10/28/2007

Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery: Perhaps… Stafford’s best-kept secret.

Hello Friends,

Dezel recently hopped back on the Virginia wine trail and paid a visit to what might be considered one of Stafford’s best kept secrets. Needless to say, this beautiful new winery that recently opened doors for tasting in July of 2007 will not be a secret for too long. Owned by Cindi and Skip Causey, Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery is located in an area of North Stafford known as Widewater. Once you spot the Potomac Point Vineyard sign from the road and take a short drive up the gravely hill, you will be whisked away from a well traveled residential area, to the Causey’s eye-catching 13 acre secluded property that is truly tranquil and picturesque.

Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery

The newly built tasting facility has an old world, Mediterranean sort of feel with all the bells, whistles and amenities. The tasting room is expansive, boasting tall ceilings, large windows with courtyard views, a fully stocked gift shop with a myriad of wine related gift items, and a lovely wrap around tasting bar with ample room for hosting small to large crowds. For you olive oil lovers, Potomac Point has an olive oil bar with an assortment of fresh oils for sample and purchase. In the near future, look for the winery to feature a full service kitchen with lite and gourmet fare, as well as an in-house catering service for special events. Adjacent to the tasting room is the D’vine room, a stylish and relaxing spot to enjoy a glass or bottle of your favorite Potomac Point wine. The dimly lit D’vine room offers large sunken leather couches, a warming fireplace, a serving bar, signature stained glass windows, wine (geek) literature, and fun-filled board games like Wineopoly!!!

Tasting Room

For such a young winery, introductory offerings include a full spectrum of tasty red and white wine selections. – Something for every palate preference. Currently, the winery uses fruit from leased Virginia vineyards in namely the Orange, Virginia appellation to produce their wines. Estate bottled wines will be produced from their 5 acre vineyard once the vines mature. The blossoming winery already has plans for an increase in vine plantings in the near future.

Olive Oil Bar

All the wines tasted were very drinkable and palate pleasing. A number of the wines were smooth dry red varietal and blended wines that are perfect for pairing with a number of food selections. Their Norton 2006 represents the native grape variety well – slightly acidic, deeply colored, and bright berry and tart cherry flavors. Their Norton Reserve is a more developed, tone downed wine that is blended with a splash of Cabernet Franc, which rounds and balances the wine out nicely. The Reserve Norton is packaged in a collectable stoneware commemorative bottle with the beautiful Pocahontas on the label; be sure to ask about the history behind the label and the land the winery is built on when you visit. The Le Belle Vie, a fun-spirited, refreshing and fruity white wine blend of Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Chardonnay and Marsanne. The winery also produces solid offerings in a Chardonnay, Viognier Reserve, Cabernet Franc, and a silky smooth Heritage red wine blend. For those with a sweet tooth, the Rabelos Port and Late Harvest Vidal Blanc are sure to do the trick. Future selections to be on the look out for in the near future are two Sparkling wines, a Vintage Port, a dessert style Petit Manseng (yummy), Chardonnay Reserve and a Petit Verdot. Didn’t I tell you, something for every palate preference?

Outdoor Courtyard


D'vine Room

At Potomac Point there are a number of places from ‘social’ to ‘secluded’ to converse with friends, enjoy fine nibbles, and of course, your favorite glass of wine. For autumns cooler temperatures find a spot in the aforementioned D’vine room with the toasty fireplace and comfortable sofas. On nicer days head for the stone floored courtyard where the serene sounds of nature and the dribbling fountain are sure to heighten the moment. There is also a balcony area upstairs with ample seating that overlooks the courtyard, and a veranda off of the Richland Ballroom that provides great views of the young vines. Sounds like a great way to enjoy the day right? I knew you would think so!

Outdoor veranda with view of young vines

Lastly, be sure to bookmark Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery homepage, as they host a number of fun-filled events that you will want to check out. In particular, check the site for their gourmet buffet and live music event that is held every Friday – for $10, I hear it is a great deal and the perfect way to end the work week. When you visit Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery, friends, please let them know you read about them here on Virginia Vine Spot.

  • Stay tuned friends, more to come!

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Happy Sipping Friends - Thanks for your support and kind emails !

Dezel




Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2007. All rights reserved.

10/26/2007

Let's Talk!

Hello Friends,

If you are looking to talk wine, you have found the right place! What a fun drink, what a fun hobby – it is the only drink that makes you think, but that’s if you want to. If you're a wine lover looking for answers, discussion, or have a comment, hit me up at myvinespot@yahoo.com. I would love to hear what you have to say. Some questions will make it into a new feature I’m doing on the website called “Questions from the E-Mail bag”. Thanks for visiting the blog and I look forward to hearing from you. There is no such thing as a stupid question, so let’s hear what is on your mind about wine. As always, Happy Sipping!

Dezel


Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2010. All rights reserved.

10/20/2007

Stadium Sip: Breaux Vineyards Chère Marie 2006

Hello Friends,

The last time Dezel visited Fed Ex Field, it was to cheer ‘your’ Washington Redskins on to a 34-3 victory over the pass-happy Detroit Lions. So what was the ‘good-luck’ stadium sip this time? It was none other than one of Virginia’s most popular French-American hybrid varietal wines. Any guesses?

Breaux Vineyards Chère Marie 2006

If you guessed Vidal Blanc, then you are correct. This popular white wine grape variety is a hybrid grape that was created nearly 8 decades ago by a French hybridist who paired two different grape parents of varying species. The end result from our perspective today is this wonderfully fruity, but neutral flavored, white wine that many locals enjoy – especially at the spring and summer festivals. During Virginia’s resurgence to establish its wine industry in the early 80’s and beyond, Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Chambourcin, and other French-American hybrid, as well as native varieties graced tasting sheets long before popular European varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, etc. did. French-American hybrids such as Vidal Blanc tend to be more hardy, disease resistant, and capable of exceptional growth in locations too cold for other, namely European grape varieties. For this reason, these grape varieties are very popular and less of a risk for growers all along the east coast. In Virginia, you can expect to find a number of off dry wines, a handful of dry, and some temptingly tasty late harvest and ice styled dessert wines made from the Vidal Blanc grape variety. With that, friends, the popular Breaux Vineyards semi-dry Chere Marie (Vidal Blanc) 2006 makes Dezel’s stadium sip.

Review
: The Chere Marie (Vidal Blanc) 2006 is an off dry, fruity wine with refreshing stone fruit and citrus flavors. The wine is nicely balanced with good acidity, which offsets the residual sugars (a little); thus making this wine a very nice and reasonably priced sipping selection. The finish is sweet, yet short, but albeit pleasing. The wine clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and has a real cork enclosure. Enjoy this wine on its own or with a wide variety of foods including seafood (crab cakes A+), poultry, summer salads, fruits and light cheeses. Price $13

The Chere Marie can be found at Breaux Vineyards in Loudoun County, and can also be purchased through their web site. You can also find this selection at some Total Wine stores, as well as some local grocers. Virginia makes some very nice Vidal Blanc selections, at reasonable prices; so next time you’re looking for an alternative white wine, be sure to give Vidal Blanc a try.


  • Stay tuned friends, a new winery visit coming up!

Click Here to vote VA Vine Spot as your wine favorite blog - You can vote 1x per day!

Happy Sipping Friends - Thanks for your support and kind emails !

Dezel



Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2007. All rights reserved.

10/16/2007

Reminder: Shenandoah Valley Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival, October 20th & 21st, 2007

Come out and enjoy stunning views & award winning wines...

Hello Friends,

Dezel just wants to remind you that this weekend, October 20th and 21st, a fun-filled event kicks off in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. Check out the brilliant and vivid fall colors of reds, oranges and gold, while enjoying yourself at the 11th Annual Shenandoah Valley Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival – one of Virginia’s most popular and exciting wine festivals. Sample award winning wines from over 20 Virginia wineries, enjoy live entertainment, delicious foods, local arts and crafts, mansion tours, and the fun does not stop there! On Saturday and Sunday, the colorful and large balloons take to the skies at 7:30am and 4:30pm. Mother Nature is promising good weather so get your cameras ready, friends! Of course, there is so much more, and the festival is family friendly and offers something for kids and adults of all ages.

Gate hours are from 7am – 4pm and admission is a reasonable $10, with kids under 12 getting in free. Those sampling wine will have to purchase a wristband for an additional $5. For further information you can visit the Historic Long Branch web site or contact the Balloon Festival Information line at 888.558.5567.

Hope to see you there, and as always, Happy Sipping!

Stay tuned friends, another Stadium Sip and a new winery visit coming up!


    Click Here to vote VA Vine Spot as your wine favorite blog - You can vote 1x per day!

    Happy Sipping Friends - Thanks for your support and kind emails !

    Dezel



    Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2007. All rights reserved.

    10/13/2007

    Sipping Good Time at the 17th Annual Fredericksburg Wine Festival


    Hello Friends,

    This past Saturday Dezel hopped on 95 south to attend the 17th Annual Fredericksburg Wine Festival. The festival was presented by Mercedes Benz, a ride built for comfort – not for speed, and took place at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds under warm and sunny skies. This was my first time attending this particular festival, but, certainly will not be my last. Read on, and find out more about the fun-filled day, friends.

    17th Annual Fredericksburg Wine Festival

    Admission to the festival was $15 with advance purchase, and $20 at the gate. The price of admission included a souvenir glass and unlimited wine tasting (wink- wink). The participating wineries were Autumn Hill Vineyards, Burnley Vineyards, Gabriele Rausse Winery, Hartwood Winery, Ingleside Plantation Vineyards, Lake Anna Winery, Rogers Ford Farm Winery, and last, but not least, Doukenie Winery. With glass in hand, guests had from 11am to 6pm to indulge in wine tasting, educational seminars, delicious foods, arts, crafts, and live music. Fun…fun…fun!

    Hartwood Winery

    On the plus side, parking, as well as getting in and out of the festival was a breeze. Additionally, a number of the participating wineries brought along most of their wine selections for sampling, so there were a lot of whites and reds, from dry to sweet to go around – and let’s not forget about the fruit {peach, apple, etc.} wines. Very popular selections at these warm weather Virginia wine festivals. There was also a pretty good selection of food choices to pair with your favorite wine, and some interesting local arts and crafts. The live entertainment was rocking, and as the corks popped and day grew old, the ‘wall flowers’ made their way to the open field to revel in the festivities and boogie-woogie.

    Gabriele Rausse, pouring and talking about his tasty wines

    As I got around to the tasting tables to sample wines, purple pen stars went out to the following wineries: Ingleside Vineyards Sangiovese 2005 and the Petit Verdot are very good red wine selections and definitely worth a spot in your cellar. The Sangiovese is primed for a hearty pasta meal with a rich tomato sauce right now. Yummy! Although, Cabernet Sauvignon is not consistent here in Virginia, or the east coast for that matter, Doukenie Winery has a nice 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. Distinct raspberry flavors and cherry notes with a soft toasty frame come to mind when tasting this wine – this is one that will improve with time and get more interesting. The charming Gabriele Rausse was on-hand to pour and talk about his sought after wines. I found favor with a number of his wines including a well done Viognier 2006, Cabernet Franc 2005, and a somewhat pricey ($35), but delicious Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo 2005 Reserve wines. Savoring more of the reds, I found Autumn Hill Vineyards to have two nice red wine blends. Try the 50/50 Petit Verdot and Merlot blend, as well as the Horizon Rouge, a nicely done Bordeaux style red wine. Both of these medium bodied wines offer good fruit flavors, complexity, ripe tannins, and a nice lingering finish.

    Ingleside Vineyards - Grab a bottle of their Sangiovese 2005

    There were many other standout wines, even selections that some people consider hot tub wines. I would have to say that Burnley Vineyards offered the best, I guess, hot tub wines. Burnley has a number of off-dry selections with catchy titles like Peach Fuzz, Moon Mist and Somerset that are sure to satisfy on a chilly fall night while keeping toasty in a nice warming hot tub. Sounds good? Continuing with the off-dry selections, Hartwood Winery, located in Fredericksburg had several good French-American hybrid blends made from Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc and Chambourcin; perfect backyard, patio, or deck sippers.

    What is your favorite hot tub wine? Inquiring minds want to know

    In closing, I had a really nice time at the Fredericksburg Wine Festival 2007, and look forward to attending again next year. Festival coordinators, Gary and Michelle Everett did a commendable job orchestrating this big effort. There were no long lines to really deal with, and the festival was well attended. If only we could do something about the persistent traffic on 95 south, but that is another story, right? Be sure to mark this one on your calendar for next year friends; its fun, and goes down as easy, as lets say, a smooth Virginia Cabernet Franc!


  • Stay tuned friends, another Stadium Sip and a new winery visit coming up!

    • Click Here to vote VA Vine Spot as your wine favorite blog - You can vote 1x per day!

      Happy Sipping Friends - Thanks for your support and kind emails !

      Dezel



      Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2007. All rights reserved.

      10/08/2007

      Virginia 2007 Reds - The Long, Hot Summer

      The Long, Hot Summer – No doubt, one of Dezel’s favorite Paul Newman classic movies, and a title that appropriately describes the summer of 2007 here in Virginia, friends. For those local to the area, you know that we are well into October and the seasonal warmth of summer still lingers on. Despite several thunderstorms this summer, we have experienced fairly dry conditions that are similar to our Zinfandel loving pals in California. Additionally, Mother Nature has gifted Virginia growers, for the most part, with long hot days and cool nights, which is ideal for wine grapes. Remember, a premium wine begins its life-cycle in the vineyard.

      Keep the local 2007 red wines on your palate radar


      Word from the grapevine has Dezel convinced that the 2007 vintage will produce some very distinct and memorable Virginia red wines, both drinkable young and cellar worthy. I rave a great deal about the 2002 vintage, as well as the 2005. The 2002, I find exceptional across the board, while the 2005 can be hit or miss pending producer. As I hop along the Virginia wine trail and ask about the 2007 vintage, many producers are excited and project an equally as good, if not better vintage than the favorable 2002 – and I have consumed enough 2002 reds from a number of local producers to say it was a very good (dry) year!

      With the 2007 vintage, I look forward to a number of slightly fuller bodied and flavorful wines with good balance and solid structure. Yummy! Almost west coast like, but not as assertive, which makes these wines great for pairing with a number of foods. Get your cellars and corkscrews ready friends; I believe the 2007 vintage will please even the most discriminating of palates. I eagerly await the offerings!


    • Stay tuned friends, another Stadium Sip, a new winery visit, and a festival review to come!

      • Click Here to vote VA Vine Spot as your wine favorite blog - You can vote 1x per day!

        Happy Sipping Friends - Thanks for your support and kind emails !

        Dezel



        Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2007. All rights reserved.

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