Home for the Holidays

Hey wine friends! I hope y’all had a fabulous holiday. Zach and I always travel to Pennsylvania for the major holidays and always pass a ton of wineries on the way home. It is hard to stop when you don’t plan enough time, but this year I got planning and we got to hit two on the way up and two on the way home!

We have heard all about Barrel Oak and we pass it each time we drive to PA. Barrel Oak is HUGE. Their tasting room is large with multiple bars. There is plenty of seating as well as comfy seating in front of a large fire place, bonus points for that. My favorite part was their outside seating. They had so many picnic tables with fire pits and wood at each table. It is like your own little private camp with…. wine. So lets get to the wine…. they offer two tastings. The BOW tasting and the WOW tasting. The BOW tasting is $8.95 for six wines. This is the fruitier, more approachable tasting. The WOW tasting is $11.95 for six wines. This is the bigger and bolder wines. Zach did the BOW while I did the WOW. Our favorite ended up being their Merlot. We grabbed a glass and sat outside to enjoy the view! If you couldn’t tell by the names of their tasting options, Barrel Oak is known for being super dog friendly. There were a lot of four legged friends around so this is defiantly a spot to visit with your pup.

The next stop and my favorite of the day was Chateau O’Brien. I was blown away by their reds. I hear they are comparable to RdV… a place I have yet to visit. When you enter, you have the option of two tastings at two separate bars, their Classic Collection and their Cellar Tasting. Zach and I went with the Cellar Tasting. The Cellar Tasting is $15 for four wines. I loved their 2013 Malbec, 2012 Vintners Reserve and their 2012 Tannat. Their bottle prices were a bit steep but well worth the cost. I would have bought all three but ended up taking home the Vintners Reserve. Chateau O’Brien has been producing wine since 2005, they produce about 2,000-3,000 cases a year. They use only French Oak and pride themselves on being 100% VA grown. Their tasting room is cozy with plenty of seating. Their covered deck is the perfect place to enjoy a glass or bottle and take in the beautiful views.

On our way back to Virginia after a busy week visiting family for the holidays, our first stop was Delaplane Cellars. Their tasting room was amazing. It was the perfect spot to enjoy the sprawling mountain views. Their tasting is $12 for six wines; three whites and three reds. Our favorite white was their 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and our favorite red was their 2016 Springlot. Delaplane has been producing wine the past ten years. They produce about 3,000 cases a year. They have 10 acres under vine and pride themselves in using only VA grapes. When you visit, come hungry, they offer delicious food. We enjoyed their Virginia Sampler, a variety of cheese, salami and bread… it was delicious! There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Since it was 60 degrees in December, we decided to sit outside. They had a couple fire pits going which was a bonus!

Our last stop for the day was Morias Vineyards and Winery. Just like Barrel Oak, we always pass it but have never had the time to stop. Morias is owned by a Portuguese couple and their wine maker is also from Portugal so Morias is known for a Portuguese flare in their tasting room as well as their wine. They offer two tastings, Their Classic for $10 and their Deluxe for $17. You also get a little tasting plate of food to pair with their wines. Zach and I just went with the Classic Tasting since their Deluxe is just their sweets. I was happy to see they produce Touriga. Touriga is a Portuguese grape that is known for making Port. This is only the second winery, apart from James River, where I have had Touriga. The Touriga was probably my favorite we had tasted there, it was very smooth. Their estate was gorgeous, with lots of photo opportunities. Their tasting room was beautiful with plenty of indoor seating as well.

I am so glad we had the opportunity to visit wineries on our way home and I think this will be a new tradition to keep knocking VA wineries off my list! I finally visited 90 Virginia Wineries… I am almost to 100! Remember to follow me on Insta @sipsandtripswithpaige and give my blog a follow if you like what you’re reading!

Cheers, Paige


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