News & Releases from Philip Carter Winery

Adopt-A-Vine Update – Spring 2021


          My name is Tony McDonnell, if I haven’t met you yet, I am the Winemaker at Philip Carter Winery. I wanted to give you an update on what is happening in our vineyard right now.

           Something you might hear me saying a lot this time of year is “hope springs eternal,” a quote from Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Man.  With the first day of spring about a month away, this is a very optimistic time in the wine industry.  2020 presented some of the most unique challenges any of us have ever seen, the biggest of which was totally outside of our control.  Overall, I am very happy with the wines we produced in 2020, and it will certainly go down as one of the most memorable vintages of my career.  Keep an eye out for our 2020 “fresh wines” like Governor Fauquier, Rosewell, Sabine Hall, and the Ten Vines red blend, which were bottled within the last month and are hitting shelves soon.

           On Tuesday, February 16th, the vineyard crew and I made our first pruning cuts in our Chambourcin block, and just like that, we’re on to 2021.  Most of the 2020 reds (Petit Verdot, Tannat, Cab Franc, Norton) and Chardonnay will be allowed to continue to develop for a bit longer while we shift our focus to the vineyard.  In our area, grapevines typically break bud (start growing for the year) around the middle of April.  Between now and then, the crew and I have about 15 acres of vines to prune, along with a handful of other tasks.  Now is the time we make sure our trellis wires are tight, our adopt-a-vine signs are shining, and the vines are set up to give us another great crop.

           Pruning grapevines is hard work but has an almost therapeutic quality to it at times as well.  We cut the vines back, taking out the vast majority of last year’s growth, so they can focus their energy on growing new shoots, which will give us this year’s crop.  Grapevines fruit on a two-year cycle – in 2020 they developed buds, which will produce shoots and fruit in the year 2021.  Those new shoots will also develop buds in 2021, which will be our crop for 2022.  Our focus is on getting exactly how many buds we want and having them exactly where we want them.  What we cut off, we burn.  Old wood, especially once it’s no longer attached to the vine, can quickly become a source of contamination for the living plants.

           Outside of harvest, March tends to be our busiest month at the winery.  While pruning is the single biggest task, we also have to get ready for spring planting, typically done in May.  We are putting in close to three acres of grapevines this year, spread between the Philip Carter property and Strother Family Vineyards, our sight in Delaplane.  Cleaning up from pruning is a large undertaking in and of itself, plus we work to prep the grounds of the winery for the upcoming year – the recent wet weather conditions making this all the more important.  And of course, lest we forget, our wines in the cellar still need attention as they make their march towards the bottle.

           I am particularly excited about an event we are hosting on April 17th at Valley View Farm.  We are calling it our Spring Picnic, and we will be hosting adopt-a-vine and wine club members for a hike up to Strother Family Vineyards, and a discussion on all things viticulture with a picnic will follow. Be on the lookout for more details about the event coming soon. I hope to see you all there!

           Additionally, if you are available, I invite you to join me on Facebook Live this Friday, February 26th at 6 pm for our upcoming Virtual Tasting. If you need the info about it you can find it here.

           Until then, Cheers!

Tony McDonnell

Winemaker, Philip Carter Winery

A Quick History of Cider

In American, raw apple juice that has not been filtered to remove pulp or sediment is referred to as “fresh cider” or “sweet cider.”  The term “apple juice” indicates the juice has been filtered to remove solids.  Fermented apple juice is called “hard cider.”  Worldwide, cider varies in alcohol content from less than 3% alcohol by volume (ABV), to 8.5% ABV or above in traditional English ciders.  New tax legislation passed by Congress in December 2015 brought U.S cider definitions into alignment with international standards, raising the allowable levels of carbonation and alcohol content and including pears as well as apples in the definition of (hard) cider.

The first recorded references to cider date back to Roman times; in 55 BCE Julius Caesar found the Celtic Britons fermenting cider from native crabapples. The people of northern Spain were making sidra before the birth of Christ. The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 resulted in the introduction of many apple varieties from France and cider soon became the most popular drink after ale. Cider began to be used to pay tithes and rents – a custom that continued later in America.  Cider is still very popular in England, which has the highest per capita consumption as well as the largest cider producing companies in the world.  Cider is also traditional in western Europe, including Brittany and Normandy in France.

Cider in America

Only 9 years after first landing at Plymouth in 1620, European colonists planted apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In Colonial America, cider was the most common beverage, and even children drank it in a diluted form.  In many places, the water was not safe to drink and most homesteads had an apple orchard.  Pressing and fermenting fresh apple juice was the easiest way to preserve the large fruit harvest.  In rural communities, taxes, wages and tithes were often paid in cider. It was also the basis for other products, such as vinegar, which was used to preserve fresh foods and for other purposes around the farm.

However, by the late 1800s, cider began its decline from the most popular beverage in the nation. Several unrelated forces combined to essentially wipe cider from the collective memory of America.  A major factor was the Industrial Revolution, bringing people from the farm to the city to live and work. Many orchards were abandoned, resulting in reduced production.  Unfiltered and unpasteurized cider did not travel well from farms to the new centers of population.  An additional element was the increased consumption of beer, especially in cities. Immigrants arriving from Germany and Ireland, and cheap grain available in the Midwest, led beer to replace cider in the popular market.

The most damaging factor for cider was the rise of the Temperance movement.  By the time Prohibition was enacted in 1919, the production of cider in the U.S. had slipped to only 13 million gallons, down from 55 million gallons in 1899. Over the next several decades, the once proud American tradition of cider making was kept alive by only a few local farmers and enthusiasts.  In recent years there has been a resurgent interest in cider making and today cider is one of the fastest-growing segments of the liquor industry.

Virginia’s cider scene has exploded over the past few years, boasting more than 20 cideries across the Commonwealth. Virginia is the sixth-largest apple producing state by acreage in the United States and cider is a rich part of the Commonwealth’s heritage. Cider styles vary from large bottle heirloom ciders to canned and draft cider. Virginia’s cider makers continue to make innovative beverages that honor their rich history while looking to new trends, tastes, and styles.  Virginia Cider Week is celebrated the second week of every November.   Stop by Valley View Farm to try our Virginia Apple and Virginia Dry ciders produced by the winemaking team at Philip Carter.

Why Does Vineyard Site Location Matter?

At Philip Carter we have three vineyards; Bigfoot in Warrenton, Philip Carter Winery (PCW) in Hume, and Strother Family Vineyard (SFV) in Delaplane.   Each is situated at a unique location.  While you are all familiar with the vineyard at PCW, the strongest vineyard that we have is our youngest, SFV.  It exemplifies some aspects of site location that I am about to go over.  When you see Tony or me in the Tasting Room, feel free to ask us about this great site and what exciting developments it is bringing to Philip Carter Winery.

Let me preface this by saying that site location is a complex topic with myriad factors going in to having the right location for a vineyard, but in a perfect world, we would take all of these elements into account when selecting a site.  Vineyard site selection is probably the most important decision in the life of a vineyard. It takes several years to develop a vineyard and produce a regular crop of grapes.  A vineyard will remain productive for decades.  Although grapevines can grow in many places, successful cultivation for quality wine production is limited to sites where specific conditions are met and rigorous management practices conducted. Some of the primary factors affecting vines are as follows:

  • Physical Environment (e.g., elevation, latitude, slope, aspect, soil type);
  • Natural Phenomena (e.g., climate, seasonal variations, weather & hazards);
  • Viticulture and Vineyard Management (e.g., layout of vineyard, grape varieties and rootstocks, infrastructure (irrigation, wind machines)).

This is a lengthy topic and for today’s conversation I am going to address some of the physical aspects that you must evaluate when selecting a vineyard site.  Be warned, that this discussion is going to get a little technical.


Elevation influences the minimum and maximum temperatures in a vineyard. Lower elevations are preferable at high latitudes, and higher elevations are more desirable at lower latitudes. On average, the temperature falls 1.1 degrees F per 330 feet (0.61°C/100 m) of elevation, which means the growing season will be shorter increasing the possibility of frost at higher elevations.


Relative Elevation

Poor relative elevation can significantly reduce the quality of an otherwise good site; such is the case with vineyards located within valleys.  Although the vineyard may fall within the acceptable absolute elevation range, because of its location at the lowest point at an otherwise good elevation, it may be prone to spring and fall frosts.  It is better if the vineyard is located at an elevation referred to as the “thermal belt.” The thermal belt is a mountainside zone where frost or freezing temperatures are less likely to occur than they are at either higher or lower elevations.



Grapevines are temperate-climate plants; the major viticulture regions of the world are concentrated between the latitudes of 30 and 50 degrees.  In this zone the relatively large diurnal (daytime vs. nighttime) temperature range is optimal to produce the combination of sugar and acid levels that enable grapes to be made into quality wine.



The slope of a site refers to the degree of inclination of the land expressed as a percentage.  For example, a 5-foot fall over a 100-foot horizontal distance would be a 5 percent slope. The ideal site for grapevines is on gently sloping land that allows cold air to drain into lower areas.  This reduces the risk of frost injury and cold winter temperatures.  Further, good air drainage promotes faster drying canopies, which reduces the frequency of disease.



A vineyard’s aspect refers to the direction that the slope faces (e.g., east, southeast, etc.). Aspect affects the angle that the sunlight hits the vineyard and heat balance.  Aspect is more important in higher latitudes where radiation is weaker, due to the angle of the sun, and light interception may be limiting to growth.


  • Southern-facing Aspects

Vineyards with southern aspects (for the Northern Hemisphere) warm earlier in the spring and the vines may undergo bud break earlier than vineyards with northern aspects. The early bud break is desirable in locations that do not have a danger of spring frost because it translates into earlier bloom and harvest of the fruit.


  • Western-facing Aspects

Western-facing slopes are a popular choice for late-maturing varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, promoting fruit ripening in the waning heat and daylight of fall.


  • Eastern-facing Aspects

Eastern-facing aspects receive the first of the morning radiation, warming canopy and soil temperatures fastest when temperatures are generally at their lowest and most limiting.


  • Northern-facing Aspects

In cool climates where summers are cool and growing degree-days are low, northern slopes (for the Northern Hemisphere) should be avoided and southern aspects (S, SE, and SW) are preferred to allow maximum heat accumulation on that site to grow and ripen grapes.


Soil supports vine root structure and influences the amount of minerals and nutrients available to the vine.  The ideal soil condition is a layer of thin topsoil and subsoil that retains water but also has good drainage so that the roots do not become overly saturated.  The ability of the soil to retain heat and/or reflect it back up to the vine is also an important consideration that affects the ripening of the grapes.  Some of the more common soils that we see in Virginia are as follows:

  • Clay

Sedimentary rock based soil that has good water retention ability but poor drainage. The soil is often very cool and high in acidity. The Right Bank of Bordeaux is dominated by clay-based soils.


  • Granite

Composed of 40-60% quartz, 30-40% Orthoclase and various amounts of hornblende, mica, and other minerals. This soil warms quickly and retains heat well. The soil’s high level of acidity works to minimize the acid levels in the grapes.


  • Loam

Warm, soft, fertile soil composed of roughly equal amounts of silt, sand and clay. It is typically too fertile for high quality wines that need to limit yields in order to concentrate flavors.


  • Shale

Fine grain sedimentary based soil that can turn into slate when under pressure. The soil is moderately fertile and retains heat well.

I have just hit you with some very technical information, my suggestion is that the next time you are at a winery with an attendant vineyard, take some of these factors into account and evaluate the site.  Then ask questions during your tasting or with knowledgeable members of the winery staff.  You will learn more and it can be fun for the staff to have an in-depth conversation.   Personally, I love to geek about wine and have great conversations with others who are interested in our industry.

Phase One Guidelines

Phase One Guidelines

We have entered Phase One of Reopening as of 5.15.20 as Outlined by the Office of the Governor of Virginia.

We are excited to inform you that as of May 15, 2020 we have re-opened at Philip Carter Winery. It is very important to us that our staff and customers feel safe and welcome to visit us during this time. Due to this, we have made some new changes to adhere to the standards and guidelines set forth for wineries in Phase One of the Forward Virginia Plan.

Open Friday – Sunday For Limited Onsite Sales, To-Go Sales, Curbside Pickup, Wine Club Pickups, Shipping, and Delivery.
No Reservation Required at this time!


Fridays: 12 pm – 4 pm
Saturdays: 12 pm – 6 pm
Sundays: 12 pm – 5 pm

Things to Know if Visiting:

  • When you arrive we ask that you check-in at the Sales Window (along the sidewalk path) prior to choosing a table so we may welcome you and give you a rundown of how we are working to keep you and others safe.
  • Purchases for Onsite Enjoyment:
    • Purchases for onsite consumption will only be permitted for enjoyment in our outdoor areas only, rain or shine. Indoor seating is not available at this time per VA Phase One guidelines. 
    • Wine by both the bottle and glass will be available for purchase. All glass purchases will be served in disposable plastic cups at this time. If desired, souvenir wine glasses will be available for purchase for an additional $2 for you to enjoy and take home with you.
    • Tastings:
      • At this time we will not be doing any tastings.
      • We are offering Live Virtual tastings every other Friday via Facebook Live and offer discounted Virtual tasting bundles for those who would like to participate.
  • Outdoor Seating:
    • Only outdoor seating will be available at this time, no exceptions. 
    • Due to the size of our property we are not requiring reservations for our outdoor seating tables at this time, this may be subject to change.
    • We will not be permitting groups of 10 or more on property at this time.
    • 6ft social distancing is still required in all areas on property. Available tables and chairs will be spaced out on the property to maintain this requirement. Guests may not move or relocate any furniture on property.
    • Guests are welcome to sit at any of the outdoor furniture provided or bring their own. We have a limited number of tables available on the property so guests are welcome to bring their own seating or picnic blankets as long as they do not set them up within 10 ft of any other table or customer. Philip Carter picnic blankets will also be available for purchase at the sales window.
    • Dogs: We are Dog friendly for friendly dogs, outdoors leashed, and supervised at all times.
    • Food: Guests are welcome to bring outside food to enjoy on property.
    • No Outside Alcohol: In accordance with ABC law, outside alcohol is not permitted, and guests who appear intoxicated will be refused service. Wine tastings are not available at this time.
    • For questions or details on bad weather options for onsite enjoyment please contact us directly via email or phone.
  • To-Go Sales:
    • Guests are still welcome and encouraged to purchase bottles to-go. We offer both in-person sales and Curbside pick-up for all to-go orders. Orders can be placed ahead of time by going to and selecting “Tasting Room Pick-up” or “Curbside Pick-up” under the shipping options at checkout.
    • For Curbside orders please call the winery when you arrive and have your order information pulled up so we can verify your purchase. 
  • Guests are required to wear face masks and recommend gloves while interacting with staff, entering, exiting, or otherwise traveling about the property and indoor spaces. Face coverings are not required while seated at your table. 
  • All staff will be wearing masks and gloves as well as washing their hands frequently throughout the day. 
  • Guests are required to maintain a minimum of 6′ social distancing from other guests outside of their group and with employees. Guests may not congregate in groups of more than 10 guests. Guests in violation of this policy will be asked to leave.
  • Guests will be permitted inside the building only to use the restrooms, purchase merchandise, or to place a to-go order when it is raining. Customers will need to bring their own gloves and masks to wear when indoors. The maximum number of guests permitted inside the building at any time is 10.
  • Please refrain from extraneous touching of surfaces during your visit, including merchandise you do not plan to purchase. 
  • Staff will be sanitizing/cleaning all surfaces and bathrooms frequently and between guests.
  • Guests are asked to minimize staff exposure by ensuring all their trash is appropriately disposed of in our trash cans and empty wine bottles placed in the recycling boxes.

For the safety of our staff and other guests, please do not visit if you have experienced a fever or any symptoms of COVID-19, or have known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days. 

All guests are asked to follow the guidelines and restrictions of the county, city, or state in which they reside. If you live in an area that has not been cleared to enter Phase One or similar, we ask that you do not visit at this time.

If either of these applies to you, please consider taking advantage of our free shipping and online deals instead, more info below. 


Adopt-a-Vine Program

Announcing our Brand New Membership Opportunity!

The Adopt-A-Vine Program

Adopt an entire row of Philip Carter Grapevines


This brand new program lets you symbolically adopt an entire row of Philip Carter grapevines for a period of 10 years for a one-time adoption fee of $250.


With this program, you’ll be able to watch the growing process of your adopted vines, get hands-on opportunities to learn from the Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, receive a bounty of benefits along the way, and also receive opportunities to participate in harvesting grapes from your row.


This truly is an ideal gift for wine lovers! This new program is an immersive and unique gift that is great for you or someone you know who enjoys good wine and wants to learn more about the vine-to-wine process. Impress your friends with your new-found knowledge of how we turn the grapes into wine.


The Benefits

  • Choose Your Row: Upon adoption, you will receive an email to choose your preferred grape varietal and row.
  • Appear on Our Website: Your name will be listed right here on our website next to your adopted row to let everyone know it’s yours.
  • Personalized Plaque: Once selected, a customized plaque will be made with your desired personalized message to be displayed on the post at the top of your adopted row. Maybe you wish to celebrate a company/firm milestone, a college graduate, a marriage proposal, or an important birthday!
  • Quarterly Updates: Receive quarterly vineyard update emails from our Winemaker or Vineyard Manager so you can stay up to date on what is happening in the vineyard.
  • Hands-On Experiences: When the time comes, you will receive opportunities to assist in caring for your adopted row. This includes invitations to learn how to and assist in pruning and harvesting your row.
  • Complimentary Tastings: Receive two complimentary tastings each time you visit.
  • Tickets to our Harvest Festival: You’ll get two complimentary tickets to our Annual Harvest Festival in November.
  • Discounts: 15% discount* on wine and select gift shop items. Enjoy this discount both in our tasting room and our online wine shop. (*Discount may not be combined with any other discounts. Highest percentage discount to which you are entitled will be honored.)



To learn more about the program or to Join the Adopt-A-Vine Program click this button.



COVID-19 Deals & Options

Buy Online – Free Shipping

Shop our online storefront and get free shipping on 3 bottles or more with regular volume discounts!

To help keep your cellar stocked we are offering free shipping for any purchase of 3 bottles or more. But that’s not all, in addition, we are making an exception to our normal rule and allowing you to combine this with our normal volume and club discounts.

3+ Bottles: 5% off
6+ Bottles: 10% off
12+ Bottles: 15% off

Shipping may not available to all states. Discounts apply automatically at check out. If you are a club member you must log in to your account to receive club discounts.


Join our Ambassador Wine Club to get 20% off Bottles and 50% off Cases of Wine Today and Every Day! More Info Here.




Buy a Gift Card Now to use Later & get 20% extra dollars!


Right now we are offering a special on gift card purchases. If you buy a “Future Gift Card” now you will get a bonus 20% added on to your card value after September 1, 2020. The card can be used (anytime after September 1st) for instore and online purchases.


Once purchased, gift card redemption code and information will be emailed to the purchaser.  Gift card code may be used in-house or in our online store.



Curbside Pick-Up

To take advantage of Curbside Pick-up, you can either purchase your wine ahead of time on our website* or call 540.364.1203 to place your order. Then when you arrive, let us know you are here and we will bring your order out to your car.

*If ordering on our website, please select “Curbside Pick-up” under the shipping options at checkout.


Free Delivery to Your Door!

For Residents of Select Counties

We are now offering Free Delivery to select counties with the purchases of 6 or more bottles. If you live in one of the following counties we will drive your order directly to you.

Fauquier County
Warren County
Prince William County
Rappahannock County
Fairfax County

Central VA Area
City of Richmond
Henrico County
Hanover County
Goochland County
Caroline County

Purchase on our online storefront and select “Delivery” at checkout or you can call us at 540.364.1203.

(Valid ID of 21 years of age or more required)


Upcoming Virtual Tasting

Virtual Tasting Event #3

Friday, May 15th at 6:00 pm on Facebook Live

Join Philip Carter Strother, PCW Owner, and Tony McDonnell, PCW Winemaker, as they taste our next 3 wines in our 3rd Virtual Tasting Event and answer questions live on Facebook. 
2019 Sabine Hall Viognier
2016 Corotoman
2017 Sweet Danielle

Want to Taste With Us?

We are offering a bundle deal on these 3 wines so you can taste along with us from the comforts of your home. Get the bundle for 20% off with Free Shipping.

Retail Value: $94.00
20% Discount: $75.20

Buy it online or stop by Friday – Sunday, 12 pm – 4 pm to get your bundle. If you would like to have your bundle shipped to you, your order must be placed by end of day Monday, May 11th to receive it in time to participate.

Covid-19 E-blast 3.19.2020

We are Remaining Open

On March 17th, Virginia’s Governor Northam announced that non-essential gatherings should be limited to 10 or less people. Bars and restaurants in Virginia could remain open but limit service to 10 or less people at a time to aid in the social distancing efforts. At Philip Carter Winery, we are taking this seriously as are many wineries in our area.


Here at Philip Carter Winery, we are a smaller venue with lots of open spaces for you to enjoy your experience while continuing to “social distance.” Due to this, we have decided to stay open with our normal tasting room hours this weekend. We are continuing to follow the guidelines of the CDC as well as taking our own extra precautions to keep you safe. This includes increased sanitation and safety protocols for our guests and our staff.

  • Tastings:
    • We will continue doing tastings this weekend at our tasting bars. However, we will be limiting tastings to no more than 10 people at any given time.
    • Additionally, we will be using disposable glassware during our tastings or offering guests the option to purchase a souvenir wine glass to enjoy your tasting in and then take home with you.
    • The tasting bar will fill on a first-come, first-serve basis for tastings. No reservations are required but to help us ensure we are properly staffed, we would love to know if you plan to visit us during this time. You can send us an email or text us at 540.277.9494 to let us know.
  • Onsite Enjoyment:
    • ​Glass and bottle purchases for enjoyment on property will continue. We are reducing the number of tables in the tasting room to increase social distancing and we have lots of outdoor space to enjoy your wine as well.
    • We will encourage guests to enjoy their wines outside, weather permitting. Take a stroll through our vineyards, grab a picnic table, or bring a blanket and have a picnic to enjoy the fresh air. Picnics, Kids, and Dogs Welcome!
  • Tours:
    • ​If you made a tour reservation for this weekend, we will still be doing tours! We have reduced the number of people we can accommodate on our tours from 10 people to 6 people.
  • Soup Lunches Canceled:
    • As many of you know we have been doing soup lunches on the weekends. In order to allow us to put more effort into social distancing and keeping our guests safe, we will not be offering our soup lunch specials this weekend. We will still be offering our cheese and sausage baskets for your snaking needs.
  • Curbside Pick-up:
    • ​This weekend we will be offering curbside pickup. You can either purchase your wine ahead of time on our website and select pick up at the tasting room at checkout or call your order in and we will bring your order out to you when you arrive. The phone number is 540.364.1203.

To see other steps we are taking to help reduce the spread of Covid-19, you can refer to our previous e-blast sent last week here.

Covid-19 Update (3.13.20)

E-Blast sent on 3.13.2020:

We Are Open and Committed to Keeping you Safe

We at Philip Carter Winery know that this is a challenging and uncertain time in the world. As the global efforts to combat COVID-19 are taking place, we at Philip Carter Winery are working to do our part and monitoring the status of things via local, state, and federal sources and will continue to take the appropriate actions as needed.

At this time, Philip Carter Winery will be open for business with normal operating hours. We are following the guidelines of the CDC and taking our own extra precautions that we have outlined below. This includes increased sanitation and safety protocols for our guests and our staff. As we take these important steps, we remain as positive as always.

  • Philip Carter Winery staff members and guests should be aware of their own health and not report to work or visit the winery should they suspect any illness, or if they have been in close contact with others who are ill, including illness of family members, co-workers, and friends.
  • Cleaning of our entire facility has been enhanced, both during and after the business hours, including sanitizing the bar after each tasting, disinfecting door handles, Ipads, phones, and other high traffic surface areas. Please bear with us as we make these changes. We understand that the smell of disinfectants can be a bit jarring in a winery setting but it is for your own safety.
  • We have removed spittoons and cracker cups from the tasting room, and they will be replaced by a single-person disposable cup upon request. If you would like crackers please ask the staff member behind the bar for crackers in a clean cup.
  • For our soup lunches, we will keep the soups and salads in the kitchen. If you are interested in them, ask a staff member and they would be happy to help. We ask that you dispose of all your dishes in our many trash cans.
  • All of our glasses are sanitized in our high temperature, industrial dishwasher, however, in an effort to reduce the handling of used glasses and the transference of germs, our tastings will now include a glass for an additional $2.00 or be done in a disposable cup for the normal tasting price.
  • If you are returning a glass you do not wish to take home, cutting boards, knives, etc., please take them to the register where a gloved staff member will take them and put them in our dishwasher. For the safety of you and our other guests please refrain from leaving dirty dishes on tables and bars.

At this time the safety and health of our guests and staff is of the utmost importance. Please keep this in mind when reviewing these changes. These are temporary safety measures put in place to protect our community. We thank you for your continued patronage and can’t wait to see you in Virginia Wine Country. Remember, this too shall pass!



Want to Stay Home but Need Your Wine?…

We Can Ship!

Don’t want to face a possible quarantine without a fully stocked wine shelf?
We have good news!

Shop our online storefront and get free shipping on 3 bottles or more!

We understand if, at this time, you do not feel comfortable visiting us in our tasting room. We hope that you will consider stocking up using our website to help get you through this time or any necessary quarantines. Discount applies automatically at checkout and cannot be combined with any other discounts. Shipping may not available to all states.

– or –

Purchase a Gift Card and Visit Us Later!

With many people choosing to stay home, many small businesses that rely on continued patronage will feel the effects of COVID-19. Many, like us, have the option to purchase gift cards that can be used at a later date. If you would prefer to stay home during this time, this is a great way to support your local small business and visit us later.

The History of Port

Port was developed in the early 1700s because of a trade agreement between England and Portugal.  England and France had been in a mercantile war that oftentimes broke into open warfare and of course, England is too far north to really grow and ripen grapes (though they’ve been exploring Sparkling wines of late).  Therefore, the English were looking for other places where they could possibly find wine, and one of those places was Portugal.  They concluded a treaty in 1703 that reduced the duties on English woolen goods, which would then be shipped to Portugal, and reduced the duty on Portuguese wine, which would then be brought back to England.

Well, this all sounded well and good except that the Portuguese wine didn’t taste the same as the French wine, and the English consumers didn’t accept it.  Therefore, the individuals who were involved in the trade had to come up with a new type of wine, and they were the ones who developed what we know today as Port.  They arrested fermentation when the wine was still quite sweet and added alcohol until the wine roughly reached 18% alcohol.

Philip Carter’s Port Style Wine – ‘1762’

In the spirit of this tradition, our port style wine is made from 100% Chambourcin grapes from the 2015 harvest.   It has been aged in Bourbon Whiskey barrels from the A. Smith Bowman distillery for 38 months.  The wine is fortified shortly after fermentation with high alcohol grape brandy and is both unfiltered and unfined.  This wine shows an intense deep red color with orange hues from longer barrel aging.  On the palate, it is full of ripe red fruit flavors, rich dark chocolate, and a touch of bourbon leading to a long-lasting finish.  It is 6.3% residual sugar and 18.8% alcohol.

Food Pairing Notes

This port pairs well with both mild goat cheese as well as aromatic blue cheese. A fine cigar is also a worthy companion for this wine.