Friday, February 26, 2010

We heart Virginia wine.

Since this is the weekend the Virginia Wine Expo is in town, I thought I'd share a bit about my latest VA wine adventure. I learned most of what I know about wine during my four year stint in Napa, where I worked for the Hess Collection Winery on Mount Veeder. Virginia wine is certainly different than the fat and rich wines of California- but Virginia wine has its own allure. As a fairly new wine growing reigon, we have the benefit of traditional old world styles with new world technology. We also have the added charm of sharing our agricultural land with a variety of crops, thus avoiding the monocultural expectations of a region.

I have written before about Grayhaven Winery in Gum Spring- one of the most fun and generous tasting rooms in the area. Visit their website to see when their next South African Festival is, or take a short drive west to taste their wonderful wines.

Last weekend, I went on a tour of wineries in the Richmond region. Our first stop was Cooper Vineyard in Louisa County, which was having their Mardi Gras party. For $5 we got jambalaya, king cake, and an extensive wine tasting. My favorites were the Cabernet Franc, the St. Stephen's Rose, (of course!) and the Reserve Norton (a grape native to Virginia).

From there, we took a gorgeous drive to Lake Anna Winery, where they have a gorgeous, open tasting room, and a very friendly dog named Bandit.

Both of the friends I was traveling with like wines on the sweeter side, and they each purchased a couple of bottles at Lake Anna. I loved walking the grounds. Yes, that is a bird's nest in the vines!
And we found a sweet heart hidden in a hickory nut.

The RFC is planning a trip around the wineries around the Charlottesville area sometime this spring. I am very excited to see where First Colony and Prince Michel, some of my favorite Virginia wines, are made. I am really looking forward to finding a few new favorites at the Wine Expo this weekend.

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