Thursday, September 22, 2011

Harvest Kick-Off Wine Country BBQ

Hi everyone! We’re back after a whirlwind but exciting trip to California, where we celebrated Stephen’s grandpa’s 90th birthday and also took my sister to Hollywood’s Magic Castle to ring in her 21st. I’m busy getting caught up and back in the swing of things, so before I start the trip recaps, I want to first share a recent weekend outing that combined two of my favorite things – good food and wine.

Though visiting the famed Napa and Sonoma wineries is always a treat whenever we’re in Northern Cal, since moving to the DC area, we've also grown to love to the laid-back and down-home feel of Virginia’s own growing wine country, home to our East Coast favorite, Vintage Ridge.

Along with serving truly tasty wines, Vintage Ridge delightfully mixes things up by offering food pairings with each tasting, including party platters, gourmet cheeses and other delectable goodies for those who want to enjoy a refreshing glass or two while relaxing on the sunlit patio. As you can imagine, we have a rack full of vintages from this place and also jumped at the chance to join the vineyard’s wine club a couple years ago.

Two glasses of wine & one tasty party platter, ready to be enjoyed. 
Among other fun features, the wine club membership gets us a seat at the vineyard’s members-only fall harvest BBQ kick-off party each year. This season’s party was held in early September, and while the weather wasn’t quite fall-like just yet, the warm breeze ended up being a perfect last hurrah for lazy summer evenings. 

A summer's evening on the patio. 
Rolling hills and gorgeous countryside. 
Though not quite as impressive as last year, when the staff cooked up a truly hearty and delicious meal of steaks, portabellas and baked potatoes, this year’s menu of barbecued kabobs, pearled couscous and veggies, along with an amazing blueberry, peach, cherry tomato, cucumber and basil salad, still made for a fantastic dinner. (And a much healthier one, at that!) Throw in a glass of Syrah and dessert trays of cookies and brownies, and we were good to go! I can’t wait to head back again for another visit once the fall season really kicks into high gear.

Tasty and healthy eats. 
Do you have a favorite vineyard or wine, and what’s your favorite way to kick off the fall harvest season? 

20 comments:

  1. What a fun... and delish... trip!

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  2. Sounds so fun! I want to check out some of the local wineries near me, out on Long Island. :)

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  3. This looks like such a fun event! We attended a similar party in Lodi last month. I love Napa, but it's so crowded this time of year. Unless we have some sort of VIP hookup, I much prefer the lower-key wineries of the East Bay in the fall :)

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  4. This looks so fun! What a beautiful place to hold the event. It sounds like a great hello to fall!

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  5. Looks like you had a great time, food sounds delicious.
    I do have a favorite wine, it's called Avalon from Napa Valley, unfortunately in the past few months I as diagnosed with severe nickel allergy so I am not able to drink wine anymore :(

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  6. oh wow it sounds like you had a wonderful trip!!!

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  7. what a wonderful way to kick off the fall. the grounds look lovely and so does the food :)

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  8. such a cute blog!!!
    cant wait to see more!

    XOXO
    LISA
    New follower!

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  9. that looks like a lot of fun. we are not much of wine people but i've always wanted to go and visit a winery...i was wondering if you were still blogging at the other blog...im glad i thought to check this one!

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  10. Mmmmmm, wine! Looks like so much fun!

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  11. That sounds amazing. The wine even looks like it's tasty! We've only been to a couple of wineries here. V Sattui is always fun. I hear they have a great membership. Once I make a few more bucks I'm hoping to enjoy Napa a lot more.

    Glad you had a good time! Lovely pictures. I miss trees!

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  12. That is truly beautiful country! And wow! 90 years old! I bet it was a terrific celebration! Have a fun weekend Heather :)

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  13. What lovely photo's sounds like you had great fun, my favourite vineyard is a place called Fairview in the Cape check it out on the internet too beautiful

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  14. Looks like a wonderful trip! And those pictures of the food are making me quite hungry!!!

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  15. Lovely photos and so much fun. I´d love to have the same adventure. :)

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  16. This looks like a very relaxing event with good food and wine!! Im glad you enjoyed it. Ive actually never been to a vineyard before. But next weekend is my sisters wedding and Im so excited!! It will be a nice time with family and friends on the beach!! :)

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  17. So fun! I went to Sonoma with some girlfriends last year and it was such a fun trip - Loved Kaz winery and Sebastiani's - both were so good!

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  18. How lovely! Chris and I really want to start exploring the vineyards out on Long Island - one of our closest set of friends just got engaged at Sparkling Point out there and plan on having their wedding there in 2013!

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  19. sounds like such a fun trip! i've never been to a vineyard but once we get married we're definitely going to cali to try out some great places :)

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