1 Wineries, Breweries and Beyond: A Drinker’s Guide to Nelson County, Virginiapopped up last week in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The short piece adds some well-deserved cred to the Nelson 151 Trail, which starts due west of Charlottesville in Afton and runs 20 miles south through gorgeous wine country. See the full trail here, including superstars Veritas Vineyards and Bold Rock Hard Cider.
2 Chefs for the 2023 Virginia Governor's Cup Gala in Richmond on February 23 were just announced. Star chef Laura Fonner of Siren in Charlottesville returns, joined by Williamsburg's Amber Ox Public House Chef David McClure and several Richmond favorites including Lehja's Sunny Baweja. Also known as "Wine Prom," the Gala is the biggest night of the year for the industry, where more than 600 wines compete for top honors. Tickets here.
3 Jim Law, owner of Linden Vineyards in NoVa, is one of Virginia’s pioneers and also one of our most prolific and elegant writers. Each month this year, Jim will be writing about how the hardscrabble farm he bought forty years ago became Hardscrabble Vineyard, one of the most celebrated plots of land in our winemaking history. Here’s the first edition.
4 Fauquier County People’s Choice Wine Tasting and Competition is happening February 25 at Airlie in Warrenton. Attendees vote for favorite red, white, and sweet wines. Fourteen wineries and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Two 2 ½-hour sessions. Room at Airlie Inn $99. Notable winery participants from the western NoVa region include Pearmund Cellars, Philip Carter Winery, Arterra Wines, Slater Run Vineyards, and Boxwood Estate Winery.Tickets here.
5 Guided tastings at the bar have been achingly slow to come back since Covid put the kibosh on face-to-face. Some couldn't care less; crowd scenes aren't for everyone. But those who love it really love it and miss the quick education and camaraderie. Sunset Hills Vineyards in Purcellville is the latest to announce that guided tastings are back. (Say hi to new owners Chris and Katie Key if you go. The couple also took the reins of 50 West Winery in Middleburg.) Find more wineries with guided tastings here.
6 Valentine's, Galentine's, Palentine's events are popping up all over. In this thread on the Virginia Wine Love Facebook group, wineries pitch their chocolate pairings, wine dinners, singles mixer, brunch, and even a romantic wine & pizza pairing. Check out the Events list while you're there for more event ideas. Have fun!