Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First wine weekend...

So this past weekend I covered a few of the closest area wineries: Barboursville, Horton, and Keswick.

These pictures were taken at the beautiful, picturesque Keswick Vineyards, a smaller boutique winery whose tasting room has only been open since 2006.

There is a serene lake on the grounds and as you can see the vines are heavy with vibrantly colored grapes.

Keswick grows all their own grapes, which is something that not all VA wineries can boast.

I was highly impressed with Keswick and it now ranks as one of my top choices in VA, along with Barboursville... which never disappoints.

This is the third time in my life that I've been to Horton, and I'm sad to say I'm still not impressed. Yes, they have over 40 wines to try (though they will not let you try them all) but it almost seems as though they try to feature a wine of every variety and in turn fail to produce any one wine of spectacular quality. I tried all of the red wines, and while there were some that were enjoyable... nothing really captivated me. And the staff seemed a bit bored and ready to go home...

On the other end of spectrum, Barboursville is always a fun experience. Many wines to taste for a mere $4 (and you get to keep the glass). It is worth noting that the price must have recently gone up, since all the publications from the VA wine bureau state that tasting is only $3. Still -- it's no biggie, it's worth every penny.

The staff are knowledgeable and very fun -- even when they are busy (which is almost always) they take time with every person.

So from this trip, I'd highly recommend Keswick and Barboursville. My favorite wines were the Barboursville 2005 Octagon (a Bordeaux-style blend) and the Keswick 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are the flagship wines of the respective vineyards, and for good reason..... absolutely heavenly!

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