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Travels in Virginia Blog

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Travels in Virginia

Posts Tagged ‘virginia wine’

James Beard Foundation Awards Virginia Restaurants and Chefs

With March Virginia Wine and Dine Month soon approaching, it is a time for celebrating Virginia wines and local restaurants. There are many Virginia restaurants that provide local cuisine for its customers, and many of these restaurants have been not only appreciated by its ‘regulars’ but by the culinary elite as well.

Recently, the 2013 James Beard Foundation recognized several Virginia restaurants and chefs in its national, prestigious culinary competition.  In total, five Virginia restaurants and chefs have been praised for their great contribution to the culinary art.  These five semifinalists are:

Outstanding Bar Program:

Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA

Ian Boden, Glass Haus Kitchen, Charlottesville, VA

Anthony Chittum, Vermilion, Alexandria, VA

Lee Gregory, The Roosevelt, Richmond, VA

The 2013 James Beard Foundation Award nominees will be announced on Monday, March 18. Be on the lookout to see which Virginia restaurants and chefs are noted.

For more information on the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards, visit http://www.jamesbeard.org/awards.

For more information on great restaurants to visit in Virginia, visit http://www.virginia.org/directory/dining/.

You can see some of The Roosevelt’s offerings in this Richmond Webisode of For the LOVE of Travel.

Get Ready for LOVE By The Glass

March is almost here and you know what that means? It’s time for LOVE By The Glass: Virginia Wine & Dine Month!

Virginia is truly a Commonwealth of Wine, with more than 220 wineries statewide. In March, the state’s restaurants show lots of love for local wines by offering more Virginia wines by the glass to their menus.

LOVE By The Glass: Virginia Wine & Dine month is a partnership between the Virginia Wine Marketing Office and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.  It started as a week-long event a few years ago to get more Virginia wine on menus at restaurants across the state.  It became so popular that it grew into a month, which is great news for visitors who have a love for local food and wine.

The Virginia Wine Marketing office has a list of participating restaurants and businesses on their Web site.  Check out www.Virginia.org/wine for special wine-related travel packages and events.  And take a look at this webisode of For the LOVE of Travel, featuring local wines on the Richmond food scene.

The media event to kick off LOVE By The Glass will be February 26 in Richmond, with tours and tastings at The Roosevelt, Rappahannock and LeMaire.

For all you tweeters out there, follow the action all month long at the hashtag #LOVEbyGlass and follow @vatourismpr @VisitVirginia and @vawine.


March is LOVE By The Glass: Virginia Wine & Dine Month

Crush On Virginia’s Wine Month Sweepstakes

You may know that October is Virginia Wine Month, when the commonwealth encourages wine enthusiasts to “Discover Your Local Crush” at more than 200 wineries statewide. This year to celebrate, we’ve created a sweepstakes that Virginia wine lovers will surely crush on.

We are giving away two day-trip excursions on the Virginia Crush Bus – one to Loudoun County: DC’s Wine Country, and another to wineries along the Monticello Wine Trail near Charlottesville/Albermarle County.

These trips are ideal for folks living in Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Richmond, as it offers a fun opportunity to experience the fantastic wineries right in their own back yard.

Enter now at www.Virginia.org/VaCrushBus for a chance to win one of the day-trips below for you and a friend on the Virginia Crush Bus to Discover Your Local Crush and see why Wine Enthusiast named Virginia one of the top 10 wine travel destinations in the world!

Loudoun County: DC’s Wine Country – October 27, 2012

Spend the day touring wineries along the Loudoun County wine trail.  This trip will include visits to three different wineries surrounded by beautiful countryside, winding roads and quaint small towns. A delicious lunch will complete the trip and give you energy to keep savoring wonderful Virginia wines. Winners will depart on the Virginia Crush Bus from the Fair Lakes Whole Foods Market store on October 27 at 9:00 a.m. and return to the store around 4:00 p.m. Winners of this trip will visit:

Charlottesville/Albemarle County along the Monticello Wine Trail – October 28, 2012

This trip will take wine lovers to the heart of Thomas Jefferson country to tour wineries that have sprung up around his home of Monticello near Charlottesville. Winners tour at three to four beautiful wineries and enjoy a delicious lunch surrounded by stunning scenery, rich history and mountain views. Winners of this trip will depart on the Virginia Crush Bus from the Richmond Short Pump Whole Foods Market store at 9:00 a.m. and return to the store around 4:00 p.m. Winners of this trip will visit:

Cheers and good luck!

Travels with Tater

Pet-friendly travel in Virginia

Virginia is pet-friendly for travel and I’m living proof! My hubby and I hit the road last weekend for a seaside getaway to Chincoteague on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and of course we travel with our dog whenever possible. Her name is Tater. She’s a rescue pup and quite an adventurer. Here’s what she enjoyed most about our trip.

Seaside Doggie Treats – When you cross over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel all dogs are greeted by bridge booth attendant who says “would you like a doggie treat”? And these treats are special; they come in shapes of sailboats, fish, mermaids and more. (photo taken by passenger while car was parked. Safety first.)

Special dog treats

Home Sweet HomeChincoteague has a great variety of lodging including vacation homes, many of which accept pets. We rented a home called Serendipity that had a screened-in front porch that Tater loved. She sat there and watched the world go by while we shucked local Chincoteague oysters.

Virginia is for Wine Lovers – we stopped into Chatham Vineyards on our return to Richmond and Tater jumped out to explore and talk with Wilbur, the official welcome dog of the vineyard who is an adorable Norwich Terrier. You can see him and his owners Jon and Mills Wehner there almost daily.

Wilbur, the official greeter at Chatham Vineyards

Beach Exploring – Virginia is home to beaches big and small, with many beautiful beaches found on the Eastern Shore. We visited the beach at Kiptopeake State Park where dogs are welcome on the south side of the beach. You can also visit the giant LOVE artwork there this summer.

Dog-friendly Kiptopeke State Park

Find out more about pet-friendly travel in Virginia at www.Virginia.org/pets. Check out the 2012 Virginia Travel Guide which has a whole section about wine dogs in Virginia starting on page 52!

Home Sweet Home

Today Show, Travel + Leisure Magazine Show Love for Culpeper

This morning on the Today Show, Culpeper Virginia got some love during the travel segment as it was named one of five easy weekend road trips in the October issue of Travel + Leisure Magazine.  The region was recognized as an accessible and affordable wine destination with modern lodging at Suites at 249, fine dining at Foti’s Restaurant and The Inn at Little Washington and superb Virginia wine from Gray Ghost Vineyards and Paradise Springs Winery.

We happen to agree!  It’s easy to plan a Virginia wine getaway of your own. Virginia is within a day’s drive of 60  percent of the U.S. population and with more than 200 wineries statewide, Virginia as a whole is an accessible wine  destination. With the wide range of lodging in Virginia from high-end resorts to B&Bs to private cabins, and various  entertainment options from historic home tours to performing arts to outdoor adventure, any region of Virginia offers a great wine getaway.

Need more inspiration? Bookmark www.virginia.org/wine as your one-stop-shop for Virginia wine travel  resources information.

There’s a New Trail in Town

If you are a Virginia wine and/or Virginia craft beer lover, then head to Nelson County this week to celebrate the launch of Virginia’snewest trail, Nelson 151.  The trail got its name from Route 151, a designated Virginia scenic byway in the Blue Ridge Mountains that connects the seven wineries and two breweries that joined forces to make up the trail.

The Nelson 151 wineries and breweries are some of Virginia’s finest. They are: Afton Mountain Vineyards, Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery, Flying Fox Vineyard and Winery, Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery, Pollak Vineyards and Winery, Veritas Vineyard and Winery, Wintergreen Winery, Blue Mountain Brewery and Wild Wolf Brewery.

Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery

To celebrate the launch of this trail, the businesses mentioned above are offering deals and discounts all week long that vary from cheese plates for $1.51 to wine glasses for $1.51 to tasting fees for $1.51 and more.

The 151 celebration specials are only the start!  Be sure to keep an eye on the Nelson 151 calendar of events to get the scoop on fun events along the trail including the grand opening of the new BMB restaurantcooking classes at Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery, Pollak’s Friday sunset concert series and Oktoberfest at Blue Mountain Brewery to name a few.

Stoked for The National Wine Bloggers Conference

After months of excitement and anticipation, the annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference is finally here!  Starting tomorrow, 330 wine bloggers from across the country will be in Charlottesville for a weekend of tasting local wines, visiting wineries and discussing the intersection of wine and new media.

We are beyond excited to have such an event here in Virginia and are eager to share our ‘Commonwealth of Wine’ with everyone attending WBC11.  Over the past couple weeks, we’ve sent out some facts via our @vatourismpr twitter account about Virginia Tourism, Charlottesville, and of course, Virginia Wine.  In case you’ve missed them, they are listed below.

Also, check out the conversations about Virginia wine at #vawine and Virginia travel at #vatravel along with the #WBC11 hashtag.

Looking forward to meeting all the bloggers tomorrow in Charlottesville.


Hey #WBC11, did you know that each year VA celebrates October Virginia Wine Month? Details: www.Virginia.org/wine #vawine #vatravel

Hey #WBC11 did you know that Virginia is home to nearly 200 wineries statewide? #vawine #vatravel

Hey #WBC11, DYK that not long ago Travel & Leisure proclaimed Virginia one of five up-and-coming wine regions? #vawine #vatravel

Hey #WBC11, DYK VA celebrated the 2nd annual Virginia Wine Week in March? Be on the lookout for 2012 dates! #vawinehttp://bit.ly/qeG8XV

Hey #WBC11! DYK that VA has 6 AVAs? They are: Eastern Shore, Monticello Northern Neck, North Fork of Roanoke, Rocky Knob & Shenandoah Valley

Hey #WBC11, Did you know that there are more than 20 wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail? #vawine #vatravel

Hey #WBC11 Some say wine country but in VA we say “wine commonwealth”. With nearly 200 wineries in the state – VA is a Commonwealth of Wine

Hey #WBC11, Did you know that Virginia is for Lovers longest running state tourism slogan in the country?  #vawine #vatravel

Hey #WBC11, Did you know that Virginia has just under 3,000 acres of #vineyards? (via @vawine#vawine #vatravel

Hey #WBC11, Did you know that in 2010 Virginia wine sales increased nearly 13 percent over 2009? #vawine #vatravel

Hey #WBC11, DYK VA also has dozens of microbreweries, mead & hard cider makers & a white lighting at Stillhouse Distillery? #vawine #vatravel

Hey #WBC11, Did you know that #Norton, America’s native grape, was cultivated in Virginia? @vawine #vawine #vatravel

Hey #WBC11, Did you know that #Charlottesville was home to 3 founding fathers who would become U.S. presidents? Know who they are? #vawine

Hey #WBC11, Did you know that #Monticello, the Rotunda & the grounds of UVA are designated #UNESCO World Heritage Sites? #vawine #vatravel

Put a little LOVE in Your Glass!

My goodness how time flies!  It’s hard to believe it was a year ago that the first-ever Virginia Wine Week was launched.  In the inaugural year, about 100 restaurants and wine shops participated by offering at least two Virginia wines by the glass as part of the wine week promotion – not too shabby.  

Now a year later, we are back at it again, and the number of participants has tripled! From March 18-27 more than 300 restaurants and wine shops throughout the state will feature Virginia wine by the glass for the 2nd Annual Virginia Wine Week – Love By The Glass.

I am not surprised with the increased interest in wine week as Virginia wines continue to gain respect and popularity in the wine world.  In the past year alone, more than 30 new wineries opened, bringing Virginia’s total number of wineries to 191.  In 2010 Virginia wine sales increased nearly 13 percent over 2009.  Virginia was recently named one of the top five up-and-coming wine regions by Travel + Leisure magazine and currently ranks fifth in the U.S. for wine production.

Want to find out if your favorite restaurant and/or wine shop is participating in Virginia Wine Week? Visit www.VirginiaWine.org to find participating businesses and be sure to check out www.Virginia.org for information on special events and select hotels, resorts and inns have created special travel packages for Virginia Wine Week!