Today is National Farmer’s Day

National Farmer’s Day used  to be called Old  Farm Day.

National Farmer’s Day on October 12th offers much-deserved praise to the hard-working farmers across the nation.  In the midst of harvest-season, the day pays tribute to the men, women, and family who put food in the grocery stores and on our tables every day.

Since today is a Saturday, it would be a great day to visit a farmer’s market, check out a corn maze, visit a pumpkin patch, or take a ride in the country.  In Virginia, it is also Wine month where Virginia has many farm wineries.

Additional products and areas that rely on agriculture include:

  • leather
  • apparel
  • restaurants
  • beverages
  • textiles
  • trucking
  • railroad
  • forestry
  • pharmaceuticals
  • transportation
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Glen Manor is a family farm that is now being farmed by the 5th generation.  It  has evolved from animals and vegetables through fruit tress and now as a vineyard.  This picture is looking east to the Skylne drive.   It is near Front Royal, Virginia.

 


Caromount Farm in Eastmount near Schuyler, Virginia is a goat farm.  They have several types of goats.  The owne, Gail Hobb Page, makes several type of gourmet goat cheese from the milk.

 

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Cattle staring at visitors waiting to tour the Big Sur Light Station at Pt  Sur along the Pacifc Coast  Highway south of Carmel and north of Big Sur Village.

 

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Happy National White Wine Day

According to Days of the Year, White Wine Day was August 3.  However, according to Checkiday, it is today.  Celebrate it when you can.

What white wines do you like?  Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc,  Seyval, Reisling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Viognier. Chenin Blanc,  and Semillon are just a few of the varieties.

From National White Wine Day webpage.

White wines are usually made with grapes with light yellow-green skins or light red skins, while red wines are made from grapes with purple or black skins. But it is not the color of the grape skins that gives white wine its yellow or golden color. Both white and red wines are made using the clear juice of grapes, but the skins of the grapes used to make red wine are used in that wine as well. It is the tannins in the grape skins that gives red wine its color and some of its taste.

What are the health benefits of white wine?  According to Wine Country Living (not an unbiased source), the 5 Health Benefits include weight loss, disease prevention, heart protection, lung health, and reduced hangovers (less tanins).

quote-never-never-trust-anyone-who-asks-for-white-wine-it-means-they-re-phonies-bette-davis-60-21-39
Betty, I disagree.
White wine should always be tried
This, I can agree with.

I can’t think of a better way to celebate National White Wine Day than a cool glass of white wine while viewing a buccolic scene from one of the my favorite Virginia wineries. The hard part will be deciding which winery to visit today. Will I have enjoy a sauvignon blanc or a chardonnay? Will let you know later.

Bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all of the books in the world.jpg

Reblog: A Look at Ice Wine

We’ve hit the 3 H’s of summer:  Hazy, Hot, and Humid.  Snow and Ice are a distant memory and maybe a possible future.  In the meantime we can enjoy iced tea, ice cream and a special sweet treat Ice Wine.  To learn more about Ice Wine click here.

Many wineries that are not  in a region to make real ice wine do make wine in an ice wine style by leaving grapes hanging on past the first frost and then freezing them after picking.  I’m  not sure how purists feel about this, but I personally like them as a dessert wine.   Petite Manseng and Reisling grapes both do very well for this purpose.

Ice wine tea (which I have not tried) is another way to enjoy Ice Wine.

 

 

 

Ten Tips on How to Enjoy Yourself at a Winery

wine--monk sneaking a drink(Even if  nobody else does.)

We went to two local wineries on a rainy  Saturday afternoon.   We observed many of the following behaviors at both wineries.

1) Invite at least 8 or more of your BFFs.  (If your group is not large enough to reach critical mass, then why make the effort to show up?)

2)  While you are at the winery, make sure each of you enjoys every bit of wine to whichpour-wine large you are entitled. The whole purpose of tasting wine is to make sure you taste enough to know whether you like it or not.

3.  On a rainy afternoon where everyone wants to be inside or outside on the roofed patio, make sure you gather enough chairs and tables for your entire possee.  Then stare at  the people who arrive after you to let them know that they should have arrived earlier. (After all you did.)

4.  Since you elected to patronize the winery, make sure people know you are there.  Dress to be seen and speak loudly enough so that your entire group can hear your bon mots and witty asides.  Laugh frequently (preferably in loud, shrill tones) so that no one can miss out on this scintillating conversation.

5.  Since practice makes perfect, you need to visit several wineries to perfect you technique.

6. You are a responsible group, so it’s much better to arrive in a limo or a bus.  You are not driving while impared, take up fewer parking spaces, and arrive in a large group simultaneously, which makes it better to have your presence felt.

7.  Take as much space as you need when going tasting at the bar.  The other customers will notpouring wine into a glass mind crowding up to give you the space you deserve.

8.  Unless the winery, specifically prohibits it, bring lots of food to share with your possee.  Picnic baskets, plastic bags, large coolers, serving dishes and utensils, multiple courses with appropriate garnishes, and enough paperplates and plastic ware show that you know how to enjoy yourselves in style.

9.  When you leave, don’t bother to bus your tables.  That is what the winery staff is for and if the next people really want to sit there, they will clean the tables for you.

10.  Get back on the bus, complaining loudly how no one understands the effort your group has made to enjoy themselves on a rainy day.

Aspiration Sunday

“Before you search for inspiration outside, dig for aspiration within.”

-The Little Mermaid, MMXIX

The Little Mermaid posted this on her blog today.

In Central Virginia, today is a bright sunny day with temps that will soar from the mid 30s to the mid  60s.  Spring is steadily advancing with birds singing, flowers blooming, and tree pollen rising (along with the temps).

What do you aspire to today?  I aspire for peace and contemplation.

Cardinal Point logoI want to sip wine outside in one of my favorite wineries, Cardinal Point.  Maybe their Green wine will be ready.  Green wine  is from the Portuguese Vinho Verde  (literally ‘green wine’)  that originated in the historic Minho Province in the far north of Portugal.  It is not a St. Patrick’s day wine (white wine colored green) but is wine made from young grapes. Picked before the regular wine harvest, it provides fresh wine that is drunk soon after bottling before the other wines are available.  It’s a perfect wine to sip on while enjoying the warm Spring sunshine.

If we have no love for ourselves then we have none to give others.  At what point does self love become hedonism? Is it when the ego rear’s its head, thumbs its chest and starts proclaiming how wonderful  it is?  Or is it when our love for ourselves or our needs tramples the love or concern we have for others?  Is spending the afternoon sipping a light wine  outside in a beautiful environment aspiration or hedonistic?

The day will evolve from soaking up the sun to soaking in some peace.  Our church is initiating a new service this evening, Taize Eucharest.  “A Taizé worship service involves sung and chanted prayers, meditation, a period of silence, liturgical readings, and icons. There is no preaching.”  It is ecumenical in nature.

 

Heroine

Jane Whitney, my friend and sommelier at Glen Manor Winery near Front Royal, Virginia, died unexpectedly on February 5, 2019.  The area was just coming out of a deep freeze.

That Tuesday, Jane’s friend, Nancy Border Forest stopped by Jane’s house in Bentonville.  Nancy was taking her golden retriever with her to pick up another dog at the groomers.  Nancy never arived at the groomers.

The surmise is that the golden retriever escaped onto the half frozen pond on Jane’s property and fell through the thin ice.  Both women went out to try and rescue the dog.  All three were found dead the next day by Warren County sherrifs.

Jane, the owner of at least three rescue dogs, died as she lived–helping others.  In addition to working at Glen Manor Winery, Jane also volunteered and was on the board at the Front Royal Women’s Rescue Center and Blue Ridge Hospice.

She was from England, becoming an American citizen in 1979 when she married Scott C. Whitney and moved to the United States.  She was a lawyer in England and had met Scott when they were both teaching at Exeter  University Law School.

Jane was a lady of wit and wisdom.  When my friends and I visited the winery, she always took time to chat with us and catch up on what was going on in each others lives. She would talk about her many trips to the Charlottesville area when she drove a friend down there for medical treatment at the UVA hospital.

We first met Jane back in the 1990s when she worked at Linden Winery in Linden, Virginia.  We were very happy to re-make her acquaintance when Jeff White opened Glen Manor winery about 2009.  (Jeff planted his vineyard in 1995 and originally sold wine through Linden before opening his own wine some years later.)

 

 

National Drink Wine Day-Feb 18

wine--monk sneaking a drinkNational Drink Wine Day is celebrated annually on February 18 across the United States.

The purpose of National Drink Wine Day is to spread the love and health benefits of wine.  Wine has played an important role in history, religion and relationships.  We embrace the positive benefits of wine such as new friends, reduced risk of heart disease and the enhancement of food and life.

Bottle of wine, fruit of the vine, when you going to let me get sober?

Red, red wine, goes to my head,
Makes me forget that I
Still need you so

You come on like a dream, peaches and cream
Lips like strawberry wine 
You’re sixteen, you’re beautiful and you’re mine

A Taste of Honey by Tom Jones
“…honey, much sweeter than wine”
Best of My Love by the Eagles
“wasting our time on cheap talk and wine, left us so little to give”

All Along the Watchtower by Bob Dylan
“Businessmen, they drink my wine, ploughmen dig my earth”

Cracklin’ Rosie by Neil Diamond
“Cracklin’ Rosie, you’re a store-bought woman
You make me sing like a guitar hummin'”

Happy Chardonnay Day

chardonnay grapes“International Chardonnay Day traditionally falls on the Thursday before Memorial Day (May 25th, this year), but there’s nothing “traditional” about this stalwart summer staple when it comes to flavor: crisp and fruity unoaked versions are beginning to win over the pinot grigio crowd, while the familiar buttery-cream oaked ambrosia is still in high demand.”

What type of Chardonnay do you prefer?  In the winter, I like the oaky Chardonnay, but in the summer, I prefer the unoaked type.  If it is really hot, I actually like sauvignon blanc, but don’t tell Chardonnay I wrote that.

NV-Carneros-Chardonnay-2015-onward-205x763I was at one California winery in 2016, Dulzura Vineyard and Winery in San Diego County, that oaked their wine by putting a string of quarter sized oak chips in a barrel of wine.  The oak influence was so light as to be nonexistent.  Most other California wineries are known for the huge oakey Chardonnays.  Rombauer is my favorite in the category.

Although Viognier is the official white grape of Virginia, a number of wineries do make excellent Chardonnay.  Some of my favorites include Linden, White Hall, Barboursville, Pollack, Naked Mountain, and, Veritas to name a few.  Probably the most unique Virginia Chardonnay I have tried is Cardinal Point’s Hopped Chardonnay.  It works for a lot people and is certainly unique among any Chardonnay I have ever tried.  Since I am not a beer drinker or a hops fan, it is about the only thing at a Cardinal Point wine tasting that I generally pass on. From the Cardinal Point website: 2017 Hopped Chardonnay
This unique wine made with estate grown Chardonnay and estate grown cascade hops has pleasing herbal and lemon grass notes, mostly from the hop influence. The mid-palate is fresh and light, with a long finish. We love this wine with fresh trout, pan fried or on the grill.