Barrel Oak Winery – a taste of Virginia with a salute to our canine friends

“We could in the United States make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good. (1808)” – Thomas Jefferson
Wines are produced in 221 different American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) across the United States. Based on documented history, what we know today as modern wines have been produced on the east coast since the times of early colonization with the introduction European grape stock. Realistically, Native Americans produced spirits long before the Europeans arrived and we’ll focus on that in another blog. Virginians are documented to have started wine production in the early 1700s and one of its most famous inhabitants –Thomas Jefferson –was known to be a lover of fine wines, spirits, and cider.

Barrel Oak Winery – provided by BOW

Virginia is home to over seven AVAs with grapes cultivated across the state. On a recent visit to Washington DC, I made a point of traveling to Delaplane, VA and visited Barrel Oak Winery ( BOW for short, a tip to Sharon and Brian Roeder’s love of dogs, is a 26-acre vineyard with plantings of varietals including Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The winery is an inviting part of the community sponsoring fundraising events for local groups. BOW welcomes well-behaved canine fur babies with a family friendly environment where picnic lunches and children can join their parents enjoying the beauty of the area. There is an upstairs dining area for those 21 and over.
I decided to begin my visit by taking part in one of BOWs flight tasting activities for their bolder reserve wines. There were six wines featured including a Chardonnay, Viognier, Rose, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Chocolate Lab. I enjoyed the variety of the flight selection since it went from a traditional white wine to a chocolate dessert wine. My favorites from the flight tasting are the 2015 Reserve Chardonnay and the 2014 Cabernet Franc.
                          Tasting Bar ar BOW

The 2015 Reserve Chardonnay is a crisp wine fermented in stainless steel and aged in neutral oak barrels. This Chardonnay has hints of citrus and stone fruit (think pears and peaches) on the nose. It is a very smooth Chardonnay with light acidity. The Chardonnay has a pleasant finish that is lasting. The nice thing about this Chardonnay is that it is crisp enough to enjoy with a plate of cheese and slice of wood oven baked pepperoni pizza featured at the vineyard.
On the opposite end of the color and tannin spectrum is the 2014 Cabernet Franc. This Cabernet Franc is made with 100% of the varietal grape and is a bold, ruby red wine with aromas of blackberries and other black fruits. The wine has a peppery finish and balanced tannins. I would pair this wine with grilled summer meats like beef and chicken. This is an excellent Cabernet Franc that the red wine lovers in my family enjoyed.
                          BOW Vineyards and Picnic Area

Barrel Oak Winery will ship their wines across the country where state regulations permit. I would encourage you to take a trip through Virginia wine country the next time you are in the DC area to see BOW for yourself. The drive is beautiful, the people friendly and the wines are excellent. Summer is a great time to experience the beauty of the vineyards with the early fall months great for exploring the beautiful fall colors of Virginia. And while you’re there grab a glass of their craft beers or Sangria. BOW offers a unique beverage for the adults in your party.
Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!
Drink Responsibly!
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