Tag Archive | VA

Narmada Winery

Narmada Winery is a lovely place to visit on a chilly or rainy day. You’re going to have a hard time finding a more cheerfully decorated tasting room or a better view from inside looking out. The tasting bar is embedded with glitter and peacock feathers. The whole room is bright, colorful, and bursting with Indian heritage.

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According to the staff on duty, Narmada hasn’t been doing well in recent times. This is a shame because it has such a heartwarming backstory. A white wine on their tasting list is called “MOM.” This is because owner Pandit Patil’s mother sold her jewelry to buy him a plane ticket from India to the United States when he received a scholarship to an American university. MOM is dedicated to all mothers and would be a perfect gift for yours considering Mother’s day is May 11th.

The Patils placed Narmada in Rappahannock County on 70 acres. They grow 10 varietals on 28 acres. The family has put their heart into building the winery, but the tension caused by the bad economy greets you at the door. The service was strained, and we were asked to cash out after each item we purchased. Alternatively, this might have been because we appeared to be two untrustworthy young people who they fully expected to taste and ditch. However, it just wasn’t a very welcoming environment, so my friend and I didn’t feel like staying long.

 

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Honestly, I think Narmada might be trying to do too much and spreading themselves too thin. They offer three different tasting flights of over 14 wines (which seems like a lot to me for one wine maker), had live music on an early Sunday afternoon, and have a gift shop selling everything from artwork to clothing to greeting cards. They might be focusing too much on culture and not enough on wine.  Narmada is along 211 which makes it easy to visit it and a few others including Little Washington, Grey Ghost, or Unicorn.

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Afton Mountain Winery

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Afton Mountain Vineyard has the most honest and upfront slogan I have seen yet. Grapes don’t live in ugly places, which isn’t necessarily true, probably refers to the picturesque landscapes of successful wineries. Grapes probably do live in ugly places, but it is clear Afton is not one of them; the landscaping was gorgeous. I just had to stop my car and take a picture of the witty signage. They also sell refrigerator magnets sporting that phrase.

The tall deer fences that protect the vine and signs turning away large parties line the driveway ends with a breathtaking tuscan style winery. Afton Mountain is attempting to stay small. In their tasting room, they support a local artist named Paige Peyton who does farmscapes and still lifes.

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They proudly schedule only 8 weddings at most per year with 100 guests or fewer.  As an economist, I have a hard time understanding purposefully limiting growth. Their event space is an outdoor pavillion with removable plastic sheeting walls and heat leams. They are afraid that if they host any more events, they will run out of wine.

Their tasting list is only 5 wines for $7, but if you are lucky (like we were), they may have up to 6 more that they will serve you if they have them open. Their logo is another rorschach test like Early Mountain’s, and is actually the letters ‘a,’ ‘m,’ and ‘v’ made out of overlapping mountain shaped lines.

 

 

 

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My friend and I both got a glass of the Gewurztraminer and sat out on the patio. Every direction you faced revealed a different picturesque landscape, whether vine, mountains, or lakeside. I wonder what it would be like to live in any of the surrounding houses and live amongst the incredible views on a daily basis.

Afton mountain is a gorgeous place to visit. Their wine menu is reasonably priced. I recommend bringing a picnic basket or cheese plate and spending some time on their patio. Oh, and if you’re single and looking, they host speed dating!

VA Wine Chat – Mark your Calendars!

Virginia Wine Chat — A monthly virtual gathering to discuss the wines, winemakers, wineries and regions of Virginia. (For reference — original article announcing Virginia Wine Chat.)

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Our current Virginia Wine Chat schedule:

  • NEXT ——> 7:30pm ——> April 24, 2014 — Barboursville Vineyards.  One of Virginia’s most accomplished and popular winemaker’s, Luca Paschina will be our guest for the April 2014 edition of Virginia Wine Chat!  Please join us as we learn about Luca’s background, why he came to Virginia’s fledgling wine industry from Italy nearly 25 years ago, and talk about the history of the winery and land at Barboursville.  We’ll also taste three delicious Barboursville wines: 2013 Viognier Reserve, 2011 Nebbiolo Reserve, and the 2010Octagon!    Follow the #VAWineChat hashtag to join the discussion via Twitter and/or see our live interview on the Virginia Wine Chat UStream Channel(http://www.ustream.tv/channel/virginia-wine-chat).  Wine fans can taste along with us too.  Barboursville has made available a specially discounted ‘Virginia Wine Chat 3-Pack‘ available that includes each of the wines Luca and I will taste during the broadcast.   Please call the Barboursville Winery tasting room directly (540-832-3824) to order the 3-pack to join in the tasting.
  • May 22, 2014 — Rosemont Vineyards.  Discovering one of southern Virginia’s gems.  Winemaker Justin Rose will be our guest for the May 2014 edition of Virginia Wine Chat.
  • Upcoming chats include winemakers Jake Busching at Grace Estate Winery, Nate Walsh atSunset Hills Vineyard …

Please log in to Twitter and join us!

LWW’s Wine Immersion Boot Camp

Wine Immersion Boot Camp is held every Saturday and Sunday morning and afternoon at Little Washington Winery. My mom, my roommate, and I attended the boot camp on a frigid and snowy March Sunday morning. This was my second trip out to LWW, so I knew what to expect at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. In case you’re worried, Wine Boot Camp only consists of 3oz arm curls, rather than drinking then running.

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The sign that meets you at the door is a rather intense gentleman holding a sign that says spit. Fortunately, there was no spitting required, because the wines were all good. Although we drank a manageable amount for how long we were there, the order of the class made for an experience that was wine heavy at the very end. This was good in the sense that after the class you had new knowledge about wine and could put it to use.  The problem of a end-heavy experience is it could leave you feeling a bit tipsy.

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Prince Michel Vineyard

With new wineries opening in Virginia practically every day, our 2014 VA wine maps are almost obsolete. Wineries that have been around protect a piece of VA history.  Prince Michel Vineyard (pronounced like Michelle) celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2012.

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It is easy to visit Prince Michel because it is located right on the beaten path along Rt. 29 between Madison and Culpeper. You can’t miss it because it has giant wind chime wine glasses out front. Unfortunately, since Prince Michel is located so close to a main road, sitting outside is only pleasurable if you like listening to cars drive by.

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Bluestone Vineyard

I definitely have a picture in my head of what a good winery looks and feels like.  In my head, the tasting room is large enough to accommodate both small and large groups. It is sophisticated and isn’t filled with wino chatchski.   The grounds are well kept and with a gorgeous view of the vine. The wine list is long enough to provide variety but short enough to know the winery hasn’t overstretched themselves providing quantity and not quality.  I love wine because it is such a versatile yet classy product.

My friend Lizzie and I in the Bluestone Vineyard Tasting Room. You can see their wine making facilities behind us!

My friend Lizzie and I in the Bluestone Vineyard Tasting Room. You can see their wine making facilities behind us!

When it comes to Bluestone Vineyard, I can’t help but question how they operate. I have a lot of respect for the marketing department at Bluestone Vineyard because  after looking at their website, I thought that the property was gorgeous. One cool thing about Bluestone Vineyard is that you can see their winemaking facilitates through windows in the tasting room. They are also dog friendly and don’t care if you meander through all the vine on their property.

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CrossKeys Vineyard

Attending a Duck Hunting Themed event at Crossed Keys Vineyard

Attending a duck hunting themed event at CrossKeys Vineyard (yes, I know we got photobombed)

I’ve actually visited CrossKeys Vineyard twice. The first time, I attended JMU ADPi’s Mallard Ball and we had  reserved the patio. As an event space, CrossKeys is gorgeous day and night. The building itself makes an amazing backdrop. If that isn’t enough, when you visit CrossKeys you are surrounded by the picturesque vines and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  At night, you lose the view but the spacious patio is ambient under a lattice of Christmas lights.

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