Jul 2010 04

This past 4th of July weekend I decided avoid the traffic, crowds, and the stresses of traveling by staying close to home.  So, when trying to decide on which new winery to visit during my holiday weekend, luckily I didn’t have to look too far.  Because, there is a beautiful one right in my own backyard.

Paradise Springs Winery has been on my list since earlier this year when it officially opened to the public. It is located slightly beyond the historic town of Clifton, Virginia which is just a short 15 minute or so drive from where I live. To be very honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this winery. In my mind I was wondering how the wine could possibly be good considering the vineyard’s suburban location.

What a great surprise.

The vineyard itself was so very quaint and rustic. The tasting room is located in a historic cabin that was charming and inviting. They also have a barn that is used for overflow tasting and special events. Because the main cabin tasting room is quite small, indoor seating is limited, however if it is a nice day outside there is ample seating and lawn area to relax on while sipping your selections.

Out of the eight wines on the tasting menu, I was very pleased with all of them. My favorites, by far are their selection of whites. They have a Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, and Vidal Blanc. All are all so light, crisp and just perfect for the beautiful summer day that we had at this winery.

If you are a red wine drinker, I think you will also be pleased with their dry rose and the 2008 Norton.

Don’t leave without it!

2008 Vidal Blanc was my favorite of the day! This is an off-dry white wine with hints of tropical fruit on the finish. It is recommended to be paired with spicy foods such as Thai and curry dishes. I enjoyed a glass while at the winery and I thought it was just perfect for afternoon sipping on the deck with our without any food.
The Dish:

Location: 13219 Yates Ford Road – Clifton, VA

How much: Tasting Fee: $7.00
Keep the glass: Yes

Jul 2010 17

keswickThe drive to most vineyards in the state can be one of twists, turns, gravel, and lots of dirt. But, once you arrive at your destination there is usually something magical in store (for me, anyway!).  Keswick was no exception to that rule.  On our route there I almost thought my little coupe wouldn’t make it through the narrow country roads, but it did and once we took the turn onto Keswick Winery Drive it was all worth it, because I knew that something wonderful would await us.

I couldn’t believe the magnificent view as we approached their long driveway and it was the most beautiful and abundant vineyard that I have seen throughout my adventure thus far. The vines went on and on and on throughout the rolling hills, lined by a pond and greenery with impeccable landscaping.

Once we parked I could have just pulled out my beach chair and sat down right there on the hill gazing at the skyline for days! But, I had some wine tasting to do.  It was a beautiful May day and the tasting room was quite crowded so they offered to give us our tasting outside.  They also have baskets of pillows and blankets so people can get as comfortable as they wish while tasting the wines.  I really loved this idea.  And, the customer service was just great. The knowledgeable wine specialist gave us our own personal service as we were able to enjoy the outdoor views. It was a lovely experience.

We tasted five different wines all of which were delicious. The 2009 Verdejo was first on the list, and definitely my favorite. Perfect for a warm summer day, with or without food, this Spanish varietal wine is fresh and delicious with hints of green apple – my favorite fruit. I also enjoyed their 2008 Consensus, a wine created by their wine club members. It is a deep red with dark fruit flavors and an award winner. I could definitely see myself sipping on this wine with a nice steak dinner.

Don’t leave without it!

The 2008 Trevillian was definitely my favorite pick at Keswick. It is a delicious ‘summer red’ with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Verdot. It is a light red, so even those who are not red wine drinkers would really appreciate this.
The Dish
Location: 1575 Keswick Winery Drive, Keswick, Virginia
Tasting Fee: $5.00

Keep the glass: Yes, but only with $8 “select” tasting

Keswick Vineyards


Jul 2010 21

This past weekend was so busy that I didn’t have much time for my wine adventure, but with a few hours to spare on Sunday afternoon, I decided to take a quick 20 minute ride to Loudoun County to visit a winery that I have always seen the signs for, but never visited.

What I discovered at Village Winery and Vineyard was just the most charming and rustic winery I have seen to date. It is actually a pretty large winery in the small, historic town of Waterford, Virginia. I was surprised to see and learn that they have ten acres of vineyards right outside of the Waterford village (a National Historic Landmark). The tasting room was in a small country barn with plenty of seating, and outside there was room for picnics and lounging.

The customer service was excellent and the owner was so very pleasant. Upon walking in they offer you a small plate of locally produced cheese to snack on before starting the tasting. He talked us through every wine and gave us a good lesson on Elderberries! If you are a sweet wine drinker, you will really enjoy the Apple and Elderberry Wines.

The visit to Village Winery and historic Waterford was a pure treat. Experiencing the history and rural atmosphere (only 20 minutes from the city), and their hospitality was a nice trip back to a simpler time.

Don’t leave without it!

I can’t believe I am even saying this – but what I suggest you don’t leave without is actually their non-alcoholic drink. Their Sparkling Elderberry is a refreshing and fun drink for all ages, and just perfect for any type of event where a celebration drink is needed.

The Dish
Location: 40405 Browns Lane, Waterford, Virginia
Tasting Fee: $5.00 is “suggested” (you have to love that!)

Keep the glass: No (Not necessary since the tasting is whatever cost you want it to be!).

Village Winery & Vineyard