BACK WHERE I BEGAN – ROUTE 33
It has been quite a long time since I have actually written a blog about my winery adventures, but don’t be mistaken, I have been traveling, tasting, and taking lots of notes while on the Virginia wine trails. As an avid writer, who takes my craft very seriously, I did not just want to write a post for the sake of writing a post. Sure, I could have churned out a few here and there over the last year, but my mind was not in the right place for that.
After taking an unintentional hiatus due to some personal issues, I decided that I should re-ignite my wine blogging by taking it back to where it all began. In June 2010 I started on this journey by visiting a few select wineries in the outskirts of Charlottesville. Those wineries included Barboursville, Keswick, and Horton. All very fabulous wineries in my opinion, so why not go back for a new adventure and share that experience in this new blog?
So this past weekend we got back on good ol’ Route 33 and headed to Barboursville and Horton (which I did not previously blog about).
First Stop, Horton.
I’ve always enjoyed Horton’s wine selections. The fruity wines are good for making sangria’s (and for those friends who visit and say they “don’t drink wine”), the whites are great for sipping on the patio on a lovely warm afternoon, and the reds are always the perfect complement to a nice hearty dinner. But, this weekend I was a bit overwhelmed (in a good way). The tasting experience was a much different experience than before. Prior, they would send you upstairs for whites or have you stay downstairs for the reds. This time, we were simply given a list of 20 plus wines with the option to try up to 12 for free. Yes, I said FREE! (that is a new one these days).
With so many wine options on the list in front of me, I decided to narrow things down and stick with what I love – the reds. And, I was pleased to fall in love with a new Horton red – The 1999 DIO Touriga Nacional. I often look for a red wine that is appropriate for sipping outside on a warm afternoon, but without the semi-sweet or tart finishes. DIO gave me what I have been searching for – a light yet smokey red with notes of cherry and plum. There is a very good balance with this wine and serves as a good red “starter wine” for those who are not red wine drinkers.
All in all, there is wonderful wine to be had at Horton but if you are new to wine I would say to start with a smaller, more intimate winery because the huge selection and “pick your own” structure can be somewhat overwhelming.
Second stop, Barboursville.
One thing has not changed since my last visit to Barboursville two years ago. It is still one of my favorite wineries and they make some of my very favorite wine. The assembly line like tasting experience is one to be matched. It is certainly not an intimate wine-tasting experience, but it is quite fun nonetheless.
Starting the wine tasting “assembly line” with a taste of the soft Barboursville Brut was just the reminder I needed of why I loved my first experience with this winery. I am a big fan of sparkling wine but unfortunately, much of it does not like me (lol) but this dry brut is just perfect because it is very delicate and perfectly thirst quenching.
What I loved the most, and left with, was a bottle of their Barbera Reserve 2012. This is a medium bodied red with hints of chocolate and berries with the smoothest of finishes. It was the perfect complement to the S’mores we proceeded to make over the fire-pit that same evening. I can’t believe I only purchased one bottle. Note to self, order a case very soon!
I was really glad to get back to these wineries, the ones where I began this journey two years ago. And, I look forward to continuing my writing as I make my way to many other wineries throughout Virginia this summer.
Cheers to all!