Bluestone Vineyard & CrossKeys Vineyard
Updated: Oct 17, 2022
Day two of our Virginia Wine Trail vacation saw us traveling to Bluestone Vineyard after spending the beautiful spring morning hiking at the nearby Natural Chimneys Park. We arrived hot, tired, and parched and Bluestone Vineyard was the perfect oasis. Bluestone’s tasting room makes the most of its Shenandoah Valley setting with copious patio seating as well as an upstairs deck to take it all in. Believe it or not, what I remember most about Bluestone Vineyard is its unique approach to wine tasting. Instead of pouring from large bottles that have been opened since God knows when, Bluestone uses tiny bottles similar to a “nip” size of hard liquor for their tastings so the flavor won’t be skewed. I love it! The bottles are cute and each sample gives you that real, freshly-opened taste. The standout for my sweet-leaning palate was the Beau, a Vidal Blanc-Traminette blend named for the winery’s Golden Retriever. I also enjoyed the 2021 Moscato, the Crooked and Weedy with its faint pepper notes, and the dry 2018 Rose with its hints of strawberry. Now rested and re-hydrated, we bid a grateful farewell to this convivial little winery and returned to the road.
We arrived at our second stop, CrossKeys Vineyard, in the early afternoon and we couldn’t have found a more perfect place for lunch. With its Roman statues, trickling fountain, fragrant flowers and Tuscan villa-style tasting room, CrossKeys offers a slice of Italy at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here, the portions of both wine and food are quite generous as well as delicious. The pulled-pork nachos were fantastic and paired nicely with our flight of fruit wines. First up was the appropriately-named 2021 Apple d’Vine, a semi-dry blend of Vidal Blanc and Traminette infused with apples. The 2021 Peach d’Vine was quite simply one of the best peach-flavored wines I’ve ever tasted – it was as if each peach was bottled at the height of ripeness. The 2021 Hops had a nice light citrus flavor while the semi-sweet 2021 Scarlett had notes of pepper. With our bellies now full, we reluctantly returned to the road once more. And while there were still so many wineries left to explore, both CrossKeys and Bluestone made for a perfect kickoff to the day.