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Tag: Boxwood

Middleburg AVA Sign Unveiling

Today we attended the sign unveiling for the Middleburg Virginia American Viticultural Area (AVA) at Boxwood Winery. In 2006 Rachel Martin, executive vice president of Boxwood Estate Winery, wanted to put “estate grown” on the bottles of wine produced at Boxwood. She soon found out the only way that could be added to the wine bottle labels was to be part of an AVA. She then began the long process of getting the AVA designation. In September 2012 the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) established the Middleburg Virginia AVA.

After months of working on the signs and where they would be displayed, today the First Lady of Virginia Maureen McDonnell, the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, unveiled the sign that would appear at different points on major and secondary roads around the Middleburg AVA.

After the event we gathered in the tasting room to enjoy some Boxwood wine and nibbles. We particularly enjoyed the 2012 Rose. Here are some pictures from the event:
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Boxwood Tasting Room

Our Virginia Wine and Dine month experiences have been mostly at home enjoying Virginia wines with our meals. However, last weekend we made it to the Boxwood Tasting Room in Chevy Chase, Maryland to try their wines and have some lunch.

We headed to the bar and purchased two cards for the enomatic wine machines. We were able to taste all of the Boxwood wines and several others they have listed on their menu. Of the Boxwood wines I tasted, I really enjoyed the 2009 Topiary. It has a wonderful deep garnet color with berry notes and a smooth finish. While I normally really enjoy 2008 reds, this one made me think of a 2008 red.


After our tasting I ordered a ham and brie panini and Warren ordered a turkey and gouda panini. We decided on the 2010 Topiary Rose to enjoy with our sandwiches. And the weather was so nice, we enjoyed them outside at the patio tables. I had my new iPad with me so I was able to snap a few photos, tweet them and share them with you here. Have you been to a Boxwood Tasting Room recently? If not, plan a trip to one soon and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Virginia Wine Month Celebration

Last night we attended a reception to celebrate Virginia Wine Month and Virginia Wine Tourism. There were many winery dignitaries in attendance as well as lots of media folks. The guest of honor was Governor Bob McDonnell. After introductions and fanfare, the governor spoke. He spoke about the wine industry in Virginia and how successful it’s been in the last few years. He noted that the industry will have great growth in the future especially with Donald Trump getting into the game. Of course the focus of the evening was wine and we got the chance to taste some of the best Virginia wine.

Breaux Vineyards poured the 2010 Viognier, 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve, and the 2005 Nebbiolo. We agreed the winner here was the 2005 Nebbiolo. We noted cherry and raspberry with hints of licorice and tobacco. I really noticed the smooth finish. What a nice wine!

Barboursville Vineyards poured the Viognier Reserve 2010, the Octagon 2007 and the Malvaxia Reserve 2006. Here we really enjoyed the Octagon 2007. Great color, intense tannins, and berry flavors stood out here. We thought of food with this one.

Boxwood Winery poured the Topiary Rose Blend 2010, the Topiary Blend 2009, and the Boxwood Blend 2009. I think the Boxwood Blend 2009 really stood out here. It has a deep, dark color with hints of blackberry, violet, and anise. The tannins would accompany a thick steak really well.

Chatham Vineyards poured the Church Creek Vintner’s Blend (non vintage 2009 and 2010), the Church Creek Cabernet Franc (non vintage 2009 and 2010), and the 2010 Steel Church Creek Chardonnay. I really preferred the 2010 Steel Church Creek Chardonnay. I noted the pear and apple flavors on the nose as well as in the mouth. It had a nice mouth feel even though it spent no time in oak.

The Virginia Wine Board and the Virginia Tourism Corporation put on a wonderful event. We enjoyed the conversation, the wines, and the promotion of Virginia wine. We met some great people that we hadn’t met before. We even got to meet the governor! It was a great way to celebrate Virginia Wine Month. If you haven’t visited any of the wineries that poured at the event, you need to plan a trip to visit them soon. And tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!


Some of the Virginia Wine Mafia was in attendance!

Summer Wines of Virginia Taste and Tweet

With these warm days it’s time to think of summer wines. On Tuesday evening we had the chance to participate in the Summer Wines of VIrginia Taste and Tweet with other bloggers and wine people all over the country. We invited Virginia Wine In My Pocket and Cellarblog to join in the fun. We enjoyed lots of nibbles and some great Virginia wines. Here are the wines we tasted and a few of our Tweets from the tasting. Enjoy the pictures as well!

Keswick Vineyards 2010 Verdejo

“On the nose we get citrus, grapefruit…hint of hay on the nose as well as melon…crisp, refreshing, nice acidity, Warren would have it with melon, goat cheese…It went very well with goat cheese. Warren wants to have it with a crab cake.”

Veritas Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

“On the nose we get grapefruit, early grassy nose…in the mouth we get grapefruit, lime, something on the edge, lengthy finish…Really enjoying this Sauvignon Blanc!”

Boxwood Winery 2010 Topiary Rosé

“The color is a pale pink, salmon color, a hint of orange…on the nose we get watermelon, a hint of spice…On the tongue we get watermelon, some strawberry, nice acidity here too. Very dry…Warren says this would go with almost anything. Makes me think of a concert on the grass at Wolf Trap.”

Jefferson Vineyards 2010 Viognier

“On the nose we are getting a hint of straw…but it’s very light on the nose…on the tongue we’re getting some apple and pear. We are getting a sweet component that we can’t figure out.”

Chrysalis Vineyards 2010 Viognier

“On the nose we are getting some tart fruit, pear, and honeysuckle…we get a honey texture in the mouth with pear, vanilla toward the end…we like this viognier. It’s an excellent example of a Virginia Viognier.”

Lovingston Winery 2010 Petit Manseng

“Pineapple nose, and it smells sweet…tart puckery mouth, seems sweeter than it actually is…we think this one would pair well with something spicy.”

We enjoyed all the wines and think they’d be great summer wines. We had a great time with the other bloggers who attended and really liked interacting with the winemakers on Twitter. A HUGE THANK YOU to the Virginia Wine Board, Frank Morgan from DrinkWhatYouLike.com, and the folks at Swirl Sip Snark for organizing this event. And of course we need to thank all the wineries for providing the wines we enjoyed during the evening. If you are looking for some summer wines, consider these wines. And if you visit any of the wineries to pick up the wines, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Reflections on The Drink Local Conference

Paul certainly captured the spirit of the Drink Local Wine Conference that was held at the Lansdowne Resort this past Sunday. I thought that I would add a few of my own thoughts on the event:

1. We’re on the verge of something really big!
Readers of our blog know that we’ve been heralding Virginia wines for five year now, and the treat for us has been to witness the tremendous growth in the local wine industry. The number of wineries and vineyards in the area has exploded in the past few years; however, the most successful wineries have kept a focus on wine quality. It was fascinating to me to listen to and even interact with successful owners and winemakers such as Mathieu Finot of King Family, Jenni McCloud of Chrysalis, Luca Paschina of Barboursville and Jordan Harris of Tarara. Their quest is to discover what varietals work for Virginia, to experiment and take risks, and to ultimately put Virginia on the map as a region that produces unique yet world-class wines. Which ones will be the flagship grapes? Opinions seem to converge on Viognier, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot with Merlot and Chardonnay in the running. The panel discussions with wine makers and social media experts confirmed what I have known for years now—Virginia is on the verge of something big!

2. Social Media connects consumers to local wines.
Ok—I must admit that I am not a Twitter or Facebook fan. Paul handles all of that for Virginia Wine Time. However, after Sunday’s panel discussion on social media, I am now a fervent believer that Twitter, Facebook, and blogs fill the gap between local wineries and traditional media. Virginia wineries may not be headlining Wine Spectator, but then again most wine drinkers don’t really care. A tweet about a favorite Virginia wine creates a buzz that Wine Spectator could never create. Jenn Breaux Blosser of Breaux Vineyards is by far the most engaged with social media, and she had never been shy about networking via Twitter and Facebook. I do believe the testimonial that she delivered at the conference—social media pulls in customers that she could never reach via traditional media.

There are exceptions, though. I was thrilled to meet Dave McIntyre, wine critic for the Washington Post. Dave’s wine column in Wapo’s food section is one that I never miss, and he has been an active promoter of local wines. I’ll take Dave’s word about wine over Robert Parker’s any day of the week. However, I’d apply the same standard to bloggers and “tweeters” and admit that an expert palate like Dave McIntyre’s certainly trumps mine; so, if Dave recommends a Virginia wine, trust him—it’s really good and worth seeking out!

3. Virginia (and Maryland) makes some excellent wines.
The highlight of the day had to be the wine “Twitter Taste-Off” when we all got to sample the best wines that 21 local wineries had to offer. Paul noted that Breaux Vineyards’s 2002 Reserve Merlot and Chrysalis’ 2008 Albarino took top honors, and those were certainly excellent pours. However, there were a number of outstanding wines that included Michael Shaps’ Viognier (my own personal fave), King Family’s 2008 Meritage (which may give the successful 2007 vintage a run for its money), and Boxwood’s 2007 Topiary. The sleepers of the event had to be the 2005 Petit Verdot from Ingleside and the current Syrah from Maryland’s Black Ankle. (For those who like a fuller-bodied Chardonnay, Maryland’s Elk Run offering may be worth a try, too.)

I was definitely inspired by the day’s events, and now I am even more anxious to hit the wine trails to discover the quality wines that Virginia wineries have to offer. And now I am determined to visit Maryland wineries, too! Of course, another pleasure was to meet other bloggers, and who knew that we would be dubbed the “wine mafia”! Could this be a movie in the making? The Winefather?

Be sure to visit Virginia wineries this spring, and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you!

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