With Hanukkah upon us and Christmas around the corner, ‘tis the season to celebrate! I’m counting it down with some Thibaut-Janisson Virginia FIZZ.
I first had this wine a little over a year ago when I went to Virginia to experience a harvest dinner during Virginia Wine Month. It was the first sip of the trip, paired with a delicious meal and great company, so it has stuck out in my mind since then. It’s amazing how you can equate certain wines with memories.
Thibaut-Janisson was born from friendship that began in a Grand Cru village in the Champagne region of France. Thibaut and his friend Manuel Janisson were both from champagne-producing families in the town and each helped out in the family businesses.
When Thibaut went to work in California in 1983, after spending a few years working in Australia, Janisson decided to join him and get some experience in California. They quickly began talking about a future producing a sparkling wine together. About 25 years later, they decided that Virginia would be the place to do it.
In 2005, Thibaut and Janisson began their joint venture, and in 2007 had the first release of their non-vintage Blanc de Chardonnay. Virginia Fizz sparkling wine followed in the Spring of 2011. The grapes are sourced from the Monticello AVA (American Viticultural Area). Roughly half of these grapes come from a nearby vineyard, Ivy Creek Farm, which has some of the oldest Chardonnay vines around, dating back to 1982. Both wines are produced at Veritas Winery in Afton, Virginia, west of Charlottesville.
This sparkling wine is Crémant style made of 100% Chardonnay. It was a lovely shade of yellow with notes of peach and apple. It had a nice mouthfeel, creamy and smooth, with tiny fizzy bubbles that just don’t quit. A perfect holiday starter. I’m glad I have a second bottle in my wine cooler.