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    Get your outdoor #zen on with #yoga in the #stables at Salamander #Resort. You might even be joined by the #barn #cat, Pumpkin! #loveva #virginia #earthday #vaoutdoors #repost #photooftheday#pet #stable @salamanderresort
    Happy Earth Day, Virginians! Strive to get out of the office today, experience #nature, appreciate her beauty and offerings, and make a commitment to preserving her health (and ultimately ours). For we are all one with nature. #virginia #loveva #earthday #repost #sunrise #goodmorning #visitvirginia #earth #conservation #vais4lovers Photo compliments to @dadofash. Virginia is for nature lovers 🌾🌸🌿
    #Bacon wrapped #porktenderloin at Helen's for #Restaurant Week: country sausage-apple stuffing, baked black lentils, cabbage-bell pepper and #Virginia #barbecue glaze. #heaven #dinner #rva #rvadine #loveva #vafood #eatlocal #restaurantweek #yummy @rvanews @rvais4lovers
    @hope_alexandraa spotted two #hotairballons #flying over the Charlottesville #downtown mall earlier this month. Great capture! Hope everyone's Monday has been stellar ❤️ #loveva #repost #cville #visitvirginia #virginia #onlyinva #spring #balloon #fly @charlottesvilleva @ilovecville
  • Archive for the ‘Food and Wine’ Category

    500 Places to Enjoy Virginia Wine & Dine Month

    by Casey | Posted on February 29th, 2012

    Love by the Glass: Virginia Wine & Dine Month is a celebration that showcases Virginia wines at more than 500 participating restaurants and wine shops across the Commonwealth. Special wine and food pairings along with wine travel packages make March an ideal time for wine lovers to visit Virginia.

    Virginia Wine and Dine Month

    With more than 200 wineries Virginia ranks fifth in the nation for wineries and grape production, and the world is starting to notice …

    • One of the 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations for 2012 – Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 2012
    • One of the Top Five Up-and-Coming Wine Regions – Travel + Leisure, 2007
    So how can you get in on this wining and dining action? More than 500 opportunities await. From special events, participating restaurants, and the wineries themselves, Virginia wine is yours to be had. Here is a sampling.
    Enjoy Virginia Wine with Your Meal
    Buy Virginia Wine

    Bay Creek Resort & Club

    Wine Events for March

    If you’re not convinced, please see our little video below dedicated to Virginia Wine and Dine Month. Cheers!



    Couples, Food and Wine, Video clips, Wine | 4 Comments

    Spring in Shenandoah National Park

    by Casey | Posted on February 17th, 2012

    With the unseasonably warm temperatures Virginia has had over the past bit, the trees will be budding in Shenandoah National Park in no time. Plan your weekend drive up to the Park around an event or travel package. Here’s a quick overview of what’s coming up this spring.

    Spring Ride

    Take a Spring Ride!

    Be the early bird that catches the worm when you book the Early Bird Spring Special to stay at Skyland Resort or Big Meadows Lodge! Book your one-night stay for sometime between March 29 and June 21 to lock in a $119 room rate. The stay includes breakfast for two.

    Once per month from April through November, Skyland Resort hosts a Vintner Dinner - a four-course meal paired with wines. The best part about this dinner is that an overnight stay for two, delicately etched Shenandoah wine glasses, and breakfast the following morning are included!

    • $359/couple
    • Call 800-788-7852 to make your reservation. Seating is limited.
    • Dates: April 13, May 18, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 14, and November 9.

    Perhaps wine without the dinner and stay is what you fancy. If so, the Park offers a weekly wine tasting at both Big Meadows Lodge and Skyland Resort. Tastings are Thursdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and include assorted chesses and a handcrafted glass for you to keep. The fee is $15.

    When those flowers finally break loose, be among the group who enjoys a narrated walk or workshop all about the woodland wildflowers. May 5 and 6 is Wildflower Weekend in the Park.

    Twilight Hikes from Big Meadows LodgeLook up to the skies. What do you see? Take a walk into the “big meadow” at dusk for a Twilight Hike with Shenandoah Mountain Guides. At 3,500 feet, no light pollution or haze will interrupt your view! $10/adult and $8/child 12 and under. Select Saturdays June through September.

    Join Jeff Alt, author of “A Walk for Sunshine” and hiking commentator for ESPN’s “Inside America’s National Parks,” for a one-hour presentation about his personal 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail journey on June 23, July 14, August 11, or October 13 at 4 p.m. in Big Meadows Lodge.

    If it’s entertainment that you’re after – authentic Virginia entertainment – check out the cloggers! Two groups perform at the Park. See Hi-Horse Cloggers of Stanardsville on the third Thursday of each month (April through October). Hi-Horse are known for their traditional clogging. Come see them for free from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

    The Park regulars are the Shenandoah Valley Cloggers who dance to bluegrass, country, old time rock, pop, and more. See them every Tuesday (April through November) from 8 to 9 p.m. for free.

    Possum Ridge String BandIf Southern Appalachian music appeals to you, don’t miss the concerts by Possum Ridge String Band the fourth Thursday of every month (April through November) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The traditional sounds of the fiddle, mandolin, and banjo pair up for a few Irish and Scottish tunes, too. The concerts are free.

    Shenandoah National Park has an entry fee of $15 per car, however, there are select days throughout the year when the fee is waived: April 21-29, June 9, September 29, and November 10-12 are the 2012 fee-free dates.

    Discover more upcoming events in Shenandoah National Park at Virginia.org and put LOVE at the heart of your mountain vacation!



    Couples, Destinations, Events, Family, Food and Wine, Outdoors | Comments Off

    There are Foodies and There are SEAFoodies

    by Casey | Posted on October 20th, 2011

    Some crave traditional comfort food, but not you. Your comfort comes from the tides. These festivals are right up your alley and will fill all your seafoodie desires.
    Raw Oyster. Credit: Blue Crab Bay Company

    Raw Oyster. Credit: Blue Crab Bay Company

    Live in Hampton Roads? Enjoy a date night! The City Point Oyster Roast in Newport News is tomorrow evening, October 21, from 5 to 9 pm. More than great Chesapeake Bay oysters, there’s also beer tasting, live music, and a fun scavenger hunt and crafts for kids. Free admission and parking; pay as you go for tastings and food.

    Pair your fresh oysters with great Virginia wine when you attend the Oyster Roast at Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery, October 29-30, in Afton. Music by The Cashmere Jungle Lords on Saturday and The Atkinsons on Sunday. Admission includes wine glass and tasting, but not full beverages or oysters.

    Deborah Pratt at Cardinal Point Vineyards and Winery

    Oyster Shucking Champion Deborah Pratt at Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery. Also see her at the Urbanna Oyster Festival.

    The little town of Urbanna takes on a larger-than-life atmosphere every November, and this year is no different. Don’t miss the 54th Annual Urbanna Oyster Festival November 4-5. Plan to bring the whole family and spend quality time with great entertainment like …

    • Fireman’s Parade 
    • More than 125 Vendors
    • Virginia Wine Tasting and Oyster Pairing
    • Queen & Little Miss Spat pageants
    • Oyster Shucking Contest

    Oysters will be served up whatever way you care to suck ‘em down: “raw, roasted, fried, smoked, steamed, in fritters, or in stew,” claim the Festival planners. No worries for the wee foodies. There are hot dogs, hamburgers and more for their tiny tummies.

    This is a pay-as-you-go festival. Parking is $10 to $20, offsetting festival expenses and supporting the Urbanna Oyster Festival Foundation.

    You can’t get much more “local” than oysters grown out your backdoor and wine produced mere steps away. Come out November 13 for the Church Creek Chardonnay & Oyster Tasting Extravaganza at Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo. Splurge on unlimited raw bar oyster tasting and a glass of steel-fermented Church Creek Chardonnay. Admission is $20 and by advanced purchase onlyonline or by calling 757-678-5588.

    “Eat for a good cause,” that’s what I always say, and you can do just that at the 13th Annual Oyster Roast at the Cape Charles Museum on November 26. Fill your plate with raw or roasted oysters, fried chicken, clam chowder, potato salad, three-bean salad, and homemade rolls and desserts. Mmmm! Beer and wine are available, as is a a 50/50 raffle and silent auction. $30/adult; $10/child aged 7 to 12.

    Find more great culinary events at Virginia.org.



    Fall in Virginia, Food, Food and Wine | Comments Off

    Oompah! It’s Oktoberfest!

    by Casey | Posted on October 5th, 2011

    October is just not October without Oktoberfests.

    German foods, biergartens, giant steins, and boisterous oompah bands are the things that come to mind when I think of Oktoberfest, and Virginia has plenty of all this month.

    Richmond Oktoberfest

    Richmond Oktoberfest

    First, and before we even talk about festivals, Virginia includes strong German heritage dating from the first German arrivals to Jamestowne in 1608 and their eventual permanent settlement beginning in 1714.

    German influence exists today in Virginia, and you can see it in Virginia wine (Gewurztraminer and Riesling), historic churches (Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison was built by German settlers in 1740 and is one of four wooden churches surviving since Colonial times), and German-flavored fun (Wohlfahrt House Dinner Theatre in Wytheville and The Rhein River Inn in Buchanan).

    Now, back to the festivities …

    A blow-out with German fare and beer, Oktoberfest Reston includes carnival rides and is as much fun for the kids as it is for the adults. It’s coming up this weekend, October 7-9 at Reston Town Center.

    The oldest and biggest Oktoberfest in Virginia occurs in Richmond. This year the party roars October 21-22 at The Showplace. You’ll have your chance to polka and waltz, watch the folk dancing of Hirschjäger Bavarian Dancers, and fill yourself with food and drink.

    Oompah Band at Mountain Lake Hotel

    German Oompah Band at Mountain Lake Hotel

    “Quite the spread.” That’s what you’ll think when you see the immense buffet at Mountain Lake Hotel every weekend through October 29. Roast pig, fresh-baked breads and pastries, beers, wines, ciders, dancing, and a really fun Oompah band make this a weekend you’ll wait all year to repeat. Accommodations available.

    If you’re looking for a taste of German-inspired beers brewed close to home, make your way to Huddleston October 22 for Oktoberfest at Smith Mountain Lake where you can sample Legend Oktoberfest, as well as beer from Maryland and North Carolina. German fare and lively musical entertainment are on-hand as well.

    German meals and traditions are celebrated with Virginia wines at AmRhein Wine Cellars on October 15 and  Lake Anna Winery on October 22.

    Virginia’s biggest theme parks are definitely in the mix with the German-themed fun.

    Kings Dominion invites you to an all-you-can-eat picnic meal with a German flare this Sunday, October 9. Beer is priced per cup, and your Oktoberfest admission includes the entire park plus HAUNT, if you care to stay for the scare.

    Busch Gardens has an entire section of the park dedicated to all things German. During regular park hours catch “This is Oktoberfest” at the Festhaus. It’s an enthusiastic song and dance show with German eats and brews served alongside. Busch Gardens is open weekends through the month of October.

    Ready to dive in? Make your travel plans at Virginia.org and hit the road!



    Couples, Events, Food and Wine | 1 Comment

    War Between the Grapes

    by Tom | Posted on September 27th, 2011

    If you are that special breed of traveler who is a fan of Civil War history and wine tasting, the Virginia Wine Board and 23 Virginia wineries have got a regiment-sized diversion for you.

    When your metal-detector Monitor Vs Virginiastarts to get heavy, or you’re just tired of playing another battlefield casualty, stop by a participating winery and sample one of the dozens of specially-labeled wines commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War and Emancipation. There are themes for everyone, from James River Cellar’s Monitor Vs. Virginia red, marking the famous ironclad battles, to Democracy Vineyards’ 2010 Emancipation Merlot in celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, to Casanel Vineyards’ 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, which pays tribute to all the men and women on both sides who suffered and sacrificed so much for their cause.

    Virginia Winery Passport

    Virginia Sesquicentennial Winery Passport

    To keep track of all the great wines and stories you’ll experience, the Virginia Wine Board has created a handy and detailed Virginia Sesquicentennial Winery Passport. This compact little book contains descriptions of all the featured vintages,  descriptions of the battles and people commemorated, and a fold-out map with the locations of nearby Civil War sites. To make your visit complete your passport also leaves space for that all-important stamp.

    While you still have several years to fill your Passport (and glass), this October is Virginia Wine Month, an ideal time to get started and “Find Your Perfect Crush”. Ask for Virginia wine at your favorite restaurant or visit a wine festival; chances are good there’s a Civil War site waiting to be explored just minutes away.



    Civil War, Fall in Virginia, Food and Wine | 2 Comments