Monday, March 29, 2010

Virginia Wine Tour

Some good friends of ours invited us on a Virginia Winery jaunt this weekend. Although we've both lived in VA for quite awhile, sad to say we had not spent much time at any of the wineries in our local area. Now don't get me wrong, we are BIG wine fans, typically Pinot Noir and lately some Malbec. Our wine fridge was larger than our kitchen fridge (until recently)-whew, at least now I don't feel like SUCH an alcoholic...Kidding. We really only drink on weekends, which brings me to this:

We missed the first winery as I was teaching a seminar at work on "The Elements of Design" so our group started out at Naked Mountain Winery they had some nice views of their vines from their deck and some good wines. We didn't buy anything here, we were just warming up...

Linden Vineyards, has a beautiful view:

But not so great on the customer service:

I can see not wanting to have tour buses of people pouring in, or crazy bridal showers, but really, two carfuls of friends?? We were not THAT rowdy. We also though we'd be funny and say we had two groups of four...They didn't think that was funny, so we did our tasting and then moved right along.

Our next stop, Chester Gap Cellars had awesome views, and some good white wines, which for me is always a challenge, as I'm a BIG red wine fan. Also, being at 1,000 feet in elevation the grapes have a good climate-something the plant geek in me pays attention to! They also had this amazing tree on their property:

We took a quick lunch break after the first round of wineries, the food was great, the service, well, we did get "shusshed" a few times. Could be because there were only 6 tables in the whole place, could also be because we had already been to three wineries...

Rappahannock Cellars was also beautiful, and MUCH friendlier.

I loved the river birch at the front of their building, and seeing those bright yellow daffodils peeking up makes me really happy! Also I have to say I haven't met many boulders I didn't like, so they were a nice added touch in the landscaping, leave it to me to think about design when I'm out having fun! Any of you design minded people know it's not something you can turn off!

Our second to last stop, Philip Carter Winery of Virginia, set on 27 acres was beautiful!! I think they had the most wines I liked, we did buy some here! The tasting room (behind Hallie and Jessica) was in this big red barn:

They had a great patio off the tasting room and if it were a little warmer we might have sat out there to enjoy the view of their vines.

But alas, we had to get to the last winery of the day before they stopped their tastings. So off to Barrel Oak Winery we went.

I loved this curved balcony above the tasting counter. I also loved the tasting counter! The metal with the curved wood edge as trim was easy to clean and very modern.

They had a big back patio with the oak barrels set up for additional tasting space. There were several fire pits going on the back patio so we finished up our wine out there soaking up the sun and enjoying the view. A big bonus is that they allow dogs, both inside and outside the winery, so if you have pets, bring them along!

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