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Through the grapevine:

I was a little anxious to visit Burnley Vineyards in person after many previous trips to their tasting booth during various festivals across the state. I always liked the wine they featured at the festivals, but now it was time to taste their entire line and enjoy the scenery they have to offer. The one thing I remember most about visiting Burnley at the festivals has always been the impeccable customer service from their wine associates. And, was I pleased to find that this was no different at the winery itself. From the moment we walked in, we were greeted with big smiles and friendly attitudes.

Burnley is a very cute and quaint vineyard, and the tasting room was small but nicely intimate. I felt as if I was standing around in a family or friend’s kitchen just shooting the breeze while sipping on wine. It wasn’t crowded on the Saturday that we visited, so we had the pleasure of one-on-one customer service with the associate. It was quite a bummer when the tasting portion was over, because that was the end of our great conversation and laughter. Although there is not much seating room directly inside the tasting area, they have picnic tables outdoors where you could sip wine, have a meal and gaze at the pretty vines that surround you.

For just $2.00 you taste 15 wines, evenly split between reds and whites – a great deal in my eyes. Red wines are usually my favorite, but at Burnley my palate was thirsting for the whites. From dry, to semi-dry, to sweet – all the whites were very delicious and perfect to sip on a warm summer day, or at a cookout with friends. I hit pay dirt and finally found a Virginia Riesling that I love! Theirs is medium dry with a naturally sweet finish – just perfect. The Rivanna White is also a must try. They also showed us how to mix a little sparkling wine with their Peach Fuzz for a refreshing and delicious alternative to the typical brunch mimosa.

A must buy: Without a doubt, Burnley’s Spicy Rivanna is my must buy – or as I like to call it “Christmas in a bottle”. This is a delicious specialty wine that boasts flavors of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and more. Perfect for mulling on a cold winter night, or served very chilled for an after dinner drink by the warm fireplace. I’m a big camper so this wine will definitely be coming with me to the mountains to sip on by a campfire. The Dish

Location: 4500 Winery Lane, Barboursville, Virginia Tasting Fee: $2.00 Keep the glass: Yes, but only with $3.50 tasting

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