Williamsburg Winery recently introduced a limited release Arneis to its line of crisp, spring whites. The 2017 Arneis is the first varietal of its kind to be bottled on the East Coast and is available for purchase in the winery’s tasting room and online.
Arneis, or “little rascal,” is a white wine grape native to Piedmont, Italy. The European-style grape was grown and harvested for Williamsburg Winery by Lazy Days Vineyard in Amherst, Va. Despite their fickle temperament, the grapes grew beautifully in the mild winter and warm spring conditions of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and were sent to Williamsburg winemaker Matthew Meyer in September 2017.
As lead winemaker at Williamsburg Winery, Meyer was particularly excited to introduce the Italian varietal to the East Coast. “It is quite exciting really to be a part of something that is very fresh and new with completely open minds,” says Meyer.
To produce the wine, Meyer pressed the grapes and fermented their juice in stainless steel for ten days, purposefully cooling the temperatures to preserve the wine’s fresh aromatics. The blend was later transferred into 55-gallon stainless steel drums and left to age.
The finished product resulted in 88 cases of limited release bottles. The 2017 Arneis is clean and bright, eliciting an appearance similar to that of a Sauvignon blanc. Its palate is rich in summery savors and aromas like apple, pear, melon and lemon rind. The elegant mouthfeel and clean finish of the Arneis pairs well with oysters, spring salad and other light dishes.
The Williamsburg Winery is located at 5800 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg. The Tasting Room is now open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Friday through Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.