Virginia Wine – Early Mtn & Barboursville

After a month of no drinking, I’m finally back out visiting wineries. We celebrated my birthday this past weekend so it was the perfect time to head out for a tasting. We started with Early Mountain Winery – it’s one of my favorites and holds some good memories for me (K threw a surprise engagement party there for us on New Year’s Day right after he proposed!) The property itself is gorgeous and the restaurant/tasting room make you feel like you’re nestled in the mountains.

Food wise, Early Mountain offers sharable plates and small dishes (think sandwiches, soups, flatbread). In K’s words “the food is a bit fancy”. He actually ordered a brisket sandwich and had them remove all the toppings because he felt like they were just ruining a good piece of meat hahahaha. I went with the prosciutto and goat cheese flatbread and was not disappointed. Granted I love the “fancy stuff”. They offer flights of 4 wines at the dining tables, as well as single glasses. The flights are split into 3 varieties – Early Mountain classics, all whites, and a range of reds (2 Early Mountain and 2 outside wineries). It’s a good option if you want something small and to enjoy your food and wine at a table or couch.

At the tasting bar, there are 2 options – the normal 6 wine flight and the extended that carries 3 more reds. K prefers white wine so he stuck with the classic while I did the extended tasting.

IMG_0272[1]Of the 2 Pinot Gris, we both liked the 2017 better. As much as I love anything that claims to taste like fall (baked apple, thyme, pine in the Block 9), the other Pinot was just more agreeable.

Their Chardonnay was surprisingly smooth and not something I usually like. This one was definitely a glass I can drink with some pizza.

Between the 2 Novums, the 2014 is my preference. I love cabernet franc is my favorite and the 2014 has 61% while the 2015 only carries 34%. Cab franc always adds the perfect spicy pepper after taste.

My absolute favorite is their Rise. Its actually the perfect cab franc blend despite only having 15%. The winery recommends decanting for 3 hours for quick enjoyment or aging several years. I bought a bottle (I like giving myself birthday presents) and plan on aging it for a few years.


Our second stop was Barboursville Winery. We’ve been once before and their wine in general is one of my family’s favorites. Their set-up for tastings is unique compared to other wineries I’ve been to – their wine is set up in different stations with a pourer educated on those specific wines.

They have 2 different white wine stations, 1 red wine station, and a dessert wine station. K and I both really liked their Viognier and found it do be a very easy drink. The Barbera Reserve tasted “toasted” and perfect around a fire, the Sangiovese is perfect with pasta, the Cabernet Franc is just perfect, and the Cab Sauv Reserve is so much better than their normal Cab Sauv. We got a special tasting of the Nebbiolo and its one of my favorites – try it as soon as you can. Dessert wine styles – the Rosato really does taste like strawberry shortcake, the Phileo is smooth & fruity, and the Paxxito is freaking delicious.

Both wineries are high on my recommendation list and were a fantastic way to spend my birthday 🙂

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