Vine Spot recently attended the 3rd Annual Manassas Wine & Jazz Festival, and much like the past two festivals, it went down as smooth as a fresh fruit, easy drinking Virginia Cabernet Franc. With the seasonal warmth of summer the Virginia wineries in attendance were showcasing a number of their soft reds, light and fruity whites, and country fruit wines. With the soothing and jazzy sounds of Marcus Johnson and other performers, the stage was set for an intimate and relaxing day of sampling some of Virginia’s finest summertime wines. Let’s jump right into the red and white fun!
Peaks of Otter Winery, which I have not had the opportunity to visit yet, really had the crowd going with good southern hospitality and some rather eye-catching bottles. Peaks of Otter Winery specializes in country fruit wines and had bottles in shapes of guitars, saxophones and even a spicy one in a devil bottle; man that must be some hot stuff! Peaks of Otter makes just about every fruit wine you can imagine, so if you are looking to beat the summer heat check out the dry plum, apple or pear wine. On the other side of Peaks of Otter was one of Virginia’s pioneering wineries, Horton Vineyards, who also specialize in fruit wines – actually, they specialize in a little bit of everything, and offer over 40 wines with no tasting fees at the winery. Horton had a nice pear wine and a cranberry wine that a number of people enjoyed, as well as their tasty and aromatic Viognier 2006, among other summertime selections.
~ I think Neil of Horton Vineyards knew the camera was on him ~
Moving right along, we saw our friends Pearmund Cellars who was pouring the Redmund’s Reserve 2006, an off dry Viognier summertime picnic wine. If you do not know who Redmund is, click here, and be sure to make a trip out to the winery to meet the 1st Virginia dog of wine and taste the wine named after him. Next to Pearmund Cellars was their sister winery, Winery at La Grange, who were pouring a nice off-dry Vidal Blanc and a Pinot Grigio, two wines with summertime written all over them. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy the charm and elegance of the 18th century restored manor house and beautiful surroundings at Winery at La Grange in Haymarket.
Tasting Leo Grande Summertime Selections
In addition, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bedford, VA, is a recent addition to the Virginia Wine Trail, Leo Grande Winery. This winery grew and sold their grapes for nearly 8 years before starting their own winery in 2005. Their Sauvignon Blanc 2006 and the Stainless Steel Chardonnay 2006 are top picks for your summertime picnic baskets and cookouts. Another top wine selection to soak up summer is a dry Rosé wine. Wineries who showcased Rosé wines were Naked Mountain, First Colony, Unicorn, and Delfosse, all of which were in attendance and well worth seeking out their special brand of Rosé for your picnic or backyard grilling pleasures.
Summer is here - grab a Rosé
Other local interests Vine Spot found appealing at the festival were Wine Mania – a Virginia based online wine store that specializes in unique wine accessories. Be sure to check out their web page as they have some really neat wine related items.
The fine ladies of Wine Mania !!!
Summer BBQ’s – Looking for a great sauce? Try the local BBQ Brothers who have great sauces for all occasions. Yummy!
Looking for some nice framed local vineyard and farm shots with a rustic touch? Check out Kathy Strauss at Imagewerks. Kathy has a number of really nice wall hangings to spruce up a room.
Based in Pennsylvania, and in attendance at the festival was Pretzel Phoria, and I must say that they have some of the best peanut butter filled pretzel bites I have ever tasted, and one mean wasabi covered peanut. Hot, Hot, Hot!!!
There were a number of other local wineries and vendors that made the day special; these were just some that I noted. Although the Manassas Festival is on a smaller scale than the larger Virginia festivals, it sure packs the good times and excitement without the haste and long lines, and is certainly one of Vine Spot’s favorites. Looking forward to next year already!
- Check out the new issue of Virginia Wine Lover here.
- Did you know Dezel had a corner? Click here to find out more!
- Stay tuned, Dezel visits Kent Marrs of Village Winery.
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