Thistle Gate Vineyard
Thistle Gate Vineyard was established by the current owners, Leslie and George Cushnie in 2007 and was Fluvanna County’s first vineyard/winery. Originally, the plan was to sell grapes to local vineyards. However, the Cushnies became engaged in winemaking and produced their first vintage in 2010. The tasting room was opened in 2012.
Thistle Gate is located in a historical area, on VA Rt 6, and is easily accessible from Richmond, Charlottesville and other surrounding communities. The vineyard is perched above the Hardware River on well sloped terrain facing south/southwest. This aspect offers long hours of summer sun, which combined with the well-drained rocky soils, provide a unique terroir.
Visitors to Thistle Gate find a friendly, relaxing, low key atmosphere. Leslie (and sometimes George) is almost always available in the tasting room to engage with customers in discussions of vineyards, wines, families or anything interesting.
Thistle Gate offers music on most Saturdays and has numerous special events, including our annual Thistle Market, a major two day event following Thanksgiving.
In addition to award winning wines, Thistle Gate serves a delicious Sangria, which is a delightful concoction originally developed in-house for festivals, but now served year round in the tasting room. It can be purchased for on-site consumption by the glass/pitcher or in growers for off-site.
The Cushnies were instrumental in the expansion of the Monticello AVA boundary to include a portion of Fluvanna County in December 2018. That effort, which took nearly six years to accomplish, was supported by the Monticello Wine Trail.
5199 W River Rd
Scottsville, Virginia 24590
tel: (434) 286-7781
email: email@example.com website: www.thistlegatevineyard.com
Leslie was mentored by the well known Virginia vineyard consultant, Chris Hill. She was responsible for overseeing the original vineyard planting in 2007 and subsequent additions over the past 12 years. She personally performs the vast majority of pruning, shoot training and canopy management. Overall, her philosophy is to reduce vine stress by controlling crop-load, creating open canopies, timely irrigation and prevention of disease.
Although a relatively new winemaker, George has had success with a range of white and red wines, as well as port-style wine. He won multiple awards in wine competitions, including the Virginia Governor’s Cup. George’s red wines are moderately oaked using French and American barrels. Whites are typically aged in stainless steel, with occasional exceptions such as Chardonnay. Port wines are fortified with spirits distilled from Thistle Gate wine and aged for several years in whiskey barrels.
Vineyard Manager: Leslie Cushnie
Winemaker: George Cushnie
Wines Typically Available:
Whites - Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Traminette
Rosé - Thistle Blush
Reds - Petit Verdot, Merlot, Chambourcin, Meritage, Cabernet Franc
Port-Style Dessert - Highland, Tartan
Other - Sangria
Other times by appointment.
Regular - $6.00/person
Reserve - $8.00/person
Group Tasting Policy:
More than 8 people is $10/person. Groups are welcome, but must call ahead.
Food available for purchase, also permits outside food.
Public Events - Music on most Saturdays. Special events throughout the year.
Private Events - Space rental available for weddings, showers, parties, etc.