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, December 27, 2010

Wine Dogs Discover Holiday Anghel

Rappahannock Cellars
Huntley, Virginia

Wine Dogs and other Virginia wine afficionados know Jason Burrus as the skillful winemaker at Rappahannock Cellars. Recently, however, Jason has branched out, launching his own label -- Anghel Wine.

Munchkin and Pomeroy joined a small group of Wine Club members for a special sampling of Anghel's first offering - the 2008 Virginia Red Table Wine - last month.

Jason's stated goal is to produce small lot artisenal wines from Virginia's finest vineyards. In this case, he chose Petit Verdot and Cab Franc grapes from Two Principals Vineyard near Marshall and Willowcroft Winery in Loudoun County, respectively. The wine spent 18 months in oak before bottling in May.

The result is a full-bodied Bordeaux-style wine that exhibits the distinictive cherry and pepper flavors of the best Virginia Cab Francs, with the PV adding a silky richness. Both Wine Dogs give Anghel an enthusiastic four paws up!

Anghel is Russian for angel and is the maiden name of Jason's wife, Natalia. The Wine Dogs were also introduced to the other little Burrus 's anghel, son Maximilian (9 months in barrel), who helped inspire the wine.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seasons Greetings

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wine Dogs Wonder: Ho, Ho, Ho, Who Wouldn't Breaux?

Purcellville, Virginia
It was Wine Dogs to the rescue when winemaker Dave Collins sent out the call for bottling help. Munchkin and Pomeroy high-tailed it out to Breaux Vineyards for a long-overdue visit to the winery that has been voted Virginia's favorite for two years running. Started by Paul and Alexis Breaux in 1994, the popular winery now has over 1,000 members in its wine club.

With 104 acres of grapes producing 10,000 cases a year, Breaux maintains its own bottling room (many other wineries use mobile bottlers).

Bottles are placed on the mechanized assembly line and sent into the bottling room where they are automatically washed, sanitized, dried, filled, corked and labeled. The completed bottles come out the other end, where they are manually placed into cases, which must be closed and placed on the palates.

The immediate task was getting the 2008 Lafayette Cab Franc into bottles – 7,200 of them. The line to the machinery was connected to the tank holding the wine.
As things cranked up, the bottles started pouring out at a furious pace and the Wine Dogs were called onlto the line to lend a helping paw.
During a lull in the process for quality control (the labels require precision setting), Dave took the Munchkin and Pomeroy back for a tour of the barrel room. They were met by Breaux General Manager Chris Blosser.

As thanks for their assistance, the Wine Dogs were treated to a tasting. Even on a wintry Thursday afternoon, the tasting room was a hub of activity. Wine Educator Kathy led Munchkin and Pomeroy through a flight of 10 Breaux wines – three dry whites, five reds, and two sweet wines.


The whites were friendly and approachable, but with the cooler weather, the Wine Dogs’ fancy turned to reds. The selection was outstanding, beginning with the Equation – a blend of 2007 grapes which had excellent finish and rich mouth feel, a great buy at $15/bottle.

After spending the morning bottling the 2008 Cab Franc, the Wine Dogs were eager to check out the earlier vintage in the tasting room. The 2006 Marquis de Lafayette pleased their puppy palates with hints of the coffee and chocolate/cherry. Breaux’s 2006 Meritage was another winner. Based on this tasting and wines recently sampled from Pomeroy’s cellar, Virginia’s 2006 reds appear to be coming of age and are drinking beautifully.

With a little more time in the bottle, the 2004 Merlot has had the chance to fully integrate, producing a silky wine with a subtle oak finish. The stand-out was the 2005 Nebbiolo, an Italian grape with that produces a rich, sultry wine. As a terrier, Munchkin appreciated the earthy flavors of leather and tobacco and detected a raspberry nose.

The Wine Dogs took home left a bottle of Breaux’s 07 Reserve Cab Franc to sample during the Virginia Wine Blogger’s virtual wine tasting. While Dave says he loves all his wine "children," he told the Wine Dogs the Cab Franc Reserve a very special wine. After tasting it on Thursday night (it pairs perfectly with tenderloin), Munchkin and Pomeroy agree with an enthusiastic four paws up. The Wine Dogs are still savoring the taste and looking forward to their next visit to Breaux.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wine Dogs Go Clubbing at Rappahannock

Rappahannock Cellars
Huntley, Virginia

There are wine clubs, and there are wine clubs, but the Wine Dogs have found few compare to the Wine Club at Rappahannock Cellars, where Munchkin is in her fifth year of membership.













On Saturday, the Munchkin and Pomeroy joined fellow Wine Club members at the club’s Progressive Soup Party. That's the special thank you that proprietor John Delmare hosts every year for Wine Club members.

Marketing Director Allan Delmare runs the 850-member club, and Kelly Delmare, Rappahannock’s tasting room manager, was responsible for the event. “It’s a great gift to have your son and daughter come back and engage in the business,” their proud papa said, admitting “It is a lot more fun to come to work every day.”

Even the youngest of the 12 Delmare pups (nine girls and three boys) got involved as daughters Grace, Sophia, and Maura saw that check-in ran smoothly and kept tables supplied with bread.

The complimentary wine starts flowing as soon as guests arrive at the soup event (this year’s selections, the Noblesse Blanc and North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon). A four course meal follows, with soup and wine paired to perfection.

The Wine Dogs agreed that the Chardonnay was an excellent complement to the rich Champagne Brie soup (a perennial favorite), and the New World Red balanced nicely with the Spicy Black Bean and Italian Sausage soup. But the Chapelle Charlemange Cab Franc, paired with Wild Rice and Mushroom soup, stole the show, earning a full eight paws up.
Fresh baked pecan cookies and the amber-hued Solara finished the meal.

Wine Club members also get a taste of what’s happening in the vineyard and the barrel room at the soup event.
Winemaker Jason Burrus said the buzz around Virginia this year is excellent grapes courtesy of the drought, producing high-quality/high alcohol wine. He expects the stars of 2010 to be the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Viognier (2009 is definitely the year for Cab Franc, Jason says, and the winemaker says he’s bottling a Glenway Vineyard CF and “it is divine”).

Big wines weren’t the only big news at this year's event. Wine Club members Rob and Lynn had their first date at Rappahannock Cellars two-and-a-half years ago; on Saturday, Rob popped the question (and the cork); Lynn said yes; and the happy couple will probably hold their wedding at Rappahannock as well.

Membership has its privileges, as Pomeroy knows.

Rappahannock has a club room where Members can bring guests for complimentary tastings or a glass of wine (is Munchkin drunk under the table?).

The Wine Dogs love the special Members-only section of the deck, where the paw-ty never stops. You never know who is going to pop up (or pop out, as this Wine Club member did to hear Robbie Limon play).

Wine Club members get discounts on wine and first notification to all events held at Rappahannock Cellars. Munchkin and Pomeroy highly recommend the Barrel Tastings with Jason and Vineyard Manager Tom Kelly. That’s where the Wine Dogs’ began to train their sensitive canine noses and sophisticated little palates to fully appreciate the great grape.

So how can you join the club? Just buy two bottles of yummy Rappahannock Cellars wine every month at a 15 percent discount, and you're in. That's right. No membership fees, and unlike a cellphone contract, you can cancel whenever you like with no penalty.

The club is exceptionally flexible. If like Munchkin your palate runs to reds, you can go red-only - or just swap out the white when the mood strikes you (a woman's prerogative and all). Don't like sweet wines - substitute.
Rappahannock will ship your monthly selections, but why pass up an excuse to visit Virginia Wine Country and pick up your wine personally. Perhaps you'll run into your favorite Wine Dogs there.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wine Dogs Uncover the Naked Truth

Naked Mountain Vineyard and Winery
Markham, Virginia

One of Virginia’s oldest wineries is under new ownership. Randy and Meagan Morgan visited Naked Mountain in February, enjoyed the wines, and then learned the winery was for sale.

Jumping at the opportunity to own their own business and follow their passion for wine, they purchased Naked Mountain from founders Bob and Phoebe Harper in August – just in time for harvest. “We survived,” Meagan said. “The staff were patient, coaching us through it.”

On Sunday, the Virginia Wine Dogs sat down with the young pups for an interview (at 27 and 26, respectively, Randy and Meagan are probably the youngest winery owners in Virginia). While they have plans for taking Naked Mountain on to a new generation, the Morgans see themselves as stewards of a great tradition.

For starters, the barrel-fermented Chardonnay – once served at the White House – will continue as Naked Mountain’s flagship wine. “Naked has a great white wine tradition,” Randy told Munchkin. The new owners intend to maintain the current production level of about 2,500 cases a year, while broadening the selection. One of the first areas to be replanted will be the 35-year-old Chardonnay grapes.

The staff stayed on, including Cellar Master Brooke Walter. She led the Wine Dogs through a tasting of six Naked Mountain wines. Munchkin was delighted to find solid reds in the line-up, including the 2006 Cab Franc and the Scarlet Oak Red (a blend of Syrah, Mouvedre, and Tannat). Pomeroy loved the new Chardonnay/Riesling, an off-dry white with fruit perfectly balancing the 2% residual sugar. “It is the first vintage I was responsible for,” Brooke beamed.

As part of taking Naked Mountain into the next generation, the Morgans plan to update the logo. They also want to open up the tasting room to host more people, while keeping the homey, warm feel of the ski-chalet setting. “Virginia wine crowds are getting bigger and bigger,” Randy said, noting the synergy among area wine owners and the support given to the industry by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his team. “We want people to think of visiting the winery like visiting our home,” Meagan added.

Randy also hinted at an expansion of the deck that overlooks the vineyards and offers a remarkable view of the Blue Ridge, as well as additional parking.

The Wine Dogs were delighted to learn that the famous Naked Mountain lasagna lunches, a mainstay of their winter wining, will continue.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wine Dogs Fall (Again) for Philip Carter

Philip Carter Winery of Virginia
Hume, Virginia

It was like homecoming when the Wine Dogs dropped by Philip Carter for an impromptu visit during the winery's fall festival. They spent an enjoyable autumn afternoon catching up with old friends and sipping fabulous wine.

Dick Zweber welcomed Munchkin and Pomeroy warmly as they hopped out of the jeep, letting them know that fellow wine dogs Cortoman (American Mastiff) and Fairfax (Shih Tzu) were waiting by the fire pits.




Owner Philip Strother treated the thristy travelers to a glass of Cab Franc and filled them in on the program, which included the moon bounce, a book signing by Counterfeit Farm Girl Susan McCorkingdale, and barrel tastings by winemaker Rob Cox.

Pomeroy was tempted until Munchkin learned that the one and only Robbie Limon was performing downstairs(she swears she didn't know). So the Wine Dogs opted for Cleve Hall and a bottle of Cleve (a lush, velvety blend of Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon which earned Platinum at the Virginia Wine Lovers Classic in June).

As they whiled away the afternoon, they caught up Karen and Amanda and PC Event Coordinator Donna Johnson, who shared photos of weddings at the winery as well as First Lady Maureen McDonnell's visit in August. Munchkin is thinking sunset ceremony...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wine Dogs Congratulate Winners of the Towne Point Wine Competition

More than 100 wines competed in the Towne Point Wine Competition over the weekend. Pomeroy notes that juice for the Meritage winner (Pearmund's 2007 Ameritage) fermented in his dad's barrel.


The Wine Dogs congratulate the all the #VAWine winners:

WHITE WINES
ChardonnayGold - 2009 Cross Key Chardonnay
Silver - 2009 New Kent Chardonnay
Bronze - 2008 The Winery at La Grange Fletcher's Chardonnay

Viognier
Gold - 2009 Cooper Viognier
Silver - 2009 Pearmund Viognier
Bronze - 2008 Chateau Morrisette Viognier

Vinifera White
Gold - NV Prince Michel Sparkling
Silver - 2008 Delfosse Reserve D' Oriane
Bronze - 2009 Cardinal Point A6

Hybrid White
Gold - 2009 First Colony Zephyr
Silver - 2008 James River Cellar Vidal Blanc
Bronze - 2008 Democracy Declaration

Dessert
Gold - NV Cooper Noche-Noche
Silver - 2008 Cross Key Ali D'Oro
Bronze - 2009 The Winery at La Grange Snort

RED WINES
Hybrid Red
Gold - 2008 Davis Valley Autumn Red
Silver - 2008 Chateau Morrisette Chambourcin
Bronze - 2008 Cooper Norton

Vinifera Red
Gold - 2007 Rockbridge Syrah
Silver - 2008 Prince Michel Syrah
Bronze - 2009 Holly Grove Sunset Rose

Merlot
Gold - 2009 Keswick Merlot
Silver - 2007 Lovingston Merlot
Bronze - 2007 Rockbridge Merlot

Cabernet Franc
Gold - 2008 the Winery at La Grange Cabernet Franc
Silver - 2009 Keswick Cabernet Franc
Bronze - 2009 Sugarleaf Cabernet Franc
Bronze - 2009 Lovingston Cabernet Franc

Petit Verdot
Gold - 2009 Willowcroft Petit Verdot
Silver - 2008 Cross Key Petit Verdot
Bronze - 2008 Chateau Morrisette Petit Verdot

Cabernet Sauvignon
Gold - 2008 Pearmund Cabernet Sauvignon
Silver - 2008 Sugarleaf Cabernet Sauvignon
Bronze - 2007 Barboursville Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Meritage
Gold - 2007 Pearmund Ameritage
Silver - 2008 Cross Key Meritage
Bronze - 2008 Cooper Coopertage

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paradise Springs Chard Named State's Top White


Open less than a year, Paradise Springs may be just a pup in Virginia's growing kennel of top wineries but they're demonstrating show quality - claiming the Governor's Cup at Monticello on Wednesday night for their 2009 Reserve Chardonney. This is the first time since 1991 that a Chardonnay has won the cup. Munchkin and Pomeroy extend their congrats to Jane Kincheloe and Kirk Wiles and all our friends in Paradise.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

BOW is Top Dog with "Best in Show" Ribbon at Virginia State Fair


The Virginia Wine Dogs congratulate Brian, Sharon, Rick and the entire pack at Barrel Oak Winery. BOW wowed the Virginia State Fair judges with their 2008 Reserve Petit Verdot and received the "Best in Show" ribbon at the Black Tie & Boots gala on September 22.

Veritas was also recognized for racking up the most ribbons. The full list of winners follow:

2010 State Fair of Virginia Wine Competition

Best in Show
Barrel Oak Winery - Reserve Petit Verdot 2008

Gold Ribbon
AmRheins Wine Cellars - AGLIANICO 2007
Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn - Rockawalkin 2007
Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn - Parris Country Blend 2008
Barboursville Vineyards - CABERNET FRANC RESERVE 2008
Barboursville Vineyards - PINOT GRIGIO 2009
Barboursville Vineyards - SAUVIGNON BLANC 2009
Barrel Oak Winery - Reserve Petit Verdot 2008
Barrel Oak Winery - Viognier 2008
Barren Ridge Vineyards - Meritage 2008
Barren Ridge Vineyards - Viognier 2008
Casanel Vineyards - Chegada Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Cooper Vineyards - Petit Verdot 2008
Crosskeys Vineyards - Meritage 2008
Delfosse Vineyards & Winery - GRAND CRU OLIVIER 2008
Delfosse Vineyards & Winery - MERLOT 2008
Delfosse Vineyards & Winery - PETIT VERDOT 2008
Democracy Vineyards - VELVET REVOLUTION 2007
First Colony Winery - Merlot 2008
Flying Fox Vineyard - Viognier 2009
James River Cellars - Gewurtraminer 2008
Keswick Vineyards - Viognier Reserve 2009
Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard - Kluge Estate New World Red 2005
Lake Anna - Barrel Select Chardonnay 2008
Lake Anna - Morgan Merlot 2007
Naked Mountain Vineyard - VA Cabernet Franc 2007
Narmada Winery - Viognier 2009
Notaviva Vineyards - Cantabile 2008
Notaviva Vineyards - Calor 2009
Pearmund Cellars - Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Pearmund Cellars - Riesling 2009
Pearmund Cellars - Petit Manseng 2009
Philip Carter Winery - Cabernet Franc 2009
Pollak Vineyards - Pollak Cabernet Franc 2008
Pollak Vineyards - Chardonnay RSV 2008
Pollak Vineyards - Pollak Petit Verdot 2008
Pollak Vineyards - Viognier 2009
Rockbridge Vineyard - DeChiel Riesling 2008
Rockbridge Vineyard - Merlot - Dechiel 2007
Rockbridge Vineyard - Syrah - DeChiel 2007
Rockbridge Vineyard - Rockbridge Vignoles 2007
The Winery at La Grange - Pinot Gris - Toll Gate Vineyard 2009
Veritas Vineyard & Winery - Vintners Reserve "VR" 2008
Veritas Vineyard & Winery - Sauvingon Blanc Reserve 2009
Afton Mountain Vineyards - Pentola D'Oro 2008
Barboursville Vineyards - MALVAXIA 2006
Crosskeys Vineyards - Ali D'Oro 2008
Mattaponi Winery - Odeimin (Strawberry) 2010
Veritas Vineyard & Winery - Kenmar 2007

Silver Ribbon
Afton Mountain Vineyards - Festa DiBacco 2008
AmRheins Wine Cellars - PINOT GRIGIO 2008
Annefield Vineyards - RED 2008
Barboursville Vineyards - OCTAGON 2007
Barrel Oak Winery - Merlot 2008
Barrel Oak Winery - Traminette 2009
Barren Ridge Vineyards - Red Barren 2008
Barren Ridge Vineyards - Cabernet Franc 2008
Cooper Vineyards - Viognier 2009
Delaplane Cellars - Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2008
Delaplane Cellars - Emerald Vineyard Viognier 2007
Democracy Vineyards - UNUM 2009
Dry Mill Vineyards & Winery - Barrel Chardonnay 2008
First Colony Winery - Meritage 2008
Flying Fox Vineyard - Cabernet Franc Ridge Run Vineyard 2007
Gray Ghost Vineyards - Reserve Chardonnay 2008
Hiddencroft Vineyards - Traminette 2009
Holly Grove Vineyards - Celebration 2009
Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard - Albemarle Simply Red 2006
Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard - Kluge SP Blanc de Blanc 2007
Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard - Albemarle Viognier 2009
North Gate Vineyard - Chardonnay 2009
Notaviva Vineyards LLC - Verano 2009
Paradise Springs Winery – Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Pearmund Cellars - Viognier 2009
Piedmont Vineyards & Winery - Hunt Country Chardonnay 2009
Pollak Vineyards - Pollak Cabernet Sauvingon 2007
Rockbridge Vineyard - Cabernet Franc - DeChiel 2007
Rockbridge Vineyard - Chardonnay - DeChiel 2009
Rosemont of Virginia Winery - Syrah 2008
San Soucy Vineyards - Cabernet Franc 2008
San Soucy Vineyards - Tempranillo 2008
Sugarleaf Vineyards - Petit Manseng 2008
Sunset Hills Vineyard - SUNSET ROSE 2009
Sunset Hills Vineyard - VIOGNIER 2009
The Hague Winery Inc - Cabernet Franc 2008
Veritas Vineyard & Winery - Cabernet Franc 2009
Veritas Vineyard & Winery - Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Veritas Vineyard & Winery - Viognier 2009
Williamsburg Winery, Ltd. - Adagio 2007
Woodland Vineyard - Barrel Select 2009
North Gate Vineyard - Apple Wine NV

Individual Label Design:
1st place – Delfosse Grand Cru Olivier
2nd place – Paradise Springs of Clifton Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
3rd place – Kluge SP Blanc de Blanc

Overall Winery Presentation:
1st place – Pollak Vineyards
2nd place – Veritas Vineyard & Winery
3rd place – Delfosse Vineyards & Winery

Individual Label Design – Dessert or Sweet Wine Bottles (375 ml):
1st place – Afton Mountain Pentrola D’oro
2nd place – Barboursville Malvaxia Passito
3rd place – Veritas Kenmar

Best Use of Whimsy on a Label:
1st place – Narmada Dream
2nd place – Flying Fox Cabernet Franc
3rd place – Notaviva Vineyards Cantabile Cabernet Franc

Most Ribbons Awarded to a Single Winery:
Veritas Vineyard & Winery

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Artists formerly Known as Wine Dogs

Outer Barks
Duck, NC

Munchkin and Pomeroy outside Outer Barks with Barker and one of owner Kevin and Robin
Carey's pet Keeshondens (they have four).

An absolute must for every pampered pup's OBX beach vacation is the weekly Yappy Hour at the Outer Barks. It takes place each Wednesday from 4-5:30.

While there is no wine (enterprising humans have been known to BYOB), there are delightful Puppachinos and generous array of special doggie appetizers for the post-beach cocktail hour.

Munchkin and Pomeroy adored the chicken and potato casserole with a touch of cheddar that hostess Robin prepared last week.

On clear days, Yappy Hour takes place in the big yard behind Scarborough Faire, with pools for pups to splash in and hoops and agility rings to jump.

A favorite Yappy Hour activity among the four-legged crowd is the art.

Who knew a puppy paw was a natural paint brush?

This year's colors were peppy orange and pink (water soluable for easy cleaning).

Both Wine Dogs left with full tummies and full confidence that their new masterpieces are destined for the walls of the Petropolitan Museum of Art.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wine Dogs Report from the Beach: Wine Tasting at Aqua S

Aqua S Restaurant and Day Spa
Duck, NC

The Wine Dogs arrived in Duck on Saturday, just in time to enjoy a fabulous wine tasting on the inlet at Aqua S Restuarant. Munchkin and Pomeroy were thrilled to have their tasting personally hosted by their good friend -- owner and sommelier Lynette Sumner.

Lynette guided the Wine Dogs through a tasting of four of her favs. First up was Blue Ocean, a Vinho Verde from Portugal with a subtle effervescence -- not unlike Lynette herself. In honor of Munchkin's mom's trip to France this spring, Lynette followed up with the Domaine Cordier Pere Macon Aux Bois d' Allier 2006, with a lovely nose and a rich golden color.

Switching to reds, Lynette brought out the Estancia Pinot Noir. Served at cellar temperature on a hot afternoon, the wine earned two enthusiastic paws up from the Wine Dogs. The final offering was an Austrialian wine called "Duck, Duck, Goose." Lynette told the Wine Dogs she would have bought it for the name alone, but the Shiraz Cabernet blend proved an outstanding selection.
The evening was completed by a gorgeous sunset and the music of Buster B. Curtis, "Man Of A Thousand Songs."
In addition to Saturday wine tastings, Aqua S features live entertainment on its sound-side deck nightly (except Sundays). Relax with a great glass or bottle of wine from Lynette's Wine Room.

Nothin' Could Be Finer than to be a Wine Dog in Carolina

Outer Banks, NC

Even on vacation, Munchkin and Pomeroy continue their wining ways. En route to the Outer Banks, the Virginia Wine Dogs stopped at Morris Farm Market on Highway 158 to pick up fresh produce for the week.

The roadside market has come a long way since 1982, when Walton and Ginger Morris started selling sweet corn out of the back of their old Ford pick-up truck. But in one since, it hasn't moved at all; it can still be found under the shade of the same two old pecan trees.

Inside is an array of fruits, ciders, jams, fresh baked pies and breads, and ice cream churned by a tractor.

As he rode up the aisles in his wheelbarrow, Pomeroy made a lunch out of the samples. Munchkin (who isn't much of a fruit and veggie fan), was sulking until she discovered Morris Farms also stocks -- and tastes -- North Carolina wines.

The Wine Dogs' new best friend Sophia poured them samples of several fruit wines, including a refreshing peach. There was also a pleasant Chardonney among the offerings.

Most interesting were the muscadine and scuppernong wines, made from native grapes that thrive in the sandy soil and hot climes of the Carolinas. Indeed, these grapes were said to have nourished the settlers who landed on Roanoke Island.

Munchkin and Pomeroy were quite distressed to learn that they could be enjoying the last of the scuppernong -- a sweet white just made for the beach. It seems the power company was overly zealous in May and sprayed the 400-year-old Mother Vine with a nasty herbicide. These are thought to be the oldest vines in North America.

The Wine Dogs did a little more research and are able to report that, with much TLC, it looks like mama's coming back. See related story.

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