Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Born in Malta but in Canada since age 5. Has written three books and presently does several columns about wine and food for various magazines.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Day 6: November 7th, 2014 PART ONE: Breakfast At Rodes Farm, Flying Fox Winery, Devil's Backbone Brewing Company

Another Morning At Rodes Farm
I was up and packed quite early. In spite of the fact that I came to this part of the World anticipating the lack of the equine species and finding out to the contrary, I fell in love with the farm and the serenity that felt there. Of course there was Barbara Funke's cheerful disposition and very capable hands at making one feel so comfortable and that morning was no exception.
I strolled toward the Manor House where I knew that coffee would be brewing and paid my last respects to that huge new friend of mine that towered above the house.
"I would love to see this tree in full bloom," I said to myself as I stepped up the several steps toward the front door. The brewing smell of coffee was hypnotic as it drew me towards the kitchen.
For anyone who knows me, coffee is MY beverage. I live on coffee. If I can't sleep, coffee will lull me to sleep better than any lullaby. Coffee is my one true friend---my mate and my love! So----when I say that I want a coffee---there is no interpretation to be made. I WANT MY COFFEE!
There the pot was and slowly but surely the rest of the gang came down for a cup but not until I had at least three cups. Am I addicted to it? Yep! My only true addiction! Never to give up!
After breakfast our driver and main strength, Devan was there getting the bags ready for the next trip. However he had to do one thing and that was to climb a tree. It seems he had this thing about climbing trees and needed a picture taken of him doing so. I of course obliged.
Without Devan the trip would not have been the same. He was always obliging, courteous and that smiling face endeared all of us to him. He was also smart and his political savvy was impressive. The night before, we were sitting down in the Manor House living room and talked social politics and other issues. He made sense and I encouraged him to further put his ideas onto paper and maybe even run for public office. Hope he does---I think that he will make a difference.
Soon it was time to say good-bye to the Farm and Barbara. I also said good-bye to the towering Magnolia that looked down on me for the past three days.
Flying Fox Vineyard
27 Chapel Hollow Road
Afton, Virginia 22920
What happens when two physicians who love wine get together----a vineyard of course! Flying Fox which name, by the way, is taken from the weather-vane located on the main building, It is in the form of a fox in "full run" but appears to be flying on top of the building.
Lynn Davis is a former heart development researcher and Dean for Special Scholars at the University of Virginia while Rich Evans was involved with Emergency Medicine.
They loved (and still love) their vineyard but it was not sustainable on its own. While initially not wanting to make wine, they found that they could secure an income by doing so. Thus wine is made at Flying Fox.
They grow all their red varieties such as Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc while their Viognier and Pinot Gris is produced by Lynn's sister in the Shenandoah Valley. The winery boutique is small but inviting. The decor such as the main counter is antique in a dark motif. While tiny, the decor is tasteful and fits the idea of a small but very classy premises where clientele can feel both at home and enjoyably informed at the same time.
Both Rich and Lynn are fine educators so everyone is in good hands the minute they step into the doorway.
White and Rose: (Tasted at November 6th Reception at Veritas Vineyards)
Flying Fox Viognier  2013
On the nose: floral, apple, pear, apricot 
Palate: citrus, white fruit, light to medium body

Flying Fox Pinot Gris 2013
On the nose:citrus, apple/pear, mineral
Palate: Light body, citrus/apple notes, light, crisp finish
Flying Fox Rose 2013
On the nose: strawberry, melon, nuts
Palate: Medium body, light strawberry/cherry flavour, pleasant crisp, fresh finish.
Flying Fox Cabernet Franc 2012
On the nose: light vanilla oak, ripe cherry/raspberry, pepper  and herbal spice
Palate: Medium body, black/red cherry, touch of oak and black pepper
Flying Fox Cabernet Franc 2010
On the nose: Light oak, dark fruit such as cherry and plum, some smoke/leather
Palate: Light vanilla, plum and black cherry with herbal spice  
Flying Fox Trio 2009 Merlot 42%, Cabernet Franc 42%, Petit Verdot 16%
On the nose: dark cherry, moderate vanilla oak, smoke, leather, cassis 
Palate: Medium to medium plus body, velvet mouth feel, dark fruit with lingering finish

Flying Fox Trio  2007 Merlot 50%, Cabernet Franc 25%, Petit Verdot 25%  
On the nose: smoke, leather, earth, mushroom,tobacco, red/dark fruit/berries
Palate: elegant, smooth with ripe fruit,earth, figs
Flying Fox  2009 Petit Verdot
On the nose: Ripe aromas of black fruit,, oak,  smoke, tobacco with touch of chocolate
Palate: Medium to full body, black cherry and raspberry with interesting raspberry finish.
Flying Fox 2007 Petit Verdot
On the nose: Somewhat floral, ripe red fruit, vanilla, leather. tobacco
Palate: Medium body, red cherry, raspberry with softer tannins, fair finish with anise notes.
The following wine was tasted with the meal via Wild Wolf Brewery
Flying Fox  Non vintage Table Red A blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot 
On the nose: Bright cherry/raspberry/wild berry flavours
Palate: Mid sweet, medium body, fresh cherry/raspberry/wild berry flavours, vanilla with a pleasant finish.
Flying Fox was small in size but big on wine. While they have no plans to expand, it would be nice to see this winery get even more recognition.
Devil's Backbone Brewing Company
200 Mosby's Run
Roseland, Virginia 22967
Devil's Backbone was established in 2008 by outdoors man Steve Crandall.  In 2012 "The Outpost" which is a 15,000 square foot facility was built. The company is known for its large variety of beer and excellent food with a restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner seven days per week.
The brewery is also known for its many events throughout the year including sport outings, conservation dedications and other community contributions.
Devil's Backbone staff are also known for their knowledge about the beer that is made and the process used in making it. A nice garden with a view of the Blue Ridge M's completes a rather nice picture of this brewery.
Lunch with Matching Beer
First Course
Amuse Bouche, Pickled Shrimp & Grape
Brew: Pilot Brau
On the Nose: tropical Fruit/citrus
Palate: Hop/herbal with light body
Second Course
Wild Mushroom Tart
Brew: Vienna Lager
On the nose: Toast, caramel, bread
Palate:malty sweet, delicate, refreshing
Third Course
Braised Pork Belly with Pear Lager Sauce, Swiss Chard & Sweet Potato Gratin/Roasted Vegetables
Brew: Stuarts Draft
On the nose: smoke, herbal, toffee, malt
Palate: cream, toffee, bitter sweet, toast
Fourth Course
Poached Pear in Beer Syrup with Vanilla Ice Cream
Brew: Schwartz Bier

On the nose: Toast, malt, coffee, chocolate, fruity
Palate: Light, almost sweet, chocolate, malt with toasty fruit
Final Course
Basler Lakerly Cookies
Brew: Chengou Weizenbock
On the nose: strong, cloves, bubblegum, banana, herbal spice
Palate: powerful, tropical fruit, herbal spice, toasted bread, 

Possible corresponding wines:
First Course: Sauvignon Blanc
Second Course: Pinot Noir
Third Course: Cabernet Franc or Sauvignon
Fourth Course: Sparkling Cabernet Icewine OR cold glass of Muscat
Fifth Course: Riesling or Gewurztraminer

To Be Continued next blog