On Sunday we attended the 2006 Vintage Virginia Wine Festival at Bull Run Park in Centerville. The new location was spacious and easy to get in and out of . Thankfully, Mother Nature kept the weather cool, and held back the rainfall.
I enjoy attending these type of events because I always seem to discover a new wine and winery that I had not paid a visit to, and whose wine is not available in local wine stores nearby. It was great to see the huge turn out, as well some familiar faces. It was nice to be recognized by some of the wineries we had previously visited (what great memories they must have). Upon arriving I spoke to all the shops I knew, but limited tasting to those that were foreign to me. We enjoyed some really good local North Carolina style BBQ by a vendor out of Winchester, and snapped our fingers to some of the local artists. To my chagrin, the homemade ice cream booth was not present this year so we settled for some delicious cinnamon glazed pecans instead.
There were a lot of good wines there, but you could only taste so much and remain vertical. Needless to say I think there were several people who made it a point to taste it all, and were literally carried out (really). There were some very good Merlots, Cab Francs, Virginia’s own Norton, and Chardonnay’s that struck my fancy.
I really enjoyed wines from the following places, which we plan to visit: (I only listed the places we have not visited yet; the list would be much longer if I added some of the old favorites)
Cardinal Point: 2005 Cab Franc
Cooper: 2004 Norton (new release)
Rockbridge: 2005 Merlot
Rockbridge: 2005 RSV Chardonnay
James River Cellars: 2005 Vidal Blanc
From talking to the wineries that were present, the 2006 festival was a big success. I was told it was nearly double the people on Saturday, and Sunday was definitely packed. We managed to find a few new Virginia wines, and wineries we were not familiar with. The forward plan is to visit those wineries for an official tasting; these festivals are just primers. Keep your eye on the 2006 wine guide; there are numerous events and/or festivals almost every weekend. Get out and enjoy some Virginia wine folks !