Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tasting in the Blue Ridge

Recently had the opportunity to visit Veramar Vineyard, one of the area's newer wineries. Located a little over an hour from DC in Berryville, Virginia, Veramar opened to the public in 2001 and produces a variety of premium Virginia wines from both vinifera and hybrid grapes. The winery is set in a picture perfect valley with rolling hills on the west side of the Blue Ridge.

My tourguide for the excursion was Jenni McCloud, owner of Chrysalis Vineyards. We set out from Chrysalis late one Saturday afternoon, twisting and turning through the Northern Virginia countryside on narrow back country roads. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Della Bogaty, co-owner of Veramar.

Della led us through a tasting of the current offerings:

2004 Seyval Blanc
--Pale yellow/green color with notes of lime, lemon and grapefruit. Crisp, racing acidity. Suggested pairing from the winery: veal scallopini with lime-walnut sauce.

2004 Tres Blanc--blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, and Vidal. Notes of ripe peach and lime. Suggested pairing from the winery: oriental shredded chicken or seafood dishes.

2004 Cabernet Franc
--notes of sweet black fruit, ripe raspberries, spice, and slight herbal aromas. Round and full on the palate with soft tannins. Suggested pairing from the winery: NY strip steak with chipotle sauce.

2003 Cabernet Franc--a tough year for Virginia wines with a cool, wet summer. Notes of toasted oak, pepper, gun powder. On the palate, raspberries and blackberries. Light tannins and a smooth finish.

2004 Rooster Red--Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Notes of blackberry, black cherry, a touch of earth and spice. Light and refreshing on the palate. Would be great served slightly chilled. Suggested winery pairing: cheese tortellini topped with Feta cheese.

2004 D'Ora--Made from late-harvested Vidal grapes in a desert style. Notes of sweet peach, pineapple and floral aromas. Rich and full on the palate. Suggested pairing from the winery: Asian foods or chocolate fondue.

Aside from the quaint tasting room, Veramar has a magnificent back patio, perfect for sipping a glass of wine and staring off into the valley.

Veramar Vineyard
905 Quarry Road
Berryville, Virginia

No comments: