Festivals in Town
The Festival of the Book opens today, March 17, 2010 so there will be more folks in town than normal on the Downtown Mall pictured here.
I don't know that it will make tasting any more crowded, but dining in the area will be so if you are visiting from out of town try and make reservations, or go to the local gourmet shops and pick up something delicious to eat in and avoid the crowds. Of the several here we visit most often Feast and Brix.
As far as wine news - lots of excitement from the Governor's Cup. This year they decided to restrict the tasting and judging to reds and awarded the cup to King Family for their 2007 Meritage (a Bordeaux Blend). As a result they are now out of it and pouring their 2008 Meritage which is very smooth-tasting for such a young red. King also released their dry rosé which I like just as much as the one from last year.
But I'm still waiting for my favorite to be released from Pollak - the Pinot Gris. Hurry Up!!!
Passport to Three Wineries
If you're tasting in March, don't forget to start at Keswick and ask for the $10 tasting Passport. This pays for your tasting at Keswick, tasting at Jefferson, and the regular tasting at Kluge (not the sparkling tasting) . And while you are at Kluge don't forget Blenheim, where tasting is $5 and you keep the glass. If you return with your glass to Blenheim, a future tasting will be free. We love Kirsty's wines and hear that they will be expanding the back deck which will be wonderful - it's a gorgeous view!
Virginia Wines in the Press
Some Virginia red wines are getting great ratings from the Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Kluge for the 2005 New World Red Blend (87 Points)
DelFosse (pictured) for the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (86 points)
Cooper Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Franc (85 points)
Of course, I'm reminded that we have to take what the wine magazines write with a grain of salt. The recent article from Wine Spectator points this out to me when they talk about Virginia making wine from their native grapes like Niagra. I had to search to see who makes wine from that grape. I would have mentioned Norton myself.
Afton Mountain is almost finished with their outdoor renovations for seating and wine sipping while viewing the magnificent views. The tasting room inside is completed and beautiful. My favorite tasting there is the Reserve list.
Another of our favorites, Mountfair, has released their Inaugural 2008 Bordeaux Blend, and we have great news from them! They are now open Friday as well as Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 5. Check out their website and their release party on March 27!
Wine by the Glass Week
The first year for this event which joins local wineries with restaurants and wine shops. Those participating will offer a minimum of two Virginia wines by the glass. Charlottesville has a number of local restaurants that are stocking local wines and I hope this encourages more!
Charlottesville Participating restaurants and wine vendors:
Market Street Wine Shop
Inn at Meander Plantation (GREAT restaurant just north of C'ville)
Ivy Inn and Restaurant
Old Mill Room (at Boars Head Inn)
The Virginia Shop
If you are not dining at any of these, just ask for a Virginia wine. Many restaurants have one on the list. In the past at one of our favorites, The Local, we have had a wonderful Pollak wine, and one from Gabrielle Rausse. At Hamilton's we have enjoyed A6, a food-friendly Chardonnay/Viognier blend from Cardinal Point, and at Tavola we have had Brad McCarthy's Bradford Reed Merlot! Chris had a barrel tasting recently of Brad's upcoming Cabernet Franc, and said it is magnificent, even though it's not bottled yet!
See you in the tasting rooms!