Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Vint Hill Winery - A Review

Vint Hill Tasting Room
I ran across a new and exciting winery on Sunday while passing through Northern Virginia with Mom and Dad. The winery is Vint Hill and the site that it is on has a WW2 history that appeals to me.

And, they make some really rockin' wines.  Although it appears that they have a web site, the URL was not working for me when I went back.

The winery specializes in craft style, small vintage wines. It is located in an old farm which was used as a signals relay station during WW2. I was amazed by the history of the site and I was also pleased by the variety of wines and their complexity.

Vint Hill makes a wide variety of wines using grapes from throughout Virginia, Washington State and California. The key is that they buy grapes from many sources and make some very tasty wines.

Vint Hill is located in Northern Virginia just over an hours drive from Baltimore. The tasting room is located in the upstairs loft of a barn--we did not see an elevator and so this winery is not suitable for disabled vinophiles. They have a nice variety of wines from whites to reds and including a few dessert wines. Many of the labels hearken back to the site's WW2 history and provide a setting for history and a bit of learning while enjoying wines.

The winery offers two levels of tastings--$10 and $15. I recommend a couple take one of each and swap the wines while tasting.

RECOMMENDATION: Visit this winery and enjoy not only the wines, but a piece of American history. CAUTION: The tasting room is on the second floor and not easily accessible by the handicapped. I did not find an elevator.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Virginia Wine Trail - Pearmund Cellars

Pearmund Cellars
Traveling through Northern Virginia yesterday on my way to Charlottesville, I had the opportunity to visit two wineries and vineyards that I had driven by but not stopped at during my previous travels through the area.

The first was Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run, Virginia. They say of themselves: "Pearmund Cellars is located in the beautiful foothills of eastern Fauquier County, VA, conveniently close to Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. Our 7500-square-foot geothermal winery and 25-acre vineyard produces Chardonnay, Viognier, Riesling, Late Harvest Vidal, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Ameritage, and other award-winning Virginia wines."

I did note that they were recently recognized by Virginia Wine Lover magazine as the best winery in Virginia for 2013 as reported on their web site.

The tasting room is located a short drive off Highway 29 and is well marked. Follow the signs! There are a couple turns where without the excellent signage it would be easy to end up in the driveway of a private residence. The tasting room is large and offers good access to the pouring bar for larger groups. They also offer an assortment of light sandwich fare and cheese plates for those who just want to buy a glass or a bottle and stop to enjoy themselves for a while.

I found the wines to be very representative of Virginia wines. Most of the juice for their wines is sourced from vineyards throughout the central Virginia region, with only the Chardonnay being estate grown. They have an arrangement with a growers in Washington State to produce some wines sourced from there. Of special note, I enjoyed the 2012 Petit Manseng and the 2010 Merlot. The merlot is very light, as compared to most merlots, but has some very nice characteristics. The Collaboration, a wine made entirely using juice form Washington State is also very drinkable and I enjoyed it. The selection of wines offered should find something to appeal to nearly every wine drinker.

RECOMMENDATION: The tasting fee is $10, but it is well worth the time and money to experience the very nice quality wines offered at Pearmund Cellars.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Charlottesville, VA