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The Virginia winery tour continues, with winery #156
A warm, Western welcome
owners Bob and Linda Claymier are on their third career (at least), and when you talk with them, it's clear they've loved each one. Decades of traveling the world in service of the federal government preceded their second job - running a horse breeding, boarding, and training business. (If you miss the winery turn-off and end up at Bob and Linda's house - as most people do - you'll see their stunning Arabians.)
The third career, launching Desert Rose Winery, allows them to weave together many of the threads they've gathered over the years. A warm, Western theme dominates the woody tasting room, where Bob presides in a cowboy hat and boots - a nod to his Oregon ranch roots.
While they get off the ground, Desert Rose is getting some winemaking guidance from Rappahannock Cellars, just down the road. Current offerings include an off-dry (slightly sweet) white blend, and oakey Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, a 100% Chambourcin, and European-styled Rose, along with a sweet dessert wine, called Starboard (because legally it can't be called port! Funny!), made from Norton.
Kids are welcome (there's even a “Kiddie Korner” in the tasting room), as are pets. Limousines accepted with advance notice; no buses or RVs.
Desert Rose got lots of blogger attention when they opened, and you can see some of the impressions the new winery made on John Hagarty ( Hagarty on Wine
), Kurt Jenson ( Wine about Virginia
), Allan Liska ( Cellar Blog
), Paul and Warren at Virginia Wine Time
, and those rascals at Swirl Sip Snark
Nearby wineries: Linden
, Rappahannock Cellars
, Chester Gap
See more Virginia wineries, plus dining and lodging recommendations, in the Virginia Wine in My Pocket app for iPhone and iPad, just $3.99 in the iTunes store.