review, Travel, wine

Elk Island Winery; Goochland, VA

Virginia has tons of wineries. And they aren’t just in Charlottesville but instead scattered all over. A neighbor of mine has been telling me about the love Elk Island Winery for some time now. I have tried them before at the Virginia Wine Expo but never made it out to visit them. So we finally set a date and made a day of it.

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The bright shades of purple on the pennants at the entrance were a good indicator that we had reached the wine and made them noticeable off the road. Once you turn in there is quite a steep incline down to the winery. It made the whole thing seem more rustic and hidden away. I really liked it! The tasting room is also unassuming it just looks like a neighbor’s house, no big deal.

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And that quiet, unassuming, homey atmosphere continued once you entered the tasting room. The stairway leading upstairs was an impromptu gift shop, and the owner, Sue, was in the foyer putting labels on boxes! It was just the best entrance into a tasting room ever!

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The entire tasting room is full of the cutest little knick knacks and signs. It invites you to wander around and peruse. The chessboard is a battle of corks and zorks which I thought was a really cute touch. And as the dog people that they are they had treats set out for your four-pawed friends.

They had another little corner with some items for sale. One thing that really stood out to me were some locally made soaps using the wines from Elk Island Winery! I love local, I love wine, I love being clean! Total winner in my books.

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But, I digress from the wine! The tasting menu is very straight forward, you get to pick 6 wines for $5.00, but your tasting fee is waved with the purchase of a bottle of wine so it really is a steal. I stuck with the dry wines because that’s where my palette likes to be. And it very much enjoyed the Elk Island wines it tried.

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Also, the tasting came with the cutest little penguin crackers. I named mine Timothy. Apparently these cheese penguins come from costco and they are super cheesy. I think I’ll search them out at my next visit there.

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They have a variety of snacks and beverages on offer as well as merchandise for sale. They really do invite you to stay and relax with them after your tasting.

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After our tasting we grabbed some drinks and snacks and sat outside. The house’s back deck serves as outdoor seating and really does complete that homey atmosphere. There are two more large tables with tables and extra chairs as well as smaller tables scattered around. There were three different groups out there with us and we never felt crowded.

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One thing that I really love about a winery is when they allow outside food and non-alcoholic drinks and provide a comfy place to sit and enjoy their wine. We did bring some snacks but we also got their cheese plate. Which, at twelve dollars is a total steal.

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And of course, drinks! I got a glass of their Chambourcin Rosé and just had to try the ginger green tea sangria because it’s so unusual! It was amazingly refreshing and perfect for one of the first warm spring days we have had!

If you are ever out and about in Goochland, VA take a trip over to Elk Island Winery! The atmosphere and wines won’t disappoint! Come thirsty and hungry because they have plenty to satisfy both cravings! Cheers Elk Island!

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We headed just down the road to Byrd Cellars after we finished here. A perfect one, two combo!

wine

Virginia Wine Expo 2018

The Virginia Wine Expo is a bit of a tradition for me and mine. I’ve been for the last five years running, pretty much since I moved to Virginia. Lloyd has been with me since we were first started dating and this is the second year his Mother and Sister have joined us.

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This year, though, was slightly different since the venue has changed. We had the distinct pleasure of being hosted by Richmond’s historic Main Street Station. If you ever driven up I-95 you have probably seen the distinct clock tower facade. Recently they have built a glass sided platform that really gives the station something special and was an excellent place to showcase Virginia wine.

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We walked in and were greeted by Poseidon and the ubiquitous Virginia LOVE sculpture. Because Virginia is for lovers and the God of the sea.

Reidel glasses greeted us once we cleared the ticket check and the ID verification. I have quite the collection of Virginia Wine Expo glasses after years of attending this event. In fact, the quality if the glasses have made me a die hard Reidel fan.

One of the best things about the Virginia Wine Expo is their yearly showcasing of both a domestic and international wine region. This year we sampled Oregon wine as well as Australian/New Zealand Wines. The delightful Oregon Pinot Noirs and the crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs really made my visit this year. I visited the Willamette Valley a few years ago with some family and friends. I will have to write about that trip but allow me to wax poetic about Oregon wine for a few lines.

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On my trip to Oregon we visited Adelsheim, Brooks and Erath. We visited a number of other wineries as well but Brooks and Erath continue to be some of my favorite that I have ever been to. One other winery, Big Table Farm, which is not show cased here was the standout of that trip though. I feel like I should soon write a blog about that trip to the Willamette Valley. In the meantime, a brief word on the Australian and New Zealand wines.

New Zealand is known for their crisp, citrusy wine. And these didn’t disappoint. I love the clean grapefruit finish you often get with a really quality Sauvignon blanc. The Drylands and Three Brooms were especially refreshing. Which brings me to the many. many Virginia Wines we drank.

I have been to a number of these wineries in person and they all do a very good job of showing off the best Virginia has to offer. However, they aren’t some of the more prominent Virginia wineries. These would require much more in depth blogging and I will try to do them justice in subsequent entries. There were a couple of non wine vendors worth mentioning. The I See Spain grater bowls and plates were a huge hit.

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Lloyd decided to eat a couple of cloves of whole garlic which made for a malodorous few tastings following our visit to this booth. The very neat thing about these bowls and plates is that the bottom is textured so that you can grate cheese, chocolate, garlic, ginger and other foods. I have to admit that I bought a set and am looking forward to using them and blogging about them! Another new addition to the wine expo was a surprising number of distilleries the attended. While I normally love Whiskey I didn’t want to ruin my chances of a hangover free Monday so I only visited one such booth.

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The whisky here was quite tasty and surprisingly smooth. I look forward to making a trip up there soon and promise to write about it when I do. All in all the 2018 Virginia Wine Expo was a definite success. It’s also nice to be enough of a grown up to know that I won’t be hungover tomorrow morning!