Jacque Hogge grew up in Newport News and studied medicine at the University of Virginia, but she’s also a part of Virginia’s growing wine industry.
Hogge and her business partner, Jeff Cooper, own Cooper Vineyards, located in Louisa County west of Richmond. The winery produces 6,500 cases each year, including chardonnay, viognier, petit verdot, cabernet franc, norton, and red and white blends called Coopertage. Its chocolate-infused dessert wine called Noche, which is modeled after a chocolate port, is extremely popular and accounts for about one-third of winery sales.
Recently, the winery’s tasting room built last year was awarded a LEED Platinum certification, a designation for construction projects that meet the highest standards in green building technology. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Designed by Baskervill, a Richmond architectural firm, the project includes a rainwater harvesting system, solar panels that provide more than 15 percent of the building’s electricity, and a geothermal HVAC system. The room’s two glass walls look out over the vineyards and a pond.
Hogge says the tasting room is “a project that we’ve been dreaming of for over ten years. Our ‘green’ tasting room enables us to respect the land while producing some of the finest wines in the state.”
A 1978 graduate of Hampton Roads Academy, Hogge attended the University of Virginia medical school and is currently a radiologist working in Richmond. Her interest in wineries came out of winery trips to California in the 1990s. She frequently attends wine festivals in Hampton Roads.
The couple purchased the site in 1998 and planted the first vines the following year. They now have 17 acres planted. Winemaker Graham Bell has been in residence since 2002, she says.
In addition to tours offered from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the winery hosts special events such as an annual Mini-Cooper car rally. Two live music events — Seismic Saturdays from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. and After-Shock Sundays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. — take place on weekends.
Cooper Vineyards. 13372 Shannon Hill Road, Louisa County. 540-894-5474. www.coopervineyards.com.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times