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Virginia Tannat Tour

Vines at Chateau O'Brien

I closed out the final days of August tasting wine with my cousins. We were blessed with mild temperatures and low humidity, a rarity in Virginia.

My cousin Pamela's husband, Laurent, hails from a little French town where they grow the Tannat grape. When we visited them in Paris last summer, we promised him a Virginia Tannat tasting tour.

Introducing a Frenchman to Virginia wine? The pressure was on.

Our first stop was The Winery at La Grange, where Hubz and I first discovered Tannat. They have a beautiful tasting room and grounds, and wide range of wines to taste. My favorites were the Viognier, Cabernet and Tannat.

Linden Vineyards
is probably our favorite Virginia winery. The views from their peaceful deck alone are worth the trip. Their tasting always delights, and the cellar tasting is really something special.

Julie, Kirstin and Pam on the deck at Linden Vineyards
Cousins on the deck at Linden Vineyards.

Grapes on the vine at Linden Vineyards
Grapes ripening on the vine at Linden Vineyards

Tom, Laurent, Donna, Julie and Pam at Chateau O'Brien
Hubz, Laurent, Julie's friend, cousins Julie and Pamela
The highlight of this day was the reserve cellar tasting at Chateau O'Brien. What a treat! We got to hang out with the owner, Howard, in a cool yet cozy crushed stone cellar. We tasted several wines including an impressive Tannat, partook of wonderful cheeses and other nibbles and listened to Howard talk about his wines. 

The wines were truly some of the best Virginia reds Hubz and I have tasted. I was proud to introduce my cousins to Virginia wine, and blissfully happy to have spent a wonderful day with them in the countryside.

Here's to the last days of summer. Cheers!


  1. Kirstin, unrelated: if you listen to the last 2 min of Timmy's interview, he says he uses gels only in the race and because he doesn't use conventional carbs in other aspects of life, he can get by fewer gels and yet they deliver great kick.


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