As some of you may know, Historic Old Town Alexandria is one of my favorite places to visit. As a mater of fact, I hang out in Old Town about twice a week. There is so much to like about Old Town Alexandria, from the fine dining, antique shops, high-end boutiques, novelty stores, live entertainment, to spectacular views of the Potomac River and surrounding area. More recently, there is a new destination to enjoy in Old Town – The Prince Michel Tasting Room & Gift Boutique.
Prince Michel is one of the oldest operational producers in the area and has been producing Virginia wines for over twenty-five years. Outside of their primary tasting room off of Route 29, Prince Michel operates two full-scale satellite tasting rooms. Their other location is The Carter Mountain Wine Shop in Monticello , Virginia . At this location, Prince Michel, Rapidan River , and Carter Mountain wines can be tasted and purchased. The Alexandria tasting room carries the Prince Michel label, as well as a new label: Old Town Alexandria.
The Alexandria Tasting Room is charming and quaint, with a comfortable and attractive solid wood wrap-around tasting bar. The staff is friendly and warm, and the gift shop is well stocked with some great wine related items. I personally love the wall racks and cutting boards they carry. Currently, the tasting bar offers two tasting options. For $5, you can taste through ten red and white wines, which includes a nice mix of Prince Michel and Old Town wines. The aromatic Prince Michel Viognier and the Old Town Harmony, a Merlot based smooth blend were two of my personal favorites on this tasting flight. Additionally, the Prince Michel rich and mouth-filling port-styled wine adds for a nice sweet ending.
For another $5 you can opt for the Vineyard Designate Tasting Flight. These wines are made from fruit harvested from a single vineyard, which is usually printed on the label, and are the type of wines most people associate with terrior (site specific) wines. The four wines currently tasted on this flight are the Prince Michel Sparkling wine, made from Chardonnay fruit from Ivy Creek Farm, the Mount Juliet Petit Manseng 2006, the Ivy Creek Farm Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, and last but not least, the Quaker Run Syrah 2006. A fan of Petit Manseng , I opted to enjoy a glass – the inviting tropical and citrus fruit aroma and flavors are definitely something to check out.
The tasting room currently has limited seating and little substantive foods. They do carry crackers and other light nibbles, but no cheese, sausage, salad, sandwiches, etc. You are allowed, however, to bring something in from the gourmet cheese and sausage shop a few doors down if you are going to stick around and enjoy a glass or bottle of wine. A glass of wine is anywhere from $4 to $8 and there are a number of red and white wine selections for less than $20 a bottle too. Just venture out in the area and visit nearby wine bars and you will find these prices very affordable. There is also a slush machine where you can get a peach or sangria frozen adult beverage (a.k.a Vineyard Freeze). Yummy!
The Prince Michel Tasting Room & Boutique Gift Shop will have its grand opening on September 16th. There is something for every palate preference here, from white, red, dry, off-dry, sparkling, fortified, to frozen! When you visit, let the kind folks know you read about them here on Dezel’s Vine Spot wine blog.
Tasting Room Info: Alexandria Tasting Room, 1309 King Street Alexandria Virginia, 571-970-6903
Stay tuned friends ...more to come!
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