October is Virginia Wine Month!

vwm25smallWe kicked off the celebrations a little early by attending the Club Appreciation and Pick Up Party at Breaux Vineyards on Sunday. Being a club member has it’s benefits. I have elected to pick up my bimonthly shipments at the winery. One of the benefits is being able to attend the Club Appreciation and Pick Up Parties each time the wines are ready. This time the party took place on the lawn right next to the vineyards. The views were beautiful and the weather was perfect.
The party was a chance to taste several different varieties from vine to glass. At each station they had grapes for us to taste before tasting the finished product in the bottle. At the first station we tasted the 2012 Vidal Blanc and the 2012 Barrel Select Chardonnay. One of our favorite Breaux wine associates, Bruce was pouring the wines. Warren and I were split on our favorite at this station. I preferred the 2012 Vidal Blanc and Warren enjoyed the 2012 Barrel Select Chardonnay. Luckily it was the 2012 Barrel Select Chardonnay in this months shipment. Warren will be able to enjoy more of it at a later date.
At the next station we tasted the 2009 Merlot and the 2010 Malbec. We couldn’t make up our minds on our favorites at this station. We enjoyed them both! At the final station another one of our favorite Breaux tasting associates, Silvia was pouring the wines. We tasted the 2010 Barrel Select Nebbiolo and the 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve. WOW…both of these wines were wonderful. However, the Nebbiolo will need some time in the bottle before enjoying it with an amazing meal. The 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve is ready to enjoy now. The tannins are still pretty tight but this wine would be perfect with a nice filet.
With our tastings complete we decided to enjoy some Asiago Mac N Cheese from the Roving Italian food truck. It was so good! After lunch I ended up buying a case of white wines to restock my wine rack. During the summer months we enjoyed many of the white wines on my rack so it is looking rather empty. With this in mind, I bought many of the white wines on the tasting menu and some from the cellar club selection. While we were at Breaux we were able to catch up with Jen Breaux Blosser. Its always good to see our friends at Breaux and catch up! Our wine friend Susan joined us in the days events. We had a great time at Breaux as we always do! Have you been to Breaux lately? If not, plan a trip soon and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Harvesting Chardonnay

On Saturday we went to Gray Ghost to help harvest the chardonnay. As in past years, we do this every year and always have a great time. Here are some photos from our time harvesting.

We gathered early Saturday morning to harvest the chardonnay.
Al used his “Powerpoint” presentation to demonstrate how to harvest.
Amy put on a show to display this years harvest T-shirt.
Before heading to the vineyard Warren got a chance to talk with Al about the harvest.
We then headed to the vineyard and got a closer lesson on harvesting.
Here’s Warren harvesting some grapes.
After all the lugs were full, Al Jr and helpers collected all the lugs and brought them to the crush pad.
Here are some of the grapes we were harvesting.
After all the grapes were brought in, we toasted to this year’s harvest.

Virginia Wine Festival

38thwinefestThe Virginia Wine Festival returns to Great Meadow Event Center in The Plains Virginia this coming weekend!

On September 14th and 15th the 38th Annual Virginia Wine Festival will be held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia. Festival goers will be able taste wine from more than 50 Virginia wineries, hear music from some great bands, and attend seminars to increase your knowledge of wine. There are several different ticket levels and festival goers can even purchase a ticket to catch a van from the Vienna Metro to the event. Many more details about the festival can be found at the website.

We are planning to attend the event on Sunday. We’ll be posting about our experience. If you don’t have any plans this weekend, consider visiting the Virginia Wine Festival at Great Meadow. And if you see us there, say hello!

Visiting Delaplane Cellars

On a gorgeous Sunday morning we headed out to Delaplane Cellars to pick up Warren’s club wines. We decided to taste the current line up of wines on the tasting menu.
We tasted the 2012 Rose before but this time it seemed to have developed nicely since our last taste. It’s a blend of merlot, cab franc, and cab sauv. It was crisp and clean with strawberry notes throughout.
The 2011 Merlot seems to be coming around as well. In the past it has not been our favorite but this time we noted flavors we had not savored before. Black cherry notes seem to prevail with a hint of minerality. We’re glad to see it’s coming together as time goes on.
After picking up Warren’s wine club wines we each enjoyed a glass of wine with a baguette and some cheese. Being a club member and being on the “pick up” option insures we visit Delaplane once a quarter. It’s nice to keep up with how the wines are developing and get to taste the current line up. If you haven’t been to Delaplane Cellars lately, plan a trip and we you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Concerts at Tarara

In the past we have visited Tarara to enjoy the concerts they have on Saturday evenings during the summer months. We decided to get back to the concert series on Saturday the 24th of August. That evening they had three bands playing music from the 1990s grunge era. Warren is a big fan of this type of music so he was looking forward to hearing the bands.
Before the concert though we decided to do a tasting in the tasting room. Our favorite tasting associate Keri was on board to conduct our tasting. Most of the wines on the list weren’t new to us so Keri was nice enough to share some of the 2012 Charval. It’s very crisp and clean. It’s Rkatsiteli based and it shows on the palate. We thought this one was the most improved wine from previous versions. We also enjoyed the 2011 Cabernet Franc. I enjoyed the fruity nature. We thought it would pair nicely with some turkey at Thanksgiving.
After our tasting we headed over to the concert venue. We enjoyed some BBQ from Mans BBQ. We selected the Boneyard Unrefined Red as our wine for the evening. At the concert they were only selling the Boneyard series of wines that were released that day. The Unrefined Red paired nicely with our BBQ. We met a bunch of women sitting at a table near us and they introduced us to the Bad To The Bone Bubbles, the first sparkling wine in Loudoun County. We enjoyed it so much we decided to get a bottle of our own. Once it was poured in a champagne flute, the bubbles went on and on. We noted some nice apple and pear and citrus zest. We also noticed some toasty notes. It was crisp and acidic. It’s a nice bubbly.
The evening continued with the grunge music of the 90s and the bubbles. The concert series in the summer is a great way to enjoy a warm evening. There are only a few concerts left this year. If you haven’t gotten to Tarara lately, plan a trip soon. Or plan to attend one of the upcoming concerts. When you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Lost Creek Reserve Chardonnay

Last week Lost Creek Vineyard and Winery released their 2012 Reserve Chardonnay. We thought this would be a good time to return to Lost Creek and taste the new release.

Lost Creek has become a popular place. As we entered the tasting room it was a buzz with tasters. We found a spot at the tasting bar and began a tasting. We had tasted all the wines when we visited in June but it was nice to see how the wines were developing in the bottle. The wines are developing nicely. The Genesis particularly has changed and we liked it even more this time than we did in June. It’s developing into a red that should be enjoyed with a thick juicy steak. During our tasting we had a chance to chat and catch up with owners Aimee and Todd Henkle. It was good to hear how things are progressing nicely at Lost Creek. Positive changes continue to happen at Lost Creek.
We returned to Lost Creek specifically to try the 2012 Reserve Chardonnay, and its Burgundian style reflects the expert craftsmanship of French winemaker Sébastien Marquet. After our wine tasting, we enjoyed a glass of this one with a nice brie and a fresh baguette.

Before leaving we were sure to secure a bottle of the Reserve Chardonnay for our wine rack. Check out the newest release at Lost Creek and when you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Cana Vineyards

Cana Vineyards is the 157th winery we have visited. Our friend Troy is a club member there and offered to meet us there for a tasting. We got there a few minutes early and walked around the property to enjoy the view.
Once our friend arrived we entered the large building to begin our tasting. A familiar face greeted us. Don, the tasting room manager, used to work at Chrysalis across the street. His daughter conducted our tasting on the patio. The patio provides a gorgeous view and there was a nice breeze cooler us on a warm day. During our tasting we found out Cana is a family owned winery with 43 acres of property with 5 acres under vine. They currently have viognier, cabernet franc, petit manseng, petit verdot, and merlot planted. Since their vines are so new, they have been purchasing grapes from different Virginia vineyards for their wines. They are hoping to have their own estate wines from the 2014 harvest.
After our tasting we took a tour of the facility. Cana hopes to be a popular wedding venue and has the private spaces and views to attract many couples. There are several different areas in the building and around the property to have different groups enjoy the wines and the views.
With our tour over we decided to enjoy a bottle of our favorite wine with some bread and cheese. Our favorite wine during the tasting was the 2012 Rkatsiteli. It’s a crisp white wine with citrus, peach, and stone notes. It was a perfect wine to enjoy on a warm afternoon. It paired nicely with our goat cheese and baguette.
Cana Vineyards has barely been open a year now and seem to be doing well as a wine destination. We enjoyed our time at Cana with our friends. If you haven’t checked out Cana Vineyards yet, give them a try. And when you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Back On The Wine Trail

We’re back! After a few weeks of vacation we have returned to the wine trail. On Saturday we decided to introduce some friends to a few wineries in Loudoun County. We selected Hunters Run Wine Barn and Doukenie Winery as our first two stops back on the trail. Our friends Troy and Craig came along.

Hunters Run Wine Barn-Owner Geri Nolan conducted our tasting. It was nice to see her again and catch up on what has been happening at Hunters Run since our last visit. During our tasting we learned that all the wines are now being created at Cave Ridge Vineyard in the Shenandoah Valley and Randy Phillips is the winemaker. Since our last visit to Hunters Run, the tasting menu has expanded to include a full line up of wines. One of our favorites was the 2010 Barrel Aged Viognier. It’s a nice rounded wine with tropical notes. We decided to enjoy a bottle of this with our friends with warm bread and cheese. It’s a nice wine for a warm summer afternoon. Another of our favorites is the port style wine called Todds. It’s named after Geri’s father. It is chambourcin based and fermented in bourbon barrels. The alcohol level is 17.5% and the residual sugar is 7%. We noted bright fruit and a smooth finish. Warren enjoyed it so much he decided to get a bottle to bring home. Our friends enjoyed the tasting and experiencing the fun at Hunters Run. They plan to visit again soon.
Doukenie Winery-Our final stop of the day was Doukenie Winery. It had been awhile since we visited and it was time to see what was new on the tasting menu. Our friends had never visit Doukenie so they were interested in tasting all the wines. There were definitely new wines on the menu that we had not tasted before. The stand out white was the 2011 Chardonnay. We noted pear, butter, honey, a nice acidity and a nutty-honey finish. We decided to enjoy a bottle with more bread and cheese. Two of the reds stood out to us. The 2010 Vintner’s Reserve is a Bordeaux style blend that presents a jammy nose with notes of dried fruit, tobacco, and anise with a lengthy smooth finish. The 2010 Petit Verdot has been a favorite of mine for a while now. It has a rich, dense, inky color with notes of dried fried, a whiff of violet, tobacco, and a stiff tannins in the end. Tasting this one once again convinced me I should join the wine club. So I took the plunge and joined the club. Having joined the club, we were able to take advantage of the club members room to enjoy our wine and nibbles with our friends. It was a nice visit to Doukenie and now that I’m a club member, I’m sure we’ll be returning more often.
Plan a trip to Loudoun County soon and be sure to include Hunters Run and Doukenie on your list of wineries to visit. And when you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!