The next stop along our West Virginia wine tour was Vu ja de Vineyards, which gets its name from being the opposite of déjà vu - so experiencing something you've never encountered before.
"Somehow there is a sense that there is a secret, a mystery about us. Although once they know a little more about the name & the wine they never forget us. Vu ja de Vineyards is nestled in the rolling hills of West Virginia, we are the new high-end small boutique winery and we aim to be the very best at what we do everyday!"
The winery was founded in 2009 by Bryan George, the head winemaker and proprietor. Bryan is from California and wanted a change of pace. He moved out here, not knowing anybody and ended up meeting his wife Ali, who worked at an Italian restaurant he was trying peddle his wines to.
Vu ja de Vineyards is a terraced vineyard which has been planted on the contours of the land based on Permaculture principles, Bio dynamics and Sustainable agriculture. Vu ja De’s approach maintains the health of the ecosystem around us. Think of it as acupuncture for the soil and plants. From healthy vines we create healthy wines.
Vu ja de farms in such a way that it is kind to every vine and creature found on our farm. A meandering creek and several small ponds create micro-climates around the vineyard. Vu ja de has a valley fog that rolls in during the morning hours to cool off the grapes before the sun awakens and heats up the natural growth of the developing grapes.
Because of the constant temperature changes the grapes have a chance to develop all of their complex flavors and aromas to their fullest potential. Because of Vu ja de’s contour planting technique we not only stop erosion but it allows all the potential water to be captured and then evenly distributes it to each vine in the purest form.
Even in droughts by planting on contour and sub soiling in front of each vine row all of nature’s rain water is saved and goes directly to the vines roots. This eliminates the need for irrigation and we rely solely on “Mother Nature” the way it was intended to be. Vu ja de works, plants and thrives as non-disruptively with nature as possible.
Both are incredibly welcoming and made us feel just at home. We met their baby daughter, Flora! The property has sprawling vineyards, two beautiful pups who roam, and a beautiful rustic tasting area. During the day we were visiting, they were to have an open house later and even had their pool opened up. It's just absolutely beautiful, and you could spend a whole day there.
The duo are passionate about the wines they offer, which are few. They have six French-hybrid varieties planted in the vineyard: three reds (Noiret, Frontenac, Landot Noir and Marquette) and two whites (Traminette and Cayuga White). They also include high-end dry reds, dry whites, semi-sweet whites and elderberry wine.
They only make so much of one kind of wine, and then when it's done, it's done. So while we were there, they had "Thunder & Lightening II" which is a 74 percent cabernet sauvignon, 21 percent zinfandel and 5 percent syrah. The "Flora II" is a dry rose, and they had their "Famous Sangria." Their specialty is big, bold reds. And very heavy pours with a spread of salami, cheese and crackers. :)
They are not an easy drinking wine - they are big, bold flavors that you can actually taste. Perfect for a perfect cut of steak. They choose to invest time and passion into every single bottle so that it is the very best, according to the website. It takes patience, long hours and effort to allow their wine to age properly. Some of the wines age in new and old French Oak barrels upwards of 23 months. Those are the same French Oak barrels that churns out California's $150+ range wines. Vu ja de's white wines are fermented in Italian stainless steel tanks.
This place has just a couple really good, really big wines and an incredible experience. I loved chatting with this couple, exploring the land and learning about all they do. Did you know they farm completely sustainable with use of biodynamics, permaculture and organic farming? No herbicides or pesticides. Their website notes they like to farm in a way that is kind of every vine, herb, vegetable and creature on their property. There's no huge machines here - most work is done by gravity flow.
We have numerous gardens like herb plots, vegetable gardens, natural wild flowers, and small orchards that contribute to the tremendous diversity to maintain a healthy eco-system.
We love our animals here on the farm, which include, Mamma River our German Shepherd and her son Lupo, Bear our Paint Quarter Horse and his daughter Suzie, Rumi our grey cat, a couple roosters, chickens and one sole guinea.You can find Vu ja de wines in Charleston, Clarksburg/Bridgeport, Morgantown (Slight Indulgence), Shepherdstown, Berkeley Springs/Martinsburg, Parkersburg, Wheeling, Huntington, Faytteville/Beckley/Lewisburg, Ripley/Spencer, Buckhannon/Weston and Sutton.
One more thing - before leaving, Ali even called the next winery because we weren't sure how to get there, and our cell phone service was kaput. She wrote directions for us to follow to the next winery: Stone Road Vineyards. If that isn't hospitality, I don't know what is.
Vu ja de Vineyards takes tours by appointment only: 304-377-1404. But Bryan is happy to have you out! Give 'em a call, and they'll work with you to find a time. Vu ja de Vineyards is located at 706 Reedyville Road, Spencer, WV.