Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fauquier County Winery Spotlight: Delaplane Cellars

Our continuing coverage of wineries in that most winery-unfriendly county in Northern Virginia......

Delaplane Cellars, perched up on a hill with an irresistable view of the mountains on the western horizon, is another winner in the Delaplane/Marshall/The Plains section of the county (also known as "Crooked Run Valley," named after a creek many visitors will cross at least four times in this part of the county).

This is where wineries share the landscape with cattle ranchers, "old money" grumps, and antique stores. Employing sustainable practices similar to Cooper Vineyards and North Gate Vineyard, the airy interior of the tasting room meets expectations created while driving (and then walking) up the steep hillside. And the wines are stellar. This Fauquier location reminded the blogmasters of spots in Sonoma County.

The long tasting bar guarantees a tasting nearly as soon as you walk in, despite how busy they are. Viognier is the winner here; yet another Virginia winery working wonders with the official white grape. Maggie's Viognier is aged in French oak, versus American oak (which is the norm for many other Virginia wineries). The resulting wine is smooth with notes of butter rum and tangerine. Delaplane also ages its Chardonnay in French oak, resulting in a pleasing, dry white that pairs beautifully with trout or perch.

Of the reds, Delaplane is now working with Tannat, which some predict could be Virginia's new unique red, alongside Petit Verdot and Norton. Delaplane offers a 100% Tannat, as well as a blend (blended with Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cab Franc). Both make great cold weather reds, for pairing with stew or chili.

For warmer days, Delaplane Cellars has several picnic tables along the sloping hillside, looking down on the tasting room, as well as a patio offering a view that is one of the finest in Northern Virginia. The tasting room is encased by windows that boast these views for the colder months ahead.

You could make a day at Delaplane Cellars, or move on to other spots a stone's throw away in the Crooked Run Valley:
Three Fox Vineyards, Barrel Oak, and Vintage Ridge Vineyards, to name just three others.

Delaplane Cellars

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