Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Country Glam in Virginia Wine Country

As part of the Wine Bloggers Conference (being held in Charlottesville, VA), on a beautiful, but extremely warm Saturday this past July I was fortunate enough to visit Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards.

Upon arriving at the picturesque and eco-friendly property Dean Andrews (Principal of Pippin Hill) and Lynn Easton Andrews (Principal & President of Easton Events) greeted us graciously on their Veranda with glasses of thyme and citrus water drawn from their well on property. They were warm and welcoming and excited to share their passion for "great wine, fabulous cuisine and beautiful design" all of which we experienced. We were invited into their Tasting Room which was spacious and inviting with just the right mix of country charm and glamour. Placed before us were four of their wines (of which Michael Shaps is a consultant) and four bites to pair with them from their on premise organic vegetable and herb gardens.

The first if these offerings was their 2010 Chardonnay with a Seared Diver Scallop in Grapefruit Butter. The wine was nicely balanced, elegant and the grapefruit in the sauce really highlighted the citrus notes in the wine.

Second was their 2010 Viognier (and what I found really shines in Virginia). The wine was dry with lovely floral and apricot notes. It absolutely sang when paired with a Smoked Chicken and Apricot Salad Wrapped in a Brined Grape Leaf (straight off of their vines!).

Third we moved on to my favorite, the 2010 Summer Farm Rose made 100% from Cabernet Franc. The Rose was a beautifully dry wine with enticing notes of roasted coffee, dried herbs and ripe raspberries. This was paired with a Mini Croque Monsieur that they put their own spin on with a light spread of house made grape jelly. If only the Croque Monsieur wasn't a mini!!

Finally we finished our tasting with their dry Red Blend comprised of Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin (a French/American hybrid grape that grows quite well in Virginia). The raspberry, roasted coffee and chocolate notes in the wine paired deliciously with their Mini Chocolate Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Chambourcin Drizzle.

As our time approached it's conclusion I was truly reluctant to leave and anxiously anticipate my next visit to Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards and the Monticello Wine Trail.

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