Although I've been a bit negligent lately in writing about the wineries we have visited, rest assured that today's post will be a doozy! The first winery I want to talk about is Fabbioli Cellars in Leesburg, VA. This is one of our favorites because they always do a food pairing with their tastings ($15 pp) and there is usually an extra wine tossed in to taste that isn't on the tasting menu. The food pairings are themed as well, which makes for a really fun experience. January's theme was "Breakfast" and food bites included chicken & waffles, petit toast and mimosa jam and cheese bites, among others. They also make cider and include a taste or two of those with the experience. We tried the NV Perry (a pear cider) and it was excellent! If pear is your thing, they also have a pear wine which was also quite good. The 2017 Chambourcin, 2016 Barbera and 2015 Tannat (a new release) were all excellent reds. The Raspberry Merlot is a special treat and you can't beat it with a few bites of chocolate. These bottles are sold in units of 375 ml. while the others are sold in the traditional 750 ml. bottles. Pricing is reasonable (~$20 - $45 per bottle). The tasting room is gorgeous and upstairs seating is available as well. In the winter, there are fire pits available outside and in the summer their other building is also open for wine sales and food. Outdoor seating is available as well. Dogs are permitted outside, but not inside. Cats appear to be permitted both in and outdoors, but it just may be the owners' cats.
Next up is Philip Carter Winery in Hume, VA. This winery is dog friendly for friendly dogs who are leashed and supervised. They must remain outdoors; however, the winery does provide dog bowls for water. Upon arrival, we came upon a counter with a line and we weren't sure how this worked so we stood in the line. Once we were acknowledged, we were guided downstairs to the tasting counter. The tasting was $10 pp and enjoyable. We were fortunate to have my mom with us as she is a white wine drinker and can provide input for that. Her favorite white was the '15 Gov. Fauquier which is made of 100% Vidal Blanc with 1% residual sugar, which surprised me because she is usually a Chardonnay drinker. On the menu was also '14 Chardonnay and '17 Sabine Viognier which were both good, but the '15 Gov. Fauquier certainly outdid them all. For $24 a bottle and 6 wine competition medals (including 1 platinum!), it was a no brainer for my mom to leave with at least 1 bottle! They had a good rose as well but, in my opinion, it didn't taste much different than other roses that I have had. The reds included a great Cab Franc ( '16 Nomini Hall Cabernet Franc" ), a blend of Chambourcin and Norton and a Meritage-style blend called the '15 Corotoman (This is the name of one of Philip Carter's dogs!). All were good and we will definitely return here to sit and relax for awhile. The tasting room was pretty with many works of art decorating the facility and all are for sale. They also have items for sale that are unique and wine-related (barrel staves, cork art, etc.) that we enjoyed looking at.
After we left Philip Carter, we decided to check out another winery just down the road about a mile called Winding Road Cellars (Markham, VA). There are 5 wines on the tasting menu and the tasting is $7 pp. The facility is small and is located behind a house. Parking accommodates no more than about 8. When we first went in, we were doubtful. It was tiny with some tables on both sides of the tasting counter. There was also an area to play checkers/chess (think Cracker Barrel). The owners were both there; she was pouring the tastings and he makes the wine. They had a Chardonnay, 3 blends and a Cab Franc. I did not like the nose on the wines; however the taste was markedly different and the Cab Franc was excellent! We sat and stayed for awhile with my mom, my daughter, my son-in-law and grandson and had a fabulous time! It was a warm, quaint little place completely done in wood and it felt like a family gathering at a little log cabin. When it was time to close, we were not rushed out and we decided we would definitely go back soon. The ambiance for a quiet little afternoon getaway was absolutely perfect!