Meet the Winemaker: Carl O. DiManno at 868 Estate Vineyards
Carl O. DiManno started making wine in 2001 while attending the University of California at Davis. He’s been making wine for 868 Estate Vineyards since before it opened, starting in 2011. After receiving a Master of Science in Enology from UC Davis, DiManno interned at Artesa Winery & Vineyards and was a founding member of Winesecrets, a technology-based wine improvement service.
“I returned to the East Coast to establish Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard in Maryland, wearing many hats including vineyard manager, winery designer and winemaker.”
“Do whatever is necessary for a wine to show its best possible self. If a wine can be improved by blending, aging or additions, we will make those changes to bring the best wine to the consumer. Just as a chef might simply grill one piece of beef where another might need seasoning, slow roasting or sauce.”
A Word of Wisdom
“Occasionally, just enjoy a glass of wine. Don’t analyze it or use descriptive terms or try to find flaws. Most people don’t want to hear your analysis. Just drink it, enjoy the people around you and your surroundings. That’s what it’s for.”
868 Estate Vineyards is situated on 120 acres in Loudoun County. Prior to opening on Mother’s Day 2012, the winery merged with an existing farm-to-table restaurant now known as Grandale Vintner’s Table. The vineyard has 18 acres under vine with plans to expand to 23 in 2017. The tasting room offers a number of pairings and food offerings. There is a picnic area, pet-friendly space and covered pavilion with music. Grandale Vintner’s Table offers food service and tasting flight.
Six whites: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonel, Viognier, Riesling, Canvas White (sweet chardonel/vidal blanc blend). Three reds: Petit Verdot, Altezza (nebbiolo/merlot blend), Meritage. (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon Monarch (blend) available in autumn.) One rosé: Saignée of cabernet franc, merlot and cabernet sauvignon.
2014 Chardonel: People were really intrigued by this hybrid. Great balance with crisp, refreshing acidity. Citrus and tropical fruits. First crop at 868 Estate.
2014 Sauvignon Blanc: New world style sauvignon blanc. Elderberry, lemongrass and lots of tropical fruit. Lively, refreshing finish.
2014 Cabernet Franc: Loudoun County wine with all of the franc grown at 868 Estate. Jammy raspberry along with violets and green tea.
Accolades and Awards
-2014 868 Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Loudoun County—Best in Class, “Classic White Varietal,” 2015 Loudoun Wine Awards.
-2013 868 Estate Vineyards Cabernet Franc, Maryland—Gold, 2014 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition.
-2013 868 Estate Vineyards Nebbiolo—Gold, 2015 Finger Lakes International.
868 Estate Vineyards
14001 Harpers Ferry Rd., Purcellville
Contact winery for days and hours of operation.