This weekend George Washington’s home in Alexandria, Virginia hosted the Mount Vernon Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour. You can enjoy candlelit tours of the Mansion including a peek into the rarely seen cellar where Washington stored his wine, live jazz music and the main feature of the evening… samplings from Virginia wineries.

Under the big tent in Washington’s backyard, we worked our way around this social event talking to vintners and tasting little samples. I tried sixty wines from twelve wineries (there were seventeen total) including seven I hadn’t tried before (Rockbridge Vineyard, New Kent Winery, Hiddencroft Vineyards, Gray Ghost, Fabbioli Cellars, Chatham Vineyards, AmRhein, Château Morrisette). My favorites from the night?

  • Chatham Vineyards Steel Chardonnay: This was a really nice wine! Made from French Dijon grape clones grown on the Eastern Shore, this white wine is fermented in stainless steel which brings out a nice tropical fruit flavor and crisp acidity. I even bought a bottle to bring home.
  • DuCard Vineyards Rosé: Happy to have another glass of this great Rosé I discovered at the Virginia Wine Expo! Classic dry French style with hints of strawberry.
  • Barboursville Vineyards Viognier Reserve: A new try for me from this vineyard… juicy, bright and tropical white! It was even served by the British Embassy at their Royal Wedding event a few weeks ago.
  • Horton Cellars Sparkling Viognier: The first sparkling Viognier in the world! More on that later this week.

Wine is available for purchase by the glass or bottle to enjoy that evening from each winery (or buy a bottle to take home).

Sitting on the lawn sipping a glass of wine with a fruit, cheese and a baguette baskets as we enjoyed beautiful views of the Potomac River … it was a perfect evening. Especially after our toast with George and Martha on the Mansion’s piazza. :) Cheers!