The State of the Vine
"Our dinner menus pair locally produced wines with each course. It's a perfect tie-in with our regional food philosophy," says Suzanne Thomas. "Virginia had a fledgling wine industry when we moved here--a world of wines we could really get our minds around and promote." Today, the state boasts more than 200 wineries. Suzanne and Suzie create Virginia Wine Trail tours for guests, often serving as guides.
"The best varietals are Voignier and Petit Verdot. Voignier is able to tolerate the Virginia humidity and long growing season," Suzanne explains. "Because of this, it produces stellar wines. The red Petit Verdot, previously used as a blending wine, is coming into its own."
Suzanne's top picks include Delfosse Vineyards' (delfossewine.com) Voignier--fruit-forward, floral, with pineapple and apricot overtones"-and Linden Vineyards' (lindenvineyards.com) Petit Verdot, "spicy, earthy, delightful with lamb and beef." Gray Ghost Vineyards' multiple gold award-winning dessert wine Adieu, a late-harvest Vidal Blanc, is another of Suzanne's favorites (grayghostvineyards.com).
Recipes begin here.