We both had a good time picking apples, however Lori insisted on gather as many different types that she could find which meant wandering around the very picked over trees with apples souring on the ground around them. Ok, fine. We did that for a bit, then it was off to this side of the orchard, then the other! She ended up with 20 lbs and I finished with 12 lbs. Not bad for a leisurely hour and a half. I was a little bummed that they were cleaned out of pumpkins. After finishing and picking up some apple treats we were ready for lunch and wine. Lunch seemed harder to come by than wine so we were off for the latter. We were very close to Barrel Oak and I had some free tasting coupons, but Lori suggested checking out Philip Carter Winery.
The winery was just a few miles down the road, set back against the hills. It was beautiful to approach. It was also just as busy as the orchard. There were families picnicking outside on the lovely patio. It was a perfect day. There was quite a wait to get to one of the two tasting bars. After waiting for about 10 minutes one group was escorted to a one bar, while we continued to wait. I was bit disappointed since the hostess didn't acknowledge us or the other folks waiting, not even to tell us it was busy, she'd be right with us or there'd be a bit of wait. Eventually they set up an additional table for a tasting where we were set up with some other tasters. I must say our server saved the day. He was knowledgeable, engaging and entertaining. He chatted about the history of Virginia wine, told us how they had lost one of their grapes completely with all the recent rain we had gotten.
For such a large vineyard I expected them to have more than four wines (for $4), but with only 10 of their 27 acres in production that's what is yielded. We had the '10 Vidal Blanc a sweet, easy to drink white; '10 Chardonnay which tasted a lot like buttered popcorn. The reds were the '10 Cabernet Franc which wasn't too dry and lightly peppery, then the '09 Cleve a blend of cab franc, cab sav and petite verdot and that was a bit tart. They were all average wines, I think I liked the Cab Franc best and Lori favored the Vidal Blanc. Instead of enjoying the view we were still famished and headed to Flint Hall for lunch, which as the closest place was about 20 miles down the road. En route we passed the infamous Oasis Winery, Desert Rose and Berry Hill. We didn't end up stopping at any of those as we needed to get back to the city in time for dinner. It was a lovely day once the sun finally came out and as Philip Carter is very dog and kid friendly, I'd recommend it to families who want to let the kids roam outside while relaxing, but don't forget to bring snacks!
|Reaching! Gorgeous Foliage!|
|Presses like this are still used in Eastern Europe for house wine|