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Discover DC’s Wine Country: Loudoun County

Virginia Wine Bloggers Unite to Promote DC’s Wine Country – the Wines of Loudoun County

Virginia wine bloggers – Frank from DrinkWhatYouLike.com, Va Wine Diva & Grape Envy Guy from SwirlSipSnark.com, and Paul & Warren from VirginiaWineTime.com – along with the Virginia Wine Board and Loudoun County wineries will host the first ever TasteLive! event dedicated to showcasing the wines of Loudoun County, VA.

TasteLive! is the world’s premiere online wine and beer tasting community that leverages the increasingly powerful social media tools of Twitter, Facebook, Posterous, and other services to create a community that brings together consumers, bloggers, press, suppliers, and winemakers from across the world to taste and discuss wine virtually.

On Thursday, December 9, the wines of Loudoun County will take center stage in a TasteLive! virtual wine tasting dedicated to showcasing the wines of DC’s Wine Country – Loudoun County. Wine bloggers and wine enthusiasts throughout the US will come together online at 8pm Eastern Time to taste & tweet about the wines of Loudoun County. This event will serve as an introduction to Virginia wine for several participants and is a prelude to the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference which will be held in Charlottesville, VA in July.

Located just 25 miles from Washington, DC, Loudoun County – referred to as DC’s Wine Country – is home to 27 wineries and tasting rooms organized into four clusters sprinkled throughout bucolic countryside.

This tasting features wines from five different Loudoun County wineries, and winemakers from each will be joining in the virtual discussion. The five featured Loudoun wineries and wines are:

Notaviva Vineyards
2009 Ottantotto Viognier
Part of the Loudoun Heights cluster, Notaviva Vineyards is one of Loudoun’s newest wineries. Husband and wife team Stephen and Shannon Mackey were brought together by their love of music, which is expressed further through their wines. Notaviva is from the Italian nota – music note and viva – with life. In keeping with their love of music and wine, each Notaviva flagship wine is named after musical terms to represent the emotions they inspire.
Follow Notaviva on Twitter: @Notaviva

Tarara Winery
2009 Nevaeh White
Part of the Potomac wine cluster, Tarara Winery is a terroir-driven winery crafting artisanal, hand crafted wines to best showcase their vineyards through single vineyard blends capturing the essence of the unique sites and classic varietals around Virginia.
Follow Tarara on Twitter: @TararaWinery

Breaux Vineyards
2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve
Part of the Loudoun Heights cluster, Breaux Vineyards overlooks the beautiful valley between the Blue Ridge and Short Hill Mountains. The 404-acre Breaux estate has over 100 acres planted in 18 different grape varieties. Be sure to check out the Breaux Vineyards introduction video at VisitLoudoun.org.
Follow Breaux Vineyards on Twitter: @BreauxVineyards


8 Chains North
2008 Furnace Mountain Red Reserve
8 Chains North Winery, located in Waterford, Virginia, showcases handcrafted wines made from Loudoun County grapes. At 8 Chains North we spend 8 intense months in our vineyards on the Potomac River and in the Short Hill Mountains of Loudoun County, allowing us to draw out the very best of every vintage.’
Follow 8 Chains North on Twitter: @8ChainsNorth

North Gate Vineyard
2008 Petit Verdot
North Gate Vineyard is situated in on approximately 26 acres in the northwest part of Loudoun County, Virginia. Nestled against the eastern base of the Short Hill mountains (foothills to the Blue Ridge), North Gate Vineyard produces high quality wine grapes for its own set of wines as well as other wineries in Virginia. Husband and wife team Mark and Vicki Fedor have been growing grapes since 2002 and have been part of the winemaking scene in Loudoun since 2003.
Follow North Gate on Twitter: @NorthGateWines

We’re sure many of you are fans of Loudoun County wine, these wineries, and even these specific wines, so we hope that you’ll join us for this tasting. A major benefit of a virtual wine tasting is that everyone can become a participant.

You can tweet along (or follow the tweet stream if you’re shy). You can do this by logging into the TasteLive! Platform or following the twitter stream for the hashtag #vawine through your favorite twitter platform (e.g., TweetDeck). If you don’t tweet, you can also follow the twitter stream by searching on the hashtag #vawine from the twitter home page since you do not need to have a twitter account to look at tweets.

Please join us; this would be a great time to gather your wine friends and celebrate the wines of Loudoun County. After all, how often do you have the opportunity to chat about wines with both the winemakers and some of your favorite bloggers all at the same time?

Taste Live

As part of Virginia Wine Month and with the support of The Virginia Wine Board, we’ll be participating in the TasteLive event focused on Virginia Wines on Monday, October 25th. Wine writers and bloggers from across the country will be participating in this tasting. We’ll be tasting wines and tweeting our impressions on the TasteLive website. Our tweets will also show up on our Twitter feed. We will be tasting six wines from wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail in the Charlottesville area. The wines we’ll be tasting are:

The 2007 SP Rose from Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard
The 2009 Gewurztraminer from Afton Mountain Vineyards
The 2009 Chardonnay Reserve from Jefferson Vineyards
The 2009 Viognier from Keswick Vineyards
The 2009 Seven Oaks Merlot from Blenheim Vineyards
The 2008 Wooloomooloo from Mountfair Vineyards

We are excited to participate in this unique tasting experience. We haven’t been part of the TasteLive website before so we are curious to see how the whole thing works and how it will be received. Be following our Twitter feed on Monday evening between 8:00 and 9:30 Eastern time.

P. S. Have you seen the article this week in the Washington Post about Virginia Wine? Check it out!

Less Than Two Weeks Away

October is Virginia Wine Month. As we are informed of upcoming events in October we’ll try to post them here so you can plan ahead to celebrate Virginia Wine Month in October. Here’s one event to consider:

Yorktown Wine Festival…

Where: Yorktown Riverwalk Landing at Chisciak Green
When: October 2
Time: See Information Below

If you haven’t been to Yorktown lately, you will be pleasantly surprised. Historic Yorktown at Riverwalk Landing will be the site of the Yorktown Wine Festival 2010 – “The Best of Virginia in Yorktown.” Village Events, Ltd. is proud to host this event that will showcase some of Virginia’s finest wineries on October 2nd. This event promises to be spectacular and the biggest festival in Yorktown to day. 21 Virginia wineries will be with us and 8 will participate in our wine dinner at Nick’s Riverwalk Landing Restaurant. Buy your tickets to attend Saturday’s Wine Festival and the concluding Dinner with Your Favorite Winery. Go to both events for food, wine, and lots of fun.

After a beginning ceremony featuring the Fifes and Drums of York Town entertainment for the festival will be provided by The Calypso Nuts. The nightly menu consists of Pop and Rock, Reggae and Soca, Acoustic and Electric; all different, but the perfect ingredients to a great bowl of musical gumbo. A great group to listen to while sipping your favorite wine on the York River.

Come early and stay late so you will be sure to catch all the featured entertainment during the day!

Entertainment for the wine dinner will feature the fabulous Cheryl Sonderman on her sterling flute. Cheryl was instrumental in getting this festival started and we are delighted that she will be with us for the dinner event. Her music alone is worth the price of the dinner!

Payment options – we accept payments electronically (we use PayPal) below. You can also contact us by phone at (757) 877-2933 for payment. Please note that all payments include a $5 shipping & handling charge.

Wine Festival (age 21+): $25 in advance; $30 at the door – Must show proof of age at the gate. Cash sales only at the gate. Event on 10/02. Time is 12PM-6PM (tasting ends at 5:30PM although the festival will go on until 6PM)

Check out the website for more information.

The Wine Festival at The Plains

On Saturday we went to the Wine Festival at The Plains. Great Meadow is a beautiful location for a wine festival and the weather made it even more perfect. The event is always held under huge tents so even if there was a threat of rain, it wouldn’t stop anyone from tasting some wonderful Virginia wines. Besides all the Virginia wineries that attended the event, there were several food venders as well as booths full of items for shopping. And you can’t forget the Polo!

Of course we attended the festival for the wine. We stopped at many of the winery booths and tasted lots of Virginia wine. Here are some wines we made note of from the festival:

Cooper Vineyards-Chardonnay and the Petit Verdot

Loudoun Valley Vineyards-Pinot Grigio and the Vinifera Red

White Fences-Meteor Glow and the Meteor Bright Red

Bright Meadows-Rebellion Red

Fabbioli Cellars-Tre Sorelle, Rosa Luna, and the Cab Franc

Gadino Cellars-Barrel Select Chardonnay (NICE!), the Cab Franc and an extra star for the Dolce Sofia

Delaplane Cellars-Emerald Lake Viognier

Miracle Valley-Chardonnay and the Cab Franc

Aspen Dale-Mary-Madeleine’s Rose and the Rockawalkin’ Cabernet Sauvignon

Kluge Estate-the Viognier and the Blanc de Blanc sparkling

delFosse-Rose, Merlot, and the Cuvee Laurant

We always have a fun time at the festival and enjoy catching up with many of our wine friends. We encourage our readers to check out all these wines. And we hope you’ll plan to attend the next Wine Festival at The Plains. Here are a few photos from the day.

The Wine Festival at The Plains

This Saturday and Sunday, September 11-12, Great Meadow will be the site of Virginia’s most exciting new & improved wine festival of the season. This is no regular wine festival. The Wine Festival at The Plains is the See-And-Be-Seen event of the year. Championship Virginia wines and championship international polo, all in one double-header weekend at Virginia’s most pristine spot for sipping some vino – Great Meadow Event Center in The Plains, Virginia.

The Award winning wineries featured at this event include several that never go to other wine festivals.

•The wine crowned Best Cab Sauv on the East Coast will be there
•The Reserve Norton that won Best of the East Coast will be there
•The Viognier that always wins the “Virginia versus the world” smackdown will be there
•Find Gold medal winners galore, including Cuvee Laurent, a red blend, 2 gold Petit Verdots, Left Bank, Chardonnays, Malbec, Cab Sauvs, Cab Francs etc., etc., etc.
•Taste some funky favorites – chocolate wine, strawberry wine, persimmon wine, honey mead, sangrias and that wine bottle with a pear growing in it will be there.

But wait, the polo is just as exciting! No, not the Salahi kind of gate crashing exciting. Just like the White House – The Salahi’s have not been invited to this event!

The highlight of the season at Great Meadow will be the USPA Hall of Fame Challenge Cup held on Sunday. This is a professional 8 goal match where the best polo players in the country will be vying to have their name placed on the USPA Hall Of Fame Cup. The stakes are high. The Challenge Cup may be a player’s only chance to have their name in Polo’s Hall of Fame.

Know nothing about polo? Basically, it’s guys (and rarely – girls), all on big horses, chasing a little ball and swinging big hammers as hooves thunder across 300 yards of perfectly manicured grass in the fall sunshine … nothing short of perfectly exhilarating fun! To make things even more interesting, this year’s Hall of Fame Cup match will feature all the best pro polo guys … and a girl … Issy Wolf. She is the most watched rising star in polo world – a young world class polo contender out of UVA. This summer she has been featured in Washingtonian Magazine and Virginia Living Magazine as the name to watch in the polo world. Come cheer her on and watch her go up against the best players in the U.S.

Save $10 off the Gate Price online until Friday with Coupon Code WWP906 at www.winefestivalattheplains.com

Information provided by Virginia Wine Events.com

The Wine Festival at The Plains

Looking for a wine festival to attend this fall? In just a few short weeks one of the most prestigious wine events will be held at Great Meadow at the Plains…The Wine Festival at The Plains. Not only will get you get to taste some amazing Virginia wines but they will also have polo both days! There will also be fine art, fancy food, and commercial exhibitors offering all kinds of amazing items. We have attended this festival twice in the past and look forward to attending again this year. Mark your calendars for September 11th and 12th and plan to attend the Wine Festival at the Plains. Go to the website for all the details.

Save Our Food Festival

Take a large outdoor farmers’ market featuring fresh Virginia produce. Add in flavorful Virginia wines, specialty foods and a barbecue cook-off. Sprinkle in an entertaining and educational kids’ zone. And mix in a dash of live music.

That’s the recipe for the Save Our Food Summer Festival, a fun-filled family event that will run from noon to 6 p.m. on July 25 at the Farm Bureau Center exhibition hall at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. The indoor/outdoor event is free for Virginia Farm Bureau members and $10 per carload for nonmembers.

“The Save Our Food Summer Festival is our way of celebrating fresh, local food and other products that go hand in hand with summer in Virginia,” said Wayne F. Pryor, president of Virginia Farm Bureau. “We believe this event offers something for the entire family.”

The festival will feature indoor and outdoor components. Outside, guests can enjoy the farmers’ market and live music. They can cool down with Virginia wine, specialty foods and children’s activities inside the Farm Bureau Center.

·Large Outdoor Farmers’ Market – shop and visit with Virginia farmers (produce and farm fresh meat producers) who bring their offerings from the farm to your table.
·Indoor Virginia Wine and Specialty Food Showcase – taste some of Virginia’s finest wines and sample Virginia barbecue sauces, salsas, vinegars, cheeses, desserts and much more.
Virginia Barbecue Cook-Off – watch five local barbecue masters work the grills to become the Save our Foods rib champion.
Family Cool Zone and “Down on the Farm” Kids’ Area – youngsters can learn more about agriculture and healthy eating in an area produced by the Children’s Museum of Richmond.
·Live Music – Jackass Flats, Susan Greenbaum and the Venture Rays will entertain throughout the day.

The Save Our Food Festival is presented by Virginia Farm Bureau and sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, Flavor magazine, the Goochland Center for Rural Culture, Richmond magazine, WWBT-12, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co.

Manassas Wine and Jazz Festival

This past Sunday, we attended the Manassas Wine & Jazz Festival. At least 21 wineries were on hand to offer samples of their wares, and our quest was to find the best summer wines. These would be wines that complement a hot, balmy summer day and do not require food. They simply need to be well-chilled—a wine glass and shade tree, of course, are demanded! I’ll list our favorite summer wines that we sampled at the festival:

Delfosse Vineyard and Winery: 2008 Reserve d’Oriane (always a favorite of mine)

First Colony: 2008 Chardonnay; sweeter wine lovers like our friend Michael Tyler might prefer the Sweet Shanando

Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard: 2009 Albemarle Rose

The Winery at La Grange: 2008 Cuvee Blanc

Paradise Springs—Vidal Blanc

Philip Carter Winery: Governor Fauquier 2008 (although the newly released 2009 Chardonnay was our favorite of the festival)

White Fences: Meteor Firefly (off-dry rose)

Willowcroft Farm Vineyards: split decision here—I voted for the Riesling Muscat-Ottonel; Paul favored the 2009 Chardonnay Stainless Steel

We tend to avoid festivals, but I must admit that the Manassas Wine & Jazz Festival was a class act. We sampled artisan cheeses, appreciated local crafts, and tuned in to some fine jazz. In fact, we grabbed some crab cake sandwiches along a glass of wine and found a shady spot near the stage. It wasn’t long before Paul was bopping to the jazz beat of Marcus Johnson who performed a jazz arrangement of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. Quite an unusual take on the grunge classic, but we (and the crowd) enjoyed it. So what about the glass of wine? Did we pick from our favorite summer sippers list? Not quite—we both went for the Philip Carter 2009 Chardonnay.

Looking for that refreshing deck sipper or that favorite Wolftrap wine? Visit the wineries listed here to find the perfect pour for you. Be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Don’t Forget!

We’ll be going, will you?

Manassas Wine and Jazz Festival

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