Last weekend we had the opportunity for a short visit to beautiful Delaplane, VA to finally check out the newest vineyard in the area– Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery. Blue Valley opened this past Spring (April) and has been steadily gaining notoriety in the region for it’s stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains, their well-crafted wines, and their exceptional customer service. Blue Valley is owned and operated by the Zissos family, bringing elements of their family’s Greek heritage to Virginia Wine Country. 3rd generation winemaker, Sergio Zissos leads the operation, taking a creative approach in incorporating those Greek elements into more traditional Virginia and U.S. wines.
Blue Valley lies next to the Oak Hill Estate (the historic home belonging to former Chief Justice John Marshall), where neighboring winery Barrel Oak operates tastings and food pairings. Passing the estate, Blue Valley is located up the driveway on what feels like the top of the Virginia Countryside. The views from the parking lot alone let us know that we were in for a treat. Looking out over the horizon, the expansive view showcases the lush greens and blues that we absolutely love about Virginia’s landscape.
Upon entering the tasting room, we were immediately greeted by a friendly staff member who explained our options and invited us to look around the property. While exploring the tasting room with it’s high elegant ceilings and picturesque views streaming in through the large windows, we were greeted by a second friendly face, belonging to Jill, the winery dog. Jill led us on a tour of the remainder of the tasting room– a very modern and spacious facility. Although we are usually prone to the smaller, slightly more traditional and intimate venues, Blue Valley’s tasting room provides an atmosphere that is still warm and inviting. The tasting room has all of the essentials of a beautiful winery– the views, the natural light, a large fireplace, a cozy tasting bar, and plenty of conversation areas and comfortable seating.
After touring the facility, we made our way to the tasting bar for our first sips of Blue Valley wines. As Blue Valley is a brand new winery, they are currently outsourcing grapes from California and Washington state, but produce and bottle all wines on the property. Eventually, they will be home to their own large vineyard and the majority of their wines will be sourced directly from the property and from Virginia grapes, allowing them to be more self-sufficient and sustainable.
Now for the tasting. Let us start by saying that our wine educator, Lindsay, was exceptional. She was not only friendly and knowledgable about the facility, property, and the wines, but she provided us with answers to any questions we had (and we have a lot of questions). She was excellent.
Blue Valley offers three different tasting options- shockingly, we opted to try each wine on their menu. Immediately setting the stage for a wonderful tasting, the first pleasant surprise for us on the tasting menu was that we were able to sample three, completely different Roses. The winery offers a 2014 Chambourcin Rose, a 2014 Merlot Rose, and a 2013 Cab Franc Rose. Each is distinctly different, and it was a unique experience to try three back to back. Our favorite was the Merlot Rose, which we happily took home with us. We quite enjoyed their other wines– the Chardonnay was delightful, well-balanced, and although aged in oak it was still crisp and light and was not buttery. We also enjoyed the Viognier and their Sangiovese blend- the Celebration, a rich and smooth red, that danced on the palate.
After visiting Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery, we strongly feel that this new addition to Virginia Wine Country has quite the future ahead. We look forward to returning and sampling some true Virginia wines in the near future and tasting what their creative winemaker will produce. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit and bask in the breathtaking beauty of Blue Valley.
-Amy & Alli (the Virginia Winos).