Friday, May 23, 2014
Virginia Wines (5/23/2014)
As some of the readers of this blog know by now, I am a lover of wine, and have written about it in this blog at times. Being a lover of wine and having visited numerous wineries in Virginia, I can only say that they have come a long way.
I think the first Virginia wine I tasted was some Governor’s White from the Williamsburg Winery in 2000, and found it mediocre. I toured the winery in 2012 and noted a great improvement in quality of some of their wines. I remember taking my daughter on a college tour in 2006 (or was it 2007?), and since I had a designated driver, we stopped at as many as we could cramp in. My impression at that time was that Virginia was getting better with their white wines, but that reds were poor. There was one noted exception, which were the reds from Fincastle that I really liked.
Fast forward to the more recent years, and Virginia now makes some dynamite reds. It is really fun to be able to see this progression. In the following few blogs I will try to give you a list of the wineries that I have visited over the past years. I will be dividing it into a three arbitrary regions (lowlands, Piedmont and mountains) and publish it in three postings. This is different than the Virginia Wine website, but so be it. I’ll rate them from 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest/best ... and sorry, but I could not get these numbers to line up); however, note the year of my visit, that should give you a good idea if my rating is still current or not. For example, I will rate Fincastle very high for my 2006 visit. I tried to revisit them in 2012, and waited for 10 minutes in their tasting room and there was no one to serve me, even after I called out. I left the place without tasting and/or buying more wine; it was very disappointing, to say the least.
Well here is my list of the low country wineries that I visited:
Bloxom Winery Eastern shore 2010 3 stars Great location, great lunch (artesian pizzas), wines are fun, enjoyed the Red Kiss (none-dated blend).
Chatham Vineyards Eastern shore 2010 4 stars Great romantic location, nice wines, bring lunch or a snack and sit outside with a bottle of wine.
Williamsburg Winery Tidewater 2012 2 stars Expensive, commercial, nice whites, average reds.
New Kent Winery Richmond 2013 2 stars Young winery which shows in its wines.
Dog and Oyster Vineyards Northern Neck 2007 2 stars May have had a different name (White Fences) when I visited. Enjoyed their Rose. Was in its infancy.
The Hague Winery Northern Neck 2006 5 stars
2010 5 stars This is a winery I really enjoy visiting because of its quality wine and unpretentious.
Ingleside Vineyards Northern Neck 2010 5 stars Very mature winery with great wines. It is a little commercial.
The photo below is one from the archives. I took it when we visited the The Hague Winery in 2010. The line up of female behinds was just too much to ignore.