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    Features
    Pop The Cork
    It's time to celebrate VWL's First-Ever Best Of Readers' Choice Awards
    By Patrick Evans-Hylton

    Three years ago this issue, Virginia Wine Lover magazine was first printed, having come from just an idea to create a glossy lifestyle publication to promote the wonderful wines of the state and the good life that goes along with them.

    A lot has happened in those three years; as we have matured at VWL, so has the wine industry in the state, growing from less than 150 wineries to almost 200. Growing, too, is an appreciation for Virginia wine and the fine trappings surrounding it.

    For the first time, we are opening our forums to you, the true Virginia wine lover, to see what is on your mind and in your glass in our Best Of reader awards. This has been an outstanding last few months, getting folks to share with us the things they enjoy best about this lifestyle.

    We’ve had a remarkable 7,614 votes cast in our online polling—you told us about your favorite vintages, favorite winemakers, even favorite wine dog. You’ve shared with us where you like to take a weekend getaway and where you like to stay when you get there. It’s been a great response for our first Best Of endeavor. Here are the results:

    WINE – OVERALL
    Contact information can be found in the Virginia Winery Listing in the Grapevine section of this magazine. 

    Virginia Wine Overall
    1. Barboursville Vineyards
    Octagon – from the winery: “A proprietary blend driven by Merlot, with elements of Reserve Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. … Dark, rich garnet color with an intense aroma of plum, cassis, coffee and berries woven together in the barrel for a phenomenally full and silky palate. Tannins are resplendent and graceful.”
    2. Jefferson Vineyards
    Meritage
    3. Chatham Vineyards
    Cabernet Franc

    Chardonnay Overall
    1. Veramar Vineyard
    Chardonnay
    2. Paradise Springs Winery
    Chardonnay
    3. Lake Anna Winery
    Barrel Select Chardonnay

    Viognier Overall
    1. Keswick Vineyards
    Les Vents d’Anges Viognier
    2. Veritas Winery
    Viognier
    3. Horton Vineyards
    Viognier

    Norton Overall
    1. Chrysalis Vineyards
    Locksley Reserve
    2. Horton Vineyards
    Norton
    3. Veramar Vineyards
    Norton

    Cabernet Franc Overall
    1. Keswick Vineyards
    Cab Franc
    2. Veramar Vineyard
    Cab Franc
    3. Philip Carter Winery
    2009 Cab Franc

    Meritage Overall
    1. King Family Vineyards
    Meritage
    2. Pearmund Cellars
    Ameritage
    3. Pollak Vineyards
    Meritage

    White Overall
    1. Philip Carter Winery
    Chardonnay
    2. Pollak Vineyards
    Viognier
    3. Veramar Vineyard           
    Viognier

    Red Overall
    1. Barboursville Vineyards
    Octagon
    2. Philip Carter Winery
    Cleve
    3. Pollak Vineyards
    Petit Verdot

    Fruit
    1. Hilltop Berry Farm & Winery
    Cranberry
    2. Horton Vineyards
    Pear
    3. Peaks of Otter Winery
    Strawberry

    Sparkling
    1. Veritas Winery
     Scintilla
    2. Kluge Estate Winery Vineyard
    Blanc de Blancs
    3. Thibault-Janisson Winery
    Blanc de Chard

    Dessert
    1. Cooper Vineyards
    Noche
    2. Veramar Vineyard
    D’Ora
    3. Philip Carter Winery
    Late Harvest

    Best Wine Enclosure
    1. Bottle with natural cork
    2. Bottle with plastic cork
    3. Bag or box

    WINE – BY REGION
    Contact information can be found in the Virginia Winery Listing in the Grapevine section of this magazine. 

    Best White Wine – Central
    1. Veritas Winery
    Viognier
    2. Keswick Vineyards
    Verdejo
    3. Pollak Vineyards
    Pinot Gris

    Best White – Eastern
    1. Ingleside Vineyards
    Chesapeake Chardonnay
    1. Williamsburg Winery
    Acte 12 Chardonnay
    2. New Kent Winery
    Reserve Chardonnay

    Best White – Northern
    1. Philip Carter Winery
    Chardonnay
    2. Lake Anna Winery
    Lakeside White
    3. Paradise Springs Winery
    Chardonnay

    Best White – Shenandoah
    1. Veramar Vineyard
    Chardonnay
    2. Rockbridge Vineyard
    Tuscarora White
    2. CrossKeys Vineyards
    Joy White

    Best White – Western
    1. Chateau Morrisette
    Our Dog Blue
    2. Villa Appalaccia
    Simpatico
    3. AmRhein Wine Cellars
    Traminette

    Best Red – Central
    1. Barboursville Vineyards
    Octagon
    2. Keswick Vineyards
    Heritage
    3. King Family Vineyards
    Meritage

    Best Red – Eastern
    2. New Kent Winery
    Meritage
    3. Hague Winery
    Meritage
    3. James River Cellars
    Chambourcin

    Best Red – Northern
    1. Philip Carter Vineyard
    Cleve
    2. Bogati Bodega
    Malbec
    3. Three Fox Vineyards
    Il Volpe

    Best Red – Shenandoah
    1. Veramar Vineyard
    Cabernet Franc
    2. Lexington Valley Vineyard
    Chill
    3. Shenandoah Vineyards
    Rebel Red

    Best Red Western
    1. Chateau Morrisette
    Chambourcin
    2. Attimo Winery
    Chambourcin
    3. AmRhein Wine Cellars
    Melange

    WINERIES – OVERALL
    Contact information can be found in the Virginia Winery Listing in the Grapevine section of this magazine. 

    Winemaker
    1. Keswick Vineyards
    Stephen Barnard
    Having studied winemaking and viticulture in his native South Africa, Barnard has been in Virginia since 2002, crafting vintages for Keswick Vineyards. Make that award-winning vintages; in addition to numerous accolades near-and-far, Barnard’s 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon took top honors, winning the Governor’s Cup for the commonwealth’s best red (from among 250 entries) in the 2009 contest.
    2. Three Fox Vineyards
    John and Holli Todhunter
    3. Veramar Vineyard
    Justin Bogaty

    Wine Dog
    1. Three Fox Vineyards
    Posh
    A West Highland White Terrier that happily greets visitors, Posh has been a regular fixture at the winery for the past three years. Lately, Posh has been quite the local celebrity, visiting pet stores in the region to raise funds and awareness for animal rescue groups; Posh himself is a rescue dog.
    2. Barrel Oak
    Birch (a Hungarian Vizsla)
    3. Hilltop Berry Farm & Winery
    Dixie (an Australian Cattle Dog, also known as a Red Heeler)

    Best Winery Overall
    1. Three Fox Vineyards
    2. Barboursville Vineyards
    3. Keswick Vineyards

    Best Winery View/Outdoor Space
    1. Veritas Winery
    2. Barrel Oak
    2. Bluemont Vineyards

    Winery – Best Tasting Room
    1. Veritas Winery
    2. Barrel Oak Winery
    3. Lake Anna Winery

    Winery – Best Special Events
    1. Veritas Winery
    2. Barrel Oak Winery
    3. Veramar Vineyard

    Winery – Best Place for Weddings
    1. Veritas Winery
    2. Veramar Vineyard
    3. Keswick Vineyards

    Girlfriends Getaway
    1. Hilltop Berry Farm and Winery
    1. Lake Anna Winery
    2. Veramar Vineyard

    Hippest Feel
    1. Blenheim Vineyards
    2. Bogati Bodega
    3. Glass House Winery

    Best Food Offerings
    1. Barboursville Vineyards
    2. Veritas Winery
    3. Narmada Winery

    Best Special Events
    1. Veritas Winery
    2. Lake Anna Winery
    3. Barrel Oak Winery

    Best for Picnics
    1. Veritas Winery
    2. Three Fox Vineyards
    3. Veramar Vineyard

    Best Tour
    2. Barboursville Vineyards
    3. Veramar Vineyard
    3. Williamsburg Winery

    Most Romantic
    1. Keswick Vineyards
    1. Veramar Vineyard
    3. Afton Mountain Vineyards

    Most Eco-Friendly
    1. Barrel Oak Winery
    1. Cooper Vineyards
    2. DuCard Vineyards

    Most Old-World Feel
    1. Barboursville Vineyards
    2. Three Fox Vineyards
    2. Veramar Vineyard

    WINERIES – BY REGION
    Contact information can be found in the Virginia Winery Listing in the Grapevine section of this magazine. 

    Best Winery – Central
    1. Keswick Vineyards
    2. Barboursville Vineyards
    3. Pollak Vineyards

    Best Winery – Eastern
    1. Ingleside Vineyards
    2. New Kent Winery
    3. Chatham Vineyards

    Best Winery – Northern
    1. Barrel Oak Winery
    2. Three Fox Vineyards
    3. Linden Vineyards

    Best Winery – Shenandoah
    1. Veramar Vineyard
    2. Rockbridge Vineyard
    3. Glen Manor Vineyards

    Best Winery – Western
    1. Chateau Morrisette
    2. Villa Appalaccia
    3. Davis Valley Winery

    WINE FESTIVALS, TRAILS AND TRAVEL

    Best Region/Destination for Wine Getaway
    1. Central Virginia
    Against a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the central region of Virginia includes clusters of wineries in-and-around Charlottesville, Lynchburg and Richmond. The scope of wineries ranges from small, farm operations to larger vineyards with offerings including tours, dining and lodging. The area is rich in history as well as beauty, making it a prime spot for a great getaway in any season.
    2. Northern Virginia
    3. Shenandoah Valley

    Best Wine Tour Company
    1. Arcady Vineyard Wine Tours
                1376 Sutlers Rd., Charlottesville
                   434-960-0820
                   www.arcadyvineyard.com
    2. Camryn Limousine
    Charlottesville
    434-990-9070
                  www.camryn-limo.com
    3. Ride the Boomerang
    Northern Virginia/Washington D.C.
                www.ridetheboomerang.com

    Best Limo to Wineries
    1. Camryn Limousine
    Charlottesville
    434-990-9070
                  www.camryn-limo.com
    2. Arcady Wine Tours
                1376 Sutlers Rd., Charlottesville
                   434-960-0820
                   www.arcadyvineyard.com
    3. Reston Limousine
                45685 Elmwood Ct., Sterling
                   703-478-0500
                   www.restonlimo.com

    Best Wine Fest – Overall
    1. Virginia Wine Expo
    Richmond
    www.virginiawineexpo.com
    Three days of wine and dine are held each winter in Richmond at the Virginia Wine Expo, an indoor event featuring Virginia wineries from across the state—along with dishes from top restaurants and specialty food purveyors—and augmented with special events such as seminars. The expo is also the backdrop for the Governor’s Cup Grand Tasting.
    2. Vintage Virginia
    Centreville
    www.vintagevirginia.com
    3. Mount Vernon Wine Fest
    Mount Vernon
    www.mountvernon.org

    Best Wine Festival – Central
    1. Montpelier Wine Festival
    Montpelier
                www.montpelierwinefestival.com
    2. Virginia Wine & Garlic Fest
    Rebec
                www.rebecwinery.com
    3. Powhatan Festival of the Grape
    Powhatan
                www.powhatanwinefestival.com

    Best Wine Festival – Eastern
    1. Town Point Virginia Wine Festival – Fall
    Norfolk
    www.festevents.org
    2. Town Point Virginia Wine Festival – Spring
    Norfolk
    www.festevents.org
    3. Northern Neck Wine Festival
    Kilmarnock
    www.northernneckwinefestival.com

    Best Wine Festival – Northern
    1. Vintage Virginia
    Centreville
    www.vintagevirginia.com
    2. Fredericksburg Area Wine Festival
    Fredericksburg
    www.fredericksburgwine.com
    3. Mount Vernon Wine Festival
    Mount Vernon
    www.mountvernon.org

    Best Wine Festival – Shenandoah
    1. Rockbridge Wine Festival
    Lexington
    www.lexrockchamber.com
    2. Daylily & Wine Fest
    Fishersville
    www.daylilyandwinefestival.com
    3. Shenandoah Valley Hot Air Balloon, Wine & Music Festival
    White Post
    www.historiclongbranch.com

    Best Wine Fest – Western
    1. Fork & Cork
    Blacksburg
    www.blacksburgforkandcork.com
    2. Roanoke Valley Wine Festival
    Roanoke
    www.roanokevalleywinefestival.com
    3. No third place winner

    Best Wine Trail
    1. Monticello Wine Trail
                www.monticellowinetrail.com
    2. The Generals Wine & History Trail
                www.thegeneralswinetrail.com
    3. Loudoun Wine Trail
                www.visitloudoun.org

    RESTAURANTS – OVERALL AND BY REGION

    Best Virginia Restaurant Wine List
    1. Inn at Meander Plantation
                2333 N. James Madison Hwy., Locust Dale
                800-385-4936
                www.meander.net
    2. Ashby Inn & Restaurant
                692 Federal St., Paris
                  540-592-3900 
                 www.ashbyinn.com
    3. Inn at Little Washington
                309 Middle St., Washington
                   540-675-3800
                   www.theinnatlittlewashington.com

    Best Restaurant with Virginia Wine List – Central
    1. Inn at Meander Plantation
                2333 N. James Madison Hwy., Locust Dale
                800-385-4936
                www.meander.net
    2. Siips Wine and Champagne Bar
                212 E. Main St., Charlottesville
                    434-872-0056
                     www.siipswine.com
    3. Palladio Restaurant
    At Barboursville Vineyards
    540-832-7848
    www.barboursvillewine.net/winery/palladio-restaurant

    Best Restaurant with Virginia Wine List – Eastern
    1. The Boot
                123 W. 21st St., Norfolk
    757-627-2668
    www.insidetheboot.com
    2. The Trellis
                403 West Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg
                757-229-8610
                www.thetrellis.com
    3. River Stone Chophouse
                8032 Harbour View Blvd., Suffolk
    757-638-7990
    www.riverstonechophouse.com

    Best Restaurant with Virginia Wine List – Northern
    1. The Ashby Inn and Restaurant
                692 Federal St., Paris
                  540-592-3900 
                 www.ashbyinn.com
    2. Inn at Little Washington
                309 Middle St., Washington
                   540-675-3800
                   www.theinnatlittlewashington.com
    3. Tuscarora Mill
                203 Harrison St., Leesburg
    703-771-9300
                www.tuskies.com

    Best Restaurant with Virginia Wine List – Shenandoah
    1. South River Grill and Wine Shop
                23 Country Rd., Waynesboro
                540-942-5567
                www.southrivergrill.com           
    2. The Dancing Goat
                Inside the George Washington Hotel
                103 E. Piccadilly St., Winchester
                540-771-2727
                www.dancinggoatrestaurant.com
    3. One Block West
                25 S. Indian Alley, Winchester
                540-662-1455
                www.oneblockwest.com

    Best Restaurant with Virginia Wine List – Western
    1. Countryside Classics/Cork & Keg
                120 East Main St., Salem
                   540-387-2688
    2. Oddfella’s Cantina
                110 N. Locust St., Floyd
                540-745-3463
                www.oddfellascantina.com
    3. Zeppoli’s
                810 University Blvd. #22, Blacksburg
                540-953-2000
                www.zeppolis.com

    Best Virginia Wine Tasting/Dinners/Special Events
    1. Inn at Meander
                2333 N. James Madison Hwy., Locust Dale
                800-385-4936
                www.meander.net
    2. Palladio
    At Barboursville Vineyards
    540-832-7848
    www.barboursvillewine.net/winery/palladio-restaurant
    3. Tuscarora Mill
                203 Harrison St., Leesburg
    703-771-9300
                www.tuskies.com

    RETAIL – OVERALL AND BY REGION

    Best Gourmet/Retail Shop for Wine
    1. Countryside Classics/ Cork & Keg
                120 East Main St., Salem
                   540-387-2688
    2. Olde Virginia Gourmet & Gifts
                261 Garrisonville Rd., Ste. 109, Stafford
                    540-720-3901
                   www.oldevagourmet.com
    3. Uncorked
                2013 Magnolia Ave., Buena Vista
                   540-261-9463
                  www.uncorked-va.com

    Best Gourmet/Retail Shop for Wine Accessories
    1. Countryside Classics/Cork & Keg
                120 East Main St., Salem
                   540-387-2688
    2. Olde Virginia Gourmet & Gifts
                261 Garrisonville Rd., Ste. 109, Stafford
                    540-720-3901
                   www.oldevagourmet.com
    3. Total Wine
    Statewide locations
    www.totalwine.com

    Best Cheese Shop
    1. Feast
                416 W. Main St. #G, Charlottesville
                434-244-7800
                www.feastvirginia.com
    This gourmet grocer has been selling such sundries as olive oil, wine, cured meats, prepared foods and specialty nibbles since 2002. Famous for its fromage, Feast has an extensive case stocked with some 40 artisan cheeses; Saveur magazine named it a top 20 national favorite for its selection (and knowledgeable staff) in 2005.
    2. The Cheese Shop
                410 West Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg
                757-220-0298
                www.cheeseshopwilliamsburg.com
    3. Cheesetique
                2411 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
    703-706-5300
    www.cheesetique.com

    BED-AND-BREAKFASTS - OVERALL AND BY REGION

    B&B Overall
    1. Arcady Vineyard B&B
                1376 Sutlers Rd., Charlottesville
                   434-960-0820
                   www.arcadyvineyard.com
    2. Magnolia House B&B
                232 S. Armistead Ave., Hampton
                    757-722-2888
                   www.maghousehampton.com
    3. Inn at Meander Plantation
                2333 N. James Madison Hwy., Locust Dale
                800-385-4936
                www.meander.net

    Best B&B – Central
    1. Arcady Vineyard B&B
                1376 Sutlers Rd., Charlottesville
                   434-960-0820
                   www.arcadyvineyard.com
    2. The Clifton Inn
                1296 Clifton Inn Dr., Charlottesville
                434-971-1800
                www.cliftoninn.net
    3. Inn at Meander Plantation
                2333 N. James Madison Hwy., Locust Dale
                800-385-4936
                www.meander.net

    Best B&B – Eastern
    1. Magnolia House Inn
                232 S. Armistead Ave., Hampton
                    757-722-2888
                   www.maghousehampton.com
    2. Country Villa B&B and Day Spa
                2252 Indian River Rd., Virginia Beach
                757-721-3844
                www.countryvillainn.com
    3. Sea Gate B&B
                9 Tazewell Ave., Cape Charles
                757-331-2206
                www.seagatebb.com

    Best B&B – Northern
    1. The Ashby Inn & Restaurant
                692 Federal St., Paris
                  540-592-3900 
                 www.ashbyinn.com
    2. Middleton Inn
                176 Main St., Washington
                540-675-2020
                www.middletoninn.com           
    3. The Black Horse Inn B&B
                8393 Meetze Rd. Warrenton
                540-349-4020
                www.blackhorseinn.com

    Best B&B – Shenandoah
    1. By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottage
                491 Garbers Church Rd., Harrisonburg
                540-801-0430
                www.bythesideoftheroad.com
    2. Piney Hill B&B
                1048 Piney Hill Rd., Luray
                540-778-5261
                www.pineyhillbandb.com
    3. Rosemont Manor
                16 Rosemont Manor Lane, Berryville
                540-955-2834
                www.rosemont1811.com

    Best B&B – Western
    1. Riverstead at Town House
                132 E. Main St., Chilhowie
                276-646-8787
                www.townhouseva.com/lodging.html
    2. The Mountain Rose Inn B&B
                1787 Charity Hwy., Woolwine
                888-930-1057
                www.mountainrose-inn.com
    3. The 1857 Section Foreman Guest House
                301 Front St., Abingdon
                276-356-4632
                www.1857foremanhouse.com

    Editor’s note: our next Best Of readers’ choice awards will be featured in our Spring 2012 issue; look for information on how to vote in the pages of the magazine and in our free online e-newsletter.

    Check out critics’ choices in the next issue of VWL as we give you the results of the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic.

     

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