Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yes, Virginia Wine Country can compete!


I returned from Napa with a renewed excitement about my wine hobby. This hobby can be challenging and takes a lot of practice! I'm still not discerning tastes and smells very well. If I glance at tasting notes or just reading the bottle label, I might pick up on something, but I'm afraid it is more of a subliminal thing than me actually smelling and tasting the hints of plum and cherry. Sans tasting notes, I find myself at a loss of words to describe the taste. While this has been a bit frustrating, I feel like I need to remain patience and most importantly keep drinking. Secondly, this hobby will never get old because there is always something new to taste and new regions to explore!

Prior to Napa, the specific grape growing regions (American Viticulture Area AVA) was concept that I understood theoretically, but I think Napa allowed me to wrap my brain around the importance of different regions. Our free visitor center's map clearly showed the appellations and with everything being in such a small concentrated area, we managed to travel and taste something made from many of their appellations. Virginia's AVA is more spread out and perhaps because of this I ignored the importance of how this might assist me in learning more about wine, taste variances, and personal preferences. Wine blogger, Dezel Quillen, recently discussed Virginia's AVA regions in what I found to be an informative post. He does a much better job breaking this stuff down for you than I could.

Many of the factoids I discovered about the Napa Valley region were fascinating and I can bore you to tears with them next time we share a glass of wine together. Napa is...well Napa...and it's hard to think of anything new to say about this beautiful part of our country. But what I know for sure is that Virginia can absolutely compete with Napa's Wine Country!
We have so much to offer in terms of great wine and inspiring tourism. You can visit great wineries in a beautiful countryside setting, taste some terrific wine, and have a great dinner in a local restaurant. Sounds like Napa right? But, Virginia has such rich history to share throughout the Commonwealth. Virginia's historical sites both large and small are such an added bonus along the way to winery excursions. Obviously, there are the well-known sites such as Monticello, but sometimes just taking the time to read the roadside historical markers along the way can be an interesting way to remind us of the importance our Commonwealth played in shaping our nation. If you are not sold on by my argument, then get out to one of the Virginia Wine Trails and experience it yourself.

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