Friday, April 25, 2014

Out and About - Appellation Wine Trail



Our farm is located in The Monticello AVA.  An AVA (American Viticultural Area) is a distinct grape-growing region defined by the geographic features that influence the type and style of the wine it produces.  Virginia has 7 distinct AVAs, comprising of over 200 wineries; thus making our state the 5th largest wine-producer in the US.

Source: http://www.virginiawine.org/regions/central-virginia/






















The Monticello AVA is located in the central Piedmont area.  It is nestled along the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains and includes the small ridge known as the Southwest Mountain.  This area of Virginia boasts picturesque pastoral rolling landscapes with the majestic Blue Ridge looming in the horizon.







With excellent topography, fertile granite-based clay soil, and a growing season of over 200 days, grapes grow very well here and have a rich and distinct flavor (I'm not a wine connoisseur so that's all I can tell you about the grape flavor!).  Some describe the grape flavor as multilayer and old-world (and I don't know what that means either!) and sometimes "peppery."


Source: http://www.virginia.org/Listings/WineriesAndBreweries/MonticelloWineTrail/

There are 30 wineries in The Monticello AVA, forming The Monticello Trail.  For a list of these wineries, go to
http://www.virginia.org/Listings/WineriesAndBreweries/MonticelloWineTrail/
These wineries are boutique wineries (with only a handful of large producers) that offer a very intimate experience with individualized attention from the host/hostess who may be the owner himself/herself.  

The Appellation Trail

Being in close proximity of one another in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, six wineries that are technically part of the Northern trail of the Monticello trail, formed a 35-mile-wine loop called the Appellation Trail.  Our farm is right on this trail.

Source: http://theappellationtrail.com

Source: http://theappellationtrail.com/map-directions


These six wineries are:







Mountfair Vineyards and Oyster Fest

This past Saturday, we chose to visit Mountfair Vineyards because there was an oyster fest.  An oyster fest atop of a mountain?  Yes!  And it was a treat!  Mountfair partnered with Pepper Creek Shellfish Farm from Mathews, Virginia (the Chesapeake Bay region), to bring a huge truckload of fresh oysters and clams .  

Shucking Away
It was amazing to watch these men shuck the oysters.  They made the process look very simple.  But, having done this before (very poorly), I know it's not easy at all!

An awesome feast (to say the least!)

For entertainment, Bigmamma Joy played beautiful melodies in the background. 


We spent over three hours there just relaxing, enjoying the food, wine, and music.  The weather cooperated beautifully.


Other people had the same idea ... 

Wineries in Virginia are very casual.  People bring their own tables, chairs, and food and set up like they are having a picnic. 

Their children and pets also join them for a relaxing afternoon.

These two young ladies are having a private conversation of their own.


What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Have a nice week,
                                                                      Christa 


I am linking with Friday My Town Shoot Out (this week's theme is Let the Bells Ring/Celebration)



15 comments:

  1. That would be a wonderful way to spend a relaxing Saturday afternoon. You live in a gorgeous setting.

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    1. We had an amazing time. 2 of our 3 kids were able to join us also. That made the day even more amazing.

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  2. What fun!! Wine, oysters, music, and beautiful scenery.

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    1. Connie, You should visit some of the vineyards around here when you come this way for your speeches.

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  3. Indeed Christa a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I am absolutely in love with your beautiful surroundings, what a wonderful scenery.

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    1. Thank you, Janneke. Yes, we are very blessed to be amidst this beautiful countryside.

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  4. I really must come visit your part of the country. It is gorgeous.

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    1. Dear Ruth, do come this way. There are also many historical sites to add to your visit.

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  5. What a terrific, informative post, beautiful photos, too. You live in a lovely area. Love your collection of photos from local vineyards, each different but appealing in its own way. Your day out at Mountfair Vineyard would be right up my alley. Some vineyards here are quite pretentious, they could learn a lot from the relaxed atmosphere you describe. Fab post, loved it.

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  6. Absolutely wonderful!
    Visiting Va wineries is a fun habit of ours, but I do not believe we have ever been to the ones you highlighted.
    Road Trip!

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  7. Lots of great scenic wineries for sure. - It sounds like you all had a great time. Oyster's aren't my thing though (I ate some bad ones once and have never tried them since).

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  8. I had no idea VA was such a big wine-producer. The scenes you show look as though could be from my own area of Oregon!

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  9. Absolutely stunning post. I loved seeing the scenery and the wine country.Wineries are becoming very popular here in Ky. too. We have had 4 news ones in the last few years. I need to visit them all

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  10. Beautiful photos! Amazing how many wineries are in Virginia!

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  11. That's such a beautiful part of our country...during any season! My husband and I both spent a little time studying your map. We would love to do this some day! Hugs, Diane

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