A Winery Visit – Effingham Manor (VA)

I recently had the opportunity to visit a beautiful winery before it opened!  The opening of Effingham Manor Winery (14325 Trotters Ridge Place, Nokesville VA 20181) in Prince William County, Virginia had been delayed by a group of local residents but with the  ABC license expected at any moment (see NOTE below), I was invited by owner/vintner Chris Pearmund to stop by and take some photos of the beautiful property.

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The beautiful sign directs you onto their driveway.  From there, as you can see in the photo above, you’ll find the tasting room to the left, the manor house ahead, and the old slave quarters off to the right. There’s so much to take in as you walk around the property.   The history of the site and the connections to the area are long and storied… well worth taking the time to visit.  Ask about their connections to the founding of the city of Alexandria, Va or the cedar tree, growing on their property, that dates back to the days just after the Lewis and Clark expedition. There’s so much to see and learn, even without tasting any of their award-winning wines!

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The tasting room is large, beautiful, and well appointed. The patio is decorated with white lights and picnic tables to encourage visitors who choose to bring friends and spend the afternoon.  The tasting space is clean and open, allowing for guests to cluster by the fireplace or learn about the wines at the back bar with purchases available for immediate consumption.  As is stated on the back wall: “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.” ~Benjamin Franklin.

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On the other side of the manor house is a stunning view: the first cement pool in Virginia, now stocked with a dizzying array of koi.  Take your time visiting this spot as the colors of koi are gorgeous and the pond is set in such a serene location.

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Beside the Koi pond, you’ll see the plantation’s old slave quarters.  This building has some incredible pieces of history that will delight those who have a moment to learn about life in the 1700’s.  Even the floor mat by the front door is educational.

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Walking the grounds of Effingham Manor is both eye catching and breath taking in it’s beauty.  The flowers have been planted thoughtfully, the shrubs are left slightly wild-looking, and there are many places for photo opportunities to capture your time here.  This is a place that honors its’ heritage and encourages you to plan multiple visits… you can’t possibly learn it all at once.

My friend and fellow blogger, Julie Fanning, has written the fabulous details about “all things Effingham Manor on her own blog, so I have included that link.  Please take a moment to read her post… there’s so much more to learn about this incredible destination.

If you are looking for a winery just outside of DC to visit, I highly suggest taking the time to spend an afternoon (or two) at Effingham Manor.  I believe that you’ll be glad you did!

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NOTE:  At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that they were awaiting their ABC license approval?  I was at Pearmund Cellars when owner Chris Pearmund received his final copy of the license, allowing them to open for business as of Saturday, September 16, 2017.  Since much of Effingham’s wine had been stored at Pearmund Cellars, Chris asked if anyone wanted to make the first official purchase… pulling out a dollar, I became their first official customer!  To say I was thrilled is an understatement – I had a serious fan-girl moment when I was given the bottle of Effingham sparkling wine with signatures from both owner Chris Pearmund (left) and wine maker Ashton Lough(right in this photo).  What a fun experience!

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I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award!

Wow… have I “arrived”?  I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award!  Now what do I do?  

While I honestly wasn’t sure what this award was, I was pretty stoked that someone… anyone… was reading my blog and liked it enough to recommend it to others.  The Liebster Awards is essentially an award by bloggers for bloggers, sort of a virtual chain letter. I really like that it’s based on peer-to-peer recognition, and it’s a way to help introduce great blogs to a larger audience. To accept the award, there are a few rules I now have to follow:
  • Pass the award on to 11 bloggers (and let them know)
  • Pose 11 questions (and not the same ones my nominator posed to me) to these chosen bloggers
  • Answer 11 questions posed by my nominator (and let her know)
  • Post 11 random facts about me.

So, thanks so much to Amy of Living a Good Food Life for nominating my blog…  now I will return the favor.  I am looking forward to following these 11 fantastic up-and-coming blogs:

My 11 questions for these bloggers are:

  • Why did you begin blogging and what makes you continue?
  • What is your favorite past time?
  • What’s your “guilty pleasure” food?
  • What do you do in your spare time, if you have any?
  • What are your three favorite things to make?
  • Do you believe that recipes are “directions” or “guidelines” in cooking?  Discuss…
  • Do you have a role model in your life?  If so, who and why is that person important to you?
  • Do you have a Bucket List (or more than one)?
  • If money were no object, where and how would you live?
  • Favorite TV show or movie?
  • What’s one thing that you would never eat?  Why?

Here are my answers to the 11 questions that Amy posed to me. Hopefully they make sense, since not all these blogs are food-based:

  • Why do you blog?   I blog because I was creating recipes at the winery where I work and I didn’t want to try and create a full-blown cookbook.  I also blog because it’s a way for me to share my love of food and wine with others.
  • What is your favorite vegetable?  I love asparagus, but am not so fond of the “after effects”.  I am a fan of most any vegetable, aside from lima beans (or any of those other “big flat beans”)
  • What is your favorite utensil in the kitchen?  My favorite utensil is my stick blender… it’s easy to use in a variety of ways and I can wash it quickly and put it away immediately.  My favorite basic utensil is a non-stick whisk… it’s essential!
  • What’s your closest grocery store?   Food Lion – I call it “Food Dog” because the symbol doesn’t look like a lion to me.
  • What were the last three things you cooked?  Homemade pull-apart rolls and Pretzel kaiser rolls, Kielbasa with sauteed onions, and Mango Risotto
  • Are you a baker or more of a savory cook?   I cook using The Force, so that lends itself to being a savory or sweet cook as opposed to the precise directions needed for most baking.
  • Chocolate desserts vs. fruit desserts: discuss.   I love chocolate desserts AND fruit desserts, but my husband is not a fan of either.  Since he’d prefer vanilla desserts, anything I bake that’s chocolate tends to go to work with me.  I’m not very good at making fruit desserts, so I lean toward making baked goods when I’m asked to bring something.
  • What is your favorite place to visit?  Hands down, Annapolis Maryland is my favorite place in the world.  Being there with my husband (and sons, if they’re able) is a true joy.
  • If money were no object, what restaurant would you most like to try?  I don’t have a “bucket list” for restaurants, so I’d have to ask my best friend, Lynne, for suggestions, but I believe that she would suggest that The French Laundry be at the top.  I’m just as happy and satisfied going to Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis.
  • Best food movie?  Mystic Pizza… the idea of creating a sauce that makes people happy seems pretty awesome.
  • Last meal: what would it be?  Seafood of any sort… I love it all.

And finally, here are 11 random facts about me:

  • I love wine… I may not drink it all the time or know everything about it, but I love it just the same.
  • I really hate Halloween – masks scare the life right out of me.
  • I used to be a Drug Addictions Counselor.
  • I love to write, whether it’s recipes (on this blog) or about life (on beatitudesofmylife).
  • I am too vain to use reading glasses in public, unless absolutely necessary.
  • I adore cooking, but hate to follow a recipe, so I use “The Force” and create new meals almost every day… but I am not a chef.
  • My husband is the very best, most amazing person I know and I thank God, every day, that he’s mine.
  • I get bored watching most “must see” movies and don’t like unnecessary violence.
  • I really love watching sports, especially with my family, but I do NOT like to watch baseball on TV.
  • I am nauseatingly patriotic… and proud of it.
  • I adore my job and feel blessed every time I go to work.
Ok… those weren’t as easy as I thought they’d be, but hopefully they give you an idea of who I am.  Good luck to all the bloggers I nominated. I hope you accept the award, and pass it on.