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Daily Archives: November 23, 2012

Day Trippin’

One of the pleasures of retirement. Going places during the week. Today, though, being Black Friday, it seems everyone took the holiday or didn’t have to work. That’s why we decided to head off down the back roads and have lunch at Linden, with a visit to Glen Manor as well.

We decided that heading down an old alternate route through the scenic byways was a perfect way to spend time. We hadn’t been on Blueridge Mountain Road past FEMA’s Emergency Operations Center since the GPS years ago took us on that road.

At 1800 on top the mountain it gets pretty windy and the road can be quite treacherous. But, once the leaves fall, like now, the views can be tremendous. We remembered those views and enjoyed the vistas down into the Shenandoah Valley while carefully negotiating the twists and turns, back down to US 50. If you want to see a map of how crazy the roads are, here is a bike loop that shows on the left the route we took.

We then took the scenic route down Leeds Manor Lane, seeing all the hunters parked along the road to the state wildlife management areas. Passed one of the many crossings of the Appalachian Trail which follows the mountain ridge in the same general direction we took to get to the wineries. We encountered a few hardy bicyclists, climbing that second major hill on Leeds Manor, one walking his bike up it, two resting at the summit, and a straggler far behind. These are hidden gems of scenic routes, for drivers and cyclists.

This AT crossing is right near the Avenius vineyards, which contain plantings used to make one of the single vineyard designations for Linden. You can park just up from the crossing and hike up to look across the ridge. One day, when we decide we are adventurous, we will climb that trail to take photos from the top. We went to Linden first, to sit and enjoy a bottle of Chardonnay with some local cheeses and one of their crusty warm baguettes.

2009 Linden Avenius Chardonnay

They are already all decorated for the holidays and the winter arrangement of the screen porch has replaced the extra tables and chairs out there the other seasons. This is one of my favorite places to sit when it is cold, to savor the fire in the wood stove and take in the view.

When we arrived at noon, there were about 10 of us in the winery. By the time we left the lot was full and they were two deep at the tasting set ups. Obviously lots of people decided wine tasting was way better than shopping malls on Black Friday. The deck and porch were empty when we arrived, but hopping when we walked out. The Christmas decorations are really beautiful. This is a great place to visit.

After our stop there, we headed into Front Royal to our original destination today, Glen Manor. We haven’t been there since April, and we wanted to pick up some Sauvignon Blanc. We tasted some other new releases, their Vin Rouge and Cabernet Franc. Since our last visit, they have added an extension to the building to increase working space. It is still lovely as always, and there were people out on the patio while we went through a tasting.

This is one stellar site to sit and absorb the beauty of the Shenandoah while drinking a glass of some of Virginia’s best wines. Even though the trees are mostly bare, the surroundings are bursting with fall foliage at the ground level.

No wonder we keep returning to these hidden gems in Virginia. Brought home a few white wines as well. What better gifts for Christmas from a locavore and locapour than dessert wines from Linden and Glen Manor. They both are offering a Late Harvest Petite Manseng. They will make someone very happy you bought them these lovely wines as a gift.