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Summer Wines of Virginia ‘Taste & Tweet’

Though the Summer Solstice officially marks the beginning of summer – Tuesday, June 21 this year – here in our little corner of Southeastern, VA, the summer season unofficially kicks off the first weekend neighborhood kids take to the lake for swimming and other water activities.  As temperatures reached the high 80’s this weekend, the lake was filled with neighbors swimming, enjoying various water sports, and just vegging on floats – our unofficial official start to summer.

Not only does the start of summer mean high heat and humidity until the end of September, it also signals a natural change in my wine consumption preferences – from weighty reds to crisp, refreshing whites and dry Rosés.  Some of my favorite crisp, refreshing whites and Rosés are made here in Virginia, and last night I had the opportunity to try six newly released wines that will surely occupy a place on our summer sipping list.

These six wines were part of the ‘Summer Wines of Virginia‘ virtual taste & tweet that I had the pleasure of co-organizing with my friends Paul & Warren from Virginia Wine Time, VWD & GEG from Swirl, Sip, Snark, and Annette, Amy, and Mary Catherine from the Marketing Office of the Virginia Wine Board.   This virtual tasting showcased a selection of Virginia’s summer wines as a lead up to the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference that will be held in Charlottesville in July.

The summer wine lineup included:

(* Disclaimer:  Each of the wines were provided as samples to participate in this tasting.)

Joining in the virtual taste & tweet were bloggers from across the US and the six winemakers also joined in the conversation via Twitter.  Based on Twitter statistics via Row Feeder from last night (7:30pm ET to 9:30pm ET) over 40 tweeters contributed to the virtual conversation resulting in 650 Virginia Wine tweets (using ‘#VaWine’ hashtag) and over 1,000,000 potential impressions just in that two hour period.  The number of related tweets and impressions goes up considerably if all tweets from earlier in the day prior to the tasting and later in the evening after the tasting were included.

Below are the wines our group tasted and a few tweets from fellow tasters:

DrinkWhatULike: @KeswickVineyard 2010 Verdejo – Enough citrus in this glass to stock a farmers market!

SwirlSipSnark: this wine has great, bracing acidity – it’s a great wine for these hot months

Ericalj: The Keswick Verdejo goes great with goat cheese

WineHarlots: The @KeswickVineyard Verdejo 2010 is a total glass of awesome. Come to mommy!

TheGoodWineGuru: Subtle citrus on both the nose and in the mouth, but nice and refreshing. Be good for a hot day on the deck

RedWineDiva: @keswickvineyard Verdejo is crisp and clean on the nose with hints of green melon

Melanie0: Getting lots of granny smith apple, diluted honey, a little grapefruit @keswickvineyard

KeswickVineyard: @lenndevours we have slightly more than 2 acres planted

DrinkWhatULike: @VeritasWinery 2010 Suav Blanc Res – gobs of citrus w/ hints of bazooka joe aromas on the edges, crisp, clean, yum!

VaWineTime: On the nose we get grapefruit, early grassy nose

LENNDEVOURS: Great varietal character on this @VeritasWinery 10 SB Reserve. Little grassy but nothing like the overblown NZ plonk.

HoustonWino: The Veritas Sauv Blanc is not bad at all. Nice acidity. I like it.

Lenndevours: Love that “reserve” apparently doesn’t mean “bludgeoned with oak” at @VeritasWinery

Melanie0: @veritaswinery Hello Veritas. Lots of fresh cut grass and grapefruit. I would have guessed this blindly to be from New Zealand

CellarBlog: @VeritasWinery 2010 Sauv Blanc grapefruit, pear and honey on the nose

Nectarwine: @boxwoodwinery really enjoyed the depth and character of the Rose. Great wine for a hot summer Virginia night

Vawinetime: The color is a pale pink, salmon color, a hint of orange.

TheGoodWineGuru: Getting some minerality on the finish of the @BoxwoodWInery Rose – I like it

CellarBlog: @BoxwoodWinery 2010 Topiary good red cherry notes and spices on the nose

BoxwoodWinery: Huge thank you to all the taster’s! Enjoy the Rose! #vawine

RedWineDiva: Topiary Rose form @BoxwoodWinery – spicy, dry – WOW at the end! #VaWine – where do we get this one???

Melanie0: @boxwoodwinery Lots of dried fruit, spice and definite minerality. One of my friends is going gaga over it

WineHarlots: @BoxwoodWinery Topiary Rose – Soft strawberry flavors, porch-swing wine

RedWineDiva: @th_jefferson Voignier has a caramalized pear on the nose

WineWonkette: The @Th_Jefferson Viognier nose reminds me of honeysuckle and star jasmine in my backyard

CellarBlog: @th_jefferson green apple on the nose and good floral notes

Swirlsipsnark: enjoying the hint of lemon on the finish as well <– I love a wine like Shrek…one with layers

VaWineInMyPkt: We would drink this on a hot summer day on a big boat in our bikinis

WineHarlots: Love the Thomas Jefferson Viognier 2010 – My favorite President and maybe my favorite wine!

Nectarwine: Very very full mouth feel on the Jefferson Viognier, nose is soft honey and sweet tropical fruit. Nice balance on the finish

ChrysalisWine: Alan Kinne’s 1st Viognier back in VA

DrinkWhatULike: Holy honeysuckle @ChrysalisWine 2010 Viognier #VaWine #WBC11 Really like the honeysuckle, stone fruit components!

LENNDEVOURS: I like the acidity on the @ChrysalisWine better. Nice little mini-snap at the end.

VaWineTime: On the nose we are getting some tart fruit, pear, and honeysuckle.

SwirlSipSnark: melon and pear are joining the floral notes – glad to find neutral oak here as well

CellarBlog: The @ChrysalisWine Viognier has a nice tartness to it with honeysuckle and some spiciness

LENNDEVOURS: this @ChrysalisWine ’10 Viognier shows the fruit-meet-flowers varietal correctness I’m looking for. But also spice from the oak

DrinkWhatULike: The @lovingstonwine Petit Manseng – pineapple, pineapple tart, pineapple bunt cake, pineapple sweetarts, pineapple🙂

WineWonkette: @Lovingston I have never tasted a Petit Manseng before. This is my FIRST TIME!

LENNDEVOURS: Whoa…this @lovingstonwine reminds me of my honeymoon in the Caribbean…so much tropical fruit

SuburbanWino: Dang! Now that’s acidity in the @lovingstonwine Petite Manseng. LOVE it with the bit o’ sweetness. Gimme some hot chicken!

SwirlSipSnark: apricot, pineapple, mango – this @lovingstonwine is like a smoothie minus the ice

VaWineTime: Pineapple nose, and it smells sweet

VaWineInMyPkt: Pear and lime. It’s an odd pairing but we like it. The lime comes out at the finish

Melanie0: @lovingstonwine Hello fruit with a little effervescent action going.

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From the tweets and statistics it’s clear that a good time was had by all during the tasting.   For several tasters, this was their first time tasting Virginia wine.  For a couple others, they were introduced to a new grape (namely, Petit Manseng).  Definitely a great lead up to Wine Bloggers Conference.

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