Sometimes the start of a great adventure begins with something as simple as a text message. Over the long holiday weekend, that I had purposefully left very unstructured and unscheduled as possible, a friend texted me and asked, “What are you doing on Sunday?” my reply “ Sunday is wide open.” Soon thereafter a reply text suggested, “Do you want to catch up and explore a few wineries?” It had been a while since I had been out to the wineries and the change of scenery would be nice. I agreed and later mentioned my Sunday plans to another friend. That friend pointedly replied, “That is perfect, you can do some research for your blog!” I chuckled, most friends had stopped asking me about the blog.
Sunday was one of those typical middle of summer Mid-Atlantic days: Hot and Humid. If we were lucky, as some of the wineries are perched on a hill, hopefully there would be a hint of a breeze. As we made our way along historic route 50 to our first winery of the day, the cramp suburban sprawl of the DC metro gave way to a more rural spread, multi-lane highways became two lane roads. But with the rural spread comes interesting roads both paved and unpaved. The first winery was a mile (it seemed longer) down an unpaved road dotted with ruts, pot holes, darting animals and other obstacles that made for a head rattling ride. Finally, we spied off in the distance the neatly and uniformly spaced rows of grape vines. We had made it to the first winery.
I was surprised to find at the first winery an Albariño on the tasting list. Albariño, a wine that had become my wine du jour this summer, replacing the Torrontés I favored last summer. I still like Torrontés, but there is something about an Albariño that whispers summer to me. The Albariño lived up to expectations as did a couple of the other wines the winery featured on their tasting flight. We left the first winery discussing the wines we liked and did not like as we bounced and bobbled back along the unpaved road. When we finally made it back to the paved road the next winery was just slighty down the road.
At the second winery, we were intrigued with the wine list. There was a varietal that I never heard of before (not surprising wine is a deep and broad subject). Rkatsiteli is a Georgian (as in the country) varietal with a long and interesting history. I will use one of its nick- names “Rkats” as it is easier to type and spell check won’t go bonkers. The Rkats was the second tasting on the list and I was so intrigued, I almost forgot about the viogner ahead of it in the tasting order. When the Rkats was poured, I sipped it and looking out over the rolling hills of the Virginia countryside, it slowly dawned on me I had found my inspiration for a series of articles for the blog. “Unique Wines” would be a nice mult-part series that would allow me to ease back into this writing adventure. Now to find a third wine. At the final winery for the day I settled on an Traminette. Not as unique, especially for Virginia, as the other two selections, but unique enough.
As we sat on the deck of the last winery enjoying a glass of Traminette, I was distracted with all the directions I could go with the wines selected, a summer storm rolled in over the hills and was the perfect punctuation to the day (not to mention a quick cardio workout as we dashed for the cover of the tasting room).