Pop, fizz, clink! It’s a centuries-old tradition to toast to the new year with a flute of French bubbly. For this year’s countdown, we’re saying out with the old and in with the new by swapping our bottles of demi-sec champagne for glasses of Virginia’s outstanding sparkling wines.
From traditional Blanc de Blancs to Rosé and naturally sparkling ciders, the Commonwealth is fizzing with bubbly alternatives. We’ve carefully selected 10 effervescent libations offering a variety of sweet, fruity and off-dry styles to help us countdown to 2018. Read below to find the Virginia sparkling wine that best suits your celebration style.
Blanc de Blancs
Bad to the Bone Bubbles
Temporarily located at Tarara Winery’s Tasting Room, 13648 Tarara Ln., Leesburg
Perfectly structured with bubbles and a fruit-forward palate, Bad to the Bone Bubbles takes the elegance of sparkling wine to new heights. Like most sparkling wines, Bad to the Bone Bubbles is made in the traditional méthode champenoise style from 100 percent Chardonnay grapes that are low in sugar and high in acidity. The bottle’s fine mousse and creaminess is complemented wonderfully by its subtle minerality and lingering fruit finish. Its plethora of layers and flavors pair well with freshly shucked oysters, cheeses and roasted game.
Wild Boar Blanc de Blancs
Stone Tower Winery
19925 Hogback Mountain Rd., Leesburg
Prepared in the traditional méthode champenoise style, Wild Boar Blanc de Blancs is crisp, vibrant and sparkles with fruity and floral flavors. This bubbly wine is made from 100 percent Chardonnay and boasts a wonderful balance of delicate acidity with its lingering, juicy finish of fresh green apples.
Blanc de Chardonnay
Thibaut – Janisson Winery
145 Saddleback Farm, Afton
As Thibault-Janisson’s first vintage release, Blanc de Chardonnay is a Charlottesville classic. The crisp and refreshing sparkling wine captures the characteristics and local flavors of Central Virginia’s terroir with aromas and tastes of apples, pears and 100 percent Chardonnay from the Monticello Appellation.
5872 Leedstown Rd., Oak Grove
Voted as the “Best Sparkling Wine in Eastern Virginia” for four consecutive years, Ingleside Vineyard’s Virginia Brut is the crème de crop of sparkling wines. The elegant texture, crisp mouthfeel and delicate fizz of the Brut are accentuated by the bottle’s secondary fermentation. Virginia Brut is exclusively sold at Ingleside’s Tasting Room and through their online store.
Blanc de Noirs
Veritas Vineyard & Winery
151 Veritas Ln., Afton
While the French use Pinot Noir for champagne’s cuvee base wine, Veritas Vineyard & Winery creates its sparkling Scintilla from Chardonnay and a blend of either Merlot or Cabernet. This citrusy sparkler features hints of almond, Meyer lemon and brioche, and pairs well with seafood and salty snacks such as almonds or potato chips.
Afton Mountain Vineyards
234 Vineyard Ln., Afton
Italian for “bubbles,” the 2012 Bollicine is a Brut sparkling prepared with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It pours a crisp and refreshing glass, and offers subtle aromas of hazelnut and simmered quinces. The Bollicine also pairs wonderfully with crabs.
2012 Sparkling Rosé
3550 Blenheim Rd., Charlottesville
The Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, cherry and strawberries used in the 2012 Sparkling Rosé are entirely estate grown and handpicked from the foothills of Carter’s Mountain. The creaminess and wonderful acidity of this rosé result from a precise combination of barreling and aging techniques performed over a 36-month period. Its stunning salmon hue is sure to add a pop of color to your New Year’s Eve celebration.
Old House Vineyards
18351 Corkys Ln., Culpeper
The bright pink hue of Rosie’s Rosé is derived from Cabernet Franc and is matched with profound raspberry notes, both at the nose and through the finish. Off-dry and semi-sweet, this rosé is a vibrant and fruity alternative to traditional French bubbly.
Paradise Springs Winery
13219 Yates Ford Rd., Clifton
Paradise Springs Winery introduces a truly one-of-a-kind Virginia sparkling wine that boasts flavors from over 4,500 miles west of the Commonwealth on the tropical islands of Hawaii. Méthode champenoise meets the Hawaiian terroir in this bottle of Hula o Maui with saccharine aromas of freshly cut pineapples and fruity effervescence. Despite its fruit-forward aroma, Pineapple Sparkling offers a drier finish than most other sparkling wines.
Castle Hill Cider
6065 Turkey Sag Rd., Keswick
Unlike sweet sparkling wines, Levity 2016 is a sparkling cider that surrounds the palate with a considerable astringency and acidity derived from the citrusy flavors of orange and passion fruit. Levity introduces aromas of lime zest, orange and pear at the nose and a rich mouthfeel toward the finish. It pairs well with creamy pasta, blue cheese and cinnamon-based desserts.