I remember when my husband and I decided to go to James River Cellars – JRC for the first time. We were nervous because we had never done a wine tasting, we did not know what to expect. We were so happy with our experience that we kept coming back. Luckily, JRC is the closest winery to Richmond so it is a quick trip for us. Eventually we became wine club members and now I work there! I decided to join the JRC team to learn more about wine and the wine making process. It has been so fun to interact with customers and educate them during their tasting experience.
JRC produces 16+ wines. They are all pretty fabulous. I may be biased but I did fall in love with this winery because of their wine. Since they have such an extensive list, you will leave loving something. My palate has changed a lot in the last seven years but I remember my first love was their Chambourcin. Typically Chambourcin is a dry red but JRC produces theirs sweet. It pairs really well with dark chocolate and it used to be my guilty pleasure. Now I have a new favorite, Hanover Red. It is a red blend that is jammy and easy to drink, it will likely please a crowd. My advice is to just stick a straw in the bottle and enjoy 😉 My favorite white is their Vidal Blanc. It is citrusy, crisp and slightly sweet. It is a wonderful breakfast wine, extra boozy mimosa anyone? Their list is extensive, ranging from a dry Gewurztraminer to Touriga. The value of their wine is amazing, most of their bottles are under $20!
I love visiting wineries. It is my favorite hobby and I enjoy buying a bottle and relaxing post tasting. The atmosphere of the winery is key. I love a fire place, comfy seating and a beautiful view. JRC is not like typical wineries you visit in Charlottesville. JRC vineyard is located about twenty minutes away from their tasting room so you do not see their vines. There really isn’t a view but since their expansion last year, they do have a beautiful deck and balcony that I enjoy when the weather is nice. Inside they have ample seating upstairs as well as downstairs.
Now I know I work at JRC, but I visited the winery for six years before I became an employee. I loved getting to know the tasting room attendants and I always learned so much during my tastings. I always felt important which is something we always want when we visit any winery! I also never felt weird asking questions, tastings should be an educational experience!
One thing I love about wine and local businesses are the logos. I love a clean and purposeful style. My favorite winery that embodies an amazing presentation is Early Mountain Vineyards. I kind of compare all logos to theirs. JRC has four different labels; The Sail Boat, Civil War commemorative labels, the Rad Red label and the Real Santa Red label. The most used and known is the Sail Boat. It is on their bottles, wine glasses, etc. It fits the name and is well known.
JRC has SO. MANY. EVENTS. They have monthly wine glass paint nights, food pairings, canvas paint nights and more! The most popular (and my favorite) is the wine and doughnut pairing! It is an interactive event where you taste wine and doughnuts and see how well they pair together! JRC is also known for their Friday’s on the Patio and Sundays in the Shade; these events are held in the summer. JRC encourages you to bring a picnic and enjoy the live music and wine on the lawn. An upcoming event that looks amazing is the wine and cupcake pairing! This pairing is happening February 10th-16th. You will get a flight of four JR wines and four mini Lush Cupcakes… these are BOOZY, how fun! One more amazing thing about JRC is all their event space. Looking to host a shower, party or wedding? They have an amazing location for any event that you would like to have.
There you have it! A look into JRC and my first winery review. As I continue to generate content, I plan on clumping wineries and trips together to make a more extensive list. Hope you check out JRC and enjoy a glass of Hanover Red ~ ask for Paige!