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The final blend will almost always contain some element of Petit Verdot, which is our primary reason for cultivating this grape of deep color and tannic concentration; and in seasons where sites growing superior Cabernet Sauvignon achieve ideal ripening, from lower vigor soils, this varietal is also likely to play a part.Merlot and Cabernet Franc have been planted at the estate since 1976, while Merlot established itself in our vineyards as a standout varietal somewhat later than Cabernet Franc.Long regarded as one of the best restaurants in Northern Virginia, the Ashby Inn offers a menu that is thoughtful, expressive and, in spring and summer, inspired by its own gardens.In addition to lunch and dinner, a two-course homemade breakfast is served daily.The highly competitive selection process begins in the ground, in every growing season, and leads us to expect the unexpected in the variations each season will bring to these parcels.In this way the qualities of each site’s plantings are continuously re-evaluated, as a guide for future plantings and for selecting the Octagon of that vintage.In this way, Octagon may be a poacher of supply in these varietal Reserves, but the standard they achieve for themselves is always the highest possible.Since our first vintage-dated bottling of Octagon in 2001, the wine has drawn positive comment from critical media in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Our viticulturist Fernando Franco and our consultant from the University of Bordeaux, Denis Dubourdieu, are to be credited with recommending a complete renovation in our Sauvignon Blanc plantings.By 1994 we were expanding Merlot into multiple vineyard sites, of carefully selected diversity in weather exposure.The great 1997 vintage repaid our Merlot planting program many times over, by giving technical guidance which has consistently yielded exceptional fruit characteristics, except only in the most difficult conditions.In Marlborough we identified 3 distinctive specimens of Sauvignon Blanc of high promise for our vineyards, and promptly planted 2.5 acres, with 5 more acres going into the ground in 2010.2012 gave us our first, small vintage based entirely on the new plantings.

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