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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2013 Governor’s Cup Wines

This past week, the final tasting of the 2013 Governor’s Cup Wines was held in Charlottesville, VA.  It was a chance for people within the wine industry to taste the wines that were selected as the “best of the best” in 2013.  The next Governor’s Cup wines will be selected and presented at the end of February and they will begin their journey to tastings at various wineries throughout the state.  Events such as these are excellent opportunities for vintners, winery personnel, viticulture students, and others to ask questions and discuss, in more detail, the intricacies of creating such hallowed vintages.

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For someone like me, it was a chance to see how these events are organized and have the opportunity to taste these wines without purchasing everything on my own.  Some of the wines were priced at almost $100/bottle, so this sort of event is really fun to attend.  While I didn’t attend the event on Thursday, a few of my coworkers were in attendance and shared their photos with me, so I could share them with you.

There were 11 wines (4 bottles of each) that were represented in the photos.  In  order, they were as follows:

  1. 2008 Trump Winery – Sparkling Rose (not pictured, as they had to keep the bottles cold until the very last moment before pouring)
  2. 2009 Pollak Vineyards – Cabernet Franc Reserve
  3. 2009 Lovingston Winery – Josie’s Knoll Estate Reserve
  4. 2010 King Family Vineyards – Meritage (Do you remember how to pronounce this word?  It does NOT rhyme with “garage”)
  5. 2010 RdV Vineyards – Rendezvous
  6. 2010 Philip Carter Winery – Cleve
  7. 2010 Rappahannock Cellars – Meritage
  8. 2010 Sunset Hills Vineyard – Mosaic
  9. 2010 Potomac Point – Richland Reserve Heritage
  10. 2010 Cooper Vineyards – Petit Verdot Reserve
  11. 2010 RdV Vineyards – Lost Mountain
  12. 2009 Barbousville Vineyards – Octagon 12th Edition

I had the pleasure of helping work a VWA event last spring and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I remain excited about the wines that were chosen… they are wines that will mellow over time and continue to delight and surprise wine lovers as the wines are opened and savored.  For those in the industry, I do believe that the seminars throughout the spring are well worth any travel involved.  For the general public,  I would highly recommend any of these wines for personal purchase.  They are really great and worth the money (IMHO).

 

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