One of the things I really love about DC is that like San Francisco and Cape Town, South Africa and not that many other places, you can drive an hour outside of the city and be in another world. In this case, the rolling hills of Virginia wine country. You take 66 to the Dulles Toll Road all the way to the end, then wind up in Purcellville.
We parked ourselves on the patio at Crushed Cellars and enjoyed the fresh air and countryside, sipping their Seyval Blanc and munching on crackers and fresh bread with local cheese spreads.
Full disclosure: Crushed Cellars is owned and operated by my cousin and her husband. It’s pretty amazing what they’ve done with the land, and what a hospitable tasting room they have built.
We preferred the Seyval of the whites, a drier wine and a refreshing complement to our cheese and crackers. The Vidal Blanc was probably the better pairing with spicier foods, although the owners also recommended pairing with white sauced pastas, which I hadn’t thought of … The cab blend was good as well, although with 12.5% petite verdot, it’s a bit tanic for my taste – probably will mellow with age.
At any rate, we spent a very enjoyable afternoon sipping wine and sampling local foods, many of which are available for purchase at the tasting room. The smoked cheddar and pepper colby were terrific, as were the cheese spreads and spicy jellies. We also left with several bottles of wine, cheeses, fresh baked baguettes and a few dozen free range eggs. After watching the chickens roam the property freely, I feel I have a new understanding of that term – and a renewed appreciation for Washington, DC … and the Virginia countryside.