This was the 34th year of the Virginia Wine Festival, and 53 Virginia wineries were in attendance for the two day festival. Megan and I decided to head up for day 2 (Sunday), as we had some comp passes ($30/pp), normally I avoid large tastings like this as you don’t get a chance to be personal with winemakers and/or owners. I have to say this is THE BEST wine festival we have attended! Not necessarily for the wine, although their were some definite gems, but for the layout, food and organization of the event. It was full of people, but at no point did I feel that claustrophobic feeling of drunk tasters reaching over my shoulder to get their next chug of juice.
The other cool part of the day is that we got to meet up with fellow wine bloggers and “tweeps” Frank Morgan of Drink What U Like and Dezel Quillen of My Vine Spot. Always fun to have fellow wine geeks to chat and compare notes with as you stroll around.
We got to meet several wine makers too, Lori Corcoran (again) of Corcoran Vineyards, Jenny McCloud of Chrysalis, Brad McCarthy of Mountfair and his own brand and Luca Paschina of Barboursville and famous Virginia sommelier Mary Watson Delauder.
Some of my favorite wines of the day:
2008 Brad McCarthy Virginia Chardonnay $15 – lots of apple, mineral and spice – with touches of tropical and butter notes – full body
2008 Brad McCarthy “The Stick Dog” Riesling $15 – very clean with mineral, lime zest, apricot and peach – great acid
2008 Chrysalis Viognier $30 – lots of apricot, peach, honeysuckle and apple core – full body, not too viscous with great acidity and spiciness
2005 Chrysalis Estate Norton $17 – (blending some Tannat and Petite Verdot) – earthy red fruit, raspberry and cherry – full body – one of the two Nortons I have enjoyed. (the other Barrel Oak)
2007 Rosemont Traminette $16 – fruity, with violet and other floral notes, honey and guava – crisp acidity
All in all a great day, they even had vegetarian food in the form of something other than french fries and funnel cake. We enjoyed a tofu barbecue sandwich and tomato mozzarella panini with some Corcoran Meritage for lunch.
If you haven’t attended this festival and are looking for one to try, don’t miss this next year.