Starting VA Wine Week Off Right

So VA Wine Week happens twice a year when everyone supports this great region right in our backyard. People visit the wineries, order VA wine at restaurants, buy a bottle to try, or host VA wine tastings like I am Thursday, March 24.  This past weekend was the first weekend of VA Wine Week and what better way to spend it than at the wineries themselves. Weather has finally broke and it was a sunny day.

Bryan and I went out to Fauquier County to visit Philip Carter Winery.  After reviewing all the wine events happening in the area on Virginia Wine Events, I knew they hosting a barrel tasting for $25/person. Intrigued I was as I haven't participated in a barrel tasting before. Saturday morning I packed a picnic lunch for us and we headed out that way. In just a little over an hour from Arlington, we were there! It's a little off the beaten path, down a windy road. All in all, it was easy to find. The driveway zig zagged through the vines which would be gorgeous once they bud.

We went through their complete selection consisting of  a 2009 Chardonnay, 2009 Governer Fauquier (100% Vidal Blanc), 2009 Cabernet Franc, 2009 Albemarle Red (from Kluge Estate which is a Bordeaux-style blend) and 2008 Late Harvest Vidal. I was very pleased with the Chardonnay as well as the Albemarle Red (I love the Old World style).  Th Chardonnay is only lightly oaked which is what I like in a Chardonnay. Once we tasted, we chose to get a bottle of the Albemarle Red, sat down and ate our lunch while we waited for the 3pm Barrel Tasting.

Some of my friends who live in the area came by to join us for the barrel tasting. The vineyard tour and barrel tasting was led by Philip Carter himself. It was great to actually talk to the owner. It made it very more personable. We tasted the same wines that we tasted upstairs only these were unfinished and unfiltered. It was amazing to sample them along the way. Some were still a little acidic which is to be expected. They still need some time in the bottle. One of the highlights during the barrel tasting were the elegant hors'devours that were served with each tasting. Ranging from quiche to salmon to salami, they all were very good and paired perfectly with what we were tasting.

Me posing with the 2010 Chardonnay

After our great experience at Philip Carter, we drove a few miles up the road to Chateau O'Brien. The view of O'Brien was spectacular of the rolling hills and the inside was very spacious with lots of tables to enjoy your wine. Since we got there with only 45 minutes to spare, we sped through the tasting, ordered a glass to enjoy on the patio and headed out. To be honest, not a lot stood on regarding the wine in particular. I was just very impressed by the tasting rooms and the set up of the winery. I'd definitely go back to fully enjoy it.

Us girls enjoying our glasses

Back to VA Wine Week..I am hosting a VA wine tasting at my home in Arlington where we will have a taste off between VA wine and the same varietals from other regions. If you are interested, leave a comment or RSVP here! Hope you can join us to celebrate VA wine!


1 comment:

  1. Nice post. Philip is a great dude so I'm sure it was nice to have him hosting the barrel tasting. His family, going back a couple centuries, has a history with wine. Of PCWinery's lineup, I'm partial to the late harvest Vidal. PCW has a bright future here in Virginia.