Gianni Zonin, 6th generation heir to a family wine enterprise in the Veneto, Italy, bought a plantation in Virginia in 1976 with the seemingly ridiculous expectation of creating a vineyard. Jefferson had attempted this in Monticello, but without achieving a single successful harvest. Today they are one of the oldest wineries in the region, producing some of the most lauded wines.
Located in the Monticello AVA, approximately 8 miles south of James Madison’s Montpelier and 20 miles north of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in the same Southwest Mountain chain, paralleling the Blue Ridge Mountains, Barboursville gets its name from the substantial plantation owned by Thomas Barbour, in the mid-1700s. Today the estate spans 364 hectares, 69 of which are under vine.
Before coming to Barboursville, Luca Paschina first worked in Napa Valley, the Finger Lakes, and Switzerland, when he then joined his father Armando and uncle Francesco fulltime to make wine in Piemonte.
In 1990, he was asked by Gianni Zonin to study the winery operations at Barboursville in a year’s consultancy, after which he returned to Zonin’s headquarters north of Venice with an irresistibly audacious suggestion – “if you will systematically re-invest in ideal trellising systems and techniques for this terroir, you will have the finest wines that can be grown on the East Coast”. Luca was subsequently hired to do just that and he is succeeding.
The years of Luca Paschina’s inexhaustibly creative and progressive guidance of this estate, and charismatic leadership of Virginia viticulture since 1991, have led to Barboursville’s many accolades, including winning the Virginia Governor’s Cup for the 4th time in 2013 with the wine Octagon,.
His name and heritage may be Italian, but Luca will proudly tell you ‘I am a Virginian!’.
Take a visit to Barboursville Vineyards and hear about the wines from Luca himself in this video.