Sunday, January 26, 2014

On the Virginia Wine Trail -- Monticello Region

Saturday was devoted to friends and wine exploration. Although we planned to visit five or six wineries, only four were visited. And that is really OK, we had fun.

During the day we revisited King Family Vineyards, Pollak Vineyards, Pippin Hill Farm Vineyard; and made our first visit to DelFosse Winery
Statue at DelFosse

We began the day at DelFosse Winery and found a scenic setting well off the beaten path. The setting was particularly bucolic and the tasting room was very nice. The wines were solid and provided a good representation of the winemakers efforts. While the wines were good, we did not find them exceptional.

For our second stop, we turned into Pippin Hill Farm Vineyard just off US 29. We had visited this vineyard about two years ago shortly after they had opened their impressive tasting room. The view from the tasting room is impressive and the food looks very tasty. The highlight of the tasting here was the two examples of sparkling wine that are offered. Both were solid sparkling wines and the Rose was the highlight of the visit. We found the other wines, both reds and whits, to be good, but again not exceptional.
Lunch at Pollak

Our next stop, at Pollak Vineyards was the highlight of the day. IT was also the reason that we only visited four vineyards during the day. This was our second visit to Pollak, the previous being over two years ago. Our visit here highlights how wines change
Lunch at Pollak
from season to season. Two years ago we found the wines to be unremarkable. Yesterday, however, the wines were definitely the highlight of the day. The tasting room remains beautiful, but it is too small--and we had to wait about 15 minutes to be able to be served. It was worth the wait. We found exceptional whites, the 2011 Chardonnay and 2012 Vigionier were great; but the 2012 Pinot Gris was truly exceptional. For the reds, we enjoyed an exceptional 2010 Merlot and 2010 Petit Verdot. We spend a lot of time at Pollak enjoying the wines and the ambiance. This visit was the highlight of the day.

Stables at King Family Vineyard

We closed out the day at one of our favorite vineyards: King Family. This vineyard never disappoints and we were able to sit at a table in front of a roaring fire and enjoy a very nice Viognier while chatting with friends about the vineyards visited during the day and the plans for the rest of the weekend. The wines are drinking very nicely, especially the 2012 Viognier and the 2011 Petit Verdot. The 2011 Seven, port style wine, did not disappoint either. What a beautiful day. 

King Family Vineyards vines in the afternoon
As we were departing King Family Vineyards, the colds broke and the sun finally began to shine, Chris took this image which represented the day fairly well--wine and dark skies. 

Another great visit to the Charlottesville region to sample wines of the Monticello AVA. But like I have written before--the key to enjoying wine is not about the drinking, but about the conversation and the friends which surround the experience.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Charlottesville, VA

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