Monday, July 26, 2010

To Spit or Not to Spit

After an intense four weeks of orienting new freshmen and transfer students, I knew it was would be time for another great winery excursion. I was again joined by two motivated research assistants; my sister and her best friend. We drove to the western side of Charlottesville to visit King Family Vineyards, Pollak Vineyards, and Veritas Vineyard & Winery. We packed a delicious picnic filled with fresh summer vegetables, accompanied by a box of fried chicken purchased from Wayside Takeout. I learned about this legendary dive from Garden and Gun magazine. Since we vicariously view ourselves as writers for a great southern magazine, we knew it was a must. They are conveniently located and didn’t disappoint us with their fried goodness.

After a brief unintended tour of downtown Charlottesville and a quick jaunt on I-64, we arrived to the beautiful grounds and charming tasting room of King Family Vineyards. Their wine selection offers something for everybody! I thought I was wowed last summer by Barboursville, but I must say King Family Vineyards impressed me as much if not perhaps more. I really enjoyed all of their wine including their dessert wine, Loreley 2008. We all agreed the Cabernet Franc 2009 was a favorite among the reds. For our picnic, we picked a perfect pairing with their Brut 2007 (not part of the tasting) and Crose 2009, their rosé with a cute play on words using Crozet, VA. A very close runner up was Roseland, a Chardonnay/Viognier Blend. I had a limited budget for this trip, so I did not buy as much as I would have liked, but I knew I had to have the Cabernet Franc and made great mental notes for future purchases. It was hard to leave without more wine in hand. Fortunately, my research assistants helped contribute to the local economy with their purchases.

Just down the way, you’ll find Pollak Vineyards. We really had a lot of fun at Pollak Vineyard. In this very cool tasting room, our pourer made us feel really comfortable and at ease. We took the opportunity to ask questions about how to better taste our wine. We held the wine in our mouths and attempted to slurp without looking ridiculous. We still need more practice. I really enjoyed their 2008 Petit Verdot and purchased a bottle of their 2009 Pinot Gris.

Our final destination was Veritas Vineyard and Winery. Another beautiful location! By the time we arrived, I was feeling the heat from our humid summer day and feeling the wine. I remember very little and embarrassed to say that I had to bow out of the tasting at some point. I guess this why professionals opt to spit. I’ve never understood spitting until now. I know I would lack grace in this area, but then again I’m not sure I appeared so graceful when I bowed out of the tasting either. You can choose your tasting by white wine flight, red wine flight or showcase tasting. I bet they have some really nice wine. I noticed this weekend that our local wine shop carries several of their varieties. I'm excited that I can try some of their wine...again.

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