24 BRIX is a relatively new kid in the Shenandoah Valley. We watched over a period of weeks this past year as the old antique store on Highway 49 in Plymouth was transformed into the Schmitz 24 BRIX Barrel Cellar Tasting Room. When the Vineyard Vixens visited, we got a warm welcome from the owner and winemaker himself, Paul Schmitz.
The 24 BRIX Vineyards
I love learning new things about wine and winemaking when I go wine tasting. The name of the winery comes from the fact that they harvest their grapes when the sugar content is at or close to 24 brix (brix is a measure of the sugar content of an aqueous solution). They feel this natural sugar level is the optimal ripeness for the fruit and dramatically influences the quality and taste. 24 BRIX wines have no commercial yeast added. The grapes are fermented using naturally occurring vineyard yeast.
The vineyards are located in the Sierra Foothills near Lake Tahoe and in Lake County Red Hills north of Napa County. The family is committed to natural wine growing so the vineyards are farmed without pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.
The 24 BRIX Tasting Room
We really enjoyed our visit to the 24 BRIX tasting room. Paul was a kick and quite entertaining. He’s very proud of his high scoring wines with good reason. I brought home their Winemaker’s Red Blend which is their most popular wine. It was awarded 92 points at a recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. I think everyone found something they especially liked and one Vixen even became a wine club member.
The tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday 11 am to 5 pm and Monday through Wednesday by appointment. The $10 tasting fee is waived with the purchase of a bottle of wine. Visit their website to learn more.