Every few years we take a winery hopping trip somewhere in the US. We just came home from an extended weekend in Southwestern Virginia, where we visited three new wineries, one old favorite, and stopped today to break up our drive home, at Linden.
The new wineries. Early Mountain, Villa Appalachia and Valhalla. I will be writing individual posts about each visit. The old favorite, Barboursville. More on them later this week, too.
We now limit ourselves to two wineries a day, max, in order to enjoy the visits, and not feel like we are rushing from place to place. Lunch on a terrace, like the one at Early Mountain, for example.
We also have become selective about what we buy, as we now aren’t buying to age wine, but to sample a few interesting new varietals, or to pick up some for family functions.
Everyone who reads my blog know that I am a locavour. Most also know that I fully support the wineries in MD and VA, as they are becoming better, and a few are pushing the local industry into making very good wine. Wine that can stand up to the established vinicultural areas in the US, and even beyond.
We had debated driving to Long Island to sample their wines, but decided not to tempt fate. This time last year they were preparing for Hurricane Sandy. We didn’t want to make plans too far in advance, in case we were all hunkering down to protect ourselves in this QUOTE prolific UNQUOTE hurricane season. Obviously, the forecasts were off. We have seen a calmer year than any of the past couple of years.
We just figure that a trip to the North Fork will happen in a different season, like maybe spring or early summer.
So, we headed off to VA, spending one night outside of Charlottesville and one outside of Roanoke. Of course, both places were awash in football fans. I really need to plan trips around home games. At least UVA and VATech both won, making for happy fans during our travels.
We may have to drive a bit more than we did when visiting Napa and Sonoma, and when we went to the Finger Lakes a few years back, but we can find some real gems in the VA mountains.
I wish the weather had cooperated this weekend so we could have enjoyed the outdoors more, but all in all, a good trip. Now, I need to put away those wines we purchased.
They will be featured in some of my winter locavore dinners. Tomorrow, I will have a long review of Early Mountain, with many pictures we took there. It was a great beginning to the weekend.
Anyone living in the Mid Atlantic should consider putting together a short trip using the Blue Ridge Parkway, and/or Skyline Drive, down to the gorgeous mountains, for the views, the food, and the wine.