Book Reviews

Book Review: Virginia Wine Travel Journal 2019

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“Wine-ing” in Virginia

Virginia Wine Travel Journal 2019

Author: Nancy Bauer

Photographer: Rick Collier

Publisher: Virginia Wine in My Pocket; 2nd edition (2019)

Reviewed by Ralph Peluso, Literary Editor

Zebra Rating – 5 Stripes

ALEXANDRIA,VA-With baseball season in full swing, I could not resist a twist on the famous Tom Hanks quote from the great movie, A League of Their Own. Yes, there is wine-ing in Virginia!

Nancy Bauer has enhanced my perspective about Virginia wines and area wineries, ranging from good to Napa Valley East. Talking about Virginia Wine Travel Journal 2019, Bauer says, “I want this book to do three things: inspire readers to become enthusiasts and get out into Virginia wine country more often; encourage all enthusiasts to get curious about what it takes to create what’s in their glass, because greater knowledge translates to greater appreciation. Finally, I’d like readers to serve as an army of advocates for wine tourism in our state.

“Do not be shy,” she says. “Talk it up with friends, family, and out-of-state visitors. Wine as a tourist attraction is a great thing. It develops the economy in depressed rural areas. Many family farms would have disappeared if not for Virginia’s wine industry.”

Nancy’s work combines the facts with an array of fascinating geographic locations. She offers places to visit that fit nearly every taste and wallet size. One fact is that Virginia is the U.S.’s 7th largest wine producing state. There are more than 300 wineries stretching from the Atlantic coast to the southwest panhandle.

The book is chock full of useful, interesting information. Virginia has created, as the author refers to them, “new-to-you grapes.” Virginia vintners make beautiful chardonnay and cabernet franc, of course. But do not miss out on the albariño or petit manseng or petit verdot, just a sampling from the new to you group.

Planning a romantic getaway? Delve into the weekend wine excursion itineraries. You’ll soon be humming along on a bucolic drive to your destination of choice. Nancy has included an easy checklist to track your winery adventures.

Not all the wineries are rated as equal. Some are very modest, while others move toward destination-location elegant. My favorites are wineries that combine ambience like music with fun wines.

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Nancy’s involvement in making wine tasting easier to enjoy goes back a decade. In Virginia Wine Travel Journal 2019, she has condensed mounds of research about Virginia wines into one simple guide that ranges from travel directions to human interest stories and background about locales.

Nancy and her husband live in Virginia and are focused on enhancing the state’s wine experience for all. “I’m looking at launching a series of events that change up the model of the traditional wine festival,” she says. “I see moving away from having dozens of wineries and thousands of people. If you’ve been to 25 or 50 or 100 Virginia wineries, and plenty of people out there have, you start to crave something more intimate.

“I want a place where you can talk one-on-one with a handful of winemakers, from select wineries you may not have heard about. Then compare notes and gossip a little with others who enjoy the same,” she added. “That’s what I’m looking to create. Fingers crossed, and stay tuned!”

Virginia Wine Travel Journal 2019 is a unique guide to Virginia wine country, a handy, wire-bound planner with checklists, short articles, hidden gems, and wine country stories. You can plot getaways, track visits, jot notes, and get insider tips. Follow the easy road map to the wines of Virginia. But for now, just serve yourself a generous pour and read. Enhancing your next winery experience depends on it!

Rating – 5 Zebra stripes.

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