This past Saturday, Vine Spot took full advantage of a picture perfect spring weather day to pay a visit to Tarara Winery to join in the festivity and jollity of the 2007 Winds and Wine Festival. We have visited Tarara Winery several times in the past to relish in other festive events, wine tastings, and tours, as well as the annual summer concert series.
Tarara is one of several event-driven wineries that lead the way in combining family friendly and fun-filled events with their award winning wine selections. These events are as accommodating for children as they are for adults and there is something for everyone. Almost like the circus, Virginia Wine Festivals, “attracts children of all ages, even those in their 30’s, 40’s, etc.!” Read on, friends, and find out how Vine Spot enjoyed the day at the Winds and Wine Festival 2007.
Pouring Tarara's finest Reds at the Reserve Wine Tasting Tent
Tarara recently released their Pinot Gris 2006 and Viognier 2006, which are right in time for the warmer spring and summer months. These two dry white wines were popular among the festival goers. I leaned toward the Pinot Gris, which offered an inviting floral bouquet with good acidity and pleasant tree fruit and citrus flavors. The Viognier 2006, which I was looking forward to, was chilled a bit too much during our tasing, so we will talk about that one when I open my bottle sometime in the near future. Another popular selection among those who crave a sprinkling of sweetness was the Charval 2005. This is a Seyval Blanc-based blend, and at $12.99 per bottle, is a nicely done refreshing and festive sort of wine, which offers pink grapefruit, hints of tropical fruit, with a squirt of lime on the taste. Turning the sweetness meter up a notch is the Vidal Blanc 2006. I picked up on touches of pineapple and honeysuckle in this viscous dessert like wine, which for $12.99 is a good buy for those with a sweet tooth on a nice sunny spring or summer day. Now that I had the Pinot Gris 2006 in hand, it was time to enjoy some of the festivities!
Pick your own asparagus!
As with wine, asparagus boasts health benefits and dates back to the Greek and Roman period, so Dezel was eager to grab a plastic bag and visit Tarara’s asparagus fields where guests were encouraged to pick their own asparagus. I will admit, even if it means sporting the dunce cap for a day, that I had no idea that asparagus sprung up out the ground like grass. Hopefully a reader will email me and say, “Dezel, I did not know that either,” to make me feel better. With a few stalks in my tote, it was time to turn our attention to another fun activity!
Kite Flying Demonstration at Tarara's
How about flying a kite? Sounds like fun, thus we were off to the kite flying demonstrations hosted by Wings Over Washington. This festival is not called the Winds and Wine festival for nothing, as the wind was out and had those kites dancing all over the place. Kites have changed since I was a chap. I recall one string and a simple kite. These skilled kite flyers had large complex kites with 2 or more strings and were executing all sorts of twirls and tricks. Looked fun, and I would have tried it out, but for the safety of those around me some things are best left to the professionals.
Okay, time to visit the craft vendors and check out all the wine related gift ideas and items, as well as sample some fine nibbles. Rumored Creations, a Loudoun-based business specializing in gift box and baskets gave me a great idea for the asparagus I picked. Rumored Creations offered samples of an asparagus dip they made using Tarara’s asparagus. Yummy! They also offered several asparagus-based recipes that I may try out some time this week. I recommend readers check their web site out for unique gift box and basket ideas. The next stop worth seeking out is Marco’s Not Yet Famous, who offers all natural gourmet sauces and salsa. These products can be found in some stores and the mango and pineapple salsa and chunky corn and black bean salsa were outstanding. Hats off to Marco, who is well on his way to becoming famous!
Tarara's Winery Cave
Keeping things in perspective, we decided to opt for the self-guided tour through the winery cave at Tarara. Winery cave, you ask? Yes, Tarara has a 6,000 square foot man-made winery cave which retains its dampness, moisture, coolness, and Old World ambience. On non-festival days, this tour is guided and well worth a visit to sharpen your wine knowledge.
The kids really enjoyed The Karl Stoll Band !!!
About this time, I was well into my bottle of Pinot Gris 2006 and feeling rather festive. Over on the music stage the Karl Stoll and The Danger Zone Band were jamming out and it was the kiddies who were showing the adults all the latest boogie-woogie moves on the dance floor. Why, if it was not so crowded on the dance floor, Dezel was going to show everyone how to do the Funky-Chicken! Oh well, perhaps at another festival.
Catch a Hay Wagon Ride
Lastly, it was time to hop aboard for a hay-wagon ride through the vineyards. The hayrides are fun, and for a moment, if you are like me, you feel like a kid again. What fun! By the way, there were many food vendors at the festival that I did not mention. This is because I saved my appetite for one of Loudoun’s top restaurants, Tuscarora Mill – An American restaurant and café that is a restored, 19th century grain mill that serves up some delicious food! I highly recommend a visit there following a Loudoun wine tour or festival.
I'm Dezel, see you on the Virginia Wine Trail friends!
In closing, there was much more to see and do at the festival - I simply touched on a few things we found pleasure in. You can rest assured that these enjoyable Virginia Wine Festivals are fun events for the young and old – wine drinker or not. I recommend securing a Virginia Wineries 2007 passport to assist you in finding a number of Virginia Wine Festivals , as well as book-marking Tarara’s homepage to stay abreast of the events and festivals they host out on their beautiful 475 guest friendly acres.
By the way - 10 Points to the Rock & Roller who can name the group on my T-Shirt!
- Stay tuned, more winery visits upcoming and one of VA's top 05 Viogniers.
Happy Sipping Friends - Thanks for your support and kind emails !