My neighbor Kathy and I drove out Highway 11 to Victoria Valley Vineyards on Friday afternoon. As we sat in the sunshine on the terrace and sipped our wine, I forgot I was on the outskirts of Marietta, South Carolina. I could have been in Italy or France… California, if the mountains weren’t so green! The hillsides were rolling with vines and the weather was perfect. Breezy and chilly in the shade and warm and amazing in the sun. It’s insane that such a beautiful winery is so close. Even more insane that I haven’t done this at all since we moved to Gap Creek.
The first time I tried this vineyard’s wines, they had just bottled their first vintage. It was at a TRAM Gallery opening. I wasn’t that impressed, but there were so sweet to donate wine and come serve it for us! The wines were a bit thin then, but now that there’s a few years on them, they’ve got a good thing going. After sampling my way through Pulse (their red blend), Merlot, Cab, Chardonnay, Viognier and a few others, I settled on Silk (their Chardonnay/Vignier blend). I’m a big fan of blends. I was surprised to find out that they use 100% of their own grapes for many of their wines. I had no idea we had the kind of weather and landscape in this neck of the woods conducive to growing enough grapes for wine production, but apparently so.
I love how wine is like a picture of the landscape… of the soil and the air…You can almost smell the fresh mountain air in this wine. It’s grapey and earthy and crisp, but at the same time, a little buttery and plummy. Not too sweet. A little cloudy. A great wine for sipping and gabbing on a sunny afternoon.
As we were leaving, the band was setting up for Tunes on the Terrace at 6:30 pm (every Friday until the end of October). As the leaves keep changing on into October, I can only imagine how very cool it would be to sit back, listen to some tunes, nosh on a few appetizers, uncork a bottle and watch the sunset over the mountains.
(I love this quote from Sideways. I thought about that movie as I sat out there:
“I like to think about the life of wine. How it’s a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it’s an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I’d opened it on any other day…” Quote from Virginia Madsen playing Maya in Sideways)