Cooper Vineyards Wine Reviews & Awards

A wonderful blog post about Cooper Vineyards  written by Wine Writer & VA Wine Advocate Brian Yost!!!

Thank you Brian!!

 2017 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition – Medal Winners:
2016 Chardonnel:Gold and Best of Class
2016 Petit Verdot: Gold and Best of Class
2014 Norton: Silver and Best of Class
2016 Shannon Hill White: Silver
2016 and 2015 Vidal Blanc: Silver
2015 Viognier/Chardonnay Blend: Silver
2016 Petit Manseng: Bronze
2016 Rose: Bronze


Cooper Vineyards is very proud to announce our winners from the 12th Annual Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition!!!

Best of Category:
Traminette 2015
Viognier 2015

Gold Medal Winners:
Traminette 2015
Viognier 2015
Albarino 2015

Silver Medal Winners:
Chardonel 2015Chardonnay 2015
Coopertage Red 2014
Norton 2014
Vida 2014

Bronze Medal Winners:
Petite Verdot 2013



A. Brown July 19, 2016…..My boyfriend and I just has the best wine experience EVER!!! We have been to numerous wine tastings in MD and NY and this one was the best by far!!! Toni was amazing and educated us on the different wines and what to pair it with when eating!!! This was a great experience and we can’t wait to come back with our dog! Thank you!!!

K. La Fontaine June 2016.….First time there. Loved the atmosphere, wine, and the people who worked there. Will definitely be back!!

W. Davis June 21, 2016……. We loved our experience @CooperVineyards! The variety is unbeatable, the associates are people lovers (Giovanni especially: soon to be married 60 years) & dog lovers! We joined their amazing wine club tonight and couldn’t be happier with what their wine club has to offer!


December 31, 2012: Noche Rated 10!
Publisher of thousands of reviews of restaurants and hotels worldwide. Includes reviews of travel, lifestyle, auto, events, wine and food. Recently reviewed Cooper Vineyard’s Noche and rated it a 10!

LATEST NEWS: Virginia Wine Lovers Elect Cooper Vineyards Virginia’s Favorite Tasting Room!

“The results are in from September’s Visitor’s Choice Awards. Thousands of readers voted for their Favorite Winery Tasting Room. Congratulations to Cooper Vineyards, our Winery of the Month, for coming in with a landslide victory. “If you haven’t seen Cooper’s spectacular tasting room, this is the month to visit”.
–Frank Britt, VAWineLover.
Cooper Vineyards staff and owners would like to thank our supporters for helping us achieve this high honor.
Thanks so much!

In Virginia, LEED Platinum certification – the first for a winery on the East Coast – was recently awarded to the one-year-old tasting room at Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, about 40 minutes from Charlottesville. Designed by Richmond-based Baskervill, the 3,500-square-foot tasting room features two-story North-facing walls of glass and ample deck space, creating an indoor/outdoor experience for visitors.

Interior Design:
 Napa, Oregon and Virginia Wineries Taking the LEED
 Donna Heiderstadt — Interior Design, 10/1/2012

Less acidity, more interest in Nortons
By Dave McIntyre, Monday, August 27, 9:26 AMThe Washington Post
McIntyre blogs at Follow him on Twitter: @dmwine.

Have you tried a Norton lately? At the recent Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, the judges’ panel I was on evaluated a flight of four wines made from the Norton grape. We gave gold medal scores to two of them. One was from Frogtown Cellars in Georgia, the other from Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, Va.

I don’t like Norton. At least, I haven’t. I’m an official skeptic about this grape with overwhelming acidity and over-the-top fruitiness. Those are qualities that its fans love, quite honestly. Yet I’ve tasted several Nortons recently that have impressed me with their balance, complexity and restraint. Either my palate is evolving or Norton producers are getting better at their craft. Or both.

Norton has a good all-American story. Todd Kliman, food and wine editor of Washingtonian magazine, chronicled the grape in “The Wild Vine” (Clarkson Potter, 2010) from its discovery in Virginia in the 1820s to its heyday in Missouri half a century later and its modern rise from post-Prohibition obscurity. Jennifer McCloud, owner of Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, Va., tends 40 acres of Norton vines — the world’s largest planting of the variety, she says — and has trademarked the slogan, “Norton, the Real American Grape!”

And there is a customer base; Chrysalis sells several Nortons, most notably its Sarah’s Patio Red, an off-dry version that anticipated the current vogue for sweet red wines. Norton is Cooper Vineyards’ best-selling variety, says co-owner Jeff Cooper.

Winemakers love Norton because it grows well in challenging climates. “It will grow through sidewalks!” Dennis Horton of Horton Vineyards likes to say. Norton is resistant to several vine diseases and requires fewer sprayings of fungicides or pesticides than most grapes, giving it an eco-friendly appeal as well. And it ripens well in challenging vintages such as last year’s rainy harvest.

But the wines are getting better for a simple reason: Vintners realize Norton won’t grow by itself.

“The challenge has been how to tame the acidity,” McCloud explained as we tasted several vintages of Norton from Chrysalis, Horton and Cooper wineries recently at her home in Middleburg. We were joined by Mike Heny, winemaker at Horton Vineyards, and Alan Kinne, the winemaker at Chrysalis. Kinne made the first modern Virginia Nortons at Horton in the early 1990s before spending several years making wine in California and Oregon.

Norton has about five times as much malic acidity as normal red wine grapes. Malic acid is the tartness that is tamed in most red wines by conversion to the softer lactic acid; this malolactic fermentation can leave Norton searingly tart nonetheless. That can help it age over a decade or more, but most Nortons are consumed young.

“Early vineyards were planted in cooler areas, and the acidity was off the charts,” Heny said. He has achieved a deft touch with Horton’s more recent vintages, keeping the acidity under control and adding an appealing earthy note that lends an Old World sophistication.

Kinne’s experience making pinot noir in Oregon prompted him to use similar techniques on Norton.

“People tend to blast it through a hose thinking it’s indestructable. But if you treat it gently like a pinot I think you can elevate its charms while avoiding some of those over-the-top flavors people find objectionable,” he says. With the 2011 vintage at Chrysalis he used the “Burgundian” technique of punching down the grapes during fermentation, a gentler technique than pumping juice over the cap of grape skins that forms in the fermentation tank.

12:13 p.m. EDT, July 27, 2012

By David Nicholson | 757-247-4794

Most of the awards given to Cooper Vineyards are for one of their wines. Earlier this month, they received a different kind of accolade: LEED Platinum certification for their environmentally-friendly tasting room.
The land the vineyard sits on was once traversed by Native Americans (it’s not uncommon for workers to find arrowheads that date back thousands of years). The land is also near the historic horseback ride of Jack Jouett (“Paul Revere of the South”) who warned Thomas Jefferson and others in Charlottesville of an approaching British infantry in June 1781. Cooper Vineyards is well aware of the history beneath its feet.1 “We want to help preserve it…in a sensible way,” said Cooper. “We have a strong environmental ethos.”

Louisa, VA (July 5, 2012) – Pop the corks and let the celebration begin at Cooper
Vineyards in Louisa County. The award-winning winery’s elegant “green” tasting room
that officially opened in 2011 has earned a coveted LEED Platinum certification, which is
awarded only to construction projects that meet the highest-rated standards in green
building technology.
The announcement was made by Baskervill, an architectural, engineering and design firm
in Richmond, Va. The Cooper Vineyards Tasting Room is the firm’s first LEED
Platinum project and represents a rural enterprise success story for Louisa County and
Virginia. “With this prestigious distinction, Cooper Vineyards becomes the first winery on the east
coast to boast the LEED Platinum status,” said Michael Pellis, AIA, LEED AP BD+C,
architect and designer of the tasting room project. “Only a handful of wineries in the U.S.
are LEED Platinum and they are all on the west coast.”
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, validates the
integrity in construction of a green building. The LEED certification award process is
broken into a four-tier classification system ranging from Certified to Platinum, the
highest possible level. Among the benefits of a green building are improved air quality
and waste reduction, reduced operating costs and a minimized strain on local

June 2012: Washington Post Review

In 2005, Virginia experienced a large, excellent harvest, and many wineries, such as Cooper Vineyards in Louisa County, had more grapes than they could handle. Co-owners Geoffrey Cooper and Jacquelyn Hogge decided to make ice wines from 2 tons each of vidal blanc and Norton grapes they had left over. So they sent the grapes to a commercial freezer facility in Waynesboro. Gently pressing frozen grapes allows the winemaker to separate the ice (water) from the concentrated juice, yielding an unctuous sweet wine.

“We came out with a very nice white wine, which became our Vida dessert wine,” Cooper said. “The Norton grapes, however, produced a wine that was not as sweet as we wanted and had a lot of berry flavors. I believe they had thawed too much prior to pressing. I love berries with chocolate, so I suggested a chocolate-infused wine.”

Winemaker Graham Bell set to work with some chocolate extract samples and created Noche, which has won several medals in competitions and is now Cooper Vineyards’ most popular wine.

“Noche now makes up about 30 percent of our total production and outsells all of our other wines by more than double,” Hogge said.

May 3, 2012: Virginia Business News
The Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate (GRACRE) recognized the Residences at the John Marshall (formerly the Hotel John Marshall) along with 15 other local commercial real estate projects during its 11th awards ceremony at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. More than 200 real estate professionals attended the event.

The 16 winners came from a group of 41 finalists, consisting of 34 projects and seven transactions. Finalists ranged from a wine-tasting room in Louisa to a restaurant in Rocketts Landing and a dermatology office in the West End. “The breadth of quality and innovation found in this year’s project submissions was outstanding,” said Doug Atkins, president of GRACRE. “The commercial real estate industry had a good year in 2011, and GRACRE is privileged to be able to recognize these projects that have impacted our area’s real estate sector.”

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