It’s rare my husband has a Sunday off, so when he does we like to take advantage of the day and go on an adventure. A few Sunday’s ago we had a great plans of getting up early and heading down to Amissville, home of The Gray Ghost Vineyard. Due to very generously sized Martinis and wine the night before, we woke up a little bit later. No regrets. The martini was great, the wine even better and the porterhouse steak with lobster tail was to die for.
Sunday happened to be a bit dreary, which actually made the experience at The Gray Ghost Vineyard more fitting. It took about an hour from Falls Church and that’s without getting lost. I’ll admit it, I’m not the best co-pilot when driving instructions are needed. As soon as we stepped out of the car a very loud siren started to go off. Now, being from up here close to the city, the only sirens we hear are fire trucks and police cars. This was like out of Twister. Thankfully we saw no flying cows whizzing by, and once I remembered we were not in the city anymore, I realized that was “the get volunteer firefighters to jump into action” siren. We may or may not have confirmed with the tasting room lady.
As we walked in we first noticed the Civil War artwork on the wall. We had done our research before heading to the vineyard so the Civil War theme did not surprise us. Curious about the name, we learned that this winery is located at the very southern end of what was known as Mosby’s Confedericy. John S. Mosby was given the nickname the ” The Gray Ghost” by the Union Army because he had the ability to infiltrate enemy lines without being detected. Much like the Swamp Fox during the Revolutionary War. Eventually, this term was used for other Confederate rangers.
My husband and I love wineries that tie in local history. I do have to mention, one reason we decided to visit this winery besides the history was the great reviews they received on Yelp. However, there was one review we just couldn’t help but chuckle at when we read it. This particular reviewer said she couldn’t give the winery the proper review or buy the wine because she learned that “Gray Ghost” was a nickname for a Confederate solider. For anyone who lives in Virginia, there is no shortage of roads, streets, towns, schools that are named after Confederate figures. That is all I will say on that review.
We were pleased with the wine tasting menu. For anyone who does not know me, I tend to judge wineries that don’t have a Chardonnay on the menu. I believe in having basic varietals that casual wine drinkers tend to be familiar with. A lot of people get intimidated when they see a tasting list with wines they have never even heard of. Thankfully, The Gray Ghost Winery has not one, but two Chardonnays. They had Chardonnay and a Reserve Chardonnay. Both were good, both were not typical Chardonnays. In fact, non-chardonnay fans would love sipping on these. I preferred the Chardonnay Reserve as did my husband. Estate grown and aged in French oak barrels. Buttery notes with with pear and vanilla. Don’t be fooled. This is not an oaky wine.
Red wine is a go to in our house, regardless of season and temperature. The list contained Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and a few others with creative names. By far the best red on that list was the Petit Verdot. Very dark in color, lots of dark berry characteristics and slight spice. Heavier than the other reds and very pleasing to the palate.
We decided to get a glass of the Reserve Chardonnay and the Petit Verdot. We were invited to explore the
tasting room and the lounge – like loft. There were tons of Civil War prints and paintings. So for two history buffs, walking around with a glass of wine and looking at some history was wonderful. The loft area was inviting. I however, would have decorated it a bit differently. Maybe more like a Civil War era type room. But thats the DIY design part of me coming out. We enjoyed our wines on a very cloudy, misty day. The tasting fee was $5 each. That is a steal and a great price for a tasting fee. Check this winery out if you ever have a day where you want to head on out a bit farther below the Mason-Dixon line than you usually do.