Monday, October 14, 2013

Furlough Friday at the Vineyards

What do you do when you are not allowed to work, unsure of when you'll be called back to work or even when or IF you'll get paid again on a rainy, rainy day? Why wine tasting of course! My friend Jessica and I ventured out to Vintage Ridge Vineyard in Delaplane, VA and were pleased with what we found. Not only did they have some fine wines in a nice space, quality music & they also have "Furlough Fridays" where Federal employees can receive half off their tastings and half off a glass of wine.

Vintage Ridge is off of a narrow, meandering road off 66 like many of their neighboring vineyards, they opened their tasting room in 2007 & began making wine in 2005. Five of the seven wines we tried were estate grown. There were two tasting bars and several tables ready for tastings. We were likely the first guests of the day and were given our choice of tables. Once settled we were given our tasting sheets, glasses and were told by our friendly server, Randy, that we'd be tasting two wines at time with the exception of their first white wine.

The first was the 2011 Maiden Voyage a blend of 65% Vidal Blanc & 35% Movedra. Round two was the
2010 Merlot and 2010 Syrah, both grown in Charlottesville. The Merlot had a really great, fruit forward nose and wasn't too dry. The Syrah was light, and easy to drink, but a little lighter bodied than I like my reds. Round three was the 2009 Cabernet Franc and the 2009 Petit Verdot, two very full bodied enjoyable reds, best paired with a high quality meal. The final round was the 2011 Ghost Train and the 2011 Summer Night; both blends the former was 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot named for the trains that travel through the area and the later was a 100% off dry Vidal Blanc. Jessica's favorite was the Ghost Train and mine was the Merlot, but we both enjoyed the Cab Franc & Petit Verdot. We settled in for a glass and enjoyed staying out of the rain. Vintage Ridge also offers food for purchase, but unfortunately we couldn't bring our own in so we headed for a second stop.

Our second stop was at the quiet & cozy Miracle Valley Vineyard, just a bit passed Barrel Oak Winery. We were also the only tasters for a bit until a second group wandered in just after we began our tasting. Miracle Valley planted their vines in 2004 and all their varietals are grown on site, similar to Vintage Ridge their tasting room opened in 2007.

Their tasting list changes regularly so on our visit we tried 6 wines and their hot mulled wine which was perfect for a cold, damp day. We began with the 2012 Chardonnay, which was clean, crisp wine. Next up was the 2012 Viognier which wasn't too fruit forward and very smooth. The last white was the Cobbler Mountain White a blend of Viognier, Vidal & Chardonnay with 2% rs, a nice light semi-sweet wine. On the red side we began with the 2011 Merlot a very light version, next was the 2010 Meritage, an unknown blend of Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. The 2011 Cabernet Franc was the final red a full bodied red. We finished everything off with their hot mulled wine that includes their Merlot, Cab Franc, Cranberry Juice & spices. As I mentioned before it was a nice touch to the rainy day. Jessica & I both favored the Meritage so we settled in with our lunch, a bottle & some lush fall views!