Labor Day weekend is over and I had a great time visiting my family in the great town of Afton in Nelson County, Va. Nelson County is located in Central Virginia nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley. When I was growing up there was nothing there except a ski resort, but now my county of origin is home to wineries and breweries galore. It is even home to Bold Rock Hard Cider and over the weekend a vodka distillery opened there. Dranks anyone?
My first stop (after my mom’s house) was Pippen Hill Farm and Vineyards. Pippen Hill is beautiful! I have visited a lot of the wineries in the area, but Pippen Hill’s secluded location and impeccable landscaping puts it high on the list of wineries. Touting itself as a “boutique winery,” it is the new kid on the block and draws crowds because in addition to wine, it also has food. While many wineries give you a full tasting, Pippen Hill allows you to choose four wines from its menu to taste. I ended up purchasing the Chardonnay Reserve which was the best Chardonnay I’ve tasted in ages.
The second stop was Veritas Vineyard and Winery. I don’t care what anyone says, this is still my favorite winery in my hometown…after Pollak, which I did not get a chance to visit this go-around.
This was all on Saturday. On Sunday we visited Bold Rock Hard Cider. This was fun and a new experience. The cidery does not seem to be fully opened yet, but the makeshift tasting area was fine for a hot day in August.
While I enjoyed the wine and cider, my favorite drink of the weekend was Cheerwine! Cheerwine is a cherry soda sold mainly in the Southern part of the United States. People in Northern VA have no idea what Cheerwine is, but I get one every time I go home because it is the most delicious carbonated beverage in the world.