Another weekend, another winery! Today’s adventure takes us to Greenhill Vineyards near Middleburg, VA. I was dying to try Greenhill due to the fact that they won numerous awards, both at the Virginia Governor’s Cup AND at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Not many Virginia wineries compete in California wine competitions. If a Virginia wine can compete and win silver, gold, and even double gold medals up against Californian wines, then it has got to be good!
Greenhill is undoubtedly one of the more gorgeous wineries that I have been to. It is in the middle of a county known for it hillsides, views, land, and horses. There are 128 acres, 11 belonging to vineyards, and the other 117 belonging to land for Polo Fields, tasting house/area, and a Farm Store. Yes, the surrounding areas are beautiful, but the winery itself situated their buildings, vineyards, and land in a way that make it absolutely stunning.
Laura Beth, who went with me on my President’s Day Weekend Winery adventure to Early Mountain, Stinson, Barboursville, and King Vineyards, joined me on this trip to Greenhill. We got there around 3:00pm on a Saturday. It was busy, but not so crowded that we couldn’t enjoy ourselves. We were wowed as soon as we arrived. The sun was shining, it was a clear day, and the sun lit the mountains in a postcard picture perfect way.
When you enter the Greenhill tasting room, you are greeted by a hostess. The room was like a restaurant. There is a tasting bar on your left, but you can also have a tasting at any of the seats, couches, or plush armchairs. Laura Beth and I chose to sit at a table near the window so that we could enjoy the view. Unfortunately, we had a cold front that day, so we didn’t sit on the enormous porch outside, but it would be wonderful to do so on a warmer day.
Rigel came by almost as soon as we sat down, ready to start us off on our first sample. What I liked about this tasting experience was that you could enjoy the samples as long as you wish. Rigel would come by only when he saw that your glasses were empty, tell you a little about the wine, and then leave to let you enjoy both the wine and your company. I never felt rushed to finish my sample, as Greenhill wants you to savor your tasting and have a relaxing experience.
We were able to sample six wines for $14. This is one of the more expensive vineyards that I have visited, but you are paying for some excellent quality. There weren’t any tasting menus that I could write on, so unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take notes. Please forgive my lack of detail. The wines that we tasted were:
- 2015 Blanc de Blancs (Sparkling). This sparkling wine was actually a gift in the Oscar’s “Swag Bag” this year! I was surprised how velvety and refreshing this wine went down. There was lots of green apple and citrus. If I were to drink this wine with food, I see something equally as velvety and refreshing, like sushi! Though, this would be the perfect apéritif or celebratory drink to have on its own.
- 2015 Viognier. When I think of Viognier, I usually think of honeysuckle and white blossomed flowers of some kind. While I had those same notes in the wine, I also tasted some baking spices like nutmeg, which was an interesting element to this wine. It gave it some more depth to the wine, but took away from some of the crisp feeling that I enjoy when drinking Viogniers.
- 2015 Chardonnay Reserve. I very much enjoyed this Chardonnay, which was fermented in stainless steel rather than oak. I have noticed that many Virginia wineries have been fermenting their chardonnays in stainless steel due to an increase in customers who don’t want the buttery flavors of wine. This one was rather crisp, with flavors of jasmine, apricot, and pear. Shrimp cocktail or a salad with nuts and a creamier dressing would be an exceptional pairing.
- 2014 Eternity. Chocolate covered cherries. That is what this wine reminded me of. No, it wasn’t sweet, but I got a nose and palate full of cherry and cocoa. It was rather light, so it could be paired with many poultry dishes, like a chicken gyro or ground turkey tacos.
- 2014 Mythology. I wasn’t sure of the blend on this wine, but due to the plummy and earthy flavor, I am imagining that Merlot and Petit Verdot were involved. It had some body to it, which could pair well with lamb chops or barbecue brisket.
- 2014 Philosophy. This wine was my personal favorite. With more of an oaky tannic structure, it also had a much fuller body. While there was a bite to it, it still went down smooth(ish). If you like a wine with more bite, you could drink it on its own (like Laura Beth and me), but if you need food to wash it down, any kind of heavier meal would go well. Think tomato sauces, stews, or soups.
At Greenhill Winery, you can bring your own picnics, but if you don’t, hit the Farm store for some yummy goodies or order from their menu at the table. Children and dogs are allowed, and would love to run around the vast grounds. Greenhill Winery left quite an impression on Laura Beth and me. The beauty and quality of both the land, buildings, and wine are a notch above several others that I have been to. Greenhill Winery is open DAILY from noon-sunset. This is one of the very few wineries that are open daily, so that’s good to keep in mind if you need to take a “mental health day” during the week. For more information, visit their website, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook for more information. As always, let me know if you go and what you thought!