Virginia’s Northern Neck is a peninsula formed by the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers, both breathtaking in their beauty. The rivers are tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, which is a major factor in creating a stable climate accommodating many varieties of wine grapes. The vineyards cover about 50 acres of gently rolling, well-drained countryside. The climate and topography, along with the soil which is a sandy loam, creates conditions reminiscent of those of the Bordeaux region of France. The goal is to create wines that showcase the distinct characteristics and attributes derived from these specific vineyards. All of our grapes come from the Northern Neck Peninsula.
Ingleside’s vineyards are located within the Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace American Viticultural Area. Within the appellation there are only 10-20 miles separating the tributaries at any given point. The proximity to water causes less temperature variation, a milder winter and more frost-free days than most of mainland Virginia.
The vineyards at Ingleside are divided into four main sections consisting of Roxbury, Walnut Hill, Chesapeake and the Founder’s Vineyard.
The Roxbury Vineyard, consisting of 2 acres, is planted in Merlot and Viognier. This section takes its name from the 1860’s Victorian mansion built by Dabney Carr Wirt, the youngest son of the former U.S. Attorney General William Wirt. It is now the home of Ingleside proprietor Doug Flemer. Roxbury Vineyards are oriented such that they are well-drained towards the Potomac River. The grapes from the medium textured soils produce wines that are serious yet approachable.
The Walnut Hill Vineyards consist of 20 acres of Chardonnay (clone 96), Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese. Walnut Hill is part of the original land purchased by the Flemer Family in the 1880’s. It is a magnificent site for growing grapes as it is part of the highest ridge in the entire Northern Neck. With a commanding view towards the Potomac River, these vineyards are well exposed to breezes off the rivers. The back portion of the property also drains towards the Rappahannock River. The heavier soils on Walnut Hill produce wines of intensity, elegance, complexity and finesse.
The Chesapeake Vineyards consist of 18 acres of Albarino, Cabernet Franc, Charbono, Chardonel, Chardonnay (clone 4), Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Viognier, plus some additional experimental varieties and a selection of rootstocks used for grafting. Our Chesapeake Vineyards are located behind the winery in medium textured soils that are fertile ground for experimentation. It is here that we have and are continuing to discover the best varieties and clones suited to the climate on the Northern Neck and our Chesapeake Bay Region.
The Founder’s Vineyard consists of 8 acres of Albarino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Norton, Petit Verdot and Viognier. Some of these vines are the oldest in the state of Virginia, having been planted in the 1970’s by Carl Flemer Jr., founder of Ingleside Winery.