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We were at Keswick and Barboursville yesterday, spending quite a bit of time at each and with their winemarkers. The surprise of the trip was Keswick's Reserve Cab ($49.95 and a direct competitor of Octagon) and their $25 500ml syrah. Both were remarkably good and worth every penny of their price.

As I type this I am sipping the '10 Syrah. When I left the vineyard twenty six hours ago they had eight bottles left. I am buying out every one. Virginia has never had a syrah like this. I will put it one on one with Owen Roe's WS #26 Ex Umbris. Serious. No, it's not Royal City, Stoneessence or Bionic Frog-but it IS a wonderful $25/500 ml syrah that speaks extremely well for the state of Virignia.

Bravo Keswick!

Octagon, Keswick's Reserve Cab & Syrah, RDV, Glen Manor Hodder Hill, Hillsborough Onyx, Chateau O'

Brien Tannat, Linden Hardscrabble: I am proud of where we live and what we drink.

rdv is the benchmark but the mid level is doing very well.


We were told that King Family Vineyards in Crozet (Crozet Pizza is nearby) has an excellent Meritage as well as a very good cabernet franc.

I should also note that with idyllic weather on Sunday afternoon both Keswick and Monticello had good crowds. Neither had the 125-150 car parking lots we've seen recently at a number of Loudoun County wineries. Despite the popularity of the Monticello Wine Trail we could not help feeling that the real stunning growth and popularity of Virginia wineries have come at the the ones within an hour or so's drive of D. C.

With almost sixty wineries visited now we continue to believe that Bluemont has the most beauitful view of all (50 miles?) and RDV and Hillsborough are our overall two favorites. Sunset Hills and Breaux share the title of having the largest parking lots. Glen Manor and LInden are also preferred, indivudal experiences as are the two Charlottesville wineries noted above.

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