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Friday, April 17, 2015

Wine Dogs Sing the Valley Blues

Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery
Delaplane, Virginia

Winery Dog Jill, a beagle, leads
 guests to the tasting room
The latest addition to the Virginia wine family opened its doors today, with Ecco and Pomeroy on hand to provide a dogs' eye view of the celebration. Directional signs were just going up at Blue Valley as the Wine Dogs arrived, but corks were popping and wines flowing as friends and family inaugurated the new winery.

Sweeping vistas abound at Blue Valley Vineyard
Blue (for the Blue Ridge) Valley (for the Shenandoah Valley) Vineyard and Winery stetches across 63 acres in Fauquier County, Virginia. Sweeping vistas are shown to maximum advantage from the tasting room and deck.
Good Omen - A rainbow shines over the vines on opening day

Blue Valley's 20,000 square foot facility is one of Virginia's largest. 
The cavernous winery features over 20,000 square feet of space, making it one of the largest in Virginia. Father John and son Stergio Zissios built most of the building together. Blue Valley marks three generations of winemaking for the Zissios family, a tradition carried forward from the vineyard in Kozani, Greece where John grew up.

The atmosphere is upscale modern.
The tasting room colors are subdued, sepia brown and slate gray with blue accents. The atmosphere is upscale modern, designed as a place friends and family can come, relax, have a conversation and enjoy the wines.

The Wine Cave has a medieval feel.
Below in "the cave" the feel is medieval. High stone walls made of rocks from the property itself dominate. The Zissios are thinking big, with plans for producing 10,000 cases.
Stones from the property line the walls of the Wine Cave
The focus at Blue Valley is on premium wines, produced by the winemaking team of John Levenberg and Tyler Henley. Current offerings lean heavily to the whites (five of seven).
Tasting Room Manager Carrie pours
Ecco raised her paws to the Heritage, a toasty white blend with 50 percent chardonnay grapes. Both wine dogs enjoyed the elegant dry Rose. Tradition, a rich red blend that earned two paws up from Pomeroy.
Additional reds are in barrel for bottling later this month and release in the summer. These first wines are made from fruit from California. The Zissios planted grapes at Blue Valley three years ago (Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chambourcin and Viognier), and look forward to the first harvest this year.
Ecco's new friend DeeDee helps with marketing

Roy's friend is a Pommie Mommy with two of her own. 
Blue Valley is a pet friendly winery. Ecco and Pomeroy made lots of new friends on their visit. Please note, you must park your paws outside. There will be a tasting bar open on the deck this summer. We hope to see you there!
Pomeroy and Ecco enjoyed a warm welcome from hosts Stergio and Antonia Zissios
The Zissios have a pair of Maltese pups and a Maltipoo.

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