Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hiking & Sipping

Blue Ridge Views from the Appalachian Trail
Last weekend a friend and I made it out to Shenandoah National Park for a quality hike before Sandy blew all of the pretty leaves down. It was a gorgeous, crisp fall day, perfect for a rigorous hike. We went into to the park at Thorton Gap where 211 meets Skyline Drive. We got started early on an out and back trail, which was probably a good idea since on our way down we passed several more hikers than on our way up. By the time we finished we had plenty of time to hit the 2 wineries closest to the mountains, Little Washington Winery and Gadino Cellars

The Little Washington Winery had a very friendly & knowledgeable staff as well as a very inviting tasting room, but we were a little disappointed to find only two Virginia wines there. The were currently pouring their two Chardonnays one steel aged and the other oaked as well as several Spanish wines. It was interesting to try some international wines, but I prefer to try the local goods. After checking out the view, which is quite nice we decided to head down the road to Gadino Cellars. 

Enjoying live music at Gadino
Gadino Cellars was the first Virginia winery I had ever been to and that was about 5 years ago so I was excited to see what it was like now. We found a bustling tasting room, but service was great. We were greeted and told it would be few minutes before we could start tasting so we checked out some of the local crafts, cork stoppers and other items in the tasting room before beginning. For $5 we tried 6 wines and got to keep our glass. There was a nice 2011 Viognier that had the lightest hint of tropical fruit, a 2011 Chardonnay aged in steel then oak was nice and mildly oaky, a 2011 Sunset was a sweeter white made from a Traminette & Seyval Blanc blend. Their rose, the 2011 Moonrise is made by blending a red (Nebbiolo, Cab Franc) and white (Petit Mensang) wine rather than letting the skins of a red sit on the wine for a few days, it was surprisingly good & very interesting. The 2010 Cabernet Franc Riserva won us over as our favorite! It came from 22 year old vines and the dark cherry flavors really came through. We also really enjoyed the 2010 Merlot which was blended with 8% Peiti Verdot and 9% Cab Franc for a drier red than the Franc, but still a big, smooth red. 

We decided to buy some bottles of the reds and then pick up a glass of the whites to sit on the porch and enjoy what was left of the daylight before our long drive back to the city. It was a nice revisit to Gadino and perfect spot if heading back from the trails! 

Little Washington Winery porch views

1 comment:

  1. Julie, I was planning to write up our trip to Gadino with Kathy, but except for having a glass of white you pretty much cover it. We really like Gadino.