2nd Annual Blue Ridge Oyster Festival

Press Release!

The Blue Ridge Oyster Festival is very proud that the food, wine and beer all come from Virginia and one of the many ways we celebrate this is to debut two wines from 2 vineyards, from 2 counties. This year, Blenheim Vineyards will debut their House Red at the Oyster Festival and Cardinal Point Vineyards will debut their Chardonnay. This year the festival will be held on April 21st with a rain date of the 22nd.

From Cardinal Point –Nelson County

2011 Chardonnay: Featured Release – clean,round, nice vanilla and cream, but not heavy. Our chardonnay escaped  any ill effects of the 2011 harvest rains. Aged in 100% American oak, mostly fromPennsylvania.

2011 Rockfish Red: 100% Cab Franc, aged for four months in French oak. The steady rains during the 2011 harvest account for its lighter than usual color, but the great ripening weather before the rains account for the great flavor. This wine has great berry fruit aromas and flavors, which have a nice dry and crisp finish. A perfect warm-weather red wine!

From Blenheim Vineyards –Albemarle County

2011 Red Table Wine – Featured release

The latest version of red table wine is fruit forward and packed full of juicy berry flavors.

Butterscotch and caramel notes that come from some barrel aging support the ripe plum and red cherry. 50% aged in French and American oak for 5 months. 352 cases produced. 46% Cabernet Franc, 36% Merlot,18% Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 White Table Wine

A crisp and refreshing warm weather white, perfect for pairing with oysters and picnic fare. 100% stainless steel fermented and aged, 33% Viognier, 66% Chardonnay. 331 cases produced.

2011 Rosé

A delightfully fruity but dry rosé made fromMourvedre, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Extended skin contact helped create a vibrant and flavorful wine that pairs well with a variety of seafood dishes as well as grilled chicken and vegetable dishes. 280 cases produced.

Featured beer will includes:

Devil’s Backbone Brewery

Starr Hill Brewery

ViennaLager StarrPils (German Style Pilsner)

EightPoint IPA NorthernLights (IPA

Reilly’sRed Ale

BelgianCongo Pale Ale

WintergreenWeiss

Growlers

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Growlers are making beer drinking more like wine by storing fresh beer in a quantity intended for sharing.n the late 1800s and early 1900s, fresh beer was transported from  local pubs to the  home by using a galvanized pail. Rumor has it that as the beer sloshed around the pail, it created a rumbling sound as the carbon dioxide seeped through the lid, thus the term “growler”.
Prior to World War II, inner children hauled covered buckets of draft beer from local bars or breweries to workers on lunch break or home to their parents at dinnertime, a practice called “rushing the growler.”  Personally, I find the bottles really interesting and use my Starr Hill growler as a (gasp!) vase!

After a recent comment on the blog, I realized I’m leaving out a whole new generation of micro-breweries and the “Brew Ridge Trail” in Nelson County, VA is an excellent example of this trend.   Blue Mountain Brewery, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Wild Wolf Brewing Company and Charlottesville’s/Crozet’s own Starr Hill Brewery are a few to not miss in Virginia.
There is a huge following of fans touring breweries on the weekends much like the wineries.  Events are now centered around these spots and eventually we’ll resemble Europe with their pubs and bierhallen. Dogs and children are welcome in Europe and families gather after soccer or rugby matches to relax in the countryside.  The Griffin Inn Free House in Fletching, East Sussex, UK is a model to strive for in our similarly scenic pastoral terrain, plus we have the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop.
Look for more posts as we “uncork”  beer as well as wine!

Outstanding Fish & Chips
The Griffin Inn Pub in Fletching East Sussex UK