Cabin Fever Remedy: Virginia Wine

After another polar invasion of snow and arctic air, we decided to defy Mother Nature and get out of the house at least for a little while. Paradise Springs isn’t far away from Paul’s house, so that is where we went for a tasting of current releases.
Of the white wines, we enjoyed the 2012 Chardonnay with its notes of pear and pineapple and fuller mouth feel. It was aged sur lie in French oak barrels for eight months. The 2013 Nana’s Rose was debuted on the day of our visit, and it presented flavors of strawberry and cherry; it’s dry, too! It also reminded us that spring is around the corner.
On to the red wines, and Paul’s favorite was the 2012 Cabernet Franc that was blended with Tannat (5%). Raspberry notes with a whiff of dried herbs, it finished with a bit of spice. I liked the 2012 Norton with its plum and cherry elements and spicy edge. A prize winner in San Francisco, I found the Norton to be an elegant pour that would favor hearty meat dishes.
We weren’t quite ready to return home despite the steady snowflakes falling outside, and so we enjoyed a glass of our favorite wines along with cheese and a baguette. My glass of choice was the 2012 Chardonnay while Paul sipped the 2012 Cabernet Franc. We sat on the spacious back patio that was enclosed for the winter, and a fire in the fireplace provided warmth.
We’ll be back to Paradise Springs especially in the warmer months to come. In the meantime, readers should plan a visit to Paradise Springs. Mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Spooky Tastings at Paradise Springs

So our planned adventures for Saturday got canned due to the historic Halloween snow event. Halloween and snow—who knew such a thing would ever happen in this part of the country! Anyway, we decided to make the most of our afternoon by donning our Halloween costumes for a haunted experience at nearby Paradise Springs.

Nothing new had been released since our last tasting this past spring, but our tasting associate, Linda, bewitched us into taking advantage of the two for one Halloween tasting special. Two tasters received wine tasting for the price of one if at least one was dressed in a costume. Of course, I was the dressed up one, and I looked quite dashing in my Renaissance garb. Linda served up the potions, and we sipped and swirled away.

Our preferences remained the same. The 2010 Chardonnay, Nana’s Rose and the 2009 Meritage were our standouts on the list. After our tasting, we decided to enjoy block of Manchego cheese and turkey pepperoni with a bottle of the Rose; before we were done, we noticed that the tasting room was getting more crowded. We also observed heavy snowflakes beginning to fall!

Before we left, we took advantage of the 10% discount offered to costumed costumers and bought a couple of bottles of our favorites. When we walked outside, we were amazed at the stark contrast presented before us—trees in full autumn finery decorated with snow. I’m sure that this is one of those once in a lifetime experiences, and Paul made certain to record the event with his camera. It’s hard to see the snowflakes in the picture but they were really coming down.

No doubt cooler weather is on its way, so make sure to visit Paradise Springs for a tasting. Enjoy a glass of wine by the outdoor fireplace promises to take the chill off, but please mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Paradise Springs Grand Opening

This afternoon I had the privilege of attending the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting ceremony of the new tasting room and production facility at Paradise Springs Winery. For 15 months Paradise Springs has been tasting wine out of log cabin near the road on the property. After several months of construction the new tasting room will be open this weekend. The new building houses both the tasting room and the production facility. Adjacent to the tasting room behind a glass wall is the barrel room. On the opposite side of the room is a very long tasting bar, large enough to accommodate many tasters. At the end of the large tasting room are doors out to the large patio, which has a fireplace. It’s a very impressive building and should serve Paradise Springs well for many years to come.

At today’s event several members of the media, dignitaries, and wine industry people were present. I saw Jim Corcoran of Corcoran Vineyards, Chris Pearmund of Pearmund Cellars, Jenny McLoud of Chrysalis Vineyards, and Rob Cox, the new winemaker at Paradise Springs.

After being welcomed with a glass of wine and some mingling the program began. While mingling I ran into Kurt Jensen from Wine About Virginia, Todd Godbout from Wine Compass Blog and Virginia Wine TV. The program began with T. Robins Buck from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, welcoming everyone and introducing the speakers. The speakers were Sharon Bulova and Pat Herrity from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Timothy D. Hugo from the Virginia House of Delegates, Todd Haymore, the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the state of Virginia, and Kirk Wiles, proprietor of Paradise Springs Winery. After all the speeches it was time to cut the ribbon. Here are some photos from the event.

I was honored to be among the attendees for the opening. I enjoyed chatting with winemakers, bloggers, and others attending the event. They were serving the Governor’s Cup winning Chardonnay as well as their Cabernet Franc. I enjoyed a glass of the Chardonnay while mingling and having some nibbles. Towards the end the owners broke out a bottle of bubbly and toasted to the new tasting room. It was a wonderful afternoon. You need to plan a trip to Paradise Springs soon to experience their new tasting room for yourself. And when you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Last Review of 2010: Paradise Springs

So this past Sunday we gave ourselves two choices: last minute holiday shopping at the mall or a tasting at Paradise Springs. It did not take us long to talk ourselves into the second option. We left the crowded malls for other brave souls and headed out to Paradise Springs!

Of the white wines, we were hard pressed to argue with Governor’s Cup winner, the 2009 Chardonnay that was aged in French oak barrels for nine months sur lie. Pear notes and flavors abound here with butter and toast at the end. A honeyed-texture and lengthier finish make for a fuller-bodied white wine that should pair well with fish or poultry topped with a cream sauce. The aromatic 2009 Viognier was also quite nice and should prove to be a hit with holiday fare.

Of the reds, we were both partial to the 2008 Cabernet Franc. It presented a nose of plum and dried herbs with plum and cherry flavors in the mouth; we noted a lighter body, too. This could be another pleasing partner to holiday fare such as herbed turkey. If bucking the traditional holiday menu and serving steaks for dinner, the bolder 2009 Meritage might be a better bet. It includes all five Bordeaux varities and is more complex and tannic.

Our decision to skip the mall proved to be the wise decision, and we close 2010 with this post about Paradise Springs. We’ll return in the new year, but readers may want to follow our course of action and sample the latest at Paradise Springs before the year’s end. Be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Paradise Springs

Recently we took a trip to visit one of the newest wineries in Virginia, Paradise Springs Winery. After some legal troubles, Paradise Springs opened in January of this year with hopes of becoming a destination for Fairfax County residents and visitors from around the world. Paradise Springs is Fairfax County’s only winery. It’s also very close. We only had a 35 minute drive to get there.

In the quaint, historic tasting room we were able to taste the full array of Paradise Springs wines. They currently have one acre of grapes planted on the property but have plans to expand in the future. They hope to plant albarino and petit verdot. The grapes to produce the current wines were purchased all over the state of Virginia. The wines were created by several winemakers (listed on their website) with Chris Pearmund and Rob Cox being the most familiar to Virginia Wine Time. They currently produce about 5000 cases of wine but we’re sure that will increase in the future.

Our tasting associate was very knowledgeable and guided us through our tasting. Of course we marked our gold stars along the way. We placed our gold star for the whites next to the 2008 Viognier. It’s aged for six months in French oak and presented peach and honeysuckle on the nose with peach and mango flavors on the palate. Our gold star for the reds went to the 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. We noted blackberries, dark cherry, and smoke on the nose with dark fruit flavors, nice tannins, and a long finish on the palate. This one would sit nicely on your rack for a few years as well.

With our tasting complete we decided on the 2008 Cabernet Franc to compliment our chicken and pasta lunch. And of course it paired perfectly. We enjoyed our lunch in the lower level. It’s got a cave like atmosphere…and watch your head! We asked the tasting associate at the lower level bar about the tree on the label and she informed us it was modeled after a tree right on the property. You can see it out the window in the lower level as well.

After our lunch was finished and our purchases made, we bid farewell to Paradise Springs. We promised to visit again in the future. If you find yourself visiting the only Fairfax County winery, please tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!