Monday, May 12, 2014

Front Royal (4/27/2014)

I am running a little behind in my postings, which is partially due to work related issues and computer problems.  We bought a new laptop with Windows 8.1.  Having used a smart phone for quite some time now, it is not as alien as some predicted; moreover, it does has a regular window’s screen if you want to use that instead.  My problem was that my Norton 360 started having a conflict with some of the programs and there went my email, my store and my internet explorer access.  Somehow it did not affect my Chrome and my other programs, but it was difficult to figure out what the culprit was.  Now hopefully there will be a solution soon, so I can reinstall my Norton, which I've used for more than 10 years.

Back to our trip to Shenandoah State Park; we stayed there from Friday evening through Monday morning.  On Sunday we did another two great hikes and we visited our very quickly becoming favorite winery.  I am posting three photographs of my favorite spring blooms here.  The bluebell trail made good on its name.  Virginia bluebells were in bloom everywhere.  We also saw a lot of pawpaws in bloom on that trail (no photo from those blooms).  Along another trail the redbuds and dogwoods were in full glory as well.

Now about the winery; we visited Chester Gap Cellars, just outside Front Royal.  This is a nice winery tucked out of the way on a steep slope.  I am sure the slope helps with the quality of the wine.  Some of the other wineries are on flat country, and honestly they probably get too much moisture here in Virginia.  Grapes from flat areas most likely produce a lot of sugars; and wines from those grapes loose character by just producing loads of alcohol and very little tannin and other flavorful compounds.  We liked almost every wine at Chester Gap, and may be because of the ambiance of the place, but I am sure, also the way the grapes are grown.  Last year we bought a 2006 merlot, which was absolutely wonderful.  The 2007 merlot we bought this year is a bit thinner, but still very good.

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