West Virginia always makes me think of a John Denver song. Not one in particular, just all of them in general. And I got to go there on my way home from the annual Wine Bloggers’ Conference.
Yes, I am looking at the states that I am visiting out of order. Why? because some of them I will visit both coming and going… I will get to them… eventually. It has been a bad month for me.
The original plan didn’t include me driving through many of the parts of West Virginia that I wanted to visit. Doesn’t that figure. The Greenbrier for instance. A great resort and home of a bunker for the government in case of Armageddon (the real one… not the California car version). Given my new used fancy ve-hickle that was acquired two days before I hit the road, I was able to re-configure my trip. White Sulpher Springs was now on the list. Unfortunately, there was a golf tournament at the Greenbrier, so I couldn’t saunter into the lobby of the resort. Still, the area was quite beautiful.
On the other hand, the town of Matewan the subject of the movie by John Sayles was still not on my route. It seems awfully small so maybe it was for the best. I didn’t make it to anywhere in Bloody Mingo. I blame the Baldwin-Felts agents.
Even, even worse? I didn’t get to taste any West Virginia wine.
Very simply bad timing. I didn’t enter the state until nearly 6:30 pm and most of the wineries close before 6:00pm. sigh. These wineries were along my route and I hope to lay my hands on some of those wines very soon.
Watts Roost Vineyard — located closest to my entrance into the state had already closed for the evening. Given the number of tourists in town for the golf tournement, I am sure they were glad to close for the evening. Still, they are producing wines from Chambourcin, Leon Millot and Vidal Blanc as well as elderberry, blueberry and blackberry wines that I would like to try.
Wolf Creek Winery
— Also located in the Greenbrier Valley and is planted with twelve acres of Marechal Foch, Chambourcin, Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc and have medals from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition (bronze), an International Eastern Wine Competition bronze and the Charleston Wine And All That Jazz Medal (Note: be careful there is more than one Wolf Creek Winery in the midwest).
— Found further west, near Beckley, Dr. Daniel has planted 114 varietals on his property. The wines seem to have received multiple medals from multiple competitions. The downside? They don’t ship. Boo.
Fisher Ridge — This winery was never going to be a good road trip stop for me as they are by appt. only. Next time I am going through West Virginia I will try to plan better. Also, they have no website. bummer.
Toscano in Appalachia
— This winery is also by appt. and while they have a website, it is just a single page with no additional information about the kinds of wines that they are producing (though from the name I am guessing something Italianish).
— This winery sounded fantastic growing a mix of vinifera and hybrid grapes (or at least producing wines from them as I am a bit skeptical on the idea of a West Virginia Cabernet Sauvignon).
I promise that the next time I am in the state, I will get there earlier in the day.
Gretchen Neuman, VinoVerve Editor August 22, 2011