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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wine Dogs Visit Virginia's New "PC" Winery

Hear ye, hear ye: The winery formerly known as Stillhouse shall henceforth be known as The Philip Carter Winery. Huzzah!

Markham, VA

After running into PC-PR Maven Donna at the Linden Shell Station, Pomeroy and Munchkin decided it was time to check back in at the winery formerly known as Stillhouse and see how our friend Fairfax the Shih Tzu was doing in her new role as wine dog.

Fairfax is very proud to have been named for Lord Fairfax, who granted 300,000 acres of land to King Carter, father of Charles Carter, maker of the first internationally recognized wine in Virginia and ancestor of Philip Carter Strother, the current owner. Talk about a name with history (both Fairfax and The Philip Carter Winery)!

So it was little surprise that Charles Carter and Thomas Jefferson were on hand for official renaming on May 24th. It attracted quite a crowd, including of course the Virginia Wine Dogs.

This latest visit was all about the wine. Philip and Danielle greated us warmly, and Philip patiently introduced us to the new PC offerings of two whites, four reds, and two dessert wines.

Falconwood is the PC white table wine, a fruity blend of Vidal, Seval, and Chardonney. The label features a beautiful Fauquier County landscape (one of several paintings by artist Adrei Kushnie that can be found around the tasting room). One dollar from each bottle goes to the Leeds Ruritan Memorial Scholarship fund for a student who pursues an education in vitaculture.

The other white, a light citrussy Chardonney, was just perfect for the Dog Days of August, and our choice for enjoying out on the patio surrounded by the lush vines with the Blue Ridge in the background. But first... the reds. The line-up included a Chambourcin; a dry, peppery Cabernet Franc that Munchkin sniffed and confirmed "smells like Virginia"; as well as an earthy Cabernet with cherry undertonse and nice legs. The Meritage with its nice tannins set Munchkin's tail waggin', while Pomeroy enjoyed the locally produced Darby cheese.

There is also an oh so PC late harvest Vidal with the usual sweetness but a less syrupy consistency than is common.

Sweet Danielle is the name given to PC's port-style offering, and the label features a wedding cameo of Danielle. Philip worked secretly with an artist for months on the design, then invited his wife to dinner and "selected" the wine which was presented at the table to an emotional Danielle (Pomeroy, are you paying attention?). Is it coincidence that the new owners have added an event wing, perfect for weddings, including a bride's room?

The Wine Dogs spent an enjoyable afternoon at PC. It was great to catch up with Fairfax, and to meet her boys, the five-year-old twins Carter (left) and Pierce (right), who kept us entertained with peaches and cheese to compliment our wine. Thanks, boys!


  1. STAY AWAY FROM HERE!!!!!!!!!!I had the misfortune to visit this hell-hole on Saturday, Oct. 11th, 2008 While trying to decipher the tasting particulars (prices, etc.) this incredibly nasty old bald- headed bastard with a carbuncle on his head the side of a Buick yanked the bottles away from my wife and I and then followed me back upstairs and whispered to another server something unflattering about us, all the while gesturing obviously at me. Even the other server looked a tad baffled by the old prick's vehemence. I asked a woman standing by me what the "set-up" here was, and she was also disgruntled, saying "I've been standing here forever, and they STILL won't wait on me, and I want to BUY a few bottles!"
    This old prick looked just like the guy on the Brit sitcom "One Foot In The Grave", which I can only hope he has. I have no idea what offended this nasty snob, (perhaps because my wife and I and the other woman wore...GASP!!!... jeans!!!!!!!!!) but I had always liked it when it was Stillhouse. It was much better and had a far more friendly atmosphere, and I was in no way drunk or out of line - this was our first Winery stop after a full day of Pumpkin-picking with our daughter. So who knows? Maybe they just hate kids.

  2. We've had nothing but great experiences and gracious hospitality from Phil, Danielle, and Donna. And they've been most welcoming to kids (and pets), with their own often on the property. Last weekend was perhaps the busiest of the season, with the changing foilage, perfect Indian Summer weather, and three-day weekend. Every winery we visited on Saturday was filled to bursting. The whole point is to relax; save the type-A attitude for inside-the-Beltway.


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