The last time I visited Lost Creek Vineyard in Leesburg was during that awful “snowmaggedon.” It was February 2010 and we were already buried for days in feet upon feet of snow and we just about had it with cabin fever, so we hopped in the car and ventured out to Leesburg to see which wineries were open.
Surprisingly, we found Hiddenbrook and Lost Creek open, and busy! (I guess everyone had enough of being stuck indoors). To be honest, the wine was forgettable but the experience was one for the books. It was a fun day venturing out in the snow but I never returned to Lost Creek, until now. Now, it’s three years later and I am re-introduced to The Vineyards and Winery at Lost Creek. They have new owners, a new winemaker and some exciting changes in the works.
Today’s blog post is going to be short and sweet. I’d really just like to pose a question out to those of you in the wine blogging community, and those who read our blogs. Since I started blogging about my Virginia Winery Adventure more than 2 years ago now, I have been focused on highlighting all of the wonderful things about the wineries – from the ambiance, to the customer service, to of course the wine itself.
So, in an effort to stay ‘positive’ as I prefer to do (negative rants are not my thing!) I would simply like to pose question and get some discussion going around the topic of winery tasting rooms and small children. Is it a tasting room or a romper room?
Recently, I was enjoying a beautiful day at a local winery with some friends and it was cold outside so everyone was inside of the tasting room. My group was seated in a back area near a “playroom” of sorts. We found that over the course of the afternoon, many small children began making their way into this area. There was jumping, yelling, playing games and toys, and of course crying. Parents and guardians consuming wine were nowhere to be found. My friends and I joked that we were the not-so-suitable babysitters of the day.
This struck me as odd because while I have seen many children at wineries playing outside (in warmer months), this was the first time I have seen an actual playroom inside of the tasting room. At some point, I am sure this will be an issue for Virginia legislature because a winery tasting room is essentially a bar – and children are not normally allowed inside of bars. But, of course I am not an expert on legality issues so I’ll stay out of that.
But, I would just like to pose the question and understand how others feel on the issue of tasting rooms and playrooms?
It was due time for the Virginia Wine Know to stir things up a bit and head out West for a weekend in California wine country.
Last week I joined a group of the most fabulous friends to celebrate my cousin’s 40th birthday in Napa Valley. This trip has been in the plans for months and I was so happy to finally board the plane (even though I hate flying) and head out to a little bit of heaven on earth.
We all arrived in San Francisco at various times on November 1st, but all joined up to catch our shuttle to downtown Napa. The ladies were on our way! Upon arriving at our hotel – the luxurious Andaz – we checked in, changed clothes and began our first little adventure checking out the various wine tasting bars along the main strip.
I can never get enough of visiting Loudoun County wineries that boast a lot of rich history. My family’s roots are deep in Loudoun County, especially Leesburg and surrounding areas. So, when I hear stories such as the one told to a group of wine bloggers touring The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards recently, I literally get goose bumps. The land and atmosphere brought back fond childhood memories of running around the many acres of land that my family owned not too far from there. And, the wine – well that also brought a smile to my face.
It has been quite a long time since I have actually written a blog about my winery adventures, but don’t be mistaken, I have been traveling, tasting, and taking lots of notes while on the Virginia wine trails. As an avid writer, who takes my craft very seriously, I did not just want to write a post for the sake of writing a post. Sure, I could have churned out a few here and there over the last year, but my mind was not in the right place for that. Read more…
Every once in a while I have the inclination to write a blog that has nothing whatsoever to do with wine. This is one of those times. This past week I have been attending a convention in Anaheim, California for my ‘day job’. It’s been a fun but very busy week with lots of meetings, receptions, networking, walking, and all with barely any sleep. I’ve been going from one thing to another with little time to relax or even reflect on the days.
But last night, something happened to make me pause. It was a fun-filled evening at Disneyland for all of the convention attendees. The host company rented out the park for a private event that included music, dancing, food, drinks, and rides. As I sat in Adventureland with my appetizers and wine, about to watch the Fantasmic performance, my coworker turned to me and said: “Think back to six months ago. Would you have ever thought that today, six months later, you would be sitting in Disneyland on an all expense paid trip to California enjoying free food, drinks, and entertainment?”
I was suddenly taken aback. He of course doesn’t know this, but six months ago I had just experienced the most horrific thing in my life – the unexpected death of my mother. As I sat there and digested what he had just asked me, I realized that I had a choice. I could become noticeably upset and saddened by the memories of those horrible days, weeks, and months since my mom’s death. Or, I could smile and thank God for helping me make it this far. So, I decided to thank Him and my mom’s spirit for giving me the strength to just be happy in the moment, because, after all, I was in the happiest place on earth.
Sometimes even in the midst of sadness and grief, we have to find the strength and motivation to just smile and be happy. We have to thank God for the wonderful people in our lives, both living and departed. We have to enjoy the special moments in life, like a private bash in Disneyland, because as my mom would often say – life is short so enjoy every minute of it!
There are always sad days of course, but now when those little happy moments come my way I will choose to smile and rejoice. My mom wouldn’t want it any other way.
I purchased a Living Social deal a few months ago to Capitol Vineyards in Delaplane, Virginia (Loudoun County) and finally got a free Saturday to try this new place out. The offer included a food pairing with the tasting, so I was intrigued to see what this was all about. So, Sean and I jumped in the car on this cloudy yet hazy Saturday morning, and hit route 66 to get on our way.
Tucked away off of a long, windy road that parallels I-66, we made our approach to a little dilapidated white house with a vinyl sign swinging in the wind. There it was, Capitol Vineyards. What a nice fact to learn that the tasting room was once home to the first African-American owned Postmaster General in Virginia. I absolutely love old historic homes – especially when they are rustic and squeaky. You can almost feel and hear the history surrounding you.