It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Graham and me. After a week and a half in Seattle and Alaska (the post is coming, I swear), we were home for less than a week before heading to New Jersey for a beautiful wedding (congratulations, Andy and Dan!), and we’ll head out again this Saturday for a trip to Mobile, Alabama to see family and celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary.
I like to travel. Wanderlust is real, and I’ve got it. But I also like coming home again. I feel secure in the world with my feet on Virginia ground. It’s always nice to sleep in my own bed after spending time away, and I miss cuddling with my giganti-cat, Gatsby, when I’m gone.
He requires a lot of attention. And purrs like a monster truck motor. And makes coming home worth it. And I’m definitely not a crazy cat lady.
Moving on, this is the first week in several that we’ll be home for five whole days(!). So, we grilled some steaks, and we’re celebrating with wine. (Of course.)
50 West Vineyards opened back in the fall, and it’s owned by the same people as Sunset Hills, where Graham and I have been members for years. I’ve featured Sunset Hills before (here’s the link: Sunset Hills Wine Post), and I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to write about 50 West. It’s located, no joke, less than ten miles from our house, so it was the perfect choice for our brief homecoming.
A lot of effort went into opening this vineyard. After purchasing the property, the owners renovated the facilities, pulled up dead vines (it had been a vineyard before), and planted new ones. They’ve paid attention to every detail, and you’ll feel welcomed by the team once you step up to the tasting bar. Even the name, simple as it is, was carefully chosen – Route 50 West is an old thoroughfare with lots of history, dating way, way back before it became a paved, named highway.
The best thing about 50 West Vineyards, aside from the wine, is the view. From a table on the patio, you can look out at rolling mountains and pastoral countryside while you enjoy a glass of something cold in the summer sunshine. It’s a little piece of heaven. The staff are friendly, the wine is good, and the location is unbeatable for Graham and me, given its convenience and amazing views. That’s like the holy trinity for Loudoun County wineries.
Tonight, we opened a bottle of 2013 Aldie Heights Cuvee, a red blend which won a gold medal in the 2016 Governor’s Cup, Virginia’s foremost wine competition.
This is a good wine, and it should be. A blend of Petit Verdot, Tannat, and Cabernet Franc, it’s got a robust, aromatic floral nose with hints of black pepper and blackberry. It hits the palate with notes of black currant, black pepper and green bell pepper, and cloves. The finish is rich and round, and almost a little chocolate-y. Truly delicious!
It’s nice, after so many busy days and so much travel, to spend a quiet evening at home sipping a glass of wine and chatting about our next adventure. See you soon, Mobile! Cheers!
*Brief but useful Post Script: I read an interesting article about 50 West around the time that it opened, and if you’d like to read it, too, here’s the link: Loudoun Times 50 West Article. One thing to note as you read the article, 50 West has since released their label, and the wines are fantastic!