It’s been a while since a good, old-fashioned wine Wednesday hasn’t it? I’m really going back in the memory bank here, because it’s been a while since we actually visited any wineries, but nonetheless here we go.
Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Price Point: $39 (very pricey, I know)
Brief and non-technical Tasting Notes: To me, cab franc is one of those wines that can be either absolutely brilliant or completely abysmal. Thankfully this cab franc falls is the former. It’s smooth, rich and smells divine. The only challenge with this one is its price tag. I’ve talked about this before, and I know our local wineries are often small producers that have to invest a ton just to create a few hundred cases, yet 40 bucks still seems really steep to me. I mean, I bought a bottle because it was delicious, but still…
Although not the highlighted wine today, it’s also worth trying their Paint the Town Red, an everyday red blend, which is light, fruity and super drinkable. Their blanc de merlot is super unique and ultra refreshing for summer. It’s a merlot but pressed without the skins so just has the faintest pink hue.
Winery Vibes: Winery vibes are super important yet underrated. This is the feeling that you get when you walk into a space, and is influenced by things such as: aesthetics, decor, set up, staff friendliness and knowledge, sampling protocol (free vs. fees, sampling variety, etc.), snobbiness vs. accessibility, etc.
I’m not going to lie to you: from the outside, the Rollingdale wine tasting room looks like a Dexter kill room, the kind of space where you might enter and never exit again alive. It’s a metal shed, windowless and completely terrifying. I promise you that once you enter you’ll know that everything is going to be ok.
The interior boasts barrels of wine, palates of wine for shipment, and a very, very casual and un-pretentious set up. I used to work in the tech sector and it reminds me of those stories of tech startups operating out of someone’s garage. It looks like they’ve set up a temporary space to make, store and sell wine until they make it big.
I’m really not selling this experience, am I?
Let me assure you, you can have a good tasting experience. It just won’t be accompanied by all the aesthetic bells and whistles that you get at some of the larger wineries. What you will get is casual, straightforward service. One of the tasting room staff is a bit of a gruff, older gentleman, but he is friendly enough especially once you get into the tasting. We’ve also been hosted by his wife, who was infinitely more gregarious and very into the wine tasting experience. In other words, no matter who you get you’re in good hands.
We tasted at least eight wines, and could have had more if we’d been interested in sampling whites. They do make a marechal foch, which is rarer in our neck of the woods, but I found it to be a bit too young and sharp on the palate right now. In a couple years, it may be great. The same goes for their merlot, which smelled heavenly but just didn’t have the flavour to back it up yet. What I appreciated was their willingness to tell you when some of the wines are young and can benefit from laying down for a while. Many wineries act as though that’s not the case when it clearly is.
All in all, Rollingdale is a fun stop on day of wine touring. I wouldn’t suggest it as the crowning winery of a tour, but you’ll get lots of generous pours, friendly service, fewer crowds, and a couple of varietals that are definitely worth taking home.
*It probably goes without saying, but I have received no compensation for writing this. Rollingdale has no idea who I am, nor do I have a followership on this blog that would inspire anyway to pay me for writing nice things about them.