Bubbling over on the Monticello Wine Trail

Monticello Wine Trail Awards 2017 Cardinal Point Tim GormanTrip Report | Monticello Wine Trail Festival sets a new standard for Virginia

Just back from the Monticello Wine Trail's impressive awards and festivities, where the underrated Cardinal Point Winery took top honors for their beautiful Union blend. Other big winners for reds were Michael Shaps Wineworks’ 2014 Meritage, and Pollak Vineyards’ luscious 2014 Cabernet Franc Reserve. Veritas Vineyards sparkling roseThe top three whites hailed from Charlottesville’s First Colony Winery (2015 Viognier) and Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards (2015 Chardonnay Reserve), and also from Crozet’s Stinson Vineyards (2014 Petit Manseng). 

Trail event organizers outdid themselves, starting with a candlelit “best of” tasting and award ceremony at the Jefferson Theater on Thursday, followed by a series of “meet the winemaker” brunches and tours on Friday. I bought a ticket for the bubbly Veritas Vineyards brunch with winemakers and Nancy Bauerbrunch at Veritas Vineyards, which was fortunately not over-crowded and gave me time to chat with each of the five winemakers; the resulting photo of the blonde having pushed into the winemaker photo op shows how much I enjoyed the company – and the wine.

DelFosse Vineyards cabin viewI skipped the festival itself – being too lazy to vie for my pours these days - and instead enjoyed coffee and a lazy morning on the unusually generous deck of an otherwise cozy log cabin. The romantic lodging, deck and spacious stone patio (with firepit) looks steeply down over DelFosse Vineyards’ pond, ferocious mutts Lacey and Buck, and windowed tasting room, and can be rented on its own or as part of a wedding package.
The prior evening’s view was the reverse – gazing up at the cabin from a private dinner and taste-fest of a few of the winery’s classics: Viognier, Reserve Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and the rich port-style Meditation.

DelFosse Vineyards, VAThe DelFosse dinner will linger long in memory as a taste of the rich and relaxing evenings winery owners everywhere indulge in, or so we city-dwellers like to imagine. 

With thanks to DelFosse's new owners, Mike and Adrienne Albers (and Chef Matt), and spirited dining companions Brian Yost (of The Virginia Grape blog) and Dax Mirial-Yost. 

Mike and Adrienne Albers and Chef Matt, DelFosse Vineyards

Brian and Dax Yost, the Virginia Grape blog


Safe and happy wine travels this spring. Cheers.