Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Off the Beaten Path – Wine in the Blue Ridge!!

Continuing on our trek back down to our home in East Tennessee, following our late summer/early fall 2011 road trip to upper New York State, Pennsylvania and Virginia…

I was wandering along some back roads and local byways near the Blue Ridge in Virginia, looking for old railroad depots and other sights when we noted a sign directing us to a local winery.  It was tempting…and we gave in to our impulses!

We ended up at the Blue Ridge Vineyard near Eagle Rock Virginia.  I must say, this place was up and down some back roads, in a location that can best be termed as almost remote…but beautiful.

The rustic barn, wine tasting room and patio at the winery is the home to local events and live music.  There is actually a concert series that stops here plus there is live music on Sundays during the summer and on in to October. 

The couple that owns the Blue Ridge Vineyards moved to the Blue Ridge from Texas in 1985.  They bought this 300 acre farm with 10 acres of vineyards…and sold the grapes to winemakers for 15 years.  At that point, they decided to start producing their own wine…
Barbara is the wine maker.  She has a PhD in molecular biology and microbiology.  Her husband Jim is the viticulturist.  He has a MS in Physics and he’s been both an air force and commercial pilot.

We were particularly pleased to note this sign at the vineyard.  It’s great to know that this property is protected in perpetuity from further development.  It’s a beautiful place…and we’re sure that some developer would turn the land into mini-estates or 'ranchettes' sooner or later. 

We’ve been big supporters of the Nature Conservancy…and conservation easements are one of that organization’s greatest tools.  Note: The Nature Conservancy operates like a business and they have helped to protected 17,000,000 acres in the USA and 117,000,000 acres world-wide.  For more on this organization and its accomplishments, just go to

It is very nice to know that this land is protected from future development… What a great place for a picnic, a wedding or other events!  The Blue Ridge Vineyard was one of Virginia’s first vineyards and its one of the three vineyards on the Botetourt County’s Wine Trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The other two stops on the trail are the Virginia Mountain Vineyard and the Forecastle Vineyard and Winery. 

Wine tasting at the Blue Ridge Vineyards takes place inside a barn that looks like an antique store.  Barb and Jim have filled the room with collectables, many of which are from Texas.  Laurie especially liked the warm and cozy feeling that was provided by the presence of one of the two friendly dogs at the winery.

This is Jake… He has his own Blog Site!  It’s called Jake’s Journal – a Dog’s Blog… It’s about the Blue Ridge Vineyard and you can find it at  The fact that dogs are welcome guests at the winery is apparently a well known fact.  This vineyard is listed as a dog friendly place in this dog centric website:

These are the 4 bottles of wine that we purchased from the Blue Ridge Vineyards.  The Big Bear Red is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot.  The Solstice was their premier wine.  The wines from the Blue Ridge Vineyard have won a number of awards.  These are solid wines, competent if not the top of the line.  The price was right too.  For more on the wines from this vineyard, go to:

Blue Ridge Vineyards are located in the hills and mountains of the Blue Ridge at 1027 Shiloh Drive in (near) Eagle Rock Virginia.  The vineyard is open daily from 12 Noon until 5 PM from March through December.  Tastings are free… Phone: 540-798-7642.  As for the website for the Blue Ridge Vineyards…just ask Jake, after all, it’s his site!
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

1 comment:

  1. What a great view they have a great place for a winery. I'm so impressed with people who protect their land forever. Sure wish you'd disable the word verification so it's not painful to leave a comment.