Wineries

Loudoun Valley Vineyards; Wines and Tapas

After some advice from some writer friends of mine, I decided to take a new approach to my reviews. Unless, of course, I am absolutely in LOVE with ALL of the wines, I am going to highlight the best wines that I enjoyed to write about and put my tasting card notes next to the others. I will also be putting Google maps on each winery review with their info so that it is easier for you to find the places on your next excursion. That being said, I bring to you ::drum roll::…Loudoun Valley Vineyards. Now after reading a few of the other VA Bloggers take on this vineyard, I was a bit reluctant to rush to visit, but I made the trip anyway. The first time was a bit chaotic, and after 7 previous vineyard visits, I figured I would have to revisit the place just to give …

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Stinson Vineyards: Short Run Wines, Not Short on Taste

The Monticello Wine Trail, encapsulates some of the best vineyards in the state of Virginia. Along the route of the trail, occassionally you may come across a small boutique winery that completely catches you off guard. Why wouldn’t it when the production maxes out at 120 cases per variety? Let me just say that short runs are meant to be treasured, and these wines are exactly that…a treasure. Pulling into the winery, there is about 5 acres of grapes and a garage style production/tasting facility with patio overlooking the fields. When you walk in the door, straight ahead, are three small tasting tables located against the back wall and to the right is the production and barrel room. Without further delay onto the tasting! Up first, the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc ($21.99), the steel fermented white that hits the nose with light citrus notes, a palate of lemon and lime with …

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White Hall Villa…and Vineyards

Continuing on my Charlottesville getaway this past weekend, after leaving Stinson Vineyards, I passed a sign for White Hall. I paused, thought about it not being on my itinerary, then said “ahh what the hell”. Tossed the car in reverse, sped up the windy country road, and voila! What appeared to be a Villa style tasting room split the trees like a kicker splitting the uprights. This gorgeous structure tucked away in a wooded opening, is just astonishing. When you walk in the door, the smell of a fresh fire permeates through the air as you make your way around the divided tiled hall way. Smack dab in the middle of the tasting room, with the production area displayed through glass in the background, is the circular tasting bar. A couple very kind faces pouring and chatting up wine lovers all around, offered up the tasting in a perky manner. …

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Mountfair Vineyards, Big flavors come in small wineries

After a Rib-Eye steak from Ray’s The Steaks in Arlington, and a bottle of Hess Collection Select 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon with a friend from home, I decided to try to get some writing done tonight. I also decided that instead of reviewing my weekend in Charlottesville from the start, I would begin it in reverse…the WINE made me do it! Anyhow, the last vineyard that I was able to fit in before departing Charlottesville this past Sunday was Mountfair. As I took off from White Hall, flying down Route 810 at beyond unsafe speeds, all to try to beat the clock to arrive before 5PM, I arrived only to discover  they were open until 6.  I try to not be that guy showing up before closing, but honestly, I drove 2 hours to get there, I want wine, so settle down people.  (This is the point where most staff would …

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Fabbioli Cellars: Italian tradition with a Virginia twist

Growing up in a very largely Italian demographic (Rhode Island) and being exposed to a lot of homemade Italian wines was a blessing in disguise for me. Coming across a winery with REAL ability to replicate real Italian style wine that I grew up with was a true rarity and a warm feeling from within. Late last year I had a bunch of vacation time at my job to burn before I lost it, so I decided to start taking random days (pretty consistent Friday departures) off and utilized them to explore Virginia’s Wine Country further. During this venture I was extremely grateful to make my first stop on this excursion Fabbioli Cellars. This wine I had come across on countless occasions at Total Wine in Fairfax and constantly wondered if it was worth the risk of tossing over my 10 dollar limit on trying a new wine I had …

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The Winery at La Grange

As many people may already know, it’s been a relatively warm Winter in Northern Virginia. Just before Christmas, a few good friends from Boston came down for a visit and requested that we visit some of the local wineries that I had raved about. One that I just could not let go by unnoticed, was The Winery at La Grange. The first time I visited this winery, I wasn’t sure if this was just a unique house and the rest of the development would be following, or the tasting room. What was originally built-in the 1790s as a manor home, was recently restored in 2006, and turned into the new Tasting room and Winery at La Grange. The solid brick structure sits on beautifully landscaped property at the foothills of the mountains. Upon taking the trot up the walkway to the historic home (now tasting room) I noticed a few …

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Naked Mountain Winery & Vineyard: It’ll make you blush

Last year, after many trips in the Delaplane area, I finally decided to take a trip down the winding Leeds Manor Road (wish I knew there was an easier way to get there an exit further off Route 66), and explore what the signs all referred to as Naked Mountain Winery.  Turning onto Leeds Manor from Winchester Rd displays some pretty amazing scenery, which I couldn’t help but take a picture of some of the farm land as displayed in the title graphic.  On this particular day, the weather was absolutely perfect to be sitting out on the front lawn of the winery in an Adirondack chair, sipping wine, and eating some cheese and crackers as many were taking part in doing.  When you enter into the tasting room it’s very cozy, and very pet friendly. The owners’ golden retriever was frolicking around, the staff extra perky, and the fire-place …

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Chester Gap Cellars: The Gap between great Viognier and AMAZING.

After a lovely fall afternoon in the Front Royal area, and a quick stop by one of my favorite vineyards (Rappahannock Cellars), we stumbled upon Chester Gap Cellars. This vineyard is located on top of probably the most gorgeous valleys in Front Royal. Picturesque as words can describe, the vineyard is run by a super friendly family. The tasting room isn’t much to look at, a few planks of wood over some old oak barrels, but the view makes up for where the tasting room lacks. The wine selections are nothing short of great. Specifically the Viognier and the Viognier Reserve! These Viognier selections could be the BEST that I have had in the Northern Virginia area that I have tasted. If it’s not, it’s damn close! Citrus and honey to the nose with strong tones of peach and green apple. The taste is very crisp and extremely smooth on …

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