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Saturday, December 29, 2012

In loving memory of Munchkin

In Memoriam

Munchkin, the Original Virginia Wine Dog

The Virginia Wine Industry lost one of its most enthusiastic promoters earlier this year.  On September 10, 2012, Munchkin -- the irrepressible Yorkshire Terrier of Virginia Wine Dogs fame -- crossed the Rainbow Bridge to tend heaven's vineyard.

Munchkin got her first taste of the grape en route to the mountains for Columbus Day Weekend in 2004, making a chance stop at what was then known as Virginia's first vineyard, Farfelu Vineyards (French for eccentric or hair-brained -- like the idea of a pair of pups having a wine blog?).  Her last visits took her to the opening of BOW's Oak Hill Estate and to wine club events at Keswick and Rappahannock Cellars followed by a spontaneous stop at Little Washington Winery.   
The great-great-granddaughter of the venerable CH Cede Higgins (the only Yorkshire Terrier ever to win "Best in Show" at Westminster), Munchkin brought her natural flair for showmanship to tasting rooms across the Commonwealth.  She delighted in entertaining winery guests -- all the more when her dancing, twirling, rollovers and other tricks were rewarded with treats.
The jumping off point for Munchkin's wine adventures was a mountain retreat just minutes from Fox Meadow, one of several new wineries opening in the Blue Ridge during the first decade of the 21st Century.  In 2007, Munchkin teamed up with Pomeroy (Pomeranian and photographer extraordinaire) to create the Virginia Wine Dogs blog, making it their business to sniff out Virginia's finest.

Over the years, Munchkin faithfully reported barking wine news on her blog and Facebook page, spreading the pawsitive word about Virginia's fast-growing industry and its rising reputation as a top wine destination and producer.

She was on hand as a Rovering Reporter when the North American Wine Bloggers Conference came to Charlottesville in 2011, earning a spot on VAWine TV.

To build her expertise, Munchkin tried her paw at winemaking at Three Fox Vineyard

 planted a Petit Verdot vine at Gadino Cellars,

 and even took a turn at bottling at Breaux.
Munchkin's credits include features in Northern Virginia Magazine, NoVA Dog, and Our Town and on NBC 29 (Charlottesville).

Munchkin's loved ones are keeping her spirit alive through her wine blog and Facebook Page.  Several as yet unpublished Wine Dog reviews from past years have been located, so fans can look forward to new adventures in the months ahead.

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