Middleburg Virginia’s Boxwood site is a National Historic Landmark in a region steeped in American Colonial and Civil War history. Originally settled in the 18th century, it was one of the first horse farms in the area as well as the home of military aviation pioneer General Billy Mitchell.
John Kent Cooke and Rita Cooke founded their 19-acre Boxwood Winery at the Boxwood site in 2006. Renowned viticulturalist Lucie Morton designed the 16-acre vineyard. Richard Vine, Purdue University Professor of Enology, advised architect Hug Newel Jacobsen on designing the state-of-the-art winery. One of Bordeaux’s greatest winemakers, Stéphane Derenoncourt, works with viticulturist, winemaker Tyler Henley and Executive Vice President Rachel Martin to develop outstanding blends every vintage. Also in 2006, Boxwood Winery initiated the six-year process to establish Middleburg as an AVA. In 2012 Middleburg was established as Virginia’s seventh AVA.
Boxwood Estate Vineyard has the tightest vineyard planting on the east coast and is sustainably farmed. The vineyard is located at the highest elevation on the site, with an average elevation of 535 feet above sea level. The vineyard is comprised of three blocks (A, B, and C) on Purcellville Silt Loam with Gneiss, Schist, and Granite bedrock. A – Block contains Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grow at the highest portion of the vineyard where the rocky soil is well drained and loose. B-Block has much more clay which limits the growth of vines and only Cabernet Sauvignon is planted here. C-Block’s soil varies from rocky thin at the northwest edge with increasing clay content as it slopes to the southeast. Cabernet Franc is planted here. Virginia’s climate changes from year to year which provides varied characteristics and blend content to each Boxwood vintage. Virginian Spring brings moderate rainfall, warm days and cools nights, which increasing temperatures and humidity from July to August. September and October tend to bring cooler and drier months for the grape harvest.
In the Bordeaux tradition, Boxwood produces five blends using the seven grape varieties certified by the French Government: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris. The winery has limited production to no more than 5,000 cases annually. Boxwood Winery is grounded in history and excellence, as John Kent Cooke says, “I am convinced that with today’s viticultural knowledge and winemaking techniques Virginia can produce a premium wine as good as anywhere.”