Did you know you live within a stone's throw of one of the country's top wine producing regions? Living in the DMV, there is really no excuse to not have visited a Virginia winery. Even if you are without a car, there are other ways - tours, limousines, Zipcar and that friend who owes you a favor. Virginia is like little Napa. There are so many wineries to choose from, generally close together too, which makes for an easy vineyard hop!
I - 66 is blanketed with vineyards with no shortage of winery signs on that stretch of road. Once you get a little further out on 66 traffic isn't as miserable as it is closer into the city. It actually becomes quite a beautiful drive. One winery off 66 that deserves to top your tour list is Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run. The drive up the lane to the winery is surrounded by vines, just gorgeous. The tasting room is quite nice too. Plenty of room to taste and places to sit and enjoy a glass of wine (or bottle).
Pearmund Cellars is one of the oldest Virginia Wineries and the oldest Chardonnay vineyard in the East. It is no surprise that Pearmund produces a stellar Chardonnay. 2011 Old Vine Chardonnay is a perfect example of quality Virginia Chards.
A quick lesson on Chardonnay. In the states when one thinks of Chardonnay, they think California Chardonnay. There are two types: Oaked and Unoaked. For a long time California Chardonnay was, let's say, very oaky. There was not a lot of moderation in oak use. The use of Malolactic Fermentation (which happens in tank after the first fermentation and alters the acids in the wine from the harsher malic acid which are the same acids in green apples) creates a buttery almost nutty flavor, which is a very popular characteristic in Chards. Aged in either oak barrels for oak characteristics or stainless steel tanks for more of the fruity flavors.
Back to Virginia Chardonnay! Pearmund Cellars 2011 Old Vine Chardonnay is a perfect example of 100% Malolactic Fermentation. Sipping this chard you won't get any oak on your tongue. Ripe apple and pear with soft butter can be detected. Smooth on the finish with a very long lasting buttery apple finish. It is taste bud heaven.
About 50 minutes from Arlington you can sip on some fabulous Virginia Chardonnay at Pearmund Cellars. Their other wines are not too shabby either -- Pearmund won awards for best Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon in 2013. Whether you sip on the Chardonnay or savor the Cabernet, you will not be disappointed. Take a drive one weekend and enjoy what Virginia wines have to offer!
Pearmund Cellars, 6190 Georgetown Road, Broad Run, VA 20137 540-347-3475
Open daily 10 am to 6 pm