BARKING NEWS:

2017 VA Gov Cup goes to Barns at Hamilton Station; Veritas' Emily Pelton Wine Person of the Year; King Family's David King Recognized for Lifetime Achievement... Jim Law (Linden) & Diane Flynt (Foggy Ridge) James Beard Award Semi-finalists... VA Wine Strikes Gold in SanFran (7 double golds; 2 best of class)... VA Wine Sales Up 6%; Cider taking off... International Winery Review "Virginia Wine Has Come of Age"...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Munchkin's Grape Adventure

Barrel Oak Winery

Delaplane, VA

With the first batch of Wine Dog Wine safely in bottles and aging to perfection thanks to the expert guidance of teacher John Todhunter of Three Fox Vineyards, Munchkin and Pomeroy decided they were ready to strike out on their own.

They already had the equipment... but where to find fruit. Munchkin emailed her many winery friends announcing "Wine Dogs in Search of Grapes." After reviewing her offers, she selected Barrel Oak Winery for Wine Dogs 2.0.

IMPORTANT LESSON FOR WINEMAKERS: The timeline for winemaking is set by the grapes, not the winemaker. When the fruit is ripe, it's harvested. Once it's harvested, it's going to start fermenting whether you're ready or not.

Virginia had a good growing season in 2008, with a dry fall. But by the second week in October, the weather was starting to change, and the grapes came flying off the vines to be crushed and destemmed. So on Columbus Day, Munchkin high-tailed it to BOW, primary fermentation unit in paw. Winemaker Sharon Roeder generously opened up her vats and Munchkin chose the Virginia standard, Cab Franc. Of course.


Remembering her lessons, Munchkin knew the importance of good sanitation. Sharon helped her wash down the PFU before and after filling.
Then Munchkin, with a little assistance from Sharon, made sure the lid was on good and tight. Wouldn't want the grape juice sloshing around in the jeep!




Mission accomplished, Munchkin gave Sharon a big kiss to thank her for the grapes, which she knows will make a really fine wine.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October is Virginia Wine (Dog) Month

Munchkin and Pomeroy celebrate fall
with Redmund -- Pearmund Cellars' Wine Dog extraordiaire.

It was very clever of the Virginia Tourism folks to make October Virginia Wine Month. There's no better time to get out of the dog house and visit Virginia wine country than October. The days are cool and pleasant; the brilliant fall foliage creates a perfect backdrop for picnicking among the leaves with a bottle of Virginia's finest.

This year's 20th Anniversary theme is "Find the one you love," and with more than 130 wineries around the state (up from 30 when Virignia Wine Month started), there's plenty of great choices. You can sample several at one at festivals like the Mt. Vernon Wine Festival and Sunset Tour (Oct. 3-5) or the Shenandoah Hot Air Balloon and Wine Festival (Oct. 17-17). The Wine Dogs hope to see there abd along the Blue Ridge Wine Way or Fauquier County Wine Trail. Click here for suggestions of 20 ways to celebrate Virginia Wine Month or read the write-up in USA Today
and the New York Times.

P.S. If you're looking to find the fur-baby you love, you might want to check out the Country Canine Jamborie on October 4 in Leesburg. There will be adoptable fuzzy furries on site, in addition to canine games and demonstrations, country cooking and lots of fun.

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