Sometimes the best things in life can be found down the road less traveled. Chatham Vineyards on Virginia’s historic Eastern Shore is no exception to this rule. The 400 year old farm is nestled between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The maritime climate and sandy loam soil create the perfect dynamic for world class wines.
We are kicking off our celebration of Virginia wine month with Chatham’s Church Creek “Steel” Chardonnay.
Aromas of meyer lemon, quince, honeydew melon and slight tropical undertones of pineapple are present on the nose along with honeysuckle, wet stone and a hint of salinity.
The palate echoes the aroma profile and provides a perfect foil for briny oysters and other shellfish. This is a crisp dry balanced wine with refreshing acidity. The minerality and flavor profile is reminiscent of an old world Chablis. A true expression of what the Chardonnay grape should taste like.
The best part, this wine retails for under $20!
This wine is a classic pairing with oysters. In fact, Chatham is hosting its annual Merroir & Terroir event coming up in November where they pair local oysters with the “Steel” Chardonnay.
In addition to oysters, this is a perfect pairing with an array of seafood, poultry dishes and my Chesapeake Crab & Corn Chowder. The sweet briny crab meat brings out the fruit characteristics in the wine and the refreshing acidity cleanses your palate in between bites. This is a marriage made in heaven!
In addition to the “Steel” Chardonnay, the Wehner family is having some great results with Bordelais varietals, most notably the Cabernet France. We will review that wine later this month. It’s definitely worth the short detour of Highway 13 to stop in and savor some of the great wines from Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
I had the opportunity to spend the day with the winemaker, watch the video.