In 2006, Whitebarrel, originally called Eclipse Winery, and then, Attimo Winery, started planting vines on a 17 acre parcel of Childress. Saving the land from the development of a residential community, the owners realized that the future vineyard estate would be well-located, resting on well-drained, clay and shale soil with veins of clay running through them. This type of soil is ideal for growing muscular wines with high extract and color, similar to the Ribera del Duero region in Spain and the Albarese soil in the Chianti region of Italy. The soil is not too fertile, allowing us to make award-winning Virginia wines, year after year. The vineyard is also situated in two small rain shadows, providing us with less rain than the surrounding area. Montgomery county is the driest county in the Commonwealth, with an average of ~40 inches of rain per year, and we receive an average of 31 inches of rain per year, similar to Sonoma, Ca. Grapes do not like ‘wet feet’ and this location provides for intense flavors in our wines.
In the vineyard, we grow both red and white grapes, including: (reds) Cabernet franc, Petit Verdot, Chambourcin, Baco Noir, and Saperavi. Our white varieties include, Vidal Blanc, Viognier, Petit Manseng, Chardonnay, and Seyval blanc. In our leased vineyards around Virginia, we also grow: Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. In 2018, our expanded vineyards will include Grenache blanc. Our farming techniques include mostly organic treatments, a bio-dynamic approach, and a focus on sustainable farming practices. Whitebarrel is a “Virginia Green” winery, and we recycle 95% or more of our waste, compost all of our vineyard and food scraps, and recycle water through our bio-retention system. We have a strong commitment to the environment and are wary of our carbon footprint in our wine making techniques.