Enjoy Incredible Scenery and Wine at Pollak Vineyards

My visit to Pollak Vineyards was probably my favorite wine experience on this trip to the Charlottesville area. Although I have been to this region a few times before, there a so many wineries to choose from and this is one that I hadn’t explored yet. Even though their website said visitors by reservation only (due to COVID-19) I took a chance and decided to simply stop by. It was early on a Wednesday and I was hoping for the best – and I’m glad I took the chance. They were not busy at all and welcomed us with no reservation.

Although the tasting room itself was closed for sampling, guests are allowed to enter with a mask and place wine flight orders. Currently you can choose between a white or red flight. My friend ordered the red flight and I ordered the white on this warm summer day. All wine is to be consumed outdoors – either on the porch or the patio. Our flights were quickly poured and we were given a table number on the covered porch and once seated there we could remove our mask and enjoy our wine flights.

We thoroughly enjoyed our tasting flights on the porch. It was still fairly early in the day, a bit overcast and slightly breezy so we were able to comfortably enjoy our samples before the extreme heat forcast that day arrived. There were a few other parties sprinkled throughout the porch area and on the lovely patio – some with flights and others simply enjoying a glass or bottle. Everyone seemed to be relaxed and enjoying the wine and beautiful scenery.

My friend was extremely pleased with all of the wines in the red wine flight that he ordered. I’ll tell you a little about the wines I tasted in the white wine flight:

2019 Sauvignon Blanc: This wine is aged 50% in French Oak and 50% in Stainless Steel, which concerned me a bit because I don’t care for oaky whites, but I was pleasantly surprised. It still had a nice acidity, but had a fuller mouth-feel. Sauvignon Blanc has always been one of my favorite white wines, and this one didn’t disappoint.

2018 Viognier: I’m also a fan of the Viognier grape. This is one wine that I can’t find in my local grocery store so I’m always happy when I come across this variety when visiting a winery. This one has some great peach/tropical aromas and has a vibrant acidity with a nice lingering finish.

2018 Pinot Gris: This is a wine variety that I don’t often search out because I find that most mass produced Pinot Gris is pretty lackluster, but this one had plenty of character. Bright and crisp, but with a fruity finish that had me wanting more of this delicious wine.

2018 Rosé: I’m always on the lookout for a great dry rosé and this was my favorite of the four wines in my flight. It had wonderful berry aromas and a lingering dry, but fruit-forward finish. The tasting notes said a sip of this wine would leave a desire for another taste and it sure did!

It was a perfectly wonderful few hours we spent at Pollak Vineyards sipping incredible wine on the spacious wrap-around front porch while taking in the amazing mountain views. Our experience was topped-off by their friendly and informative staff that was happy to accommodate us without reservations. There are so many wineries in the region to choose from, but if you’re in the Charlottesville area, this a a winery that I would certainly make a point to visit.

If you would like to experience Pollak Vineyards for yourself, you can visit them at 330 Newtown Road in Greenwood, Virginia. You can visit them online at www.pollakvineyards.com

Discovering What’s New at Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery

It has been many years since my initial visit to Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery in Leon, Virginia and so much has changed since then. The iconic wine glasses twirling in the breeze on the front lawn were still there, but once I entered I immediately noticed the difference. Wine tastings are no longer conducted at the counter in what now strictly their gift shop, but they are done in a much larger space (immediately to the left upon entering) which is home to their new Tap 29 Brewery & Brew Pub. Yes, not only do they produce premium wines, but you can also taste the craft brews they now make along with homemade pub grub 7 days a week.

My friend decided to skip the whole tasting process and immediately ordered a glass of his usual style beer – an IPA. I went for a mixed flight with a red and two whites. The wine flights offer a very nice-size pour of each variety, so we there for awhile. My friend even ended up ordering one more beer while I was finishing up my tasting experience. Visitors around us were ordering food from the pub menu, which all looked really good, but we had plans on eating at a nearby German restaurant on our way back to our cabin in Stanardsville and wanted to save our appetite.

Prince Michel has a long history of quality winemaking, and according to my friend their brewing is top-notch too. The property offers plenty of seating (both indoor and outdoor), wine, beer, food and luxury suites for those that want to make their visit a “total experience” and spend a night or two.

You can visit Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery in person at 154 Winery Lane in Leon, Virginia or online at https://www.princemichel.com/