On Saturday, The Ashby Inn gave us complimentary tasting cards for three different wineries in Fauquier County. The afternoon was filled with 70-degree sunshine, and we had just completed a 4-mile run. It was the perfect opportunity for some great wine-tasting!
Our first stop was Barrel Oak Vineyard. From our coupon, I read out loud in the car that this winery was family and dog friendly… but nothing prepared us for the sight we were about to see. The lawn was filled with picnic tables, families, and dogs everywhere! I have never been to such a laid-back and lively winery. The kids were having fun running around, the dogs were making friends, and of course the parents were loving it as well.
We did the “Bow” tasting—the more extensive version is the “Wow” tasting—and I ordered a glass of Bowhaus Red. We took advantage of their Brick Oven Pizza tent, and split a little mushroom and pepperoni pizza for lunch.
Chris & I were very excited for our next stop: Three Fox Vineyards, known for growing Italian grapes. We could not believe how many wines were included in their tasting. It must have been at least a dozen. The Sparkling Chardonnay was a highlight, as well as the two Sangioveses and the Nebbiolo.
Fun atmosphere highlights included: an inebriated bachelorette party taking jumping pictures on the hill for at least a half an hour. Also, one of the wine-pourers showed up dressed like St. Patrick, so that was somewhat entertaining…
Our final stop at Delaplane Cellars was unfortunately brief, since the winery was about to close. What a gorgeous tasting room. It was enormous, with a long, wrap-around bar, and light streaming in from the expansive windows. We were surprised that the place wasn’t more crowded, and I think we would have lingered there for awhile if it wasn’t about to close.
We discovered our favorite wine of all the tastings, Delaplane’s 2009 Tannat, and ended up buying a bottle to take home. I’d never heard of the grape before, so that was very exciting. The smokiness and dryness of the taste won us over, and so I now have the challenge of finding a hearty dish or a mature cheese to serve it with for an upcoming dinner.
What a lovely wine-tasting day. You can’t get much better than free tastings, a bright and breezy day, and your best friend as your wine buddy!