Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Virginia wines get Arizona

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On a hazy morning glimmering with the early warmth of spring, the fog rises from a valley pond, and a flock of geese cries out a morning wakeup call. It is the day's first greeting at Barboursville, the site of a historic landmark in central Virginia, the ruins of one of only five homes designed by Thomas Jefferson.

Full story.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Chrysalis Vineyards, Middleburg, Virginia

Posted by Hello

Spent a delightful Father’s Day afternoon at Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, Virginia, enjoying a nice lunch with the family and soaking in the surroundings. Although less than ten years old, Chrysalis is recognized for producing high quality Viognier and Norton wines. Norton is a native American grape that yields an extremely robust red wine, very low in tannins but big on taste. Several wineries in Virginia grow Norton grapes, with Chrysalis having the largest planting.

Another nice feature about Chrysalis is their pavilion and barbecue pit. You can actually bring your own food to barbecue while you’re enjoying a glass of wine on Sarah’s Patio, adjacent to the tasting room. Lots of trees make this a great place to bring the kids, which were in great abundance along with their dads (and moms!) My wife and I did a tasting of their estate (not reserve) wines and a couple stood out, one for the right reasons, the other for the wrong.

Viognier (2003) – The Viognier is a Northern Rhone varietal that is gaining in popularity as sort of an un-Chardonnay, more on the citrus side than buttery, still very full-bodied and dry. Fermented sur lie and aged in French oak, this wine is bright, balanced and would go well with slightly spicy food or chicken cordon bleu. Award-winning in previous vintages, the 2003 should continue the tradition of being one of Virginia’s best white wines. And it’s priced accordingly. Grade: A-

Sarah’s Patio Red (2003) – The grape that has been used for good in their Norton Locksley Reserve and Barrel Select, which are deep, bold and intense, alas has been used for ill in this offering. Chrysalis has taken their Norton grapes, pressed them whole cluster to give the wine a fruity, flowery character and pumped a little CO2 into the tank to give this concoction a little bit of a fizz. Not only that, but they recommend that this wine be served slightly chilled, certainly a sign of trouble for any self-respecting red wine. Bleh. Grade: D+

Monday, June 20, 2005

Oklahoma Adoption Story

[S]he epitomized her given name: Zhuo, in Mandarin, means outstanding or excellent. To these biased Okies who had traveled 7,700 miles for her, she was that.

And suddenly she was ours.

The child named Yu Zhuo, who became Abbey Zhuo Grace Thornton later that afternoon, is among 7,000 Chinese orphans - almost all of them girls - who will be adopted this year by Americans.

Full story.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day

Posted by Hello
So my wife makes me this blueberry/strawberry cobbler for breakfast and guess who ends up wearing most of it? Afterwards, we cleaned up, went to Chrysalis for a nice lunch and some Viognier (very good by the way; more later). I can really get into this Father's Day thing.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Life Magazine: Charlottesville Best New Place to Drink Wine

If you're looking for a good place to drink wine, look no further. Life Magazine has named Charlottesville as The Best New Place to Drink Wine. Twenty-one wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail make this the perfect weekend get away for wine lovers.

Story here.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Breaux Vineyards, Purcellville, VA

OK, I finally got this photo thing to work. Here is a nice picture of the vines at Breaux Vineyards, May 2005.