I’m not sure if any of y’all know this, but this past Saturday was Tony’s 28th birthday! Usually, people spend their birthday’s relaxing, especially if it’s on a weekend. But of course, Tony was photographing a beautiful wedding in the mountains of Virginia with me. Because we were already in such an amazing place for this wedding, I thought we could just extend the trip for a few days and celebrate Tony’s birthday the way we know best – at wineries of course!
We rented this adorable Airbnb in Madison, Virginia. Little did we know, it used to be a church! They converted the entire thing into a home and did an amazing job at that! Not only is it adorable, but it’s RIGHT on a river!
Even though it wasn’t as beautiful weather on Sunday as it had been on Saturday, we persisted on! Our first stop of the day on Sunday was Keswick Vineyards. Sunday is their "Yappy Day" so many visitors had brought their pups! It made us miss our two fur balls. We didn’t stay long here because there wasn’t really many places for us to sit, except outside, which was wet. So we quickly drove on to our next destination.
Our next stop was the ever anticipated, Barboursville Vineyards. We had tasted some of their wine at the Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond a few months back and really fell in love with some of their deeper reds, so we were super excited to visit this place! As soon as we pulled in, we noticed that they kept rose bushes at the ends of all of the vines. This took us right back to Italy where we learned that vineyards will plant roses at the ends of the rows to keep ahead of any disease that the grape vines may come in contact with. Both roses and grape vines are susceptible to some of the same diseases so roses act as early warning of mildew which is a fungal disease. They are more susceptible to disease than roses are so if you can see that the roses are being effected, then you know that the grape vines will be next!
Things we loved about Barboursville:
1. If you want to visit as many wineries as possible and you’re looking for a bargain, you can go to Barboursville main tasting room and taste a HUGE wine list for only $7. That’s a deal! If you want to taste older wines are looking to invest, you can go to the Octagon Tasting Room and enjoy a seated tasting paired with cheeses, meats, jams, spreads, and warm bread! We loved that this vineyard catered to people of all kinds.
2. You can taste older wines. Most vineyards do not have wines available for you to taste that are older than a few years. We got to go into the Octagon Tasting Room and tasted an entire flight of wines starting from 2014 and ending in 2004!
3. The staff was amazing! We had asked a woman who was working the Tasting Room if she could take a photo of us together and she insisted that she take us to the vines themselves for some photo opportunities! This was not a place that the public could just freely run around, so we felt super special. On top of that, they were just very knowledgeable and had the best customer service.
Our last winery of the day was Reynard Florence Vineyard. I had found them on Yelp and they had great reviews, but I actually hadn’t heard much else about them. There is a reason why! This vineyard is owned by a couple who have recently retired to be wine makers. We had our tasting given by Dee, the wife of the couple, while her husband played in the band on their back deck! This reminded us so much of Italy because the vineyards that we had visited were family owned and very small. It made you feel like you were part of their family as well!
After dinner, thanks to Dee’s recommendation, we headed off to the Bavarian Chef – a german restaurant! Dee had warned us that their serving sizes were humongous but we didn’t listen clearly because we both ordered two appetizers and two entrees – lasting us enough food for the next three days, I’m actually not even kidding about that. BUT IT WAS SO GOOD, so no regrets. We even found one of Tony’s favorite bottles on the wine list!
Overall – trip was a 11/10! Can’t wait to celebrate the next birthday with you Tony. I can’t tell you how special you are to me and how happy and blessed I am to have you in my life. You are an incredible husband and I can’t thank you enough for being the light of my life. I love you! – Andie