So instead I will whine wine.
Last year, early in a relationship, I picked up a 2010 Virginia Winery Guide on a winery excursion and the idea of visiting the almost 160 wineries listed there in came to the light of day. I am nothing, if not motivated by clearly set goals. When the 2011 guide arrived with it's close to 190 wineries I decided to stick with the 2010 version.
Father's Day was on Sunday and since I was without my father, who I am sure would have loved the excursion and was watching from whichever version of the afterlife provides for the most fun, and the co-conspirator of that goal was without his children who would be arriving from overseas for the summer in a few short days, we decided to knock out a few wineries.
Our first stop was Three Fox Vinyards in Delaplane, VA. We tasted 8 wines that are made at the winery and 2 guest wines from other wineries in VA (Barboursville Leggero Chardonnay and Thibaut-Janisson Sparkling Chardonnay) . The whites were unoaked and strong on citrus flavors and quickly moved toward the off dry category. The reds were in the Italian style and while drinkable were a bit lighter than what I choose to drink on a regular basis.
The real gem of this winery is the setting. If you are looking for a romantic place to take a date on a picnic, this is your place. They have tables with umbrellas set on a patio, a porch and out in the yard. If none of those spots suite your picnic needs, they have set up tables between the rows of baby grapes, and even have hammocks and picnic tables over along the tree line for the after lunch sipping and napping.
Our second stop was Delaplane Cellars, which was having a bit of a celebration for Father's day. The lovely stark and modern tasting room had a stage with a guitar player and singer for our listening pleasure and had brought in wood fired oven pizza to fill the father's bellies.
We tasted 6 wines and I much preferred the reds in this line up. I felt the Springlot, grown on two acre vineyard just 3 miles west of the winery, had a nice rounded flavor. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot which are aged separately and then blended before bottling. I also enjoyed the Cinq which included the above grapes plus the addition of Tannant. It was a bit spicier and tasted as if it would grow better with age. The pizza smelled delicious and so we ordered a couple of glasses and enjoyed a personal size pizza despite having had sandwiches earlier and a wine bag full of snacks.
We made a brief stop to experience the last of the spring harvest at Hollin Farms. We picked some lettuce and some beets but with the heat we have been experiencing we were really in between the spring and summer crops.
Our final stop of the day was Naked Mountain Winery which is on a beautiful slope of the blueridge. The winery has changed hands in the past year and the new owners and their staff were wonderful hosts. We tasted 9 wines at this stop and found quite a few of them to be pleasing. The barrel fermented Chardonnays were oaky and the reds were quite drinkable. We enjoyed these wines enough to leave with three bottles one of which we started with some snacks before leaving the vineyard. Don't worry we corked it and brought the remainder of the bottle home.
All in all it was an enjoyable wine outing which allowed us to cross another three vineyards off of the map for a total of 40 vineyards visited together from the 2010 map. (We may have visited one or two new ones from the 2011 by mistake.)