My niece came to visit on Saturday. We went to a party at some friends on Saturday evening and then headed to my cousin’s on Sunday. Aaaahhhh, such relaxation…
Chancellorsville battlefield, Monday morning.
My cousin and her husband live in Fredericksburg, Virginia near the Chancellorsville battlefield. Bob and I took a long walk on the field on Monday morning. It was brisk and got our heart rates up and turned out to be a little over three and a quarter miles.
Notice the hay dotting the field to the left of the tree…
There are signs on the field explaining what happened on what day and whose farmhouse was destroyed by a cannonball. History is all over the place here. Now the battlefield grows hay for local livestock and gives a habitat to rabbits and foxes and coyotes, not to mention all manner of birds from hawks to swallows. Still, the peace of it holds reminders, such as of the McGee family, who were divided between loyalties to north and south.
The graveyard of the McGee family. The last member died in 1925.
Since my niece is interested in wine professionally and since the rest of us are just plain interested, we did some touring around. Virginia has many wineries, some of them well-established, with international awards to their name.
This map, posted at Early Mountain Vineyards, doesn’t even include all the wineries, but gives you an idea of the concentration around Charlottesville and in Orange County.
We began with Horton, which I had never visited, but whose wine I had enjoyed. They brought the viogner grape to Virginia a number of years ago and now it’s the state grape. Their vintner also brought Norton back to Virginia. The Norton grape cannot be used for anything but wine making, and as a result, it was largely destroyed during Prohibition Apparently Mr. Horton found it in Missouri and brought back some vines for planting.
My niece among the vines at Horton.
From Horton, we went to Barboursville, which was much more pleasant on a weekday than the weekend, when it’s crowded beyond my enjoyment levels. We got some very good information from the pourers, who had time to talk to us.
Bill, who poured for us, knew a lot about the grapes, how they were processed, how long they were aged and in what kind of kegs, residual sugar, and acidity.
Then we went on to Early Mountain, which has a nice eatery attached, and had lunch. We recuperated there from all the tasting.
Really, touring around locally can be the best!
Finally we circled back to Old House, which is one of my favorites as well. There is a nice chess set outside, a lovely pond, and lots of grapevines to walk through.
We didn’t stop for a chess game, but isn’t it nice to see it?
We made it back to Allison and Bob’s in time to go swimming and then eat a very nice spaghetti dinner whipped up by Bob (we ladies collaborated on the salad, which included some veggies from my garden). I came back with a lot of wine, but it was nice to be able to taste it all, not to mention have help from my niece in unloading it. She took off back to New York Tuesday night, having thoroughly enjoyed her escape from the city.
Here we are, walking among the vines at Old House. Bob caught this, of course!