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Travel tips for flying, diving, or taking the train to and around Virginia Wine Country
A New King was Crowned. The jewelbox of a winery, Mountain & Vine Vineyards, about 30 minutes south of Charlottesville, took home the Virginia Governor's Cup for their 2021 Screaming Hawk Meritage. Shortly after, winning winemaker Andrew Bilenkij moved over to CrossKeys Vineyards in the Shenandoah Valley and was replaced - to the surprise and delight of many - by Stephen Barnard, Keswick Vineyards' winemaker for more years than we can count. (Tony Zawierucha stepped up to fill the head winemaker role.) Meanwhile, the dominoes continued as CrossKeys winemaker Steve Monson moved north to Rappahannock Cellars to take the place of longtime winemaker Theo Smith, who'd taken his skills to NoVa as the new owner and winemaker at Capstone Vineyards. Got all that??
The spotted lanternfly continued its march south into Virginia from Pennsylvania, mostly along the trucking route of I-81 through the Shenandoah Valley. As of mid-year, 22 localities were quarantined. Consumers can help by killing the pests and their nests with a vengeance.
The Northern Virginia winery Crimson Lane got the most new-winery buzz this year. Its winemaker, Dominick Fioresi, studied under the Virginia winegrowing legend, Jim Law, at Linden Vineyards, followed by stints at Delaplane Cellars and Ingleside Vineyards. The adults-only tasting room opened in early March, with eight estate-grown wines on offer.
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