....And the wineries keep coming. Virginia now has over 170 wineries, with more coming every year. Entrepreneurs are growing grapes and opening wineries in nearly every corner of the Commonwealth.
Here are a few "new kids" that are worth a visit!
DuCard Vineyards: Open since last summer, DuCard Vineyards has been getting a good amount of publicity due to their solar-powered tasting room. Located a stone's throw away from Sharp Rock Vineyards, between Sperryville, VA and Madison, VA, the two wineries in the shadow of Old Rag Mountain make a great "daycation." Their Popham Run Bordeaux Blend and two Viogniers are winners.
North Gate Vineyard: North Gate's wines have been available in a few Loudoun County tasting rooms (Fabbioli Cellars, Notaviva Vineyards) for a few years now, as well as Magnolia's at the Mill restaurant in Purcellville. Their tasting room, another in a series of "eco friendly" locations for Virginia, opened in early Spring 2011, lies between Purcellville and Hillsboro, in western Loudoun County. All wines, especially the whites, are fantastic. Try that apple wine. But watch yourself--this apple wine has a KICK (13.5% alcohol!)
North Gate Vineyard
Hume Vineyards: If you want to see a vineyard prior to planting, visit Hume Vineyards between now and early May 2011. Hume is a village close to Philip Carter Vineyards and the Marriott Ranch Resort, southeast of Front Royal. Hume Vineyards partnered with popular Breaux Vineyards and are making wines full of promise--including a 15% chambourcin red that is "not for the timid" (great description!)
Desert Rose Vineyards: Near another popular Front Royal-area winery, Rappahannock Cellars, and nearly across the road from the troubled (and currently defunct) Oasis Vineyards, Desert Rose started (and continues to operate) as a ranch, complete with rare and beautiful horses on the premises. The owner is originally from Eastern Oregon desert country, and the place has a quirky "cowboy" theme. The wines are fine to excellent: try their "R.E.D" ("Retired and Extremely Dangerous"--as in the recent Bruce Willis movie). Ask the owner about the whimsical pictures on the bottles.
Desert Rose Vineyards
Twin Oaks Tavern Winery: Between the popular (and busier) Bluemont and Veramar Vineyards on Route 7 between Leesburg and Winchester lies Twin Oaks Tavern, which was a tavern that dated back to post Civil War 19th Century. The original road sign can be found in the rustic and utterly charming tasting room. Decks with umbrellas overlook the hill below and mountains above. Their wines are tasty and unusual. The chardonnay aged in glass lined barrels is perhaps the most unique chard you will taste.
Twin Oaks Tavern Vineyards
Visit the New Kids in Town and tell 'em Virginia Wine Notebook (and Don, Glenn and Joe) sent you!