Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Virginia Wineries


Last weekend, my wife Sue and I made a last minute decision to head out of the city, drive West, and take in a balloon and wine festival.  It was a pretty good plan as far as last minute decisions go.  Unfortunately, the further West we drove, the stronger the winds blew.  By the time we were near to the balloon and wine festival, it was clear we would see no balloons in the air.  The wind was a steady 20 knots with gusts over 30.

Farm at Delaplane

We immediately formed plan B and and pulled into the first winery we came across.  Except for the wind, it was a beautiful day.  Bright sun, temps in the low 70s, and the leaves were showing their first signs of color.  We were also fortunate enough to find some grapes still on the vine…along with a few that had been resting in a bottle for a few years.


We visited several wineries and were pleasantly surprised by each of them.  It was about four years ago since giving a good look at Virginia wine.  Four years ago, I was not particularly impressed.  Even more recently I have paired and written about a couple of Virginia wines on my other blog; Craig’s Grape Adventure.  I was not flattering.  I noted that while improved,Virginia still had some work ahead to mature the industry.

Virginia Wine Country-1

The real treat of the day was our visit to Delaplane Cellars.  We tasted five wines; two Viogniers, a Chardonnay, a Cabernet Franc, and a red blend.  I was taken aback.  All five were excellent wines.  The 2008 Maggies Vineyard Viognier was among the top Viogniers I have experienced.


With an arm full of wine bottles, membership in yet another wine club, and a sense of satisfaction in knowing Virginia wines deserve further investigation, we drove back to DC.  Delaplane Cellars convinced me that great wine can be made in Virginia, and that there are talented winemakers making serious wine.  Thanks!

Have a Seat

Have fun, and go make some great photography.


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