Weekend Wine Getaway? Try Bluemont Vineyard near the Blue Ridge Mountains

Bluemont Vineyard

If you have an itch for a weekend wine getaway, now is the perfect time to hit the local wine trail. With Loudon County berries and peaches at peak, many wineries are showcasing some delicious dessert blends that will keep the taste of summer going well into fall.

Blue Ridge Blends

Grapes at Bluemont Vineyard

Bluemont Vineyard sign

We opted for the short drive to Loundon County to explore Bluemont Vineyard on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The view from the deck alone is worth the drive, but the custom blends with local fruits are just as exciting.

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Octagon: A Wine Story Of Founding Fathers And French Grapes

The barrels that house Octagon are made of French oak. (Courtesy of Barboursville Vineyards)

D.C. knows all about Founding Fathers. From Washington to Madison, Monroe to Hamilton, the area is bursting at the seams with their influence.

But one Founding Father — that fiery redhead, Thomas Jefferson — went a step further in his contributions to the nation by encouraging the growth of French grapes for spectacular wines produced locally.

Barboursville Vineyards, a large-production facility near Charlottesville, Va., has embraced the idea of French grapes in a big way. On land that was once tended by Jefferson, the vineyard has established a wine that may just be worthy of the man himself — Octagon.

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A Bottle Of Pear Wine, Complete With The Pear

The fruit is still in the bottle — a great wine and a conversation piece. (Courtesy of Fabbioli Cellars)

What’s better than a wine made from pears?

A wine made from pears with a full piece of fruit in the bottle.

Just north of Leesburg, Va., Fabbioli Cellars has mastered the process of making pear-in-a-bottle wine, with great results.

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Look What We Found on 14th Street This Morning: Batch 13, a New Small-Batch Liquor, Wine, and Beer Store

At a wee morning hour that was definitely more café au lait than craft brew, we spotted this freshly minted wine/liquor/beer store on 14th, just doors down from Cork and Peregrine Espresso. We can’t find a website, but did come across an article posted late last week on Borderstan.  Here’s what they have to say:


Batch 13
 is the place to go if you are looking for special beer, wine or spirits. The two-level store has been open for a week now. At 1724 14th St NW (between R and S Streets), it is a new retail addition on the block. After some six months of waiting for permits — and then renovations to the former Dogs by Day daycare space — the liquor store’s decor is a delight to the eyes.

We spoke to one of the managers of Batch 13 who told us, “Batch 13 is a fun place to shop and learn about beer, wine and spirits.” The store has more than 1,000 craft beers from small breweries — a paradise to the aficionado. It also carries a wide selection of wines and will be carrying small batches of bourbons and whiskeys. It is the place where you can find a brand you know, or Distilled Aventinus, which sells for $98 per bottle.

Batch 13 eventually plans to open rooftop for special tastings and gatherings. Batch 13 has tastings every Friday and Saturday from 6 pm to 9 pm. The store is open from Monday to Thursday from 2 pm to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 12 to 11 pm. They also deliver.

Denizens of 14th Street, have you checked it out yet?  If so, give us the scoop by leaving us a comment, or tweeting at us at @GlassifiedDC.

Feeling Frenchy? Our Top 3 Picks for Bastille Day Wining and Dining

Courtesy of Mintwood Place.

If French maid races, masquerade balls, and baguette relays lack a certain je ne sais quoi for you, and don’t really appeal as suitable choices for Bastille Day fêtes, look no further. These three options will allow you to celebrate the quatorze juillet this Saturday evening in that most French-iest of ways: good food, good wine, and good company. Here are our picks for Bastille Day plans in the District:

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An agricultural flair: Virginia’s wine scene is primed for adventures

Virginia wines on display at the International Wine and Food Fest. Courtesy of Jessica Strelitz.

When local wine writer Jessica Strelitz moved to the D.C. area in 1999, she knew there was Virginia wine to be tried.

After over a decade of sipping, savoring and talking with winemakers all over the state, she talked with GlassifiedDC about ideas and tips for anyone looking to get involved in Virginia wine culture  — or anyone that just wants a great bottle of local wine.

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