General’s Ridge Vineyard Review
Address: 1618 Weldons Drive Hague,Virginia 22469.
Phone Number: 804-472-3172
Tasting Hours: Thurs 12:00-5:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-6:00, Sun 12:00-5:00, major holiday Mondays 12:00-5:00 and by appt.
Region: Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA, Virginia
Reviewer: Richard Rynders
Review Date: 8/21/2015
Reviewer: Richard Rynders
The first thing to remember about making the trek up the driveway to General’s Ridge tasting room is to just keep going you’ll get there. Winding through several beautiful acres of vineyards, you pass some picturesque dwellings that accommodate visitors (more on that later) before you reach the large tasting room. Aptly named “Somewhere in Time” the space is a magnificent blend of yesterday and today. On an early Friday afternoon in August, we were the only guests in the house. Our host was immediately welcoming without being overbearing. Lined up for tasting were two veteran tasters and a novice with a good attitude. Quickly sizing up his audience, the server went to work and provided a brief history of the vineyards and then took us on a tour of the General’s Ridge wines. (Note: all grapes for General’s Ridge Winery are estate grown, and all wines are produced by Michael Shap’s Virginia Wineworks in Charlottesville).
The stand-out for the whites for our group was the Pinot Grigio. With crisp citrus notes, this wine is as easy to enjoy on a warm August afternoon as it will be on Thanksgiving Day. This may be the first time I have ever purchased a white wine to enjoy afterword in the tasting room absolutely delicious!
The rose was also a pleasant surprise, as it was a blend of Cab Franc, Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc. An excellent picnic wine, we had to pick up a bottle to take home to ultimately pair with the host’s recommendation of Hawaiian Pizza.
The standout in the red category was the Cabernet Franc. As it turned out, it was also our novice taster’s favorite red. The franc was medium-bodied and after a peppery start, it finished fresh and bright.
Once we made it through the tasting list, we each purchased a glass to enjoy with some snacks which we brought to consume in the spacious and adjoining tasting room. Adorning the walls, and impossible to miss, was framed artwork for sale. As a testament to local artists, one artists’ work is chosen and displayed for a month’s time, then rotated to make room for someone else’s exhibit.
So what about those dwellings we passed on the way in through the vineyards? As is turns out, General’s Ridge has built and converted some quarters for visitors to rent and spend the night, weekend, or week. The Manor House is a converted farmhouse dating back to the mid-1800’s. With three bedrooms, a full kitchen, two baths, and a wrap-around porch, this house would be a perfect relaxing retreat for just about anyone. And it sleeps seven!
Vineyard Views is a modern cottage with delightful views of the property. A two-bedroom, two-bath house puts you closer to the action in the vineyards or not. Another terrific option for those looking for a relaxing abode on Virginia’s Northern Neck, also offered all year round.
Finally, the Carriage House was created for weddings, off-site business meetings and other festive gatherings. With 1,500 feet of open space and an upstairs with smaller rooms for receptions, dinners or break-out meetings for smaller get-togethers, this facility makes for a unique and comfortable experience.
Although there are only a handful of wineries located on Virginia’s Northern Neck, the region is a great destination for those who love water recreation as much as they love wine, and General’s Ridge has positioned itself as a true destination winery.