Not California! Not Washington! … but the Award-Winning Wines of Virginia.
Could it be that the first wines ever in America could have come from Virginia? It is possible, after all back in the early 1600’s when the first settlers to America landed on the shores of the 17th hole of the River Course at Kingsmill Resort. The settlers being European, we know that they would not be too happy without their wine.
As the settlers moved into Jamestown and beyond, they planted indigenous grapes, and it is a fact that Thomas Jefferson had his own intentions of developing wine with his own wine making adventures at his Monticello Estate in the Charlottesville region of Virginia, just west of Richmond. Today, winemakers in general understand so much more about geology, climate, viticulture, and winemaking. That knowledge has been applied to the Virginia wine industry since the ‘80s, and it has definitely paid off.
There are some 500 wineries throughout the State, so there might be a case for Virginia being for Wine Lovers, Golfers and not just Lovers! After all, there are over 330 golf courses to choose from.
On our very recent visit to Richmond, we had the opportunity to not only play some outstanding golf but to also taste some equally outstanding wines of the region.
Here is Where to Go
Our first taste and round of golf landed us at the New Kent Winery which just happens to be right next door to the Rees Jones designed – The Club at Viniterra. The Vineyard Estate at New Kent Winery is very well known for its hosting of events, but not just wine related as it is home to the Talleysville Brewing Company. Both are a family-owned and operated farm winery and farm brewery where pride of ownership exudes in the true southern hospitality and unparalleled selection of estate-grown, handcrafted wines and beers.
As wine was our mission, we did not get into the beers. On the white wine side, I can highly recommend both the Chardonnay or Reserve Chardonnay, Trinity and Norton being my red choices. For more information and an overview of all beers and award winning wines, (photo above) click right here New Kent Winery
Rees Jones did magnificent job working with a natural setting. The course is laid out right in front of you, no blind shots and all hazards are in full site. Just so you don’t forget about the winery next door as you make your way down the first fairway a small orchard setting awaits, capturing stray balls hit way to far right. About 20 minutes from Richmond, this award-winning course is not to be missed. Club at Viniterra
There are at least 5 wineries in the New Kent region and 2 of the most notables that we would recommend making a point to visit are:
Jolene Family Winery: Known as the winery by the lake. Easy to find, right off Rt. 60 with a magnificent setting along side Tom Brooks Lake. There are several options for tasting, explained after warm and welcoming greetings from the staff. Tastings go beyond wines into ciders and seating’s can be indoors or out overlooking the lake and surrounding pines.
Just a few awards winning wines to note here, from The Virginia Governor’s Cup Competition 2022
- 2020 PINOT GRIGIO – Silver
- MERLOT ROSE´ – Silver
- CABERNET FRANC – Gold
- FAMILY RED – Silver
- DUGGAN’S PRESS – Silver
Apparently, we are not the only one to recommend the Jolene Family Winery: Voted #1 Best Winery in Style Weekly Magazine’s Best of Richmond 2021 Reader’s Poll. Jolene Family Winery
……..And YES, there is more golf in this neighborhood. One of 7 you can play in America. A must stop in my mind is the Royal New Kent Golf Club providing a little taste of Ireland in Virginia. One of the toughest tracks that you will play, many of the fairways offer directional guides known as “Beacons of Hope.” Unlike Viniterra, New Kent has twists and turns to mess with your mind and skills. A Mike Strantz design, a designer like no other. Worth the trip to Richmond! Royal New Kent Golf Club
Sitting on 100 acres, Saude Creek Vineyards is situated high on a hillside overlooking the rolling landscape to the Pamunkey River. The views are breathtaking as is a rich history welcoming guest as they make their way up a scenic drive.
The grandeur of the winery and tasting room make Saude Creek a favorite for both locals and travelers alike, with live music and fantastic food vendors each weekend. Visitors are invited to sit back and relax on the patios and wrap around decks overlooking treetops and grapevines, while sipping on our award-winning wines with friends and family. Saudé Creek Vineyards
So now you know……….” the rest of the story”……… Virginia has always been for Lovers. Now, and in particular the Richmond area is for Golfer and Wine Lovers too! Golf, Sip, Golf, Sip, Smooch!
For more information of the Richmond area: Visit Richmond VA