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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Wine Dogs Dig Up Gold at Ingleside

Oak Grove, VA

The Virginia Wine Dogs are hot on the trail - the Gold Medal Wine Trail that is - sniffing out the 47 wineries, cideries and meaderies that racked up gold in the 2021 Governor's Cup Competition. First stop, Ingleside Vineyards in the Northern Neck of Virginia (the George Washington Birthplace American Viticultural Area - Washington's birthplace is just down the road).

Ingleside numbers itself among the pioneers of the modern Virginia wine industry - opening in 1980 with the first wave of post-prohibition wineries. Doug Flemer planted his grapes on the historic estate that had been in his family since 1890. Today, the winery's focal point is a European-style brick courtyard, surrounded by old farm buildings transformed to serve as the tasting room, winery, event space and museum (filled with antique wine bottles, Native American artifacts and Chesapeake waterfowl decoys). 

Ingleside is a three-time Governor's Cup winner (1983, 1984, and 1986) and claimed a spot in the 2017 Governor's Cup Case). The winery earned gold in this year's Governor's Cup Competition for two of its whites - the 2019 Albarino and the 2018 Chardonnay Reserve. The Albarino is available on the white tasting flight (which also includes the 2019 Pinot Grigio, 2019 Viognier, Coastal White, and 2019 Chardonnay Reserve). The 2018 is available only for purchase, so of course, we did.

Ecco was grateful the flight came with a proper tasting glass, allowing her to fully appreciate the peach on the nose of the Albarino and nectar on the palate. We've been hearing quite a bit of buzz about this Spanish grape's promise in Virginia lately (most recently on Frank Morgan's Open that Bottle of Virginia Wine Night). Ingleside's Albarino certainly impressed - Ecco gave it two paws up. 

Score another paw up for pet friendliness, Ecco was made to feel right at home throughout her visit and even met a new friend, Winnie, a three-year-old Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever (kind of a mini-Golden). Winnie is clearly a devoted wine dog - note the grape colored leash and harness.

There is a charming gift shop in Ingleside's tasting room, lovingly stocked by Nancy Flemer. As much as she enjoyed the wine, Ecco couldn't resist bellying up to the Doggie Tasting Bar. Suffice it to say, she loved her visit to Ingleside.

Ingleside's unique take on Virginia's LOVE sign.

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