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Make Mine (Bargain) Virginia Wine

picture-3Visiting wineries in Virginia is usually fun and lovely but not always especially palate-pleasing or affordable.

The state does two things well: Cabernet Franc and Voignier, so if you don’t like the tobacco-y red or sweet-floral white, you’re usually out of luck. Plus, prices usually hover around $20 a bottle, which is too high for so-so wine.picture-7

So, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fine, Meritage at Blenheim Vineyards for just $10. A touch of oak and tannins with nice hints of cherry and plum. Not bad at all. In fact, pretty darn good. 

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The winery, which is part-owned by Dave Matthews and run by his brother Peter, seems to be coming into its own with new winemaker Kirsty Harmon. They’re doing some smart things, like developing a rose ($14), another rarity in Virginia.

picture-1Blenheim’s tasting room had been open by appointment only until recently.  And the building is a beautiful spot to sit with a $10 bottle and picnic lunch.

picture-4The tasting room is built with reclaimed heart-pine and features a cool glass floor where you can see to down to the barreling room below.

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