As a newly minted oenophile traveling around my home state in the mid-nineties, I discovered two things:
- Virginia had wineries, many tucked into scenic ruins like the Jeffersonian house at Barboursville.
- Many of them made wine that only a mother could love.
I was always a fan of Barboursville, but felt the winery did best with its blends and with the lesser-known sweet grapes (Malvasia, for instance), and had a ways to go on its core reds (though its Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc held promise). Other wineries were equally variable: Lisa and I enjoyed our first date at Naked Mountain, but found its chardonnay undrinkable a year or two later as our palates matured. And often the best thing that could be said about tasting wines from other vineyards in the annual Virginia Wine Festival was that it got you out of doors.
An article in Friday’s New York Times suggests that the wines are significantly improving. Might be worth visiting again soon, particularly now that the shipping laws are (might be?) changing.