Having a midweek conference in Lynchburg was the perfect launch to a weekend of wineries on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I headed out of Lynchburg and stopped at the Peaks of Otter Winery on my way.
I had tried their wines before on the happiest day of my life (which was at the Wine Down the Music Trail Festival a few years ago) and though I don’t remember much of that day, I do remember that I liked their wines the best.
The winery is on a family farm just outside of Bedford. The farmers came in from the fields to sell me the wine and insisted on letting me try a few. If you get a chance to go, I recommend the Blueberry Muffin wine (their breakfast wine), the Chili Dawg wine (a spicy wine that is supposed to be sipped immediately after tasting a bit of Cheese Whiz, and the Blackberry Cobbler wine (my personal favorite). As gifts for my sister, I picked up the Chili Dawg, the Vino Colada and the Salty Frog.
I packed up my bottles and got back on the road.
Once I hit the Blue Ridge Parkway, I saw a sign that said there was a 4-mile loop to the top of Roanoke Mountain. Since I had a little time to kill, I tried it. The view drive up was one lane (and one way, thank God!) and really, really fun. The view from the top was fantastic. Then the ride down came and it scared the living shit out of me.
Back on the parkway, I headed to my mother’s place. When Cyndi and her son Mark arrived, we had a quick dinner and decided to head into town. Floyd is the closest town and Googling it turned up a concert from Sharayah Spears at the Dogtown Roadhouse. Since she was billed as “legit” and “one of our favorite performers” we went there first.
Sharayah Spears was great, she was what I imagined the love child of Adele and Regina Spektor would sound like. Very nice!
We popped into the Floyd Country Store where they were having a bluegrass jam, but Mark and I agreed we weren’t interested in paying a $5 cover for bluegrass music! Still there was great shopping…
Since Mark just got his driver’s permit and needed a bit more practice, we drove back up to the Blue Ridge Parkway to find an overlook where we could view the stars. While we were there we also got a view of the Devil’s Backbone.
Saturday was beautiful and sunny. Cyndi and I climbed the mountain behind my mother’s house and then took a walk to the lake .
Justin and Emma were coming up to visit so we decided to visit the first winery on our way to meet them.
We took off out top and headed over to the AmRhein Winery.
The wines were fantastic, and I picked up a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a bottle of Vin de Peche.
Our next stop was Valhalla Vineyards. Justin and Emma timed their trip perfectly and met us there.
Perched atop a 2,000 mountain, the winery must have really, really good white wine because it was all gone! We settled for tasting their reds.
I am not a fan of reds generally and Cyndi and Emma didn’t seem to care for it much either. But we felt bad not buying something so we got a bottle of the Gotterdammerung and headed out to the patio to enjoy a glass and take in the view.
Gotterdammerung is the wine that “when you hear the enemy missiles will impact in thirty minutes, you want in your hand”.
The next stop was the Brooks Mill winery.
They specialize in fruit wines (my favorite!) The vintner was very friendly and had recently returned from a trip to San Diego. We tried each of the wines and they were all delicious! I bought a bottle of Pear. Cyndi bought the Sangria Kit. I came boxed with a bottle of the sweet blackberry wine and all of the other ingredients to make a truly delightful batch of sangria.
Sine the temperature was dropping and the sun was setting we decided to head back up the mountain and enjoy a few of the bottles we just bought.