A couple of years ago, I discovered that I lived down the street from a winery. My initial response was, “Wha? A winery here??? How did they fit one in with all of these houses in the way?” The buzz was abound! How could it not? No longer did we red-headed step-children of Northern Virginia have to drive an hour or more or hit I-95 to experience some fine examples of Virginia wine. Yippee!
My first visit to Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery was last summer. Emilie and I joined some friends of mine from the office for a Girl’s Day out. Our picture in the “About” section of Cork and Spoon was taken during this visit. Since it was our first visit, we chose to do the Premier Tasting, which includes all of the Potomac Point wines and a complimentary wine glass (I love it when wineries do that!). Afterwards, we proceeded to the Mediterranean style patio for lunch (more wine) and girl time. Before we left, we also helped ourselves to the Olive Oil Bar. The lemon infused Olive Oil…soooo good!
My most recent visit was with a bunch of my wino friends. It is a tradition of ours to do at least one winery hop during the summer and one in the fall during all the harvest celebrations. Typically, we map out two or three wineries in the Northern Virginia area and make a day of it. After taking a leisurely circuit around Government Island off we went!
Driving up the gravel way, we were greeted by picturesque venues (They should make Post Cards like some Bed and Breakfast Inns do!). A pavilion and a manicured green field to the left just before the vines started (Very popular with weddings) and straight ahead a Tuscan style villa. The many visitors gathered on the patio had taken shelter from the hot sun in the shady perimeters of the patio enjoying bistro style fare and bottles of wine.
We decided to do the Classic Tasting, which typically consists of six to nine wines. Surprise bonus, we received a military discount with my ID. Tickets in hand (each color represents a different Tasting) we headed towards the bar.
The difference in the wines I tasted during my first visit to Potomac Point and the wines I have tasted more recently is like night and day. Completely different! During my first visit with the girls, I remember saying to Emilie “I like this one. That one’s okay. No, I didn’t like that last one.” Now I find myself saying only one comment: “Wow, that’s good!” (Yeah, I know. Time to dig up the Thesaurus for a little more variety in my vocabulary!) I mentioned this observation to one of my friends who is a “regular” at Potomac Point and he mentioned that a new wine maker had been brought on board.
As we proceeded with our tasting, I starred the following wines in my notebook as not to miss: La Belle Vie Rose, Custom Label White, La Belle Vie White, the Abbinato, Custom Label Red, and the Petit Verdot. This last wine is actually not included in the Classic Tasting, but the 2009 Norton had sold out so Petit Verdot came to the rescue! Despite the disappointment of not having the opportunity to taste Potomac Point’s version of the native Virginia grape, I was very happy to have a taste of the Petit Verdot! OMG! You should see my notebook. Underlined, starred, circled…my absolute favorite of Potomac Point’s wines. It has a spicey aroma and lusciousness that caresses your taste buds. It’s a wine where you take a sip, close your eyes, and the cares of the day melt away. Virginia reds are a hit or miss and they still have a long way to go, but in my opinion, this Petit Verdot shows that Virginia can and will get there!
After we completed our tasting, we found our way up a flight of stairs to a narrow balcony that overlooks the patio and has a wonderful view of the vineyard. I ordered the red Sangria, made with the Custom Label Red. Potomac Point’s Bistro has an impressive menu, particularly when you realize that many wineries tend to only stock cheese and crackers. However, since we were right in between lunch and dinner, I went with something small. I ordered the soup of the day,which was an asparagus soup with mint crème fraiche. All I can remember is that it was good (I know, I know! Thesaurus!). I am craving it now as I type and I will probably try to recreate it before asparagus goes completely out of season.
As you may have guessed already, we had a very nice afternoon at Potomac Point.
Potomac Point will be at the Wine Festival at The Plains this weekend (10-11 Sept). If you’re there, check them out. Oh, and there will be polo matches, too! The US and UK Armed Forces Polo Teams will be competing in the Commonwealth Cup on Saturday with a bonus match on Sunday (Apparently the rain has made the grass field too muddy for the horses. Saturday’s match will take place in an indoor arena. Sunday will take place on the grass field). A portion of the proceeds support various projects, including the USO, Wounded Warrior Project, and other non-profit organizations. There is also a Fancy Hat contest and a Tailgate Contest.