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.

1 comment:

  1. In an update, I visited the Dog and Oyster again on June 1, 2014. I will raise my raiting to at least 4 stars. The tasting is fun and can be done in or outside. Two of the wines tasted were very nice, albeit the wine is very expensive, which I understand. The owner needs to make a living also, but it has to be proced on quality and I am not sure if some of the wines are just simply too expensive ($45)? In other words, a great place to visit and absolutely worth 4 stars.