I swear the days go faster and faster with every month. Friday is October and I’m still wondering where September went as well as the gorgeous fall weather that’s disappeared. Virginia Wine Month officially begins and I’ve been asked what I plan to do to celebrate it. To begin, I’m going to return to a winery I first enjoyed this past June at Vintage Virginia and then again on a couple of lazy, summer Friday’s. Stone Mountain not only has a gorgeous view of the mountains and vineyards but this winery produces one of my absolute favorite Malbecs.
When I first tweeted that I was planning to visit, a number of wine bloggers warned me about the one lane, gravel road that takes you up the mountain to the entrance. I grew up driving roads like that and after my fair share of trips up I-70 in white-out conditions to get to Vail, little scares me. However, this road is one to take seriously but the end of it is well worth it.
It’s a gorgeous tasting room and I was greeted immediately upon entering it. On this particular Friday, no one was there and I admit it was nice having the place to myself. I immediately went outside to the deck to enjoy the view before starting my tasting and picked out the table I’d be sitting at with a glass of something later.
I tasted all 10 wines but will only run through my favorites. To begin, I tasted the 08 Pinot Grigio aged in stainless steel. This was crisp with tropical fruit on the palate and a refreshing finish. I wrote a perfect summer wine next to it although I could honestly enjoy this coming off a day of serious skiing. The 08 Chardonnay Reserve was another white favorite as I’m a girl who loves a creamy, buttery wine. This wasn’t too rich but had a great balance of vanilla and apple on the palate. The 08 Chardonnay aged in stainless steel was also tasty and for those who don’t want the vanilla and creaminess, that’s definitely worth trying. I was intrigued with the Maquillage, a blush wine that I really enjoyed. It’s off-dry but well-balanced and overall a refreshing wine that I’d serve as an aperitif or a late night sipper.
Onto the reds and no matter how hot it is, I’m a girl who loves her big reds. At Vintage Virginia I brought home the 07 Reserve Cabernet as it’s full, smooth, with blackberries and intensity I look for in a Cab. The 08 Malbec was the star for me and it’s my standard glass of wine every time I go to the winery. This is full with black cherry, great intensity and a delicious finish. I love it alone but it was wonderful with steak too. I was fortunate to taste the 05 Nebbiolo before it sold out and I’m looking forward to the next release. This was a delicious wine with a nice balance of spice and dark fruit. I enjoyed the end of the day with a glass of Malbec and had a lovely conversation with some people who came in late that afternoon.
I have every intention of getting back to this winery in October to enjoy the view from 1700 feet and the fall weather. It is a bit of a trek from Northern Virginia but a pretty one. If you haven’t been here yet, I highly recommend visiting. It’s a different world and a great way to enjoy Virginia Wine Month. Cheers!