This is a continuation of our B&B wine weekend (see previous post). On Saturday after we had a wonderful breakfast and a nice mile walk, we headed out to visit more wineries around Orange, Virginia. Our first stop was Blenheim Vineyards. This is Rocker Dave Matthews’ winery. I just got this email from the daily sip by bottlenotes yesterday and find it suiting to this post and where the title of this post came from. 😉
Rocker Dave Matthews promotes
sustainability with Virginia farm and winery
We want to personally thank Dave Matthews for devoting part of
his rock fortune to organic farming. With Blenheim
Vineyards, a family winery specializing in artisan merlot and
chardonnay, the front man for the Dave Matthews Band is helping to elevate the
status of Virginia wine.
brother, Peter, was the original vineyard manager of the four-acre property
outside Charlottesville, where Dave used to
bartend in his early-20s. Dave acquired the property in 1999 and put long-time
friend, Brad McCarthy, in charge of winemaking. Their mutual friend, Kirsty
Harmon, who trained at Domaine Faiveley in Nuits-Saint-Georges, Burgundy, France, took over in 2008, and has since added multiple
reds to Bleinheim’s portfolio. The current line-up includes a 2010 syrah
As Matthews told Food & Wine magazine,
by participating in Farm-Aid, the non-profit concert that raises awareness about
family farms, he experienced a deeper awakening to the importance of food. “What
I learned from Farm-Aid was
the unhealthy way that big farms work; this mass farming; this poisoning of the
land. So I started looking for good foods.”
And good, affordable wines.
The majority of Bleinheim’s
wines are priced under $21.
This winery has spectacular mountain views and a lovely deck off of it’s a frame shape. It was our favorite of the 7 we visited this trip.
The lovely view from the deck.
Next up was Trump Winery, (yes owned by the Donald Trump) which is just down the road from Blenheim and was formerly Kluge Estate and Vineyards. Wine tasting is done by flight. This was something new to both Mitch and I. Encyclo wine defines:
Tasting flight is a term used by wine tasters to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, but sometimes as many as fifty, presented for the purpose of sampling and comparison.
Glasses used in tasting flights are usually smaller than normal wine glasses, and they are often presented on top of a sheet of paper which identifies each wine and gives some information about each grape or vineyard. This format allows tasters to compare and contrast different wines.
An extended tasting will typically consist of several flights, each with a theme. For example, several wines from the same region and vintage would comprise a flight, or several wines from the same variety but different regions. It is typically the responsibility of the tasting organizer to select flights that offer maximum illumination of similarities and differences, while at the same time making sure the progression of flights is appropriate.
A tasting flight can be compared with wine by the glass, which is intended for drinking.
We sampled only three and the cost was quiet expensive, we thought. $18 to sample just three! The wine was okay but not worth the price.
There is a large patio just outside the tasting room (below) with a tasting bar and lots of tables.
Next, we stopped at First Colony. This winery was super busy. We managed to squeeze into a spot at the tasting bar. We liked their whites but did not care much for their reds.
We thought the Groome Transportation van (right side of the pic) was a good idea and one we may use in a future wine trip. 😉
As the day went on taking pictures became……errr……..challenging for me. Next we visited Jefferson Vineyards.
Info from their home page on their website:
Thomas Jefferson brokered the sale of our land to a Florentine Viticulturilist, Filipo Mazzei, inviting him to become his neighbor and to help in realizing Jefferson’s dream for the native production of wine in Virginia. First plantings of European vinifera varieties were in 1774 – in full view of Monticello. Unfortunately the Revolutionary War interrupted this venture and it was not until 1981 that planting vineyards here again regained favor.
Jefferson Vineyards is one of the first to introduce quality, modern viticulture to Virginia and at long last help realize Thomas Jefferson’s dream. Through thirty years of experience, this modest farm winery offers select wines of superior quality. We produce between 6000 and 8000 cases annually.
Also an interesting tid bit about the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, which I am currently reading the book about (The Billionaires’ Vinegar).
The most expensive bottle of wine ever sold was at a Christies’ auction in London in 1985. The price paid for the 1787 Chateau
Lafitte was $165,000 US Dollars. Etched into the glass were the initials Th.J., which helped to ensure the record price tag — the bottle had once belonged to Thomas Jefferson. When Jefferson was the Ambassador to France, he visited many of the Bordeaux and Burgundy
vineyards, where he bought wines to add to his personal collection. This bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafitte is well over 200 years old,
well beyond its shelf life, making it undrinkable.
We enjoyed their wines. The tasting fee we thought was a little high at $ 10 a person. This was our second favorite winery of this trip.
Next up we did a wine tasting at Keswick Vineyards and got some much needed greyhound love.
After tasting wine at 5 wineries, we were wiped out and very hungry. We grabbed a quick lunch at a local BB&Q before heading back to the B&B for a much needed nap. 🙂
After resting up a bit, we went out to have dinner at the Skill Mill Grille sat at the bar had a few drinks and watched some football. I was in luck as they were showing the Ole Miss game. 🙂 It was a relaxing way to end our very busy but fun day.
The tree outside our room at the B&B was very pretty at night.
Sunday was our last day at the B&B. We started our day with a delicious breakfast and a lovely chat with Marty one of our hosts. Then we headed out for a mile walk.
Mitch wanted his picture taken with this old tree.
Some pretty and unique things around the B&B.
I like this idea for outdoor decoration. 🙂
We saw lots of huge leaves all over the ground during our walk. I asked Mitch to pick one up so I could take a picture. He was so amused, as you can see.
The greatest husband in the world above. 🙂
We had an awesome time! We missed our pups very much though. There are still quite a few wineries in the western part of the state that we plan to make it to next spring. We came home with 14 bottles of wine. Not bad!
Next post we will share photos from our recent greyhound group walks around Richmond.