The winery, James River Cellars, is located in Glen Allen, VA and can easily be spotted from Route 1 highway. The winery is surrounded by beautiful manicured greens and housed in a gorgeous two story house that has an old world appearance about it. Although the winery is relatively close to Route 1, once out on the garden patio or inside the winery, you definitely feel like you are tucked away in the comforts of a small charm filled town.
The tasting room is very nice with wooden floors, attractive artwork, nice décor and a well stocked gift shop full of wine related gift items. Following a visit to the gift shop, we were warmly greeted by Tasting Associate, Julia, who appeared just as eager to pour the James River wines as we were to taste them. Prior to our tasting, Julia offered a few fun facts about the winery and told us about the day's event, ‘Fridays on the Patio’, which happens on select Fridays and includes live music, light fare and James River Cellars wines; sounds like a great way to close the work week and start the weekend friends!
Dezel chatting with Julia about the James River wines
Julia informed us that she would be pouring 9 wines and the $3 tasting fee also included a souvenir wine glass. The following James River Cellars wines were poured: Starting with the whites were the Chardonnay 2005 and the Reserve Chardonnay 2005. Moving to the reds we tasted the Rad Red 2005 (soft and fruity red blend), Cabernet Franc 2004, Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Hanover (soft semi dry red wine) and the Chambourcin 2005. For the sweet ending Julia poured the Hanover White 2005 (sweet and fruity white wine blend) and the award winning Divino 2005, an ice styled wine made using the Chardonel grape.
Upstairs Tasting & Events area
Vine Spot found some very nice spring time selections starting with the refreshing Chardonnay 2005. This wine is done in a crisp style offering nice tree fruit aromas and flavors on the palate with good acidity. Consider partnering this wine with grilled fish, seafood or hors d'oeuvres. The Rad Red 2005 typifies spring in a red with soft tannins, light in weight and bright acidity – this selection can even be chilled a little before serving and enjoyed at your next backyard barbeque. Another selection that would pair nicely with grilled meats is the Cabernet Franc 2004; nice, inviting, spicy, dark cherry with a touch of herbaceous notes describes this wine. Dark chocolate lovers, Vine Spot has the pairing wine for you. The Chambourcin 2005 is done in a sweet style making it the perfect after dinner sipper to enjoy with something rich and chocolaty. For the sweet ending, the Divino 2005 offers a pronounced apricot nose with an abundance of tree fruit flavors. Sip this sweet offering following dinner or try it with cheese cake or vanilla crème brûlée.
Sit out on the balcony & enjoy your wine!
Following our tasting, we chatted a bit with Julia and stocked up on some of the nice spring time offerings and fine nibbles, in particular the delicious peanut brittle offered in the tasting area. Considering it was a nice and sunny day, but slightly windy, we also spent some time walking about the grounds and garden patio area. The garden patio area is the perfect picnic area as is the balcony that overlooks the garden area, trees, and manicured lawn.
~ Found this little lad relaxing in the garden ~
In closing, with spring around the corner, Vine Spot recommends a visit to James River Cellars to fill some of your spring time needs. Also, keep an eye on their events calendar as they host and attend a great number of fun filled wine events; I browsed the events page and there is something for everyone! Once the warmer weather sets in friends, Vine Spot will dust off the picnic basket and head down Route 1 to James River Cellars to enjoy some nibbles, wine and the relaxed atmosphere; I suggest you do the same and hope to see some of you on the Wine Trail! When you do decide to visit this winery let the wonderful people inside know you read about them on Virginia Vine Spot.
Happy Sipping !