Wineries

Out of Town: A Day Exploring Temecula’s Wine Country

Last year, I finally took advantage of the opportunity to visit Temecula’s Wine Country. With iPods loaded with crazy throwback tunes, playlists roaring and near perfect weather, my friends and I hit the open road on our way through the hills to Temecula. What was I expecting upon arriving? To be honest, I had no idea. I had been to Stone Brewing Company the previous year so the scenery I was looking for was similar to that. Desert hillsides lined with sparse greenery, palm trees and a lot of rocky soil. As we approached the "Welcome to Temecula" sign, we drove past gorgeous housing communities and neighborhoods, which had me scratching my head. Okay... so, where is wine country? [...]

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Good Luck Cellars; Revisiting a Northern Neck Gem

This past year, my in-laws purchased a new home on the middle peninsula of Virginia, and it’s location is a mere 20 minute car ride across the Rappahannock to Good Luck Cellars. After exploring Irvington a bit, we decided to take a short drive to Good Luck Cellars as it has been a couple years since my last visit. Located in nearby Kilmarnock, Virginia, Paul and Katie Krop’s Good Luck Cellars is a venture that started from backyard wine making to finding the perfect parcel to grow a business. Sand and gravel based vineyards allow this couple to cultivate great wines with Virginia flare that really shows off the terroir of the area. With outstanding white offerings and a couple red surprises, their winery is a must visit when visiting the Northern Neck of Virginia. All of their wines are crafted from Estate grown grapes that are grown on 23 acres of …

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Great Frogs Winery; Maryland Wine, NOT from concentrate

Maryland wine. Say it.. "Maryland wine." Most people shudder or follow up with “oh, hell no”. I was one of those people to be quite honest. The only wine I had encountered from Maryland was produced concentrate or grapes from outside of the state or had enough sugar to make a diabetic quiver. After long overdue plans had finally solidified with our good friends Katey and Dan, they had made arrangements for a tour and tasting (appointment required) at Great Frogs Winery of Annapolis. We were very open to the experience as, quite frankly, we could have had a root beer tasting and had a good time.

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Ankida Ridge Vineyards; The “Little Burgundy” of Virginia

The year 2014 brought plenty of opportunities to expand our knowledge and palate in wine. One such opportunity was our honeymoon to Burgundy, which gave us a greater appreciation for the region and the Burgundian style of wine. While Burgundy is a bit of a trip, there is an incredible opportunity to regularly experience  Burgundy right here in Virginia.  Subsequently, we have taken multiple visits to Ankida Ridge Vineyards to visit with the Vrooman Family and their “Little Burgundy” venture as consultant, Lucie Morton, likes to put – and we certainly agree. Since first appearing on the scene in 2010, the Vrooman family, a wine loving duo keen on Burgundian style wines, have made a giant footprint on the wine scene in the state of Virginia and the world, for that matter. Many may not be familiar due to the tough regulations and unfair quantity standards of the much publicized …

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Dog and Oyster Vineyards; Revisiting a Southern Beach Escape

My first visit to Dog and Oyster was about 3 years ago when the property first began welcoming visitors in their beach cottage style tasting room. For years before the tasting room, the property itself attracted visitors to the 6 room and 10 cottage Hope and Glory Inn. With the Inn’s addition of 6 acres of Vinifera and French American Hybrid vines (Vidal Blanc, Chardonel, Merlot, and Charmbourcin), the Dog and Oyster Vineyard began to take shape. Originally prevented, due to local regulations, from posting a large sign for visitors to come across in their travels through the town of Irvington, they installed two giant corkscrews as artistic pieces that would attract visitors. These pieces stand nearly 25-30 feet high on either side of the gravel driveway leading you through the vineyard site to the tasting room. As you pull into the road and veer to the right into the tasting room …

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Valley of the Moon Winery; A revitalized Sonoma hot spot (AmericanWineryGuide)

Last year, the wife and I made our rounds throughout Sonoma and Napa. The week leading up to our trip, we met at a local wine store in Northern Virginia, Dan Zepponi who is the Proprietor of Valley of the Moon. Dan and I had a conversation about the new life that he plans on breathing into Valley of the Moon, so we had to make it a point to visit while in the valley. I put together a piece late last year on AmericanWineryGuide covering our trip to the winery. Enjoy! The STORY “We decided to venture out to Valley of the Moon after visiting Ram’s Gate and Buena Vista. Historically speaking, Valley of the Moon has winemaking roots that stem from the mid-1800s (1863 to be exact) when George Whitman planted the initial 60 acres of vines and began producing close to 50,000 gallons of wine and 2,000 …

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Saude Creek Vineyards; The new youngsters of the South (AmericanWineryGuide)

The STORY “The privately-owned vineyard bears about 22 acres on property and includes Vidal Blanc, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot and Chambourcin. The seven nearby off-site acres contain Merlot and Chardonel. As you pull into the property through the front gates, you follow the vineyard-lined roadway towards the enormous, dark wood-sided tasting and production facility. To the left is a covered production area with crush pad, and to the right is a gorgeous wrap-around covered patio that stretches all the way around the tasting room. The patio is lined with wooden Adirondack chairs and side tables. As you glance out into the vineyards, there are countless acres of vines – many newly planted and enclosed in greenhouses. Peering off of the back patio, the steep hillside is lined with countless additional acres and, to the right side, a fire pit with more Adirondacks surrounded the pit. The site is stunning.” (Read More) …

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Arterra Wines; Where Art and Terroir collide, beautifully (AmericanWineryGuide)

Recently, we ventured out to Delaplane, Virginia to check out the latest new winery that is generating quite a buzz. Arterra presented us with top-notch wine, a quaint and relaxing setting, and plenty of art. With that said, we bring you the latest installment from AmericanWineryGuide.com that was published today. Enjoy! The STORY “A gorgeous, red, metal sign greets visitors with the name Arterra Wines carved on the upper portion and Hawkmoth Art carved on the bottom portion. The winery, which was recently opened by owners Jason Murray and Sandy Gray-Murray, combines Sandy’s art – it displays her artwork for sale under the Hawkmoth Art label – with the duo’s wines under the Arterra Wines label. Sandy began her venture as an art educator before deciding to give up the full-time education path to pursue her love of creating wine-inspired art under the Hawkmoth banner. Time constraints made it exceedingly …

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Tablas Creek Vineyard; A taste of Rhône in Paso Robles

Visiting Paso Robles for the first time was nothing short of amazing. The laid back setting, rolling hills, and less crowded viticultural area provides wine enthusiasts with what most people seek when visiting California wine country – peace and quiet, great food, great people, and AMAZING wines. This particular day brought us to a hand full of wineries, all of which showed very different wines. We were able to stop by two Neil Collins wineries, including Tablas Creek Vineyard. English-born Neil Collins was actually a trained Chef, but eventually came to dabble and subsequently focus solely on winemaking and vineyard management. With stints at Adelaida Cellars and Wild Horse, Neil met owners Robert Haas and the Perrin family when Tablas Creek was beginning its journey, and Neil had to be a part of it. Tablas Creek was founded by the Perrin Family, proprietors of Château de Beaucastel in famous Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Muse Vineyards’ 2009 Clio Awarded 2015 Virginia Wine Governor’s Cup

~Woodstock-based Muse’s Bordeaux-styled Red Blend Scores Best Amongst Almost 400 Entries from 94 Wineries~ Governor Terry McAuliffe tonight awarded the Virginia Wineries Association’s (VWA) 2015 Governor’s Cup to Muse Vineyards for their 2009 Clio, a Bordeaux-style blended red wine.  The Governor’s Cup was awarded at the VWA’s Governor’s Cup Gala held at the John Marshall Hotel.  This is the first Governor’s Cup for Muse Vineyard, based in the Town of Woodstock in Shenandoah County. Speaking at the Governor’s Cup awards ceremony, Governor McAuliffe said, “I am honored to present this year’s award to Muse Vineyards for their 2009 Clio.  Robert Muse and his wife, Sally Cowal, embody the entrepreneurial spirit of Virginia winemakers: a vision for excellence, a relish for hard work in the vineyard, and an aptitude for risk and experimentation.  Thomas Jefferson would be proud of Robert and Sally’s efforts and I congratulate them for winning the 2015 …

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