Posted by: runningwinegirl | August 26, 2010

Fun Sunday at Gadino Cellars

I continue to love the way social media connects people, businesses and really all walks of life. I wrote a guest blog post a few months ago on Adam Vincenzini’s blog highlighting how wineries were utilizing social media and I am impressed in how many here in Virginia are doing a great job interacting and engaging. I connected with Gadino Cellars on Twitter and immediately knew this was a winery I needed to visit.  I learned Derek, the son-in-law of the owners, was the person behind the Tweets and he does a wonderful job.  After a couple of weeks of tweeting, it was time to get to this winery. Given the risky nature of the weather I decided to skip hiking this past Sunday and instead head out to Gadino and see what this winery was all about.

Gadino is tucked away behind a school and down a little gravel road. It’s a gorgeous setting and I fell in the love with the windmill in the middle of the vineyard. Walking inside, Bill Gadino, the owner, greeted us and informed us there were seven wines to taste for $5 and we could keep our glasses. We began with the 09 Pinot Grigio that was crisp, refreshing and very tasty. Aged in Stainless steel, I tasted apricot and apple with a nice finish. Next was the 09 Chardonnay, aged in 2, 3, 4 yr old French Oak barrels for 12 months and released to the public only two weeks ago. This is made sur-lie style and does not go through malolactic fermentation. It was delicious and had the perfect balance of a little vanilla and apple. It’s a medium bodied wine and very refreshing.

The 09 Luminoso was next  and was created due to the rains of 2009. This is a blend of Petit Manseng and Vidal Blanc. Bill explained that due to heavy rain in September last year, the grapes started to break down so the winery decided to make an off-dry wine. I’m so happy they did. I’m not a sweet wine drinker but this wine was perfect for the hot humid summer we’ve had here. The nose is floral and while there is a slight sweetness on the palate this is a fruity well-balanced white table wine that would go with a variety of foods or alone at the end of a long work day.

I was intrigued to learn the Moonrise Rosé was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. I’ll have to check my notes but I can’t remember tasting a Rosé using that blend of grapes. Being a girl who usually passes on Rosés, I can say that this is one I won’t turn down. I loved how smooth and refreshing it was but also how much fuller it is than the average Rosé. It had me craving BBQ.  Following that was the Cabernet Franc and I have delicious written three times next to it on my tasting sheet. These grapes come from vines planted back in 1990  and for the second year won the Gold in the Taster’s Guild International. This was full, smooth, lots of dark fruit and only the slightest taste of pepper. Bill let us know this is his baby and there’s no doubt about that. I brought a bottle home.

The tasting ended with the 08 Dolce Sofia, which has the image of Bill’s granddaughter on the bottle. It’s a blend of late harvest Petit Manseng and Vidal Blanc grapes. I’m not a fan of sweet but really enjoyed this wine. It has 11% residual sugar but you’d never know it. The balance is perfect and on my palate I tasted peaches with a wonderful finish. For me it is the perfect dessert at the end of a luscious dinner. The 08 Imagine, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin is what Bill called, a “playful wine.”  His grandson is on the label and this wine has 3% residual sugar. I agree it’s playful and unique.  For those who like a smooth, medium bodied wine, this is sure to please.

It was great to hear that the family members are involved in the winemaking process and it’s a cute story on how this winery came to be opened and started in 2004. I love the atmosphere and had a glass of the Cabernet Franc while enjoying the scenery on the outside deck. I’m excited for the release of the Meritage later this fall and look forward to visiting this winery again to play some Bocce ball. If you are heading out to hike Shenandoah National Park or looking to escape the city, this is a winery worth visiting.



  1. Looks like a really fun tasting! I don’t think I have ever had a Rosé of Cab Franc, but I am a huge Cab Franc fan, so I would probably love it!

    • Thanks Meghan! It was a great tasting & it’s rare that I like a Rosé and this was unique. I also recommend Gadino’s Cabernet Franc, it’s one of my favorites here in Va.

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