Wine Tasting at Pippin Hill Farm, Virginia

What better to do on a sunny afternoon than sit in the sun and drink wine?

A lot of wine.

We picked the option where we could try 4 wines each. There were 2 sparkling wines, a few whites, a few reds, and 1 dessert wine to choose from.
Frankie and I both started with sparkling wine. She chose the Blanc De Blanc, made from 100% Chardonnay grapes produced using the Charmat process.

I chose the Summer Farm Sparkling Rosé. They were both light and refreshing – something I would enjoy if I was given it to drink but I wouldn’t specifically go out to order them or buy a bottle.

We both got a white wine for our second choice. Frankie went for the 2011 Chardonnay Reserve. The grapes for this wine were harvested at the perfect time and were aged in oak barrels – 50% new French oak for 12 months. It had hints of banana, tropical fruit and vanilla that embodied the wine.

I went to for 2012 Winemaker’s Select White Blend. It was a beautiful blend of four varieties (Traminette, Petit Manseng, Vidal Blanc and Viognier) and it had aromas of rose petals, tangerine and orange blossoms that provided the perfect harmony of tropical fruits and Hawaiian florals. It was 60% fermented in stainless steal and then aged in stainless steal for 4 1/2 months, 40% fermented and aged in neutral oak barrels for 4 1/2 months. It was so sweet and delicious – by far my favourite.

For my third choice I went for a red. I like full-bodied reds so I was recommended the 2010 Merlot Reserve. It was a brawny, full-bodied wine with a distinctive range of notes and ageing in French new oak barrels for 13 months. It will apparently age very well, but it drinking very well now. I enjoyed it but not enough to buy a bottle.

Frankie had wine envy for the white I previously ordered, so ordered her own glass of the 2012 Winemaker’s Select White Blend.

We were both set on ordering the one dessert wine as our last choice, but the sommelier was so lovely and told us he was going to give us the dessert wine anyway so we should choose another. As I wasn’t majorly impressed by the red, I ordered another white. I asked which he would recommend and he chose the 2011 Summer Farm Rosé, which we both had. It was very dry with the classic structure of the lighter red varietals. It was predominantly Cabernet Franc, they added a little Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, and Viognier to add complexity and freshness. It was so sweet and light, definitely one of my favourite wines that afternoon.

My two options for the afternoon before we left was either to put on foundation or take a Zantac pill to abolish the Asian flush. I did neither. I started getting a little rosy.

Wine tasting made us a little hungry…
They had a really good sharing menu. We ordered roasted garlic hummus with smoked sea salt, rosemary focaccia. A cheeseboard with three local and international cheeses, spiced nuts, fig mustards, seasonal jam and braised mustard seed honey.  Chicken liver paté with Cabernet Sauvignon jelly, house cured pickles and toast.

We were told what everything was and explained everything about them, but I was too busy drooling to really listen that well.

Everything was freshly made by them. So so delicious. The hummus was amazing. Then I tasted the chicken liver which was incredible. The cheese was also great. The blue was even good – I usually can’t stand blue cheese but I didn’t mind it. The candied pecans on the board were my favourite though. I’m also not usually a fan of pickles, but they were so fresh they were so yummy, and the onions with them complemented them beautifully.

We had the dessert wine to drink as we ate. It was the Petit Manseng Vin Doux Naturale. It was a French varietal grape that they harvested late in the cycle to allow the residual sugars to reach higher levels. It was fermented in stainless and new oak barrels and had complex and soft balanced taste. Being a big dessert wine fan, I was so eager to try it the whole afternoon. It was worth the wait – so so yummy.

It was such a sunny day that we decided to take our little party outside.

The guy was so lovely and took a liking to Frankie and I that he gave us complementary wine glasses. What a sweetie.

We enjoyed the rest of our food and wine in the sun.

We bought our three favourites home with us – the White Blend, the Summer Rose Blend and the Dessert wine.

They are really popular for weddings, there was one about to take place as we were leaving.

Yes, I’m a stalker but… so pretty!

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