“Twelve Days of Christmas at a Virginia Winery”

 

Later on We'll Conspire ....

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On  the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Four vines a growing, Three corks a popping,   Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Five GOLDEN grapes, Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Six Cab Francs Swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a  growing,  Three corks a  popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six  Cab Francs Swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks  a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Ten Magnums sparkling,  Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS, SEVEN port wines snifting,   Six Cab Francs Swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines  a growing,  Three corks a  popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Eleven Viogniers sampling,  Ten Magnums sparkling,  Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,   Six  Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses drinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Twelve vintners vinting,  Eleven Viogniers sampling,  Ten Magnums sparkling,  Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six  Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes, Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

  • Inspiration for this song comes from my daughter,  Jillian who encouraged me to post something , anything, prior to Christmas.  The original idea was something about twelve wineries relating to the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Maybe next year! 
  • King Family Vineyard – Seven, a Port -this port wine is made with 100% Merlot and is fortified with brandy, and was aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for 2 years.  The  2009 Viognier ( I love this one!) self described by the owners as 70% of the volume  fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks to highlight the freshness of the wine, and 30% in neutral oak barrels, giving the wine fullness without adding oak flavor. There are cantaloupe, honeysuckle and orange zest on the nose and mouth.
  •  Keswick Vineyards Chocolate Norton sauce is  a  gourmet chocolate sauce made with Keswick Vineyards  Norton wine.
  •  Octagon Barboursville Vineyards is described by the vintner as  a proprietary blend  driven by Merlot, with elements of Reserve Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.   Aged 12 to 14 months in new Gamba barriques of the most select French oak, air-dried a minimum of 3 years before coopering, laid down in bottle for an additional six months before release.
  • The Magnums would be from Kluge, of course!

    Merry Christmas from Me and My True Love!

A Petit Influence of République française ala Prince Michel

 
 
   On our return trips to Charlottesville from Northern Virginia and D.C. we occasionally  pause to enjoy just one of the  many pleasures of living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  A brief stop at Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery  for a glass of Symbius,  a deep ruby colored Meritage of Bordeaux varietals,  is my personal favorite.  As you approach the northern edge of the Monticello Wine Trail you can’t miss the  three steel wine goblet wind sculptures. Very contemporary in contrast  to the Jeffersonian architectural details of the winery itself.   The tasting room entrance is  flanked by  pergolas and white columns surrounding brick courtyards.
Wine Goblets at Prince Michel

 

 The expanse of the tasting room is a little cold and impersonal but this time we were greeted by the friendly smile of Patty Sevre.  Intrigued by her display of cut decanters and stemware we hovered over her as she cut custom designs for visitors while they toured the winery.   Patty’s family has been in the glass cutting business for fourteen generations.  Her family hails from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France (incidentally, where I first tasted wine as a child!) and is very  proud of  their incredible legacy in the art of glass works.  She had a career for forty years cutting glass for Tiffany & Co.

 Presently, she and her husband Kenneth Sevre work together blowing glass and are on site at Prince Michel on Thursdays!  Seizing the opportunity, we  selected a small glass to be cut personally for a Christmas gift for my Mom!  It is beautiful and I look forward to giving her such a special gift this Christmas!  Check out her website for more in-depth historical background and contact information.

Patty Sevre custom free hand design cut glass

 

Finishing our wine, we marvelled at the wine and dining accessories on display in the tasting room gift shop.  It is a great place to purchase personalized gifts for any wine lover in your family and we highly recommend it  for a Black Friday shopping stop where everything will be 20% off that day only!

  I had recently heard about the luxury suites available for rent at the vineyard.  Driving to the rear of the winery and up a curved drive you will find two homes each including two  one-bedroom suites decorated in the French provincial style featuring  a luxurious bath, romantic fireplace and galley kitchen.  The Suites at Prince Michel are  elegant and have private secluded garden patios with views of the mountains and vineyard.  According to the website, you can select one of four themes  from the blue and beige of the La Concorde, the green and gold of the Les Champs Elysees, the tailored elegance of La Tour Eiffel or the provincial charm of La Paris.  They are very affordably priced at 175.00  per night or 300 for two nights.  Weddings and events are welcome at Prince Michel and the location situated centrally between Charlottesville and Washington D.C., wonderful for a midway spot close to historic sites and the Blue Ridge Mountains.





 

When the President comes to town…

Big, big event in Charlottesville this  Friday night!  President Obama is lending his support for Tom Perriello by hitting our little town the weekend before midterm elections. 

He will be speaking at the Charlottesville Downtown Pavillion.

I’m not sure if he thinks Tom can’t do it alone or he just wants to come to Cville in the Fall and enjoy our beautiful town during  peak Autumn color!  Either way, for all you folks who want to avoid crowds or support Robert Hurt  by being absent;  Pollak Vineyards will be an evening worthy of a President!

Tip to Pollak

Friday evening from 4 p.m. until  9 p.m., the last of the Friday Night Sunset Concert Series for 2011 will be the happening place for wine lovers and Fall foliage enthusiasts. I’m not sure who the entertainment will be, but the terrace at night is beautiful, the wine is superb and our weather should be perfect if a little chilly,  so bring a blanket or sweater!

Directions to Pollak from Cville-

 Take Interstate 64 West to Exit 107 (Crozet). Turn left onto 250 West. Go about three miles, passing the estates of Mirador, Seven Oaks, Ramsey and Ridgley all on your right. Just past Ridgley estate, take a right fork onto Rte. 796 (Brooksville Rd.). Continue about a half mile and turn right on Newtown Road. Entrance to Pollak Vineyards is about a half mile on your left.

W.C. Fields Said it All!

Honestly, I wrote my last post at 3:00 a.m. since I  couldn’t sleep and wine was on my mind, ( is that a song title)?  That said, I’ll continue with some of the other vineyards that were worth mentioning! Considering the name of the festival,  The Pick of the Piedmont, I thought I’d share some of our groups’ observations. Our favorite banner by far was the logo for  Wintergreen Winery!  Also, they win for best quotation ala W.C. Fields, ” What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?” Love it!

Wintergreen Winery

 The park grounds were really unremarkable, flat and open, while perfect for sports, it lacked in charm for a wine fest.  The few trees did  lend  splashes of fall color and accented the drop zone for the skydivers at the Orange Airport.  All of the wine booths were situated under a large shelter with tastings running the perimeter of the structure.  This did serve well to keep the wines cool and out of direct sunlight. 

 Barboursville and Horton were catching  a  few too many afternoon rays in their location and had to shield their bottles from over heating.  

Barboursville

 

 Several owners and winemakers could be found pouring glasses and expounding on the virtues of  the grapes they had selected for growing in the Piedmont.

 WindSong from Columbia, VA had quite a broad selection including other less traditional  fruit wines from strawberry to peach to  plum. With broad smiles they enthusiastically filled our glasses and  explained which ones were their personal favorites, we’ll have to visit their winery next time we head towards Richmond. I believe Cooper Vineyards will have to be on that same trip!

A grape that I was not familiar with  was the Traminette grape,  developed at Cornell for it’s hardiness in cooler regions.   Potomac Point Winery  blended it with other grapes  into a fruity white table wine called La Belle Vie. It actually had a lot of character and we took some home to enjoy later  that evening.  Our friends purchased the Richland Heritage,  their signature wine, a blend of bordeaux style varietals with a smooth velvety finish.  After checking out their website and the beautiful Tuscan style tasting room, I think a trip towards Stafford is in order!

One of the nicest advantages to this event was the small venue and the fact that it wasn’t over crowded, just a nice afternoon spent with friends learning about wine and enjoying tasting it!

Pick of the Piedmont Festival

We are anticipating an absolutely incredible afternoon tomorrow with crisp Fall weather and even a little frost on the pumpkin tonight!  Texas Rangers are playing tonight, trying to beat the Yankees for their  first ever entry into the World series! What a Weekend!  If you haven’t already made plans for October 23rd and 24th, try to come out to Orange for The Pick of the Piedmont  Fall  Wine Festival!  I’m glad our friends invited us to this event!

 The following wineries and vineyards are participating, some of these wineries are new to me so it will be nice to get a chance to taste their wines! Barboursville VineyardsBurnley Vineyards & Daniel Cellars, Cooper Vineyard,   First Colony Winery, Grayhaven Winery, Lazy Days Winery, Lake Anna Winery, Peaks of Otter Winery, Potomac Point Winery, Rockbridge Vineyard, Stone Mountain Vineyards, Well Hung Vineyard, WindSong Winery, and Wintergreen WineryHorton will also be participating!

 Tickets are available online and are $20.00 and $5.00 for designated drivers and youths 13-20. Wine cooking demonstrations,  arts & crafts booths plus live entertainment, hours are from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Location: Region: Central Virginia
Locality: Orange County

Booster Park
19046 Constitution Highway (route 20)
Orange, VA 22960
Driving Directions

 

Baskets with a Vintage Touch!

The Virginia Shop at Barracks Rd.

Unfortunately for us UVA football fans, the 2nd of October,  2010 was not the best weekend!  However,  it was an excellent weekend for The Virginia Shop at Barracks Road.  Florida State and UVA  fans were looking for  gifts that reflect the local flavor, whether it was Jeffersonian, Southern hospitality or even more popular, Virginia wines. I happened to be in the shop and was ever so pleasantly greeted  by Elizabeth Carras,a  part-time employee (you would never know she wasn’t the proprietor with her hands on attention!) offering a tasting of two wines from Lovingston Winery, cleverly named WaHoo White and Rotunda Red!  The WaHoo White consists of 57% Sauvignon Blanc, 36% Chardonnay, and 7% Petit Manseng.  The Rotunda Red embodies the family motto, “We bleed orange and blue, but we drink red,” this wine is a nod to their  family’s two generations of UVA alums. and is a  blend of 57% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 13% Petit Verdot. I really enjoyed it with the cheese straws!

Happy Halloween Party Wines!

The Virginia Shop was so busy, I decided to return the following afternoon for more shopping and information about their gift baskets. As I walked in, Tiffany Smith, Co Manager of the shop was assembling a gift basket for a local couple to give a friend in Northern Virginia. She explained that they do an extensive number of gift bags and baskets for weddings and events and will include items from the store as well as added off-site items.

Virginia Gift Basket

They have UPS shipping and free local delivery within an approximately 10 mile radius are just two of the reasons to do your souvenir gift shopping here!

Don’t miss Boutique Week October 15th through the 22nd! There will be food and wine tasting all week-long plus a featured discount item daily. A great opportunity to sample some of Virginia’s finest foods and wines!

The Virginia Shop is also the  home of The Virginia Wine of the Month Club. In the store they have a very nice selection of  wines from our local wineries including  Keswick,  Veritas Jefferson, Del FossePollakCardinal PointWhite Hall KlugeLovingstonPrince Michel and Stone Mountain!

Go UVA!

Our local Virginia Shop is not a franchise and they work hard to take care of you however large or small your order. They also offer corporate discounts for your holiday giving!

Subscribe to Cville Uncorked and mention this blog and you will receive a 20 % Discount on wine in the month of October!

Happy Fall Everyone!

You can follow them on Twitter @thevashop

…more Pollak…

Can You Pick the Wine in each Glass?

As you can probably tell,   Pollak  is high on my list of favorite wineries in Virginia. So…back to Sunset Concerts  last Friday!  These are some of the pictures that I was unable to include in my previous post; there are only so many hours in a day! By the way, mentioning hours, here are the hours of operation for Pollak’s Tasting Room: 

 Apr – Oct, Mon – Sun, 11am- 5pm. Nov – Mar, Wed – Sun, 11am – 5pm. Closed major holidays. 

Meet Jarred and Casey!

If you were fortunate enough to be indulging in the evening festivities, you most likely interacted with Casey and Jarred pouring wine and ringing up bottles for the guests.  They both seem to love their roles and are very pleasant when under the stress of a rush of visitors.   Be sure to say hi, they’ll make your tasting enjoyable and memorable!

I would love to find out more about the hastily put together band, Mountain Hollow Swingers!  They were very good and had everyone singing along to “Roxanne”, but mostly their  Bluegrass music filled the air!

The Mountain Hollow Swingers

Apparently, each of the band members has an extensive musical background and decided to name the band after the  original Mountain Hollow Farm that is the present day Pollak vineyard.

Sunset at Pollak
Not the greatest shot, but this is a wonderful place to bring a picnic blanket, or use the tables provided for a romantic  Autumn evening.
If you like privacy, move closer to the  pond or stay elevated and take advantage of the umbrella patio tables on the terrace.
Pollak at Night

Mark your calendars for the last Sunset Concert at the Vineyard Friday October 29th, 2010.