We had a grand Father's Day this weekend in Charlottesville. Scored a nice Internet rate on a small hotel - Hubby enjoyed his epic bike ride, then off to tour a few wineries we had not before visited:
BarrenRidge Vineyards: in Augusta County - newly opened to the public, it sits on a hill overlooking a former apple orchard now strung with vines, and a small church and cemetery. Half the fun of wine touring is driving to these places, because you never know where the roads will take you. You'll weave through residential neighborhoods, sparse farms, rolling on dirt roads and wondering if you took a wrong turn. Then suddenly on the horizon is a gorgeous converted farmhouse or chalet, busy with people.
BarrenRidge had only four to sample, and we picked up the 2007 Vidal Blanc, which is a light quaffer. Their 2006 Rose has a bolder taste than most we've sampled this year, not all like the stuff in the jug my father used to buy. :) Can't wait to go back in the fall for the new reds.
Pollak Vineyards: another newly opened winery, close to Charlottesville. Gorgeous new building sitting in the middle of a vast valley, peppy jazz sounding from speakers. We tried two Chardonnays - one oak, one stainless steel - and bought the latter. We aren't Chard drinkers, either, so you know this one impressed us enough to buy. Bought a nice, bold Cab Franc as well that will do well with dinner one night.
Oakencroft Vineyards: an established Virginia winery, we learned they are closing this year after 25 years so the owner can retire. Not sure when we'd be back, so we hopped over there and enjoyed several vintages, taking home the dessert wine and a Cab Sav. The winery sits on a large lake populated with all sorts of honking geese. Little One had a time chasing them around the perimeter.
Have to admit, Hubby and I shared an "Under the Tuscan Sun" moment there, just wondering aloud how much a winery would cost. We have land in West Virginia, and had mulled the idea for a while...really, is it that much work.
New Moon on Monday
It's another great week for releases at Phaze. Readers have been waiting for All the Fixin' to come to print, and now it's available for pre-order. We are developing quite a following with interracial romance, and Marie Rochelle is among the many authors responsible for that success. I/R fans will be happy to know, too, Marie's next book with us, My Deepest Love: Zack, is also due in print.
I'm especially excited for Lost and Found, which is a nicely done romance amid the tense drama of anti-war sentiment. It could easily be a television movie with the way the relationships play out in the story. Marc is an excellent writer and I'm really hoping the audience finds this work. Concubine, I've blogged about here many times before. We're taking a trip home to earlier chick lit erotic roots with this one. A Fall From Grace is a lush historical fantasy, knight in (and out of) shining armor. The remainder of the month looks to be amazing with the Phaze debut of a hot erotica author, an amazing print BDSM collection, and more fantastic stories.