From our travels this summer, I have quite a few Virginia wineries to review for you, so I will be starting a weekly series for the next 6 or 7 weeks to tell you about the vineyards we visited in Loudon County.
We spent our anniversary visiting the Northern VA vineyards. Our first stop of the day was to Hillsborough Vineyards. We tasted through the menu of 3 whites, 2 reds and one dessert wine. Hillsborough has a non-refundable $5 per person tasting fee, so as usual I will gripe about that.
The winery has a lovely patio where you could easily spend the day overlooking the vineyards, sipping a bottle of wine, and munching on one of the selections of cheese and crackers available inside the tasting room. I really enjoyed the koi pond on the edge of the patio. The tasting room is long and narrow, and was quite crowded when we arrived around noon. A second room where you could sit inside on a not so nice day had plenty of tables and looked cozy.
All of Hillsborough’s wines are blends and named after various gemstones:
2005 Carnelian: $18, a blend of Chardonnay and Roussanne. Slightly butttery with some oak. Light, dry and floral.
2005 Opal: $18, a blend of Viognier and Chardonnay. Peach, apple, light and silky. Another dry wine.
2006 Serefina: $18, Rose, blend of Viognier and Tannat. Very fruity on the nose, crisp, not sweet, dry. Very refreshing, strawberry, watermelon. Our favorite of the day, we took home two bottles.
2005 Garnet: $20, blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Strawberry, light mouthfeel, but a spicy wine.
2004 Ruby: $22, blend of Tannat, Touriga Nacional, and Petit Verdot. Chocolate, leather, cherry. A very strong and powerful wine.
2005 Moonstone: $18, a blend of late harvest Viognier and Chardonnay. 6% residual sugar. Apricots, honey, sweet, but not overly so. Very well balanced. Matt really liked this one, we took home a bottle.
All in all, an excellent first stop, though again, I am never happy when tasting fees are not refunded.