Edmond and Anne, visiting from France, enjoy a lovely Virginia Wine Tour featuring Trump Winery, King Family Vineyards, and Pippin Hill Farm& Winery! Their visit came at a time of the year that featured some of the United States most spectacular foliage views. Touring through the gorgeous Albemarle County Countryside opened doors to views, wines, and experiences that the couple had not thought existed in the U.S. Virginia's rolling hills, and open blue sky provided the perfect backdrop for the orange, yellows, and reds of the changing leaves of October.
Staying at Eric Trump's, Donald Trump's son, Albemarle Estate, situated on a idyllic spot in southern Albemarle County, lent itself to the perfect hub for Edmond and Anne's get-away from France. While leaf viewing was fine and fun, their main objective was to taste and tour the wines and wineries of Virginia! From Albemarle Estate, the wine tour for our French guests began. We traveled down the scenic hill to Trump Winery where the couple toured the vineyard and tasting room. Sampling some of the fine wines produced from the estate grapes, Emond sprang to life when enjoying the Blanc de Blanc and Grand Cru. The Grand Cru is a brandy fortified Chardonnay and is a signature wine of Trump Winery. It is a port style wine and is aged in American bourbon barrels. Making a cocktail from Trump Wineries sparkling Blanc de Blanc and Grand Cru created a beverage that the French found both new and ingenious and familiarly "France." Trump has dubbed this cocktail, "CRU Royale." And it is!
Our touring French guests were enthused by the wines and overall experience they received at Trump Winery. They had many questions. Is Trump Winery owned by Donald Trump. And, how long has Donald Trump owned this winery. Donald Trump does not own Trump winery though. His son, Eric, owns the winery and oversees all aspects of the business.
After answering questions and departing from Trump Winery, our tour headed west to King Family Vineyards. King Family Vineyards was established 2000 and has been a major player in the developing of the Virginia wine industry. Starting from humble beginnings in 2000 King Family Vineyards produced 480 cases of wine. As of 2016, King Family produces 10,000 cases of wine a year. While the operation has grown substantially, Edmond and Anne both commented on how comfortable and familial the business felt. Our European guests experienced southern hospitality at its finest. They received personalized tasting service and learned about each wine's finer characteristics. Having previously visited many wineries in Provence, our French couple was familiar with Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cinsault, Counoise, Tannat, and Cabernet Sauvignon. At King Family Vineyards Edmond and Anne were able to sample Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and several varietal blends. The couple enjoyed comparing and contrasting the wines from France with the wines of Virginia.
The couple's biggest take away this far of touring the Charlottesville wine region was that Viognier was THE Virginia Varietal. It is a staple of the Virginia Wine Making Industry. And our couple, with their French palettes, were in love.
Hopping back in the Mercedes Sedan, we headed towards Pippin Hill Farm and Winery. Stay tuned, more to come...