Which October One Vineyard wine sounds delicious to you today?

Which October One Vineyard wine sounds delicious to you today?

Let’s help find out with this overview of our grapes, their history, and lineage, as well as our grapes’ signature characteristics. Also, see what chefs and authors said while pairing O1V’s wine with food and the medals we’ve taken home.

O1V’s Grapes

The grapes used in October One Vineyard’s lineup of delicious wines are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Our white wines are made from Albariño and Viognier grapes.

We use only our grapes to make October One Vineyard wine, grown at our vineyard on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bluemont, Virginia. Grapes for our single-varietal wines are harvested by hand.

 The Loudoun Wine Awards and the Virginia Governor’s Cup

Wine competitions can be showcases where the public gets a sweeping view of a region, state, or country. October One Vineyard is backed up by their winemakers Walsh Family Wine, and have racked up an impressive array of medals at the regional and state level.

In the annual Loudoun Wine Awards, O1V has won a total of twenty-seven medals, including twice winning the Chairman’s Best award, multiple Best-of-Class awards, twelve silver medals, and seven gold medals. At the Virginia Governor’s Cup held in Richmond each year, we have won a total of eight medals, including a gold.

Cabrnet Franc bottles with decanters.

Cabernet Franc (Cab Franc)

This grape has been made famous in two of France’s wine regions, Bordeaux, and the Loire Valley. The Bordeaux region is situated in southwest France around the city of Bordeaux on the Garonne River. There Cabernet Franc is used as a component of the Bordeaux blend, supporting Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and a cast of other authorized grapes. It is no wonder these grapes go together since they are related. Plant DNA testing has proven that Cabernet Franc is one of the parent grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot!

Two hundred miles north of Bordeaux in the Chinon appellation of the Loire Valley, France, Cabernet Franc has been successfully produced as a single varietal since the seventeenth century.

In the U.S., California, New York, Finger Lakes, and indeed Loudoun County, Virginia, produce excellent Cabernet Francs.

Cabernet Franc’s characteristics

Aromas of red fruit like cranberry, strawberry, and raspberry can be found in Cab Francs. It can produce vegetal aromas of tobacco, mushroom, and pepper. Tea notes can be found in cool climates and floral aromas of violet in a warm environment. It has medium to high acidity, light to medium tannins, and medium alcohol levels.

Our Cabernet Franc

October One Vineyard’s Cabernet Francs are beautiful expressions of this grape. We now have two single varietal vintages available, 2019 and 2020. Our 2022 Saignée Rosé is an irresistible blend of sixty-one percent Cabernet Franc and thirty-nine percent Merlot.

When pairing these vintages with food for our recent book, Wine and Food Pairing, October One Vineyard (available at the tasting shop), the impressions captured were:

“O1V 2019 Cabernet Franc is immediately fruity and alluring, with mixed berries and jam flavors. The nose is sweet and pleasing with low tannin and medium acidity. It opened well, and we aerated it for fifteen minutes before the tasting began. This is our favorite sipping wine of the two.”

The O1V 2020 Cabernet Franc has a light nose with a bit of spice, an appealing earthy dust aroma, and grape candy flavors. It is a pretty wine with very well-integrated French oak barrel aging.”

Loudoun Wine Awards – O1V Medals for Cabernet Franc

 Best Cabernet Franc for the 2017

Gold                2017

Silver for the 2018 Cabernet Franc Rosé

Silver               2020

Virginia Governor’s Cup – O1V Medals for Cabernet Franc

Silver               2017

Gold                2019

Silver               2020

Three bottles of Merlot.


Merlot comes from the Bordeaux region of France, thought to have originated on one of the islands along the Garonne River. It is one of the most planted grapes in the world and the most planted grape in Bordeaux. Merle, the French name for the little blackbird that loves to eat grapes, probably is the origin of the name Merlot.

Merlot’s characteristics

The aromas of dark fruit like blueberry, plum, and black cherry are signatures of Merlot. It can also produce herbal aromas of mint and when aged aromas of coffee and chocolate. Merlot has medium acidity, medium tannins, and medium-high alcohol. It is a wine with a softer mouthfeel and lower tannin than the Cabernets, making it a perfect blending partner with them in Bordeaux wine.

 Our Merlot

One-hundred percent Merlot grapes are used to produce these smooth and rich wines. We now have three vintages available, 2018, 2019, and 2020. And when pairing these with food for our book Wine and Food Pairing, October One Vineyard, we had this to say:

O1V 2019 Merlot has an appealing, come-get-me aroma with blackberries,

bramble, and a touch of spice. With very nice French oak barrel aging, it

is deeply colored and sits pretty in the glass. It was our favorite wine overall for

drinkability, always calling for another glass.”

O1V 2020 Merlot is a smooth, light, crowd-pleasing wine that pairs with

almost everything. We concluded that if this wine was a band, it could play any song


Loudoun Wine Awards – O1V Medals for Merlot

 Gold                2015

Silver               2016 two years in a row

Gold                2017

Best Merlot    2017

Gold                2019

Silver               2019

Virginia Governor’s Cup – O1V Medals for Merlot

Silver               2019

Silver               2020

Two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon and plates of food.

Cabernet Sauvignon

This is the king of grapes producing wine that can be refined and at the same time formidable. In Bordeaux, it is blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, or Petit Verdot, depending on the vintage. DNA evidence proved that Cabernet Sauvignon is the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc by a natural crossing in the seventeenth century in the Bordeaux region.

Cabernet Sauvignon’s characteristics

The dark fruit aromas are black currant and cherry with spice notes of eucalyptus, mint, and vegetal bell pepper. In cool climates, you can find aromas of dark chocolate. And when aged in oak, cedar, vanilla, and tobacco aromas emerge. Coffee, caramel, and cigar box aromas can be found when well-aged. Cabernet Sauvignon has medium to high acidity, tannins, and alcohol.

Our Cabernet Sauvignon

One-hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are used to produce these elegant wines. We now have four vintages available, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. And when pairing two of our Cabernets with food for our book Wine and Food Pairing, October One Vineyard, we had this to say:

“O1V 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine lovers’ wine with all the right components coming together beautifully in a glass. With a touch of vanilla, the sweet aromas of cut leather and blackberry jam call for you to taste them. Do aerate this wine in a decanter for at least fifteen minutes and take a little time to enjoy the aromas before taking a sip.”

“O1V 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon is a great dinner wine and our food-friendly choice of these two wines. It paired well with many foods, including toast and tarragon butter, gouda, young cheddar, blue cheese, and herb goat cheese. It paired with ribs, steak, and even vanilla ice cream.”

Loudoun Wine Awards – O1V Medals for Cabernet Sauvignon

Gold                            2015

Silver                           2019

Best Red Vinifera        2020

Silver                           2020

Silver                           2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé

Virginia Governor’s Cup – O1V Medals for Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver                           2019

Silver                           2020

Bottles of wine; Viognier, Rose, and Albarino.


Albariño is native to Northern Spain and Portugal. It is produced in the Rais Baxis appellation of Galicia in Northern Spain. And in Northern Portugal’s Minho region, where the popular Vinho Verde, meaning young wine, is made.

Albariño’s characteristics

This grape produces fruit aromas of grapefruit, nectarine, and lime, with floral hints of honeysuckle and occasionally beeswax. It has flavors of lemon zest, grapefruit, honeydew melon, and nectarine. On the palate, Albariño wines have mouth-watering acidity that finishes with salinity and sometimes a subtle bitterness.

Our Albariño

This is a favorite at the tasting shop. The aromas are pleasant, the mouthfeel is light, and the acidity is bright and mouthwatering. The staff loves it; our Wine Share members love it; first-timers adore it, and even people’s pets love it. And when we paired this with food for our book, we all loved it:

O1V 2021 Albarino immediately displayed beautiful odors of powdered white flower and lemon. There are also notes of lemon candy and tropical fruit. This wine has alluring aromatics that begged us to taste it. The acidity was enough to make our mouths water even before tasting.”

Loudoun Wine Awards – O1V Medals for Albariño

Silver               2019

Best Albariño 2019

Silver               2021



The origin and name of the Viognier grape are uncertain, but two things are sure. DNA profiling conducted at the University of California, Davis, showed the grape to be closely related to the Italian Piedmont grape Freisa and a genetic cousin of Nebbiolo. And the French appellation of Condrieu in the Northern Rhône Valley produces benchmark expressions of Viognier wine.

Viognier’s characteristics

This grape produces rich, weighty wine for a white with floral and fruit aromas. Fruit aromas of stone fruit like peach, mango, and citrus-like lemon and tangerine can be found. Sweet floral notes of roses and honeysuckle; even though Viognier can smell sweet, it is usually vinted in a dry style.

Our Viognier

Currently, we have three styles of Viognier; the soft, round classic style aged in neutral Oak and Acacia barrels from 2020 and 2021. And two new offerings from the 2022 vintage, a racy stainless steel fermented Viognier and a sure-to-be crowd-pleaser sparkling Viognier.

Again, notes from our book.

O1V 2020 Viognier needs time to open a bit and may benefit from aerating in a decanter or letting the wine alone in the glass for ten minutes, trying it along the way until it is exposed to enough air that its pleasant odors appear. This wine is oily and has a good mouth feel with a slight bitterness that we liked. It has medium acidity and a pleasant wood odor from the acacia wood barrel aging. This is a good food wine and was our favorite white so far.”

Loudoun Wine Awards – O1V Medals for Viognier

Gold                2018

Best Viognier for the 2018

Chairman’s Grand Award for the 2018

Silver               2019

Gold                2020

Best Viognier for the 2020

Chairman’s Grand Award for the 2020

Silver               2021

 Which October One Vineyard wine sounds delicious to you today? That is an intriguing question that can be definitively answered at our tasting shop at 7 Loudoun Street, Leesburg, Virginia, or by shopping online.