Happy Virginia Wine Month! October was named Virginia Wine Month in 1988, and since then, Virginia wine lovers have rejoiced for their favorite time of year! There are winery events and deals commemorating this month, including a discount on all Virginia wines from the Virginia ABC throughout the month of October. In honor of the start of Virginia Wine Month, I thought I would try something new so I went to the newest winery in town, Caret Cellars.
Caret Cellars is a family-owned and operated winery in Essex County, Virginia. The owners, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, first purchased the land for the vineyard in 2006 and planted the vines in 2007. They just had their soft opening in their new production and tasting room in early September and are making plans for their grand opening in the coming weeks. (You better believe I will plan to be there!) The label on their bottles shows the vision for the winery’s growth in the coming years… it will be exciting to follow!
We chose to go on a dreary, rainy day, so we did not get to enjoy our wine outdoors. However, we had a great tasting experience and were educated on the different wines and production process taking place there. The wines are Italian style, with refreshing Sangioveses. The winemaker has many years of experience under his belt, and it shows in the wines. Our personal favorites included:
- Rosato di Sangiovese – served nice and chilled, this wine was refreshing. A dry rose, not sweet but fools the tongue. It tastes like raspberries… almost a tart taste. I kept expecting it to finish sweet but I didn’t. It was unique and a bottle we both agreed on.
- Rivah Red – the perfect hot tub wine! This wine was sweet, almost reminded me of a Muscadine. The Rivah Red is 95% Chambourcin and 5% Niagara, and you can taste that Niagara in a good way! The wine was great chilled and fun to sip.
- Sangiovese – this wine reminded me of the Sangiovese I loved from Three Fox Vineyards. Not as dark and rich as a Norton, but still has that earthy quality to it. A Classico Chianti style wine, this will pair great with some steak or lamb.
The wines are reasonably priced, ranging from $15-20 a bottle. Tastings were $5 a person. We were told they also have a Viognier they hope to release around the holidays, towards the end of the year… I will be stalking their Facebook to try this.
We loved the wines, the winery was close to home and in the country side of Essex County (so beautiful). The staff is wonderfully kind and informative. We have inquired about the Wine Club and can’t wait to go back and start frequenting this winery!
Cheers, and happy #VAWineMonth!