Red, White, and Beer!

Last weekend, we (the lover and I) decided to join the Floyd Fandango fever and celebrate 4th of July differently. Floyd Fandango is a two-day beer and wine festival located in an 80 acre Blue Ridge Parkway venue. Beer connoissuers and wine enthusiasts alike filled the event, indulging in cold microbrews and fine Virginia wine. Camping, music, good food, and awesome people – what else do you need to celebrate the 4th? Not to mention a group of vendors showcasing their love for the arts. Floyd Fandango is definitely my cup of tea.

Below is a list of the breweries, wineries, and performers at this year’s festival.

Daddy’s Brewing Company, Blue Mountain Brewery, Bluegrass Brewing Company, Bull and Bones Brewhaus & Grill, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Foothills Brewing Company, Highland Brewing Company, Magic Hat Brewing Company, Shooting Creek Farm Brewery, St. George Brewing Company, Starr Hill, The River Company  Restaurant & Brewery, and Woodchuck Cider

Besides the peanuts, Bull & Bones shared some barley grains and hop plugs.

AmRhein Wine Cellars, Blue Ridge Vineyard, Chateau Morrisette, Cooper Vineyards, Fincastle Vineyard & Winery, Horton Vineyards, Kluge Estate Winery, Mattaponi Winery, Rockbridge Vineyard, and Villa Appalaccia Winery

Sam Bush, Goose Creek Symphony, My Dear Disco, Robert Jospe’ w/ John D’earth and Royce Campbell, DJ Williams Project, and Dangermuffin

After dinner, I sat down and calculated how many different wines I tasted that day (within 6 hours). First and foremost, let me tell you that it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. The first batch of wines were definitely the most difficult to swallow. Not that they were bad or anything, it was I guess the rate of how fast the tasting was going. It’s like being smacked in the face with a hot pancake. And you never saw it coming. Anyways, the overall tally comes down to 88 different reds and whites from 9 different wineries (I didn’t see Cooper Vineyards as noted on the list of wineries participating). Below is a breakdown listed in alphabetical order. Some of the descriptions were lifted from the specific wineries’  brochures and websites. I took notes but gave up halfway through it. Go figure.

AmRhein Wine Cellars: Overall count – 15
Pinot Grigio – This crisp and refreshing wine boasts lemon and apple flavors with a touch of mineral on a nice lingering finish.
Sauvignon Blanc – This light crisp wine made in the New Zealand style highlights the terroir of Virginia and subtle citrus and kiwi flavors.
Petit Manseng – This French varietal showcases creamy apricot with the rich aroma of apple, pear and citrus that rise from the glass in this barrel fermented wine.
Viognier – This classic barrel fermented and aged wine features the perfume of ripe fruit and the captivating taste of lemon and citron with a spicy edge and a lingering French oak finish.
Saffire – This blend is a harvest medley of Vidal Blanc, Viognier and other white wines and a touch of oak for this off dry wine.
Traminette – This delightful crisp wine features the flavors of grapefruit and pineapple.  The acidity is balanced with the natural residual fruit sugar reminiscent of the German Spatlese style of winemaking.
Vidal Blanc Ice Wine – This is a true, frozen on the vine, ice wine that expresses vividly the tropical fruit flavors of mango, pineapple and melon in a refreshing sweet wine.
Aglianico – An ancient Greek grape, translated into a medium bodied wine, displaying berry and plum flavors with a subtle undertone of tobacco in a light French oak structure.
Chambourcin – This French hybrid grape expresses ripe plum, tart rhubarb, accentuated with herbal essence and firm oak tannins.
Merlot – This medium bodied wine features layers of cherry, plum and black currant with undertones of oak.  This wine unfurls on the palate into a long fruity finish.
Petit Verdot – SIGNATURE WINE; A smooth rich wine with dark plum flavors underlain by notes of cherry, blackberry, spice and subtle oak nuances.
Melange – This full bodied blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot expresses the breadth of black fruit flavors, pepper, balanced oak and a wonderful Virginia terrior.
Veranda – This robust wine is a mature fruit blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. This premium wine mingles the flavors of raisin, black plum, cassis, coffee and chocolate.
Ruby – Enjoy the spices and fruits that emanate from the glass. This blend of our finest red and white wines is sure to please those who prefer their wines slightly sweeter.
Vin de Peche – An existing ripe peach with layers of sweetness. One of my favorites in the entire festival.

Blue Ridge Vineyard: Overall count – 8
Riesling – Crisp and clean. Delish
Gewurztraminer – Floral, fruity, dry… off-dry
Traminette – Made from Gewurztraminer; Sweet

Sweet Shiloh – A cab Franc and Riesling blend
Equinox – Dessert wine with a blend of Traminette, Riesling and Gewurztraminer

Big Bear Red – Cab Franc, Cab Sauvignon, Riesling
Cabernet Franc
Solstice – Unoaked Cab Franc

Chateau Morrisette Winery: Overall count – 13
Chardonnay – flavors of apple, caramel, and earth, accented by traces of butter and toasted oak, are as entrancing  as the lingering silky finish
Independence – A blend of Traminette and Riesling, this refreshing dry white wine is packed with lively fruit character. The smooth texture and entracing floral aromas complete this delicious tribute to Independence®.
Chambourcin – Deep violet, abundant fruit and rich aromas of berries and cherries with hints of pepper and spices. Infused with traces of blueberries and earth.
Cabernet Franc – Berry aromas augment the black currant, cherry and blackberry flavors. Glimmers of toast, cedar and vanilla endow this well-rounded wine.
Liberty – A blend of Chambourcin, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot. Deep flavors and aromas of blackberry, blueberry, black cherry and plum.
The Black Dog – Smooth, semi-dry red. Spicy character and meedium body. A blend f Cab Franc, Chambourcin and Merlot. “It’s obviously well bred!”
Vidal Blanc – Flavors of citrus, apples and melon with grapefruit and floral aromas balance this wine with a refreshing finish. Reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc.
Angel Chardonnay – A tropical halo of pineapple, papaya and citrus aromas, and a heavenly smooth finish. A blend of barrel and tank fermented Chardonnay.
Our Dog Blue – A Riesling blend with Vidal and Traminette. Aromas of melon, citrus and apricot highlight this refreshing wine with a soft finish.
Blushing Dog – A refreshing blush wine with a blend of Vidal and Riesling, a touch of Chambourcin for the inviting blush color.
Blackberry Wine – Sweet and smooth, packed with the vibrant fruitiness of succulent, sun-drenched berries.
Sweet Mountain Laurel – A unique and refreshingly sweet fruity dessert wine. A crisp finish with aromas of freshly picked grapes. Red Mountain Laurel – Sweet dessert style with flavors of fresh grapes and a cherry finish.

Taking a break. Wine kicking in? Probably.

Fincastle Vineyard & Winery: Overall count – 6
Chardonnay – dry; aged 4 months in American oak, buttery toast and caramel up front with a crisp apple finish
Cabernnet Sauvignon – too dry for me; aged 2 years in American oak with cherry and black currant notes
Cabernet Franc – Less tannic than Sauvignon with hints of anise, blackberry and black cherry
Rose` – my runner up from this winery; Refreshing and sweet
Hybrid Vigor – the best out of the bunch in my opinion; Semi-sweet white with a citrus finish. Can’t wait to try it with some seafood.
Traminette – this one was really floral in aroma. I didn’t particularly like tasting roses in my wine. It’s like tasting granny’s perfume.

Horton Vineyards: Overall count – 21 (7 fruit wines)
Voignier (Spicy Rhone White) – Exotic honey and tropical fruit aromas jump from the glass. Full bodied, viscous mouthfeel. A classic Condrieu.
Rkatsitell – aromatic white wine redolent of orange zest and honeysuckle. A very rare wine for the wine afficionado
Black Cat Chardonnay (Buttery Dry White) – This fragrant wine was assembled from select barrels of Chardonnay grown in Orange County,Virginia. This wine has a rich creamy mouthfeel that shows plush texture with balanced oak spice, vanilla, and ripe juicy flavors that are persistent in the finish. Best enjoyed in the next 1-3 years.
Cabernet Franc (Dry Peppery Red) – Vibrant aromas of blueberries, eucalyptus, and menthol mints jump from the glass and follow through on a round, supple entry to a tangy, fruity-yet-dry medium-full body with rich layers of nougat, creme brulee, and spice.  Finishes with a long, sweet spice, chocolate, and herb fade with velvety tannins.
Malbec (Dry Bordeaux Red) – Fruity creme brulee, buttery toasted banana nut bread, and spice aromas.  Round, silky entry leads to a ripe full body of black raspberry and spicy blueberry.
Norton (Native Virginia Dry Red) – Dark, rich color and an intensely fruity aroma of plums and tart cherries. Ageing in oak for 14 months has given this wine a long, flavorful, spicy finish.  A wine for game, grilled sausages, and spicy ethnic foods.
Eclipse Red – Red garnet colored, semi-sweet wine loaded with cherry and tropical aromas and flavors. reminds me of a White Zin with an attitude.
Sweet Concord – Highly aromatic, fruity grapey flavors, sweet and crisp finish
Eclipse White – Floral notes of apricots and pears with a citrus fruit finish.  Wine for “good times!”
Niagara – Extremely fruity aromas, sweet grapey flavors, full mouth feel.  Great for sippin’ on a hot summer afternoon.
Pear Port – Traditional Port style, rich and smooth
Blanco XOCO – This was the highlight of their table. A white chocolate dessert wine made with Rkatsitell, Vidal Blanc and chocolate essence.
Rojo XOCO – Along with the Blanco, this also was a highlight. Just not for me.
Vintage Port – The only Port made in Virginia, silky and smooth.
Fruit Wines – pear, peach, raspberry, pomegranate, blueberry, blackberry, and cranberry. These would be great for sangria mixes. Definitely refreshing.

Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard
: Overall count – 5
Kluge SP Blanc de Blanc – The vibrant aromas exhibit notes of ripe apples and pear with hints of hazelnut and tasted almonds.
Albermarle Sauvignon Blanc – Bright, clear, straw green wine with citrus aromas of orange, grapefruit and lemon, with hints of peach and tropical fruits as well. Great summer wine. Best with bbq, salads and fish.
Albermarle Viognier – Bursts with honeysuckle, mango, and tropical fruits with a background of subtle vanilla, spic and roasted almonds. A bit acidic. Best for spicy dishes and fish. Definitely an A+.
Albermarle Rose` – Not as good as AmRhein’s but ok overall. Crisp with an essence of candied rose petal and fresh peach.
Cru – An aperitif that hits the spot. LOVED this one. Sweet and crisp.

Mattponi Winery: Overall count – 4
Tibik-Kizismin – Translation means “Moon Berry.”  This Blueberry Wine has a nice aroma with rich fruit flavor.  Enjoy it with cheesecake.
Odeimin – Translation means “Strawberry.”  This wine is delightful on the taste buds.  Compliments strawberries everywhere. People’s Choice Award, Dulles Expo Wine Showcase

Rockbridge Vineyard: Overall count – 9
St. Mary’s Blanc – Barrel-fermented sur-lies Vidal Blanc; smooth, toasty oak with zesty fruit. Nice Chardonnay alternative – a great food wine.
Tuscarora White – Vidal Blanc, no oak, crisp and fruit forward.
Riesling – semi-dry
Tuscarora Red – This blended red table wine is the perfect accompaniment to Mediterranean dishes. A virtual potpourri of red grapes with Chambourcin being predominate. 100% barrel aged, dry and medium bodied.
Merlot Reserve
Cabernet Franc Reserve
Norton Extra Virginia Claret – A spicy, rich Bordeaux-like red wine having excellent aging potential. Made from the native Norton grape which had been heralded in the 19th Century in Paris Competitions.
Vd’Or – This is the signature “icewine” made from our Estate Grown Vidal Blanc, Riesling, Vignoles and Traminette. It has an exquisite mandarin orange/honey fruit with a rich sweet and balanced palate.

Villa Appalaccia Winery: Overall count – 7
Pinot Grigio – Crisp, very mature fruit with tropical notes of mango, pears and almond.
Simpatico – Produced in the classical Tuscan style as a dry, intensely fruity and aromatic table wine. The Malvasia Bianca grape has the memorable spicy character of the Moscato and Gewurtzraminer grapes. The wine is a perfect match for seafood, light pastas but is a superb foil for Thai foods as well as rich, creamy cheeses.
Toscanello – P roduced in keeping with the modern trend in Italy to blend Sangiovese, Primitivo with Cabernet. The two soft varietals, Sangiovese (25%) and Cabernet Franc (65%) contribute the intense tobacco, plum and herb characteristics: Primitivo, contributes a lively acidity and tannin structure. This medium bodied wine is ready to drink within 18 months but will intensify in complexity with aging. A perfect match for meats and pastas. This wine is consistently identified by professional wine reviewers as an authentic Italian red that complements most Italian cooking.
Francesco Cebernet Franc – Elegant blend of two distinct clones of Caberent Franc. One from Bordeaux (14 year vines) and the other from the Loire Valley (5 year vines). A judicious blending of these produces an extraordinary wine combining both dark red berry fruit as well as a smooth tannic backbone. Matured in fine French oak, the resulting wine is better appreciated as a European red than an East Coast Cabernet Franc.
Alba – Intense apple and citrus fuits with a well balanced acidity
Raspberry Beret – A great desert wine made with 100% raspberries with a natural affinity for chocolate. 5% residual sugar but well balanced by the acidity of the fruit. 12% alcohol for a very complex finish.

As for the beer tasting, I let Adam do all that. It wasn’t possible and was definitely not a smart idea to be mixing wine with beer given the number of samples we were faced with. I took a couple of sips here and there but didn’t take notes.  We have a list of beer and wine festivals that we’re looking forward to attending this year. Mostly excited for the World Beer Festival in Durham, NC this coming October.  Stay tuned!

Remember, it’s not a race.



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