2007 AIA NOVA Merit Award (image)
John Kent Cooke's Boxwood Winery in Virgina is complete. Planning began in July 2002 and construction started in November 2003. The press pad and fermentation buildings will be completed in time for the 2005 harvest.
The architects: Hugh Newell Jacobsen and Simon Jacobsen from Washington, D.C.; the oenologist: Dr. Richard Vine from Purdue University; and the contractor: Peterson and Collins of Washington, D.C. The winery is a complex of four buildings: a reception for wine tasting; a fermentation chai with thirteen custom designed stainless steel fermentation tanks, ranging from 800 to 3,000 gallon capacity; a bottling building with storage up to 10,000 cases, and a circular underground cave to house oak barrels.
The Jacobsen design is modern, but they have chosen materials characteristic of the 18th century rural area of Middleburg, Virginia – using fieldstone, seam metal roofs, and cupolas.
The winery is high-tech: the fermentation tanks are monitored by Tank Net showing critical fermentation data that can be accessed anywhere by a computer. Production from grape receipts to bottling is managed by software from Winemakers Database. Heating, lighting, and security systems are also controlled by computer systems.
The vineyard is designed by viticulturist Lucie Morton. Two additional acres of vines were planted this year in the vineyard surrounding the winery bringing the total to approximately 14 acres. An additional four acres will be planted in 2006 and 2007. There are eight varieties of grapes, certified by the French Government: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, tannat, petit verdot, syrah, malbec, and carmenere.
Boxwood will produce red wine only, blended in the French Bordeaux tradition. A limited quantity of the 2005 vintage will be available in 2007. The winery will be open to the public by appointment only at that time.
Boxwood Winery is the dream of Rita and John Kent Cooke, who purchased historic Boxwood Farm in November 2001 and who recognized the great potential of producing premium wine in Virginia. Virginia is rapidly becoming known as a Wine Region, ranking 6th in the number of wineries in the United States, according to Decanter Magazine which featured the construction of Boxwood Winery in its January, 2005 issue.