The original log cabin is estimated to have been built between 1800 and 1825. It was renovated in 1955 by a student of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
What resulted was the winery, formally established in 2007. The late Esther Podolnick (Jane’s aunt and Kirk’s great aunt) had brainstormed with Jane two decades ago about what the cabin property could one day become. They both agreed that it provided the perfect backdrop for a farm winery.
Kirk, a graduate of the University of Miami, moved back to Virginia in 2004 and started connecting the dots in putting together the winery. Armed with some of the most talented minds in the Virginia wine industry, they have sought to create high-end, high-quality wines aimed for distribution in the tri-state market.
The mother and son team of Jane and Kirk brought in Virginia’s own state wine pundit, Chris Pearmund, to make them a winery from the 37 acres they had inherited.
Chances are, if you have enjoyed any Virginia wine, you have experienced Pearmund’s touch. He has consulted for many of Virginia’s 160-plus wineries, in addition to establishing his own Pearmund Cellars and Vint Hill Craft Winery.
Under Pearmund’s tutelage, the winery has planted two and a half acres of vines, the varietal being Cabernet Franc. Virginia wine lovers will appreciate that Cabernet Franc tends to do well in the commonwealth’s rich alluvial soil and hot humid summers.
Paradise Spring participates in various wine competitions each year, and has won several awards at the local and national level.
In particular, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon won the Gold Medal at the 2009 America’s Cup Wine Competition in addition to two other golds and a bronze in local competitions. Other award-winning wines include the 2008 Vidal Blanc, the 2008 Viognier (another varietal that is thriving in the Virginia climate), and the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc.
Wiles purchases grapes from around the state to supplement his own vineyard. His team seeks to create high-quality wines by limiting production to 5,000 or 6,000 cases a year. They are employing both steel and oak fermentation, using a combination of French, Hungarian, and American oak barrels.
At all of 27, Kirk Wiles shows his love for wine and burgeoning knowledge. “Virginia has its own microclimate, and Virginia winemakers are still seeking their mold in terms of terroir. There are both possibilities and limitations in any climate. My mother and I have always loved wine and it is a learning process. Wine is an art form that is always a work in progress.”
Last month, several hundred friends of brothers Kirk Wiles and Drew Wiles stopped in to the vineyard on a brisk, snowy day to raise their glasses to the brothers and their mom Jane and to visit the historic buildings and property and to listen to live music.
For more information, visit the winery’s Web site at www.paradisespringswinery.com.