I ventured out to Virginia for a wine tasting tour this past weekend. My parents were visiting and we were looking to escape the city and do something other than visit the standard DC sights. And I’m never one to turn down an opportunity to go wine tasting. In fact, this was my second Virginia wine tasting trip in the last month.
The highlight of our day was Linden Vineyards – a low key, off the beaten path, and blissfully scenic hillside winery in Virginia’s Shenandoah Wine Region. Shortly after arriving, we were able to take a free 45 minute tour of the vineyard and wine making facility before visiting the tasting room. I highly recommend the tour, which gives you an inside look into the wine-making process and a better understanding of the Linden’s overarching approach to wine-making and operating a winery.
It might sound cliche, but Linden is very much a wine-focused winery. Yeah, I know, that seems like a no brainer. But believe me, there are plenty of wineries that prefer to play the “destination” role while just barely skating by when it comes to producing quality wine. Whether it’s the free tour and tasting, the lack of kitschy souvenirs, or the limits on groups and tour buses, Linden has clearly made an effort to maintain the integrity of their vineyard while also providing an enjoyable experience for visitors.
And the wine is pretty good too. Of the current releases on the tasting menu, the 2008 Vidal Riesling and 2007 Claret were the highlights for me. Both were well balanced wines that showed an ability to produce quality white and red wines, which in my experience, can be hard to come by at many Virginia wineries. The prices were reasonable as well, with both selling for around $20 per bottle.
The basic tasting at Linden is free, which is also rare find among most Virginia wineries, and includes 6 wines. A private Cellar Tasting featuring single vineyard wines is also available for $15/person, and reservations are required. The vineyard tour is offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am. Linden’s facility also features a beautiful deck just off the tasting room that overlooks the winery and surrounding hills. One downside though, the deck is only open to Case Club members during the weekend. But hey, if you enjoy the wine, membership in the Club is just a case of wine away.
While this sign and the overall sentiment behind it is probably a turn off for many people, it endeared this winery to me. In fact, it made me like the place before I even set foot in the door. Combined with the rest of my experience, I’ll be sure to visit again.Linden Vineyards 3708 Harrels Corner Rd Linden, VA 22642 http://www.lindenvineyards.com/