Loving Cup Vineyard: Virginia’s First Organic Winery
We frequent a number of vineyards and wineries in and around the Nelson County Area—Afton Mountain, Veritas, Cardinal Point, and Flying Fox, to name a few. While we love these venues and their award-winning offerings, we had yet to try out a place that boasted entirely organic wine. And then Loving Cup arose in North Garden, Virginia, boasting the title of the Commonwealth’s first entirely organic vineyard.
“It all started with a crabapple tree one fall not too long ago.” This is how the history of Loving Cup Vineyard & Winery begins, as told by the owner, Karl Hambsch. Karl and his father made a crabapple wine from the fruit of that tree, which led to wines made from cherries, blueberries, raspberry, autumn olive, and more, and finally, grape. In 2007, they began their organic vineyard project, and the rest, as they say, is history. They continue their original process of “farming with nature and not against it,” meaning that not only do they use grape varieties resistant to disease, but they also allow beneficial insects (and arachnids) to take care of the destructive bugs. In other words, no chemical pesticides touch these vines!
Now that you know the process, you’re probably wondering what sort of wines you can expect to find at Loving Cup. Right now, their current releases include three different wines—the Loving Cup White, the Loving Cup Red, and the Dudley Nose Rosé. The White is dry, bright, and crisp with flavors citrus, starfruit, peach, and lemon. The Red is a blend of fruit and spice, medium-bodied with notes of plumb and cherry. The Dudley Nose is “strawberry shortcake in a bottle,” and a portion of the proceeds from this wine go to the Almost Home Pet Adoption Center in Nelson County (which is where we adopted our dogs Fritz and Pansey.)
Happy wine tasting!