There's a new trail winding its way through some of the Virginia Wine Dogs' favorite watering holes. The Artisanal Wineries of Rappahannock County is a collection of family-run wineries who have joined together to offer a premium wine tasting experience that is rooted in small lot, handcrafted wines.
When Munchkin heard the wine trail's launch was a festival at Rappahannock Cellars featuring all five wineries, she exclaimed "That's the ticket!"
It was a splendid afternoon under the big tent next to Rappahannock's barn where live music played. Volunteers from Hospice of the Rapidan (who received the proceeds from the successful two-day event) greeted Munchkin warmly as she made her entrance.
She was given her tickets, with entitled her to 15 tastings. Each of the wineries was asked to bring a Viognier and Cabernet Franc (the Virginia anchors), as well as an off-dry or sweet wine. The Cab-loving canine appreciated the opportunity to taste and compare her favorite grape (is that vertical or horizonal, or just sideways?).
Festa Rappahannock brought together a Who's Who of the Virginia wine elite.
Sudha Patil of Narmada Winery bringing a taste of India
Fellow blogger John Hagarty of Hagarty on Wine, serving up the good stuff from Rappahannock
As Munchkin retired to the patio to enjoy a delicious burger catered by the Marriott Ranch (complemented by a glass of Claret), she was able to engage Allan Delmare for a quick interview about the event and the trail.
Allan explained that the trail was conceived by the five owners, who reached a mutual conclusion that they needed a way to unite their wineries -- all family-owned, all focused on producing artesinal wines, and all located in Rappahannock County. He added that the county had been very supportive.
The Festival goes back to the the Delmare's California roots, where they used to host similar events at their winery twice a year.
While plans are still in the works, Allan did promise there would be a second annual Festa Rappahannock and that it would be "in the county." Check back with the Wine Dogs for future details for next year's winning tickets.