|Pulling up to White's Ferry|
|The view from the ferry|
Crossing the Potomac helps build up the anticipation. You might as well be crossing the Rhine, for there are plenty of vineyards waiting for your enjoyment just across the waters.
Our first stop on the Virginia side was at Fabbioli Cellars. If you are used to paying $5.00 to $10.00 per person for the wine samples, which normally include a glass with the vineyard's logo, prepare yourself for a bit of a price increase. The basic tasting which includes a bite sized niblet of cheese, cracker, chip or chocolate per wine starts at $15.00 per person.. and to keep the logo tasting glass they will charge you an additional $5.00. So count on at least $20 per person. The wines themselves are also a bit pricier than comparable wines in the VA/PA/MD areas. With that said, we found some very good wines in their selection and my personal favorite were their ports and the pear wine. The darker reds were fantastic, of which the Tannat had the most full bodied and well rounded flavors - but I wasn't willing to part with $45 per bottle when I can find comparable wines at other vineyards for less than half the price. On the plus side, the gentleman overseeing our tasting was very knowledgeable and took his time with us. We had his full attention as he was focused on just our small group.. whereas my experience at some other vineyards were a bit more hectic and felt a bit more rushed.
Just a few minutes up the road from Fabbioli Cellars you will find the Lost Creek Vineyards and Winery. You will have to drive about 1.5 miles up an unpaved trail of gravel and stone, hitting a few bumps and holes along the way.. but it should be no problem for most vehicles. As we passed the Lost Creek Vineyard sign, I noticed another sign for Hidden Brook Winery. Although we didn't visit Hidden Brook Winery on this trip.. I heard from other visitors that their wines tend to lean more on the sweet side, which is not something I personally care for, but if you don't mind sweeter wines you might as well visit this one as well since they are so close together.
|Lost Creek was our hidden Gem of the day|
|The Patio at Lost Creek|
|My wife and son at Lost Creek|
|Barrels near the parking lot at Tarara Winery|
Again, the basic tasting fee was $10 per person, no glass. You sample seven wines.. and the tasting room was very busy during our visit. We felt a bit rushed as there was one person pouring for three goups of people. So what information you could get about the wine was fairly limited. The winery does offer a more intimate one and a half hour premier tasting along with samples of cheese with the wines. The price for the premier tasting was $20 at the time of our visit. I found most of the wines enjoyable but nothing stood out for me as a must have bottle. I think our favorite was their blush, the Rose - it was very light and refreshing, but wasn't chilled well enough which brought out more herbal characteristics than I wanted.. but I could tell that when well chilled this would be a great wine to sip our back this summer. And at only $10 per bottle I thought it was a great value as well. This vineyard appears to be very popular in the area, and swarms of people kept pouring in. In fact, after the tasting we were just lucky enough to grab one of the last tables available out on the deck. If you are planning on visiting Tarara.. I suggest coming around 11am or very early in the afternoon to ensure you get a less hurried tasting and can enjoy the grounds without he crowds.