July 28, 2005

More Wine Blogging

Victorino Matus over at Galley Slaves has been nosing about in the NoVa wine country. Of the four vinyards he mentions, I've been to one - Naked Mountain. His assessment:

Naked Mountain, deep in the Blue Ridge, provided some of the best views and the most casual atmosphere. We simply walked up to the counter and the bottles were laid out before us. The riesling was exceptionally crisp, though they are better known for their buttery chardonnays. (Some are aged in oak, others in steel.) Best of all, there is no tasting fee.

He's quite right about the view and atmosphere. This place is tucked way back in the hills, not too far from the Shenendoah River. The afternoon we went, some kind of Spanish band was playing on a little bandstand down in a dell below the main building. We bought some chardonnay and sat out on the hill under a tree to listen. Beautiful scene.

Unfortunately, the wine tasted like alchoholic hummingbird food and I wouldn't dream of drinking it at home. However (enthusiasts, please cover your eyes), sometimes, when you're out having a really pleasant afternoon, the fact that you've got a bad bot with you isn't all that much of a problem.

UPDATE: Oh, I forgot to mention. Matus calls Middleburg "rustic". It isn't anything of the sort and if you stay there, prepare to pay through the nose. The place is a focal point of hunt country toffs and the most famous B&B, The Red Fox Inn, requires some serious bucks. Ditto most of the shops and stores along the main drag. The good news is that there are other B&B's scattered all over the Valley. With a little research, you can find a really nice one not nearly as pricey.

UPDATE DEUX: Oh, what the hell. Two other places I can tell you something about. One is Prince Michel Vineyard south of Culpepper on Rte. 29. This place, the oldest major winery in Virginia, has always been Exhibit A in my diatribe against over-priced, faux-quality Virginny wines. The Vinyard itself in recent years has tried hard to capitalize on its value as a potential tourist center. They've installed over-night accomodations and, from what I've read, now have a first class restaurant. But bring money. You're going to need it.

Then again, if you really want to go into the depts of the Commonwealth, might I suggest Rebec Winery down in Amherst County. My visit there lo these many years ago for, of all things, a Garlic Festival, was my very first experience with Virginia wine. (As I recall, our LMC was along on that visit as well.) I can't remember anything about the wine except that it was pretty awful. But again, that seemed a reasonable price to pay for spending an enjoyable afternoon strolling about in the Piedmont which, IMHO, is some of the prettiest country in the, er, country.

Posted by Robert at July 28, 2005 09:10 AM | TrackBack

I'll have to check it out if I ever get out to VA. Part of the allure of wine tasting HERE is the countryside in which the wineries sit, too.

Posted by: Brian B at July 28, 2005 11:04 AM

I completely forgot about the trip to the winery. I am sure I went along to show Margaret the Second that I had a cultured, sensitive side. She never bought it.

Posted by: LMC at July 30, 2005 02:05 PM
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