to us than Pinot Noir, so we decided to make a Blanc de Blancs. When our expansion vineyard [planted in 2017] comes into production we’ll consider blending in some Pinot Noir or maybe produce a small amount of Blanc de Noir.”

The juice spent 10 months in barrel and 18 months in bottle before being disgorged. Made in the traditional method (also known as Methodé Champenoise), the sparkling wine was finished at Veritas Vineyards in Afton.

Gold color in the glass with a fine persistent bead, this sparkling wine offers aromas of pear, baked apple and orange peel with hints of saline. Lush on the palate with flavors of brioche, green apple and almond lead to a clean mineral finish.

Only 65 cases of the 2015 Blanc de Blanc were produced and can be purchased at the Ankida Ridge tasting room and online for $58. The 2016 Blanc de Blanc is expected to be released mid-2019.

Written By

Frank Morgan