It’s been far too long since I’ve written and I apologize for that. I’ve missed writing but following a car accident, being laid off and recently moving, life has kept me busy. I haven’t stopped my wine adventures and will miss having easy access to Virginia wineries. However, upon reading my friend @drinkwhatulike Top 20 VA wine post and seeing that a couple other bloggers posted their top 20, I felt this was a great time for me to get back to my blog.
I love top 20 kinds of lists and it’s no secret I have my favorite Virginia wineries. But it’s hard to put them in a certain order because I love different things about each. With that said, I’m posting my top 20 based on not only the wines I love but also the experiences each offered. I’ll post my top six and the rest are in no specific order. I have so many wineries still to visit but for now, I’m thankful for the wonderful times I had at the following vineyards.
Suzie’s Top Six:
1. Chateau O’Brien – This shouldn’t be a surprise. I love everything about this winery and have had so many awesome times here from wine tastings to Howard’s birthday party. You can’t beat the reds winemaker Jason Murray is making and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the Petit Verdot and Malbec I tasted this past winter.
2. Gray Ghost Vineyards – A consistent stop after hiking Old Rag up in Shenandoah National Park. I love the reds but you can’t beat the Adieu for a well-balanced desert wine. I enjoy the Civil War history, upstairs couches and there’s a wine here for all palates.
3. Stone Mountain Vineyards – 1700ft above sea level with gorgeous mountain views and vineyards. I have so many happy memories at this winery. I first tasted the wines at Vintage Virginia and was impressed with everything. I prefer reds but loved the Rose. The Cabernet Sauvignon hands down is my favorite followed by the Malbec.
4. Tarara Winery – I’ll never forget meeting winemaker Jordan Harris in person at a wine festival. I first connected with him on mustlovewine.com and he’s doing amazing things at Tarara. Jordan always educates me on wine and I can’t learn enough. Tarara is producing some of the best reds and whites in the state. I can’t wait for the next release of his Syrah.
5. Breaux Vineyards – This is the first winery I visited in Virginia. When Jen Breaux Blosser invited me to my first ever vertical tasting at the winery, I discovered just how good the wines are here. You can’t beat the Key West Festival & this is truly a special place.
6. Pearmund Cellars – What can I say, Chris Pearmund is a blast! I’ve been fortunate to barrel sample so many wines and I’ve had so many great times here. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Ameritage are standards for me when visiting.
Philip Carter Winery – Wine maker Rob Cox is raising the bar here and I love the Cleve and Cabernet Franc. Of course I’m highlighting reds but this winery offers many delicious whites. I had so much fun at the tweet-up held last summer.
Three Fox Vineyards – Baxter’s favorite winery! Need I say more? This is dog friendly, has one of the best outdoor tasting bars, a gorgeous setting and a Sangiovese I can’t get enough of =)
Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn – The first winery that offered bites of food to taste with the wine. My brother and I loved it all along with the views. His favorite was the Sauvignon Blanc and I loved the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Unicorn Vineyards – Another I was inspired to visit following tasting the wines at Vintage Virginia. I love the Cab Franc and you can’t beat the wine slushies on a hot summer day.
Mountfair Vineyards – How can I not love a vineyard with a wine that has a sexy, fun name like Wooloomooloo =) I can’t wait for the next vintage of its release but I loved every red this winery offers.
Dry Mill Vineyards – I’m sad I didn’t get back to this winery more than the one visit. I loved the wines, especially the Cabernet Franc and believe it or not, the Rose was delightful too.
Paradise Springs Winery – A winery easy for DC peeps to get to that offers some tasty wines. I love the 08 Norton and the cheddar cheese ball sold here is to die for =)
Rappahannock Cellars – Loved the Cabernet Sauvignon at this winery as well as the views outside on the deck.
Linden Vineyards – This winery has a deck and views I love but I’m not a fan of the weekend rules. The wines are delicious and I’m a huge fan of the Hardscrabble Red.
I thank all of these wineries for wonderful memories and I will be back to visit! However, I’m very excited for the next adventures that await and will be exploring NY and surrounding areas. Already I’m seeing new wines in stores I haven’t had and couldn’t get in Virginia. I’m also almost fully healed from a severe hamstring strain and back on track to train for my half marathons and marathons. Stay tuned as the Running Wine Girl is coming back and I’m excited to get back to writing.