Saturday, June 18, 2011

2 Vintage Virginia Wine Festival

This past week has been nothing last than intense for me. Work was rather busy, so I didn't have a large amount of spare time this week to write blog posts. But, now its the weekend! And time to share an experience that I am hoping will become a tradition with a subset of my friends: the Vintage Virginia Wine festival.

This is the second year that we attended the Vintage Virginia Wine Festival in Centreville, Virginia. My friends and I love this festival because it celebrates not only local wines, but various other local craft businesses with stunning product (more on that later).
Tents filled with tons of wineries
Last year when we went, it was the first time any of us went to a wine festival, so we weren't sure what the experience would be like. Last year we spent the day going around whatever wineries we saw, and didn't have any real goals of what tastes we wanted to find.

In contrast, this year we scoped out the wineries we wanted to go to first, and then went to a few wineries we had not experienced yet. 
Orange Blackberry Chicken
My major revelation half way through the day was that I love fruit wines. The difference between regular wines and fruit wines is that instead of using grapes to produce the wine, some other fruit is the star of the show. What I love about a good fruit wine is that it captures the sensory essence of the base fruit. For example, we came across some Horton cranberry wine and fell in love with its bold cranberry flavors. The other core reason I love fruit wine is that a good fruit wine gives me inspiration to cook. I love the challenge of taking a fruit wine and figuring out a good pairing of proteins and vegetables to produce a delicious dish. My Orange Blackberry Chicken is an awesome example of this.
The other amazing part of the festival were the displays of local artisans. Our unanimous favorite was Topix Crystal, which has a showcase in Vienna, VA. All of the crystal is handmade. The glass artist blows all of the crystal, and uses his own techniques to create stunning raised panels. Even after he explained to us how he created his art, I have no idea how someone could create art this beautiful by hand.

At this point in my post, I wanted to share with you all some of the Virginia wineries we loved. I'd love to hear responses back from y'all about which wines/wineries are your favorites as well!

Favorite Wineries:
Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery - Loved all of it, especially the Nectarine
Cooper Winery - If you enjoy dessert wine, I recommend Vida
Horton Winery - Loved their Cranberry and Dio Wines
AmRhein's - I recommend their Petit Verdot


  1. I was in Charlottesville once and went to Barborsville, I enjoyed that winery.

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