Monday, February 26, 2007

Saturday at Linden Vineyards

The wine club that I assist in organizing decided to do a lovely Saturday at Linden Vineyards. Linden is a family-owned vineyard, and is absolutely my favorite winery in the (somewhat) close-to-DC region of Virginia, because I enjoy their wines quite a bit but also due to the really gorgeous location and relaxed ambiance found in the tasting room. Allan and I arrived a bit later than the rest of the group, who already had found a perfect table on Linden's beautiful patio and were enjoying a couple of bottles of wine, venison sausage, baguette and several varieties of cheese. During the colder months, Linden encloses most of its patio area, which is mostly glass walls which allow visitors to enjoy the view of rolling hills and countryside. The space is open air when the temperatures allow it. We did both the regular tasting, which is complimentary, as well as the cellar tasting which is $12 a person. The regular tasting features both varieties that are my favorites at Linden - Seyval (I usually don't like whites but this is a great one) and Claret, as well as Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Vidal Reisling. The Claret is absolutely gorgeous - ripe with juicy fruit, and nicely well balanced. I didn't enjoy the Chardonnay, but I almost never like Chardonnays, the Cabernet Franc was slightly flat, and the Vidal Reisling was sweet but not overly so. We ordered a bottle of Claret and joined the rest of the group. We also ordered a venison sausage and a couple of cheeses - a lovely cheddar-style Derby, Merry Goat Round Chevre and Shiitake Leek made from Jersey cow's milk. Yum. The cellar tasting is held in the lower level, and features two Chardonnays - 1999 Hardscrabble (one of the winery's vineyards) and 2002 Hardscrabble, 2004 Boiseau and 2004 Avenius (the other two names of the winery's vineyards), and a 2004 Late Harvest. I actually loved the 1999 Hardscrabble Chardonnay, as it was bursting with pineapple and tasted almost nothing like a typical Chardonnay to me, and also enjoyed the somewhat light-bodied 2004 Boisseau and more heavy 2004 Avenius. The guide we had for our tasting runs the Avenius vineyard and was knowledgeable regarding Linden's vineyards, wines and history, as well as grapes and wine generally. We enjoyed the Late Harvest with a Gorgonzola Cheesecake - oh my, what a pairing and wow what an amazing creation. Sweet and savory for sure, but just wonderful really. We returned to the group and enjoyed a lazy day of wine, snacks, gorgeous scenery and good company for the remainder of the afternoon and early evening. Really, just a lovely spot.

Linden Vineyards
3708 Harrels Corner Road in Linden, VA


Melanie said...

Sounds like a great place. I'll have to check it out.

I visited my first vineyard two weeks ago. Jefferson Vineyards in Charlottesville. Not much going on this time of year, but loved their dessert wine!

Sonadora said...

Sounds like the event went really well. I hope that we can make the next one, as I was too sick to leave the house this weekend. And I haven't visited Linden yet! There's always next time I suppose.

allan said...

It was a lot of fun, glad you could make it.