Monday, May 24, 2010


We visited one of Virginia's largest wineries yesterday. Kevin works for a lovely restaurant and wine shop and they took 15 of us just about 35 miles North of Charlottesville to visit Prince Michel Winery. We had a fabulous tour guide named Dan. The restaurant knows him pretty well so it was very laid back and pleasant.

It was also a beautiful day as you can see here. We passed through several bouts of rain coming in but didn't get a drop once we were onsite!

Our tour started outside with the vines. There weren't very many here. I think they are mainly for show. They can show you without needing to give you a ride or make you walk for an hour. They explained that the roses are there because if there is anything funny going on (illness or insect) it will hit the roses first. This gives them time to fix the problem before they lose the harvest.

Dan also showed us that different varieties of grapes (wines) have different leaves. I guess that makes sense and had never really thought about it. I don't know if you can see the wires holding the vines up.. Kevin wondered if they were electrified. So, he touched one.... (they aren't lol)

I was taking pictures with my blackberry which does not have a great flash. This was the first room we entered. It was completely full of barrels and equipment. Dan explained how some of it worked and talked about barrels. Turns out they cost about $1000 a piece and can only be used for a few years!

These babies hold about 2600 gallons of wine each! The whiteness you see around some of them is ice that has formed on the outside. I cannot for the life of me remember what these are for, what they do or why... But I thought the ice was cool and considered resting my glass of reisling against it because it was getting warm.

Next we visited the new state of the art machine that fills, corks and labels the bottles. I was taken with the corking machine you see here.

Next we visited a room that has had many uses. As you can see (maybe) they have beautiful murals painted every where you look!
Please do note that a fine digital camera is on my wish list for upcoming gift giving holidays...

I almost forgot this guy. Dan said he's been working on that same barrel for over 20 years. I just thought it was pretty neat looking.

Off of the room with the murals, we could see a private tasting room with a beautiful patio. Of course we couldn't resist..

I could have died in this room and been ok with that!

Mr. Serious my husband :-)

and finally the tasting room! and tasting we did. all manner of wines. all 20 million types!

our humble servants

I will just say here that I personally had to stop tasting. I mean I really don't like wine. So.. after taking tiny little sips of 4 different reds.. I held my hand over the glass until we got to the sweet whites. This was probably 20 tastes later! So, I had my sweet whites and left a happy camper.

These beauties sit right in front of the entrance. They have to be the most unique I have ever seen. However, the little metal things that spin around in there when the wind blows do look dangerous.

We sat out on the patio while all the snookered people bought bottles of wine to take home. This is also where we had or first glimpse into the amount of alcohol that had been consumed by some of our companions.....

Tammy discovered this moth hanging out on the outside of the building when we were sitting on the patio.

At this point we are off to dinner. After some debating we decide on Wood Grill so that we can really pig out! On the 30 min drive back into Charlottesville we begin to wonder what condition our companions will be in. They are riding 9 deep in a suburban with 6 bottles of wine and plenty of wine glasses....



... wait for it

and there you have it

It was the most fun I've had in ages and the most embarassed I've been in ages all rolled into one day!

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