Fun fact: General’s Ridge Vineyard is owned by an actual two-star general. (I assumed it had something to do with Revolutionary or Civil War history. Silly me.) It also wasn’t supposed to be a vineyard – the property was purchased with the intent of making a boys’ military school. Lucky for us, that didn’t happen. Also lucky for us, General Phillips developed a taste for wine as he traveled around the world with the USMC.
After the plans for the military school fell through, the General and his wife planted 16 – 17 varietals on their 33 acres. Although the grapes have been growing since 1999, the tasting room didn’t open until 2010. Don’t worry, grapes weren’t going to waste for 11 years. They actually sell 75% – 80% of their crop each year to other wineries and are one of the largest sellers of Pinot Grigio grapes in the state. They use the rest for their own all-estate wines, which are made in Charlottesville and aged in neutral oak.
The tasting room itself looked a little warehouse-y from the outside, and man, I guess there is just no pleasing me with how most wineries look, but at least it wasn’t designed to look like a barn. Once we were inside, though, everything was pretty cozy. Our server was delightful, and after the two previous wineries, it was nice to have a robust tasting menu that gave us some time to chat while we sampled. And we had one more piece of luck – during the Winter months, they only serve the Sparkling Semper Fi on Saturdays. And you know we love sparklers. They were out of General’s Nightcap, but we got to try everything else on the menu. And we definitely left with a few bottles of Sparkling Semper Fi.
Rating: Green (We’ll totally come back!)
Tasting: $10 for 11
Price: Low to average ($14.95 – $27.95)
Kid Friendly: Yes
Highlights: Sparkling Semper Fi
Time Since Lacy Last Ate: 3 hours
Strangers Invited to Dinner: 0