As I mentioned in my weekend post, we were invited out to DuCard Vineyards on Sunday afternoon for a special food and wine pairing.
DuCard is about an hour north of Cville, nestled right into the mountains. On the drive there you can’t imagine a vineyard and winery at the end of the rainbow, but sure enough there was not only a winery at the end of the road, but plenty of people enjoying it as well!
This is the owner, Scottie, who proclaims the winery is a “hobby gone wild.” He was so welcoming to us, and super cool too – this is a winery you can call home. It’s family friendly, picnic friendly, and dog friendly!
DuCard is just 15 minutes from the famous hike Old Rag and just a few miles from White Oak Canyon (which I haven’t done yet and will definitely do in conjunction with another visit soon!). So go on a hike and then spend the afternoon sipping delicious vino!! There are picnic tables and supplies at your service.
DuCard offers a wine and food pairing on the weekends – two seatings on Saturday and Sunday – that makes it a destination. We were greeted with tastes of wine and then escorted into the barrel room by Chef Kris who runs the program.
Rose and caprese sticks to get us started…along with some info about DuCard’s history and stewardship. Solar panels, composting, recycling and sustainable practices are are the heart of the operation. We were impressed! (Read more here!)
After hearing about DuCard, we made our way into the barrel room for our tasting.
The table was set with three courses and three wines plus a plethora of crackers, bread and mixed nuts.
Viognier + lemon shrimp + mango chutney chicken + kiwi + raspberry + Lusk gouda from Mountain View Farm. Matt and I both loved the Viognier!
Next up was the Cabernet Franc (another Virginia favorite!) paired with pork with spicy plum chutney + lamb in a Greek sauce + kalamata olives + bowtie pesto pasta. The pork and Cab Franc pairing was my favorite of the day!
Finally, the dessert course, which was paired with the C’est Trop port-style dessert wine. This course had a key lime and mango-frosted cupcake because it was Chef Kris’s birthday! Plus a cheesecake bite, dark chocolate from Charlottesville Candy Co and a blackberry. We both loved the C’est Trop because it was aged in Maker’s Mark bourbon barrels!
Scottie kept us entertained and answered Matt’s burning nerd questions (like do new wineries ever buy old barrels. A: nope for fear of poor maintenance.)
At the end of the tasting we had the excitement of comparing the 2012 Cabernet Frac with some young wine straight from the barrel.
The comparison was a no brainer – the aged wine was a million times more complex! We were so impressed by all of the wines we tasted. We ended up buying three bottles of red at the end – the Cab Sauv, the Cab Franc and the Bordeaux blend!
The tasting is $39, although ours were on the house in exchange for this post. I would highly recommend this experience! Not many Virginia wineries are doing food pairings like this, and the personal attention would be well worth the price. Especially after a long hike in the beautiful Virginia countryside!