A Little Respite

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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Here we are, walking among the vines at Old House. Bob caught this, of course!

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65 Responses to A Little Respite

  1. Allison Harbick says:

    Thanks for the great PR! Loved it 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sylvie G says:

    I could enjoy as I was reading (pity the post does not come with wine). Thank you very much for the visit ! You seem very relaxed

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well hurrah! for good local wines, historic battlefields, family friendships and relaxing times! It all looks most lovely and inviting. We have many, many vineyards not so very far away, but none with such lovely architecture and history to them. And a good supply of wine never goes far astray!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Anne Wheaton says:

    I always find it hard to equate beautiful and quiet scenery with the roar and thunder of battle but thankful that places can return to a peaceful existence. It looks an interesting place to visit.

    Liked by 3 people

    • arlingwoman says:

      I guess with any landscape there’s the possibility it was once something quite different than what you see when you’re in it. The whole area was different battlefields–and before that farms. Now farms again in some places…

      Like

  5. So pleased you got some respite from battling with heat and rats

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A fine respite indeed…such green, such spaciousness under a big sky. I am not very familiar with Virginia wines. For some strange reason, white wine and I don’t really agree, so I am always in search of good red wine, not only those that go well with dinner, but especially for a red wine that will serve on those social occasions where white wine is almost always served—receptions, cocktail hours, etc. Do you know of a good walking-around-meeting-and-greeting type of red Virginia wine?

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      I am much more capable with the whites, but Horton has what I call a BBQ red called Route 33; Ingleside in the Northern Neck has one as well called Blue Crab Red–I haven’t had that one for a couple years and it varies by vintage. Both of those are drinkable at a party. Barboursville has a knockout rose 2014 that can be paired with cocktail food or fish as well as a cabernet franc (2013) that would go well with pork or lamb. Old House has a really drinkable, but hefty chambourcin called Wicked Bottom good with meat or cheeses. For me the best walking around meeting people wines would be the first two or the rose. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do enjoy a nice chardonnay or riesling, but always get a mean headache after even one glass…champagne, as well.
        Now that I have your excellent suggestions, I will pursue the real things. The names of wines always amuse me, too. I don’t know which Route 33 is being referred to—whether a highway or a byway—but it probably travels faster than Blue Crab Red…and who could resist a chambourcin called Wicked Bottom?
        Thanks, Lisa. I appreciate your talents as a sommelier….or is that sommelière?

        Like

      • arlingwoman says:

        My brother has problems with whites as well–sinuses close up after the first couple sips! Luckily, that is not the case with me. Route 33 is the state route that Horton is near. I hope you can find them and that you like them as well. You can always look them up online, too and get descriptions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow! You really know your wines.I’m impressed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • arlingwoman says:

        I know what I like and how to describe it. It’s been a long learning process and I’m still learning about how to pair different wines with different food. Fun!!!

        Like

      • Fun is the operative word. And given the depth and breadth of wines, I’m sure you could make it a life time of continuous learning.

        Liked by 1 person

      • arlingwoman says:

        I sure hope to!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. jennypellett says:

    I love that the rest of you were just plain interested, ha! Enjoyed rambling through the vineyards with you, it looks like a really good place to visit. I particularly like the architecture of the Old House.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Mary Tang says:

    Touring locally is great if you have a nice locality. Fortunately it seems you do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    What a fun getaway to the countryside. VA is lovely!

    Liked by 2 people

    • arlingwoman says:

      Thanks, Eliza. It really is nice.

      Like

      • Eliza Waters says:

        I need to go there – I’ve always wanted to go in the spring when everything is blooming and it isn’t quite so warm, but I bet fall is beautiful, too.

        Like

      • arlingwoman says:

        Honestly October is our best month. Humidity goes away, trees are coloring, temps in the mid-70’s…Spring is spectacular, but they’ve been longer and colder lately. I, on the other hand, have been wanting to visit western Mass. What’s a good time to go there? (knowing that I’m a summer person)

        Like

      • Eliza Waters says:

        My favorite month is May, beautiful weather (70s) and flowers! followed by Sept. (70s) and then June, which can have some nice or very warm days, but the flowers are fantastic then. Can you tell I’m a gardener? 😉 Fall foliage peaks during the first week of October with temps in the 50-60s daytime and 40s night.
        If you come up, let me know!

        Liked by 1 person

      • arlingwoman says:

        I will! Thanks for the advice.

        Like

  10. KerryCan says:

    What a nice outing–family and wine! I have been to this part of Virginia but it looks very appealing. I love the old family cemeteries that were just part of the farm, tucked in a shady place. I like the idea that people could be buried and rest where they lived and worked.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. How lovely, family, nature, history and wine…it cannot be better than that!!! xo Johanna

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Lisa, it all looks and sounds wonderful. I love all the green, wide open spaces and seeing the beautiful wines. You could probably spend 100 years exploring your neck of the woods. There is so much history and beauty, and as Pauline says, the architecture. I’m hopeless when it comes to wine tasting. I get tired with just a few tastes and I’m ready for a nap. I’m a good designated driver, though. Most of all, it looks like a good time with family. Spending time with people you care about is both enjoyable and restorative. Enjoy that wine.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Robin says:

    Sounds and looks like a wonderful and fun get-away. I’m going to have to put visiting the wineries in Virginia on my list of things to do while we’re living here. I’m not certain how much longer we’ll stay on the Eastern Shore, but at least another six years. That should give us plenty of time. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Boomdeeadda says:

    Hi Lisa! Looks like your summer excursion was lots of fun. I remember the wine tour we did in Napa. I actually didn’t drink at the last two stops because I felt to tipsy….but it was a beautiful day in the country and I visited with lots of dogs and kitty’s so that was fab. I love all the history around Virginia and we visited Fredericksburg in 2001…ages ago now. But it seems like time stands still in those parts of America. xb

    Liked by 2 people

  15. LB says:

    Lisa, this is such a fun post!
    Having lived many of my years in Virginia, I’ve visited several battlefield, but it’s been years. Your words about the peace holding reminders is so poignantly true.
    And the wine tasting! I love doing those. For the wine, of course, but for the stories behind the place and the people. I’ve not heard of Early Mountain or Old House. Thanks for the intro.

    Liked by 2 people

    • arlingwoman says:

      I learned Early Mountain is owned by Steve Case (of AOL). Interesting. They have a white I really like called Five Forks and a very nice rose in the crisp, dry French style. Old house also has a distillery and some fabulous reds. We should meet up in the middle some weekend and tour around!!!

      Like

  16. What a great time you all had. I’m pleased to hear your niece is interested in the wine industry – I was so pleased the day I met my first female wine sommelier. She was such a rarity.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Karen says:

    What a nice way to spend time with your niece, I’m sure she enjoyed the visit.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Bun Karyudo says:

    It looks like a pleasant and historical part of the world. The best thing of all, though, may be the wine. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Lovely photos!! It would mean the world if you checked out my blog and commented at hintstolifeblog.wordpress.com !! THANKYOUUU

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Thanks for coming on over and checking me out on this blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Lavinia Ross says:

    Viognier is the state grape of Virginia! I didn’t know they were growing it there. Looks like you had a nice trip. It’s been a long time since I have traveled through Virginia.

    Liked by 2 people

    • arlingwoman says:

      I thought it was Norton, but nope, it’s Viognier. Who would have thought? Given you’re on the other coast, I’m not surprised you haven’t been here for a while. Come by some time and enjoy another grape growing area.

      Like

  22. Summer Daisy says:

    Your Saturday sounds lovely! Love the photos too ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

    Liked by 2 people

  23. badfish says:

    Such a great walk, and tour. Great photos, too. I was not aware they had wine in Virginia…thought it might be too cold in winter, but I guess it gets cold in France in winter. Is your niece a professional wine drinker?

    Like

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