It’s the goal of the Virginia governor and the state’s winemakers to become the most notable wine state in the East. As part of the 2011 Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia Wine pulled out all the stops with a wine tasting reception at Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello.
More than 30 wineries poured their best while the crowd numbering more than 300 sampled and dined on local delicacies like shrimp and grits and pork belly sliders.
For me, the top varietal continues to be the Viognier.Tarara and Pippin Hill had great Viogniers. Another standout white was Barboursville Vineyards 2010 Vermentino Reserve. This is a grape I haven’s sampled before and it was fragrant and ripe with a touch of minerality – just what was needed on a sweltering hot night.
The heat index was well over 100 and the reception was outside with the wine being poured under a large tent. The heat caused me to focus on the whites – it was just too darn hot for the reds, which was unfortunate.
We were able to tour Monticello and ol’ TJ had a pretty fancy home. Perhaps the nicest feature was the air conditioning. One fellow blogger was commenting how miserably hot it was, how she didn’t want to move and so on. I couldn’t resist. I told her to go inside that they were having a special demonstration of Monticello’s furnace room – perhaps she’d enjoy that!