VA Has New Master Sommelier - Jarad Slipp w/RdV Vineyards... Williamsburg Adagio wins 2014 Governor's Cup; Former Gov. Bob McDonnell "Legislator of the Year"; Ag Secy Todd Haymore "VA Wine Person of the Year"... Winemaker Luca Paschina of Barboursville Vineyards semifinalist for James Beard Awards for "Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional"... Bluemont's Pig (Norton) Claims "Best in Class" in San Francisco; Paradise Spring Norton Wins Double Gold... Glen Manor's Jeff White named VA Vineyard Assn's "Grower of the Year"... Virginia's Luca Paschina and Lucie Morton among "20 Most Admired People in the N American Wine Industry"... Wine Enthusiast 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award to Barboursville Founder Gianni Zonin... Eric Trump (Trump Winery) Claims Wine Enthusiast "Rising Star" Award for 2013... ‎VA Wine‬ sales reach half-million case benchmark in FY 2013!... Keswick's Stephen Barnard & Tarara's Jordan Harris make list of Top 100 U.S. Winemakers... Jordan Harris of Tarara makes Wine Enthusiast list of Top 40 Tastemakers under 40...7 VA Wines (from Tarara, Linden, and Barboursville) earn 90 ratings from Wine Enthusiast... VA Wine Sales at all-time high; exports triple in 2012... VA Wine industry doubles economic impact in 5 yrs, new study finds ($74javascript:void(0)7 mil in 2010)...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Whine Dogs Bid Farewell to Vintage Ridge

Vintage Ridge Winery
Delaplane, Virginia

The Wine Dogs frequently bark out  exciting news of new wineries opening around Virginia. Today we report the sad news that Vintage Ridge Winery has been sold to private individuals and is permanently closing its tasting room doors.

Bill and Vicki Edmands planted their first vines in 2000. They opened their tasting room in 2007 and, by December, the buzz was growing about a new winery that made unique food pairings a part of every tasting. Munchkin showed up for a Virginia Wine Dog visit in 2008, and was escorted in by the Vintage Ridge pack for a most civilized tasting (read review here).

Munchkin declared the Vintage Ridge Petit Verdot top dog. On July 13, Pomeroy and Ecco dropped in to wish the Edmands good luck on the next chapter of their journey brought home a case to remember this unique wine experience. Parting thoughts from these great winemakers: "We are so appreciative of the support you've given us and your enthusiasm for wine. It's a little like raising puppies and seeing them go to good homes. Thank you."

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Virignia Wine Going to the Horses and Hounds This Weekend

Each week, the Virginia Wine Dogs sniff out the most PAWSOME wine events in for weekend. We've got a real treat coming up with the 10th annual Horse and Hound Festival.

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July 12 (11am-6pm), Horse and Hound Wine Festival, Johnson's Orchard. One of Virginia's most unique wine festivals featuring fun and games for the entire family. Races for paws, hooves, and little feet. Swimming for the wine doggies. Sip wine from Hickory Hill Vineyards and Winery, Lake Anna Winery, North Mountain Vineyards, Peaks of Otter, Ramulose Ridge Vineyards, Rebec Winery, Tomahawk Mill Vineyard and Winery, and White Rock Vineyards and Winery. Proceeds benefit All American Mutt Rescue, Brook Hill Farm (Horse Retirement, Rescue, and Rehabilitation) and Commonwealth Search and Rescue 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wine Dogs Fired Up about Pawsome Patriotic Wine Events


Each week, the Wine Dogs sniff out the most PAWSOME wine events for the weekend. Independence Day weekend brings music, celebrations, and hot dogs and wine dogs galore. A few that caught our eye:

July 4 (1-4pm), Reds, Whites and Bluegrass at Keswick Vineyards. A Wine Dog favorite (Munchkin had a blast in 2012. Grab the blankets and chairs and come for a picnic with blue grass music by Greenhouse, food by the Barbeque Exchange and Blue Ridge Pizza, plus red and white Virginia wines. No admission charge. Leashed pets welcome.

July 4 (3-8pm), Pre-Fireworks Party at Ducard Vineyards. Come celebrate Independence Day and enjoy music by Yankee Dixie, -- an original blend of folk, bluegrass, and Americana; food for sale, wine, and fun! Ducard will be open late and you can head straight over to Graves Mountain Lodge for their great fireworks display five minutes down the road. Family, friends, and pets welcome! No cover.

July 5 (2-5:30pm), Celebrate the 4th on the 5th at Gadino Cellars. Celebrate America's 238th Birthday with the music of Eddie Pickett! Bring the family (pets welcome). 

July 5 (3-10pm) and 6 (1-8pm), Watermelon Wine Festival at DeVault Family Vineyards. What's the Fourth without watermelon?  Fourth annual festival with wine, beer and watermelon sangria; live music, food and craft vendors, indoor pool, and games with prizes.  

July 6 (11am-6pm), National Kissing Day at 868 Estate Vineyards. Ecco (affectionately known as "Kissing Monster") couldn't resist this one). Celebrate by sharing a kiss with your special someone at 868! Live music too. Post your kissing photo to #Kissat868 between June 25 and July 6th to be entered into a drawing for a free wine tasting at 868 Estate. (Kisses pair particularly nicely with our Sangria!)

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tavern Days for the Wine Dogs

Twin Oaks Tavern Winery
Bluemont, Virginia 

Twin Oaks is truly a tavern for all seasons. Pomeroy first took Ecco to the Tavern in February for “Sweethearts Weekend,” and they snuggled up by the fireplace in the cozy tasting room to enjoy wine and live music.

A return visit in May allowed the Wine Dogs to relax on the lower of the three tiered decks that spill off of the tasting room, taking in stunning "top of the mountain" views of Winchester and the vineyard at budbreak.
The tasting room captures a true tavern feel, with high, beamed ceiling, exposed wood detailing and a square three-sided tasting bar to welcome guests – two and four-legged alike.
A picture of Hagrid, a beautiful, gentle St. Bernard and member of the Wine Club, hangs by the door. The fireplace mantle is crowded with statuettes of Twin Oak “regulars.”
Will the Wine Dogs earn a spot?
The Tavern is rapidly becoming a Wine Dog favorite. On each visit, Ecco and Pomeroy were made to feel at home by a committed crew that includes Fred,
Wine Captain Sue,

and winemaker, singer and gracious proprietress, Donna Evers.

Donna is an accidental vintner. The successful Washington realtor built a weekend escape in the mountains of the Northern Blue Ridge on the old Twin Oaks Tavern property – a place where Washingtonians of old would retreat for refreshments and cool breezes.

She restored the ravaged and fire-damaged inn as a charming home, but relaxing is not in her makeup. Donna returned from a 1999 trip to Europe obsessed with having a vineyard on her property. The consultants gave her mixed opinions, but whatever they said, she knew her answer would be “yes.” Viticulture is in her veins -- her relatives in Croatia built the Kolasic Family Vineyard, still an operating winery today. Carrying forward with the tradition, Donna’s daughter and grandchildren can be found working at the tavern.

Original plantings included Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, with recent additions of Zinfandel and Riesling - harkening back to Donna's Croatian roots. Donna plans to keep the winery small (1,000 cases) to preserve its boutique character. 
The wines are impressive. Last year, Twin Oaks Chardonnay was earned gold and a  92-point (exceptional) rating at the World Wine Championship. Ecco (a young pup whose taste still runs to sweeter wines) gave two paws up to Raspberry wine. Rose in color, it is considered a white and is crisply refreshing. Pomeroy enjoyed the Cabernet Sauvignon and the bold, jammy Norton.
But it was Twin Oaks signature Bordeaux-style blend that earned two paws up from both pups. The Raven Rocks Red (named for the street where Twin Oaks Tavern is located) is a combinations of Cabernet Franc and Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.

Music is an integral part of the Twin Oaks Tavern experience, and Sunday is “open mike” time. Acoustic guitar player/vocalist Michael Stephenson wandered in the door during the Wine Dogs’ first visit and everyone was mesmerized by his music. A recently discovered talent (by Brian Roeder while playing a friend’s party at Barrel Oak Winery), Michael is now making the winery circuit. He has a great, gravelly voice and sings with true emotion. A special treat was his original “Won’t Somebody Turn the Lights Back On,” based on his war and post-war experiences in Somalia. “To write that song, I had to live it,” Michael explains. Watch for him!

And watch for Ecco and Pomeroy at Twin Oaks Tavern!

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