Happy Memorial Day From (Another) Williamsburg
Happy Memorial day all!
This year I had the pleasure of spending the inaugural summer weekend south of the Mason-Dickson line in another Williamsburg–Williamsburg, Virginia. Home to The House of Burgesses (Ahem, my house), oodles of colonial history, and some great local wine.
I thought it was rather fitting that I was spending the national day of remembrance just 10 miles from our country’s first permanent settlement, and the location that inspired Disney’s Pocahontas.Naturally, I had to get away from the pool long enough to discover whether the wine in this historical hotspot could hold up against the Disney Princess’ fame.
The Viriginia wine scene has been on the up for some time now, and the state boasts an impressive 200 wineries and over 2,400 acres under vine. I wish I could have tasted more, though now I have a convenient excuse to escape NYC for Southern comfort again soon. For this family- and sun-infused weekend, I stuck with the offerings of Williamsburg Winery and a tour of their Euro-chic-meets-modern-America facilities.
If all you did was taste the juice in Williamsburg, you’d never know that the region was an epic fail when it came to winemaking for the first 300 years of its existence. In fact, Jamestown originally had a law requiring every farmer to plant at least 10 vines, with the intent to eventually develop vineyards. Unfortunately for the colonial government, the vines were racked by disease and poor cultivation methods which prevented the industry from expanding until much later.
The Williamsburg Winery fell under the jurisdiction of this official act in 1619, and though it may have taken centuries, the fruits of their labor are in full bloom today. Below, my favorites from their ever-expanding offerings.
2010 Governor’s White ($8): This creative blend of riesling, chenin blanc, and traminette is everything you’d want in a white wine–floral, fruity aromas are followed up with hints of spice and summer fruit. This is a refreshing, by-the-pool/patio wine that’s excellent on its own, or could go very well with grilled chicken or light brunch dishes.
2006 Merlot Reserve ($20) : From the start, this wine was an absolute pleasure–luxurious, smooth, velvet aromas led to rich berry and fruit flavors. Think: cherries and blackberries that have been melding together for ages.
2009 Henings Statute Barrel Aged Claret($18): A rich, deep red, this loosely structured blend of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvingnon, malbec, and petit verdot was pleasant, and I think it would pair perfectly with sunsets on the veranda of a 17th century plantation house. It would also go well with grilled meat, or smoky BBQ dishes.
Vin Licoreux Framboise ($18): Want to take your dessert to the next level? Drizzle on some of this pumped up merlot! Similar to cassis, it’s Williamsburg Winery merlot that’s been amped up with rasberry juice and a flavor-less brandy–making it perfect for sipping alongside rich dark chocolate or poured over ice cream. It’s tart, it’s fruity, it’s thoroughly merlot gone crazy.
Williamsburg Wine Uncorked:
Laura Loves: That this hour-long tour and tasting, filled with great stories and views, was only $10!
A Williamsburg that’s not full of hipsters and flannel when its 85 degrees outside.
Coming back to BK with a big bag of local juice–Taking Governor’s White & Jamestown Blend back home.
Fun Facts: Virginia currently has 192 wineries–putting it in the top 5 wine-producing states.
Thomas Jefferson toiled for over 30 years at his Monticello vineyard and never produced a single bottle.
Williamsburg Must-See List: Colonial Williamsburg is great for ridiculous bonnet shopping & indulging history buffs.
The largest water park in the mid-Atlantic, Water Country USA is great for slipping and sliding all day.
There’s even more to do here.