Where: 14706 Lee Hwy, Amissville, VA
Tasting Fee: $10 for a tasting of 10 wines
Don’t Miss The: The corks, Gewurztraminer, Ranger Reserve
Food: There’s a very small charcuterie selection & outside food is welcome
We have one weekend left before Christmas and I have a very strong suggestion on how you should spend it. Go to Gray Ghost Vineyards. Drink some seriously good wine. But most importantly, follow up that wine tasting with a tour of their Christmas cork display. Made up of over 200,000 corks (holy shit, that’s a lot of corks), their display is a ridiculous amount of fun.
BUT… First things first! How is the tasting? Good news–It’s pretty damn great. For $10, you can taste 10 wines. As a very merry alternative, you can also pay $20, taste 10 wines, and get a glass of wine (You get to keep the holiday themed glass!). There are three separate Chardonnays–two oaked and one unoaked. Out of the three, my favorite was the classic 2017 Chardonnay. Fermented and aged in French oak, it avoids becoming too buttery and instead finishes with just a hint of vanilla.
Following the Chardonnays, there’s a Vidal Blanc, which was quite accurately described as “summer in a bottle.” However my best/most fun to say of the white is easily their 2018 Gewurztraminer. It’s off-dry and has a citrusy/floral/ginger blend of flavors. As a ginger fiend, this spoke to me on soooooooooo many levels.
The reds were equally delicious, with my favorite being the 2016 Ranger Reserve. A Bordeaux-style blend, it’s received 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, which I found to be well-deserved. It features all 5 Bordeaux grapes, (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec) and each of them is grown on the estate. In fact, Gray Ghost makes all of their wines exclusively with grapes grown on their 13-acre estate.
Wine can only do so much though–much of a tasting experience relies on how good your tasting room associate is. Luckily, Gray Ghost’s associates were all fantastic. They knew their stuff and they love the wine. You can’t really ask for much more than that. Also a nice bonus–While the winery itself is child-friendly, they have a separate adults-only loft area. It’s decorated for the holidays and incredibly cozy. Santa was scheduled at Gray Ghost towards the end of our visit and as the winery got increasingly more crowded, it remained nice and leisurely upstairs.
Overall, Gray Ghost is a worthy visit any time of year, but really manages to shine during the holidays. Maybe it will even give you some inspiration on how to use up your old corks! Drink some good wine and get a little crazy with the pictures by the displays. It’s the holidays–treat yo’self!