Virginia Wine Time

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Tasting Wines Of America

logoI attended the Wines of America event hosted by WineAmerica, an advocacy group that “serves the interests of wineries in all 50 states by leveraging its formidable grassroots strength to benefit the entire industry.” The event was held at the Longworth House Office Building, and this year 25 wineries participated in the event. These included wineries from the Northeast, Midwest, and Rocky Mountains. Yes, wines are made in states other than California, Washington, Oregon—and Virginia. Here is a brief wrap up of some standouts:

Arizona: 2011 Caduceus Cochise County “Sancha” Red Wine; 2012 Pillsbury Wine Company Viognier

California: 2011 Dierberg Chardonnay

Colorado: 2012 Stone Cottage Cellars West Elks Gewurtztraminer

Finger Lakes: 2013 Anthony Roads Rose

Idaho: 2009 Bitner Vineyards Snake River Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz

Missouri: 2011 Les Bourgeois Vineyards Chardonel; 2012 St. James Winery Ozark Highlands Norton

Nebraska: 2012 James Arthur Vineyards Vignoles

North Carolina: Biltmore Chardonnay (I neglected to record the vintage)

Oregon: 2012 Firesteed Pinot Gris; 2012 Cliff Creek Cellars MRV; 2010 Van Piezer Pinot Noir

Pennsylvania: South Shore Wine Company Gruner Veltliner

Washington: 2012 Basel Cellars Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion; 2011 L’Ecole Merlot

And how do wineries participate in this event? Public Affairs Director Michael Kaiser explained to me that WineAmerica puts out an all call to the state winery associations to send wines, and WineAmerica members also contribute wines to the event. The goal is to get at least 20 states to represent their wines at the event; needless to say, that goal was exceeded in 2014. I sampled wines from Georgia, Iowa, New Mexico and Texas. It was exciting to observe (and taste) the ever-expanding wine industry in America.

The event was well attended, and I was able to chat with wine critics Dave McIntyre and Richard Leahy who were also in swirling and sipping across America. I was also able to stand out on the building’s porch to enjoy a gorgeous view of the Capitol building; from here, I could also witness a spectacular horizon. Did I take any pictures? Well, Paul the photographer did not come along, and though I brought a camera with me, I neglected to snap a few shots. Use your imaginations—it was a lovely spring evening in the nation’s capital.

I did not get to taste every wine that was being poured, and yes, I did taste wines from Maryland and Virginia; however, we write about those wine all of the time. I though it would be an educational experience to focus on wines outside of my own comfort zone. Every state in the country boasts at least one winery; plan to visit any of the wineries mentioned in this post while travelling this summer. Be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

A Melange of Sensory Experiences

What a lovely Sunday we all just enjoyed! Paul and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and packed a light picnic lunch to enjoy in the Bishop’s Garden adjacent to the National Cathedral. Once there, we secured a private bench located just above the rose garden; a heavenly blue sky was speckled with fluffy white clouds and young green leaves swayed to the gentle flow of a refreshing breeze. The scent of blossoms fragranced the air as cerulean and lavender hued petals accented the landscape. As we unpacked our simple lunch that consisted of turkey and ham sandwiches spiced with peach chutney, the cathedral bells began to peal and announced that mid day had arrived. Of course, a bottle of Virginia wine enhanced the pleasant overload of sensory experiences. What did we bring along with us? The appropriately labeled Melange Blanc 2013 from Delaplane Cellars. The mélange (or blend) includes Chardonnay, Viognier, and Petit Manseng. Soft peach and pear notes were met with a whiff of citrus; tropical fruit flavors and a hint of almond at the finish presented a nice yet refreshing feel in the mouth. Paul recorded a brief recollection of our experience that you can enjoy below.

Plan your own blend of sensory experiences, and be sure to mention them to us. Perhaps you can do this while sampling the latest pours at Delaplane Cellars; after all, they do have a gorgeous view. If that is the plan, please mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Gray Ghost Vineyards

We recently visited Gray Ghost Vineyards. We tasted the most recently releases and had a chance to hang out and enjoy a bottle of Reserve Chardonnay. I decided to shoot a little video for a YouTube video. Some of the footage is shaky because is was a very windy day.

Chrysalis Vineyards

Sunday was absolutely gorgeous, and it was certainly a great day to spend with Mom on Mother’s Day. We made certain to make our Moms feel special on Mother’s Day; however, we also made time spend with our friend, Duwayne. Duwayne enjoys Virginia wines, and the three of us had a wonderful afternoon enjoying nice wines, simple nibbles, and lovely springtime views at Chrysalis Vineyards.

Chrysalis

We were in the mood for a crisp white wine, and the 2012 Albarino was our wine of choice after our tasting. Initial notes of stone and mineral led to flavors of citrus and peach. Sur lees fermentation provided a nice mouth feel, and it announced that spring is here! I’m always a fan of the Viognier, Chrysalis’ flagship white wine. Lush floral aromas with peach and pear notes and a fuller mouth feel make for another classic from Chrysalis. Favorite red wines? We all preferred the 2012 Locksley Reserve Norton that is a blend of Norton, Tannat, Petit Verdot, and Nebbbiolo. Still young with lots of smoky aromas, tobacco notes and oaky nuances. Dark plum and berry flavors too—buy now and enjoy later!

With a bottle of the 2012 Albarino in hand, we feasted on sliced deli meats, cheese, baguette and crackers. Great wine, simple fare, and good friends—a perfect way to spend a lovely afternoon. We also saw lots of Moms at the winery, and we know that their day was made extra special with a bottle of Chrysalis wine. Visit Chrysalis soon—mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you. And check out the video below from our visit to Chrysalis.

Linden Vineyards

Seems like it’s video week at Virginia Wine Time. Last weekend we went to Linden Vineyards. Here is a short video of our visit. Visit our YouTube Channel and subscribe to our videos!

Evening Sipper

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