Montpelier Wine Festival 2016 Rain or Shine

Montpelier-cover-photo

The rolling hills of the Piedmont and the history of Montpelier make this one of the more idyllic settings for showcasing our local wineries. I’ve been there in all kinds of weather, but this is a must for history buffs, wine lovers and gardening enthusiasts. This event is well organized and traffic flow is smooth. Wear your Wellies or rain boots (just in case) since the ground may be a bit mushy after all of our recent rain. Bring some camp chairs, you’ll want to be able to sit back a bit after walking the gardens and enjoy a nice Viognier or Cabernet Franc. For hikers, save your wine for the end of the day and head out on the Montpelier-Grelen Trail, MontpelierTrails, a 3.9 mile loop with 9 miles of trails to explore. The Governor designated this trail a “Virginia Treasure” and is a fun way to explore the historical grounds, mountain views and it links to the Grelen Nursery on the Grelen Farm. Grelen is another find and worthy of a separate blog post, family oriented, great gift shop and in season berry picking, plus a sand box for the little ones!

 

Don’t miss  visiting the Mansion at James Madison’s Montpelier, but allow extra time!  Mansion tour tickets will be discounted for festival attendees. Exchange Café, featuring BBQ Exchange barbecue, is available for lunches! Wineries that are featured are, of course, Barboursville and Horton Vineyards, as well as Cross Keys Vineyard, Well Hung Vineyard, Democracy Vineyard, Reynard Florence Vineyard, Delfosse Vineyards & Winery, Lazy Days Winery, Villa Appalachia, Kilaurwen Winery, Mattaponi Winery, Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery, Peaks of Otter Winery,  Lake Anna Winery, Jefferson Vineyards, Rockbridge Vineyard (blog post waiting in the wings) and Stone Mountain Vineyards plus even more!

 

Have Fun!

 

Everyday is a Good day for Virginia Bubbly

Virginia_Sparkling_WineWhile the Champagne region of France claims the name, other countries including the United States of America are establishing their own reputation using traditional Chardonnay grapes as well as Pinot Noir to make sparkling wine. The average bottle of Champagne contains enough carbon dioxide to potentially produce 49 million bubbles, some say even more. Watching the bubbles shoot upward is quite mesmerizing,  recalling childhood memories of bubble lights on Christmas trees.  This has sparked a new tradition in our family of opening gifts with a chilled bottle of Champagne or a Brut Rosé from Soter in the Willamette Valley of Oregon (very welcome gift from my sister).

Soter_Brut_Rose_Willamette_Valley

Thibaut_Janisson_Cuvee d'Etat

Virginia has now placed itself on the sparkling wine map courtesy of Claude Thibaut and his Thibaut Janisson sparkling wines. Originally from Champagne, Claude has traversed the globe popping coks, perfecting his dosage and selecting only the best grapes and juice for his wines. He brought his expertise in the “methode champenoise” to  Kendall-Jackson, Jordan and Iron Horse wineries in California as well as Champagne Veuve Devaux, Bar sur seine, France and Yarra Bank, Victoria Australia, where his wines were voted “Best of the Best” in the 1995 Australia and New Zealand Wine Guide. He partners with Manuel Janisson of Janisson et Fils, a well know family of Champagne makers in Verzenay, France. Claude originally was enticed to Charlottesville by Patricia Kluge of Kluge Estate Winery and is  now owned and operated by Donald and Eric Trump. I am particularly fond of Claude’s latest T-J Extra Brut!

We were recently gifted with a bottle of Barboursville Cuvee 1814 Brut wine which was excellent. Side note: after pouring the wine there seemed to be very few bubbles and within a short period of time an explosion of bubbles occurred. The wine was well received by all! I look forward to serving it again.

Following traditional holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, Champagne drinking may hit a slump but any time is good for serving sparkling wine. It’s like the slogan, Orange Juice, It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore! Watch these three wineries (Trump definitely included) as well as other Virginia wineries for  future vintages!

Experiencing French Wineries vs Virginia Wineries

Clos du TriasVisions of warm sunny days, leisurely two hour lunches drawn out with conversation, an aproned waiter pouring bubbles into your champagne glass  and soft music beckon us back to the Old Country. If you’re like most wine lovers from the United States, it is a dream to visit the birthplace of  wine making, Europe. France, Italy and Spain are the most sought after destinations, followed by Germany, Portugal and Greece. 

Thomas Jefferson was just so inspired during his travels to France, thus beginning the New World efforts of cultivating grapes to make wine. He started his vines on the slopes of Monticello, his mountain top home, overlooking Charlottesville, Virginia. Richard Leahy has written a wonderful book, Beyond Jefferson’s Vines, about the history of this endeavor and the more recent explosion of vineyards in Virginia. I especially like the praise offered by  John Hagarty, www.Hagarty-on-Wine.com “Richard Leahy has woven a rich tapestry of Virginia’s wineries and winemakers. If Jefferson could peruse this book a satisfied smile would surely grace his countenance because his dream of quality Virginia wine has been fulfilled. This volume will be referenced often for those seeking to better understand the Old Dominion’s wine ascendency. A riveting and rewarding read.”

Recently, I travelled “across the pond”  in the company of my mother, to visit my sister currently living in Provence.  The movie, A Good Year, with Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard, , is one of my favorite movies and the film location of Bonnieux, Vaucluse, France was just a little southeast of Carpentras, where we made our home base. Maison Trevier,  the delightful maison we  stayed in, is within the walled village of Carpentras, around the corner from a wonderful fromagerie, La Fromagerie du Comtat. Grab a baguette, some home made fig preserves, olives and truffles from the market and you are in heaven.  As I walked into the jardin of Gina Trevier, owner of Maison Trevier,  I could almost hear the music from the soundtrack from  A Good Year 🙂

Maison Trevier & Bebe Chat
Maison Trevier & Bebe Chat
Fromagerie Vigier
Fromage

Ah, I drift….so this was the beginning of our visit to the romantic south of France, Chateauneuf du Pape, Avignon, Isle sur la Sorgue, Pernes les Fontaines, Gigondas and Le Barroux. The influence of Rome and Catholicism permeated the terroir, walled villages, monasteries and small churches and olive trees used for olive wood carvings.

11th Century St. Catherine's in Gigondas
11th Century St. Catherine’s in Gigondas

I was accustomed to our lovely tasting rooms at the wineries in Virginia. Many of which supplement the costly production of wine on the east coast by building fabulous event sites for weddings and celebrations.  Not all are like Pippin Hill Farm, Veritas, King Family Vineyards  or Early Mountain Vineyards with their beautifully appointed celebration halls (which are quite gorgeous!)  many are smaller, more intimate and not quite as opulent. Afton Mountain Vineyards has a wonderful outdoor covered space, complete with blankets and space heaters to enjoy the view even when it’s cold. They have a perfect spot with a contemporary arbor for weddings plus one of the coziest tasting rooms. See my post https://cvilleuncorked.com/2011/10/15/afton-mountain-vineyards-revisited/ for more about Afton Mountain.afton-mountain-008

Horton Vineyards
Horton Vineyards

Each winery around the Charlottesville area has it’s own personality. Some are dog friendly like Keswick with it’s Yappy Hours on Sundays but also known for fabulous weddings with a plantation feel that Scarlett O’Hara would have loved.  Some are tropical and create gourmet chocolates like Glass House Winery and seating under the glass conservatory jungle of banana trees. Pollak Vineyards sits below the mountain overlooking a pond and has offered fly fishing lessons in the past. Mountfair  does weddings on a smaller scale and many of the wineries offer live music on weekends. Veritas has their Starry Nights, outdoor fire pits and a bandstand. King Family Vineyards hosts Polo matches and  an annual benefit for breast cancer, the Pink Ribbon Polo Classic coming up on June 20th, 2014. None of this takes away from the fact that Virginia is producing award winning wines that rival the wines of the Old Country. Southern hospitality abounds and you won’t be disappointed in visiting a tasting room in Virginia.

Glass House Winery
Glass House Winery

By contrast, the wineries and tasting rooms we visited in France were small, most do not charge a tasting fee and can limit you to three tastings, unlike Barboursville Winery (with it’s 5 Star Dining at Palladio)  or Horton Vineyards where you taste quite a large selection. Not to be outdone by the ruins at Chateauneuf du Pape, Barboursville has their own ruins of Governor Barbours home, designed by Thomas Jefferson himself. In Chateauneuf,  you can taste in a Cave, a small room under ground where you may taste from several different wineries or in the main tasting room for Chateauneuf du Pape that even sells souvenirs.  The French term for tasting is  “degustation” so look for a sign that includes the term. ‘En vente directe‘ indicates that they have direct sales and “vin a’ emporter” means they sell wine that you can take with you.

Ruins of Chateauneuf du Pape
Ruins of Chateauneuf du Pape
Barboursville_vineyards_ruins_snow
Ruins at Barboursville Vineyards

In Gigondas, my favorite village of the trip, we visited a more contemporary tasting room with very small bottles in a test tube style presentation, where you may taste many vintages and some world class wines. It was a bit  like stepping up to the counter in a store than tasting at a bar, but they had an amazing selection of wines.

Gigondas Tasting Room
Gigondas Tasting Room

The smallest winery we visited was Clos de Trias in Le Barroux and the winemaker’s home really did remind you of A Good Year, family owned and operated, this winery is one of the few 100% organic, biodynamic wineries in the world. With the family Great Dane, Tauro, sneaking in to watch us barrel taste, it was the best wine tasting on our trip. The wines were excellent and we had a wonderful  tour by Paige Carnwath and my sister, both who’ve bottled, pumped, picked and tasted for the wine maker,  Evan Bakke.

Steel Tanks at Clos de Trias
Steel Tanks at Clos de Trias
clos_de_trias_winery
Tasting at Clos de Trias

 

Clos de Trias "Tauro"
Clos de Trias “Tauro”

If you want to taste wine and make an effort to converse about your tasting in France, explore this link  for French wine tasting terms. It’s like the old adage, when in Rome…

Whether you venture out to wineries in France or Virginia, the wine community is a big family, facing the same obstacles of weather, and uniting to support each other. Both countries appreciate wine from bud break or bud burst to the final product, so go, enjoy and savor the experience wherever grapes are grown.

 

Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Favorite Tasting Room Poll

If you haven’t subscribed to Virginia Wine Lover Magazine, the holidays are a great time to sign up for this publication. It offers wine news, gift ideas, events and information about local wineries to share with your holiday guests.

According to Virginia Wine Lover , the results are in from the  September poll asking readers to vote for their Favorite Virginia Winery Tasting Room.  Some 3,000 responses accounted for the top 25 winners selected from Virginia’s 220 wineries with tasting rooms. Selections were made on the basis of Friendliness of Staff (39%), Attractiveness of Location (37%), Staff’s Knowledge of Wine (19%), Proximity (3%) and Price of Tasting (2%). Several of the wineries that are local to our Charlottesville area made the list.

Cooper Vineyards in Louisa County, midway between C-ville and Richmond, took top honors as favorite tasting room. Perfect! Planning our first trip there this weekend which also coincides with their Holiday Open House ( free tastings Sat. & Sun. 1-5).  Many of you may already be familiar with Cooper Vineyards.They were selected for the Cooper staff friendliness, the architectural design of the tasting room and for their fine wines. Cooper Vineyards recently earned the coveted LEED Platinum certification( the highest standard) for excellence in “Green” building technology. They have one many awards already and their Noche dessert wine is extremely popular.  Made with Norton grapes and infused with chocolate, Noche is a versatile wine. According to Cooper Vineyards, it has hints of black cherry and raspberry complement rich aromas of cocoa with a chocolate ganache finish. Great for sipping, drizzled as a chocolate sauce over ice cream or combined with nutella for a chocolate fondue. This wine is definitely on my shopping list for Thanksgiving. These recipes can be found on their website or on VWL’s site.  

2nd place honors for best tasting room went to Early Mountain Vineyards.  Agreed!  This winery is a very popular spot, augmented with a most hospitable tasting room staff, offering select wines from the Commonwealth and an attention to detail to create a most enjoyable wine tasting experience. Located in southern Madison County, EMV has already established themselves as a TGIF spot and situated conveniently between NoVA and Charlottesville, a premier wine tasting destination. The event facility rivals Pippin Hill for country elegance and an exquisite wedding venue.

Prince Michel nabbed the 4th favorite tasting room for its Madison County location. Prince Michel was chosen as the exclusive winery to produce the official 250thanniversary commemorative wine for this year-long celebration. The  two wines chosen to pay tribute to this historic occasion are Prince  Michel’s award winning Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Both wines are  made from grapes grown in the Monticello appellation of Virginia.  Embellished with the custom designed commemorative label, these wines  will be available in over 200 locations around the area. They will also  be available April 21 for tasting and purchase at the First Annual  Monticello Wine Festival at the pavilion on Charlottesville’s downtown  mall. Prince Michel also has a tasting room on Carter’s Mountain with beautiful vistas over  Charlottesville extending down to Nelson County.

Barboursville Vineyards,  Glass House Winery,  Keswick Vineyards, Horton Vineyards, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards and  Pollak Vineyards made the top 20 tasting rooms in Virginia.  Each winery is unique in its own right offering a little something different from the others. Barboursville for its history, longevity, and 5 star restaurant, Palladio, serving award-winning wines like Octagon and Nebbiolo. Glass House lends an atmosphere of the tropics with its glass conservatory and warm welcoming tasting room staff.  Top that off with Michelle Sanders’ gourmet chocolates and you could wrap up Christmas gifts right there.  Keswick Vineyards is a cozy tasting room in the heart of hunt country with a beautiful backdrop of historic plantations. With this many delightful wineries to choose from, it’s no wonder Charlottesville has become such a great weekend destination. I think you’ll need more than a couple of weekends to get a real taste of Thomas Jefferson’s wine country.

As a real estate agent, I’m finding more and more people choosing the Charlottesville area as their home. Parents who have adult children graduating from the University of Virginia are building homes here after becoming acquainted with all Central Virginia has to offer. The wine industry, education, the arts, temperate climate, health care and more are inspiring weekend visitors to purchase second homes within driving distance from New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. If you’re interested in viewing homes for sale in the area, please call or email to schedule a visit. We’d love to welcome you to Charlottesville!

 

For Sale: California Contemporary with Cabernet Vineyard In Virginia Wine Country

Gabrielle_Rausse_Cabernet_Sauvignon_Reserve_2010Another segment of “Honey, I Want a Vineyard”

Here is a rare and unique opportunity to own an airy, light-filled abode at the foot of a mature vineyard and wrapped by  a ten-acre spring fed lake. With over 4000 square feet on 11 acres, this contemporary ranch style home offers geo-thermal radiant heat  and a commercial kitchen for the avid chef.

“Vintage” views are yours, whether relaxing on the swimming deck in the warm Summer months or pulling up a chair and glass of wine  to the outdoor fireplace during peak Autumn color.  Gabrielle Rausse’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is bottled from grapes from this vineyard!  The dock is equipped with a ladder for easy exiting after kayaking or swimming. The neighborhood is also known for its 4th of July fireworks display over the lake.

Virginia_Cabernet_Sauvignon_VinesThe Vineyard

Soft breezes waft down the slopes from the 2+ acres of vineyard where  525  ten-year old  Cabernet Sauvignon vines are in production. Located a mere 10 minute drive from the Charlottesville Albemarle County Airport, makes this property a “best of both worlds” scenario. Burnley Vineyards is just a short distance down the road and the historic Barboursville Winery (where the Virginia wine industry got started) is nearby.

 Don’t be intimidated by the vineyard, the vines are irrigated and require periodic pruning but there is plenty of local interest to support and guide you. Being a wine lover and distant from our 200 acre Southton Farm in Texas, I can’t imagine dividing this lovely, spacious home from its grapes.  However, the property is available sans the vineyard.  You will find me kicking and screaming if you do this, but, it is listed in our MLS both ways. There is also a 3.9 acre waterfront lot that can be divided off of the property.

Sophisticated California Style Home

The floor plan offers a variety of lifestyle options including a separate wing for guests and privacy for the owners.  It has excellent potential for a Bed & Breakfast and is listed  online with Airbnb, check out the pictures. One wing includes an additional complete kitchen, living area with patio, and two bedrooms plus a family room. Tiled flooring makes this home low maintenance and hypoallergenic.  The present homeowner uses the main central kitchen with its customized island as a licensed  commercial kitchen for her luscious Charlottesville Cupcake baking.

Charlottesville_Cupcake_ One level living design also makes the home easily  accessible for elderly individuals and combined households. The workshop below the garage and the fenced raised-bed garden are wonderful bonuses. Personally, I think the home would make a nice tasting room for a winery with living quarters for the homeowner or even a venue for weddings and events. Parties of 75+ guests have been entertained here with plenty of space to socialize. The hot tub, fishing/ swimming dock, outdoor fireplace and expansive great room plus the vineyard combine to create a package that seldom finds its way  to the  Virginia market.  Disclaimer: Cupcakes Not Included 🙂

Sandy_Branch_Vineyard_InteriorThe property is listed two ways, one (CAAR MLS 487248)  includes the house,  11 acres total and the vineyard for $1,249,000.

CAAR MLS 486111 lists the house along with 5+ acres without the vineyard and   3+ acre waterfront parcel.

If you have any interest in viewing this property, it would be my pleasure to show you this lovely home. It is presently listed by Montague, Miller and Company-Westfield. There are only a few properties that boast having income-producing vineyards. If you would like a complete list of vineyard properties or are looking for a home with vineyard views, please check out our website at Welcome Home Charlottesville.com.

We are licensed Real Estate agents with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III 2271 Seminole Trail in Charlottesville, Virginia and knowledgeable about the local wine and vineyard industry.

Sandy_Branch_Vineyard_House_Charlottesville

A Heavenly Valentine’s Day Pairing Wine with Chocolate

Better than Reese's!

Just a few ideas for your Valentine this year:

Stinson Vineyards Valentine’s Day Weekend in the Tasting Room

Saturday February 11th & Sunday February 12th, 2012

Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, we’ll be celebrating the weekend before. Come on out to the Tasting Room for a glass of our delicious Rosé and homemade Red Velvet cupcakes! We’ve also got plenty of gift baskets sets and pre wrapped wine bottles if you’re looking for a last minute gift.

Be Mine With Wine Keswick Vineyards
Saturday, February 11th, 11-4pm

Come spoil yourself or someone you love with Keswick Vineyards’ special wine and dessert tasting for a Valentine’s Day indulgence. Discover how these luscious confections complement each wine. After your tasting, enjoy the romantic setting while you savor a glass of wine on our newly enclosed heated porch! The cost is $15 for our wine club members and $20 for non wine club members. Please call ahead as reservations are recommended. (434) 244-3341.

Valentine’s at White Hall

Saturday, February 11th & Sunday, February 12th
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$10/person

Join us for a wine and chocolate pairing featuring Gearharts Fine Chocolates. We will be sampling three sumptuous chocolates paired with six wines, and you take home your glass. Live music performed by Curtis Prince on both days from 1 p.m.to 5 p.m.

Glass House Valentine’s Pairing Party

Music, wine, wine pairings

Spend Sunday Feb 12th in the sultry tropical conservatory at Glass House Winery.

Sip wines served at your table, listen to Beleza Brasil’s sexy Valentine’s Day set; all while having chocolates, artisan cheeses, and small dishes paired with your wines.

Feel free to get up and dance…when Beleza plays it is almost impossible not to!

12-5 pm (Beleza Brasil from 2-5 pm)

Barboursville Valentine’s Dinner $150

Some special sentiments about Love for your Valentine:

  • Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.” By Saint-Exupery

    • “Love is patient, love is kind.

      It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
      It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.
      It is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs.
      Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
      It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
      Love never fails.” The Bible

  • “There is no remedy for love but to love more.” By Thoreau 
  • Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. – Henry Van Dyke 

Answers to Stump The Winos! See 7/19/2011 Post

A. Pollak Vineyard -View towards the Pond and Mountains

B.Glass House Winery-When the Raccoon ate the Pineapple

C.Flying Fox Winery-Quaint Cottage Entrance

D.King Family Vineyard-Polo Pony

E.Mountfair Vineyard-Barrel Room

F.Keswick Vineyards-Cherub Sculpture at Tasting Room

G.Blenheim Vineyards-Sign to Tasting Room

H.Pippin Hill Farm Vineyards-View from the Patio

I.Barboursville Vineyards-Ruins

J.Sweely Estate Winery-Sculpture

K.Afton Mountain Vineyards-Artwork

Just for Fun, How many did You get right?

A “Vine” Afternoon at Barboursville Vineyards

      

 Did you ever think you could live in a place too long?  Too long from the perspective of taking for granted a beautiful purple  Phlox covered countryside with vineyards, mountains and history just a short drive down the road from… Super Walmart?  Thanks to my friend and social networking mentor, Lewis Nelson, blog writer of Family of Five,  he arranged an afternoon outing with Fernando Franco, viticulturist at  Barboursville Vineyards.  It was a reminder and welcome opportunity to stop and appreciate the beginnings of Spring in Central Virginia.  

Holly and Fernando Franco

 Fernando

Lewis, his lovely wife Holly and precious daughter Gwen introduced me to their friend , Fernando who is not only a highly esteemed viticulturist but a salsa dancer and V.P. of the Charlottesville Salsa Club.  With a resume of 30  years of growing grapes and a disarming knowledge of Agronomy, we had a real expert to explain the intricacies of wine making.  Originally from El Salvador, Fernando spent over a decade at Prince Michel and  in Napa as a vintner and viticulturist  before taking over the vineyards at Barboursville thirteen years ago.    Fernando opened up the conversation by hospitably pouring us  a glass of  Sauvignon Blanc followed by a delicious Viognier. Most of my experience has been with Barboursville red wines and their dessert wines, Phileo and Malvaxia, but I would have purchased either one of the whites we tasted.

The Tour

 Our tour started in the large tasting room,  a double-sided fireplace separating it from the gift shop.  Souvenir  shopping is fun here with lots of wine related novelty items that are easy to pack in a small carry-on suitcase.  The Octagon room has  Octagon wine barrels  on the floor and  a  photo history and memorabilia on the surrounding walls.  At the center of the room is a table set with a floral display flanked by bottles of their signature award-winning Octagon wine, a meritage of  the winery’s  finest Bordeaux varietals.

Octagon

  Octagon represents the eight sided architectural style used in the central hall designed by Thomas Jefferson for James Barbour’s plantation house. Unfortunately the home burned in Christmas 1884 and we are left with the ruins to contemplate a bygone era in Virginia history.  

We then  passed into a long hall of stainless steel vats. Immense vats, especially in comparison to our smaller boutique wineries in the Charlottesville area. This is definitely the granddaddy of vat rooms in our area!  We tasted some red blends straight from the vat  including a Cabernet Franc that was excellent! 

 Afterwards, Fernando offered us a ride to the newest area being cultivated at Barboursville, the Goodlow Mountain vineyard.  Hopping into his vehicle, we drove off the property and back on to the south end, passing by some of their oldest vines.

36,000 New Vines

The 2011 plans for the vineyards call for 24 acres with 36,000 new vines to be planted which will increase the total planted acreage by 20 percent!  3 acres  will be devoted to their newest varietal, planting 4,600 vines of Petite Syrah.  The conditions of Goodlow Mountain vineyard are similar to those found in the northern Rhone Valley of France where the Petite Syrah thrives. Fernando knows his vines and feels “this site maybe the most perfect site developed so far.”

 Completing our tour and my friends off in their own directions, I was left to wander the grounds on my own, exploring rooms and ruins on a sunny afternoon. The following are some of my favorite photographs. If you are in need of a classic backdrop for a photo shoot, this is definitely the location!  Brides, pay attention!

Clouds Billowing from a Fireplace in Ruins

 

Look for a future post about Palladio, the Five Star Restaurant at Barboursville!

New with the Old

Good Bye Barboursville, We’ll be Back! Hopefully, you will be too!

Leaving Barboursville

Don’t Be FOOLish, Visit These Virginia Wineries in April

Saturday April 2nd                                                 

White Hall Vineyards

Release and tasting of the 2009 Pinot Gris

They have joined with a few of our neighboring wineries to form the Appellation Trail.  Other wineries on the wine trail are Mountfair, Glass House Winery, Stinson Vineyards (opening 6/11) and Moss Vineyards (opening in 2012). Check back for more details on our April 16th Appellation Trail kick-off event!

Sunday April 3rd

Delfosse Vineyards and Winery

1:00 p.m. Wine and Food Pairing with menu by Genevieve Delfosse

$40 per person, reservations required.

Glass House Winery

2:15-5 p.m. Live Music with David Tewksbury

Paramount Theater “Big Night at the Paramount”

3:30 p.m. . The brothers in Big Night–chef Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and businessman Secondo (Tucci)–have come to New Jersey to open a bistro named The Paradise that serves the finest in traditional, authentic Italian cuisine.

Sample food and wine, meet winemakers and chefs before the movie. Special guests are Virginia winemaker Gabrielle Rausse and Tavola Restaurant owner, Michael Keaveny. 

Tickets are $12

Afton Mountain Vineyards

2009 Vintners Reserve Merlot Tasting one day only!

Tuesday April 12th

Barboursville Vineyards

Palladio Cooking class: Seafood

6:30 p.m. Enrollment is limited to 12 and admission is $95

 Friday April 15th TAX Day!

Keswick Vineyards Tax Free Zone zone for the day 🙂

Look for more events the second half of April, this should be a good start for enjoying early Spring in the Virginia vineyards!

 

 Virginia Wine Lover magazine has announced their First Annual “Best Of” Readers’ Choice Awards.

 One lucky voter will be gifted with a wine weekend getaway.

The polls close on April 15, 2011 so be sure to vote now!

“Twelve Days of Christmas at a Virginia Winery”

 

Later on We'll Conspire ....

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On  the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Four vines a growing, Three corks a popping,   Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Five GOLDEN grapes, Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Six Cab Francs Swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a  growing,  Three corks a  popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six  Cab Francs Swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks  a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Ten Magnums sparkling,  Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS, SEVEN port wines snifting,   Six Cab Francs Swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines  a growing,  Three corks a  popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Eleven Viogniers sampling,  Ten Magnums sparkling,  Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,   Six  Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses drinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Twelve vintners vinting,  Eleven Viogniers sampling,  Ten Magnums sparkling,  Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six  Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes, Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

  • Inspiration for this song comes from my daughter,  Jillian who encouraged me to post something , anything, prior to Christmas.  The original idea was something about twelve wineries relating to the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Maybe next year! 
  • King Family Vineyard – Seven, a Port -this port wine is made with 100% Merlot and is fortified with brandy, and was aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for 2 years.  The  2009 Viognier ( I love this one!) self described by the owners as 70% of the volume  fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks to highlight the freshness of the wine, and 30% in neutral oak barrels, giving the wine fullness without adding oak flavor. There are cantaloupe, honeysuckle and orange zest on the nose and mouth.
  •  Keswick Vineyards Chocolate Norton sauce is  a  gourmet chocolate sauce made with Keswick Vineyards  Norton wine.
  •  Octagon Barboursville Vineyards is described by the vintner as  a proprietary blend  driven by Merlot, with elements of Reserve Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.   Aged 12 to 14 months in new Gamba barriques of the most select French oak, air-dried a minimum of 3 years before coopering, laid down in bottle for an additional six months before release.
  • The Magnums would be from Kluge, of course!

    Merry Christmas from Me and My True Love!