First in a Series: Wine Tasting Road Trips

Virginia has become renowned for its wine. From its Cabernet Franc, the state’s most harvested red grape, to viognier, its signature grape, the Commonwealth has recently seen a significant rise in recognition for its vineyards and wineries.

The Iris Inn is conveniently located near some of Virginia’s most celebrated wineries. (Seriously, we couldn’t have been more conveniently located if we had planned it!) Monticello’s Western Wine Trail happens to be only a short drive away from the inn, so you’re interested in taking a wine-tasting road trip, then look no further:

Afton Mountain Vineyards: With their Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Tete’ de Cuvee, you can’t go wrong at Afton Mountain Vineyards. The vineyards are also absolutely stunning at any time of year. After all, “grapes don’t grow in ugly places.”

Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery: “With 24 years of experience growing vitus vinifera vines at Cardinal Point, Tim [Gorman]’s expertise as a grower shows up in the quality of his wines.” Try out Cardinal Point’s 2010 Clay Hill Cabernet Franc, 2011 Viognier, and many more amazing wines.

Flying Fox Vineyard: In Flying Fox’s own words, “Our approach to winemaking is very pragmatic. We manage our vines for low yield and maximum fruit intensity. We work with small batches of fruit that have the most desirable characteristics of the terroir and each individual varietal. We want to make the most honest wine possible from the very best grapes.”

King Family Vineyard: Sample King Family’s Viognier, Roseland, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and more. Not only do they offer wine for sale, they also host private events, polo, an onsite shop, and a wine club: “Club members receive quarterly shipments of our wines and enjoy additional discounts available to members only.”

Pollak Vineyards: At Pollak Vineyards, their wines “are grown on the estate where [they] work throughout the year to ensure the highest quality fruit. At harvest all grapes are picked by hand into lugs and sorted, then cooled before being crushed or fermented. Many wines are made in small lots so we can coax unique characteristics from different yeasts and terroir. For wines that are blended, blind taste tests are conducted to find the best blends for each vintage.”

Veritas Vineyards & Winery: Known for their various wine events, Starry Nights in particular, Veritas boasts wines that “are all unique and of high quality, derived from vitis vinifera with the exception of one French hybrid. [Their] philosophy is to make wine with the classic, old-style principles of Viticulture and Vinification, at the same time using state of the art technology to capture varietal and regional character.”

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