A tasty trip to Virginia’s wineries is best in the fall as the energy is contagious. Imagine driving through a vineyard on a sunny autumn day with the windows rolled down as the lush aromas of grapes caress your nose. Visualize neat rows laden with green and purple fruit evoking a way of life that is simple yet sophisticated. Listen to the harvest season’s frantic dance between the rows as wine lovers and curious individuals flock to the vineyards to sample forthcoming vintages. Experience the winery’s magic in progress of turning Mother Nature’s fruit into an elixir of the gods. Everyone who works in the vineyards throughout the growing season will not warrant rest until every worthy bunch has been crushed and converted to tanks full of fermenting juice.
September, October and November are perfect months to see vintners pick ripe fruit or share in the excitement with the many festivals that celebrate this time of year. Either way, the urge to consume nature’s bounty will overcome you with a craving for the rich earthly flavors of the autumn harvest. It’s the time to take a vineyard or cellar tour where, at many small family-owned wineries, you can learn the heritage and processes right from the source. -Jackie Amrhein-Sells
No one can describe the grape harvest time better than Jackie, so we wanted to share her words with you as we kickoff the Iris Inn blog. The festivals and special events are every weekend in central Virginia. Consider the first annual Wine Festival at Monticello , where only the best central Virginia wines are available for tasting on the north lawn of Thomas Jefferson’s home. Or choose the harvest dinner at King Family Vineyards where you can enjoy a casual, rustic setting with fine food, wines, and interactive cellar tour and tasting. Start the evening watching harvest activities in action, then sample fruit, taste fermenting juice, just finished wine, and compare to the bottled result.
Both events are within 30 minutes of the Iris Inn. Venture out and experience Virginian wine and food!