Munchkin has been looking forward to a trip to Gadino Cellars ever since she got a taste of the Gadino grape at the Front Royal Wine and Crafts Fair. So when she heard that her favorite traveling troubadour, Robbie Limon, had a gig there, she told Pomeroy to grab his leash and the Wine Dogs high-tailed it out to Little Washington.
Gadino Cellars is a family affair, harking back to the Italian heritage of Bill Gadino and his wife, Alita. There was nothing but old pastureland when the Gadinos purchased the property in 1989, but years of careful tending have borne fruit, literally, producing award-winning wines and bringing a touch of Italy to Rappahannock County, VA.
Festive flags representing the families and cantatas of Sienna wave at visitors from the ceiling of the tasting room, which opened in 2005. Here too, the Gadino pack is well represented, with daughter Stephanie working the register.
Penny, the Wine Dogs’ pourer for the afternoon, guided them through a flight of eight wines – 3 whites, 3 reds, a Rose (Moonrise), and a wonderful dessert wine, the Dolce Sofia, named for the Gadinos’ granddaughter, whose picture is on the label. Grandson Dominic adorns the label of the aptly named Imagine, a blend of Chambourcin, Cab Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Cab Francophile that she is, Munchkin was disappointed that the varietal was sold out, but found hints of the spicy grape in the Delfino Rosso (the Gadino meritage) and complementing the Merlot.
Out on the trellaced deck, Robbie strummed his guitar and crooned those oh-so-familiar 70s tunes as the Wine Dog party enjoyed a tasty bottle of 2006 Viognier. It went down so smoothly on the sun-warmed patio that they followed up with a bottle of the 2006 Reserve Viognier, and found it equally delightful.
“We’ve planted our roots here,” Alita told the Wine Dogs, adding “I’ll never get Bill to leave the vineyard. “ Indeed, Bill was out in the vineyard during the Wine Dogs’ visit, planting new grapes. In the spirit of Earth Day, Munchkin and Pomeroy put down their own roots at Gadino. You will find their Petit Verdot vines on the last full row in front of the tasting room – Munchkin’s is number 15; Pomeroy’s is number 32. The new vines should produce fruit in three years, but the Wine Dogs plan to be back before that!
It was a pleasure to meet Munchkin, Pomerory and the rest of your party today. Thanks again for helping us plant some Petit Verdot on earth day. As you may know, we are a certified GREEN FACILITY in the state of Virginia and you did your part today to keep us GREEN. Thanks again.
The site is really cool, I love the photos of the dogs.
See ya around,