The colorful e-flyer said, "Spring Vendor Fair & Wine-Tasting" to be held May 17 in the Harris Pavillion in Old Town Manassas. "So, shall we go?" my wife asked. I won't say "wine-tasting" was the kicker that finally got me to actually leave the house on a Sunday. . .I mean, there were also prominent promises of the presence of "local artisans . .food vendors . ..music. ..home-based businesses". . .but. . ok . .the wine-tasting got me going. . .and, anyway, the NASCAR race for that week had already run on Saturday night. . so, I figured I could pry myself away from the big-screen and collect some much-needed husband political capital for the coming week.
Northern Virginia is fast becoming renowned for its wines. One of the distinct pleasures my wife and I have enjoyed is the spontaneous trip out toward the western reaches of the county and beyond to sample the wares of the many vineyards that dot the beautiful rolling landscape of Western Prince William County, Loudoun and Faquier counties.
In fact, last autumn my wife and I had stumbled upon one of these on our way to Middleburg, Va. one Sunday afternoon (Redskins bye-week). It was the Greenhill winery and had just been purchased from the former Swedenburg winery. It was a beautiful, relaxing afternoon sitting on the veranda of their wine-tasting room and soaking up the late autumn sun and country scenes.
So, with the memory of former wine-tasting pleasures, we headed to Old Town Manasssas to check out the scene, a short 20-minute hop from Woodbridge. As we found a nice parking spot and emerged from our car. . .our noses immediately could smell the "food vendors" aspect of the Spring event sponsored by the Manassas Lioness Lions Club. The aroma was a lucious mix of BBQ, Crabmeat and an assortment of other unidentified grilled meats.
After, perusing the many displays of jewelry, artwork, Johnson's Funnel Cakes and music, we made our way over to the wine-tasting area. This area was roped-off and you had to prove that you were of age . . which was not much of a problem for us. . in that . .well, I better be careful because my wife will probably read this. . .anyway, we both felt flattered to be "carded." We spent some time in the wine-tasting area and tried several varieties of dry, sweet, Reds and Whites. . .and all on an empty stomach. . .so before the ground started to whirl. . .we decided on a nice 2007 Cabernet Franc from Winding Road Cellars of Marshall, Virginia.
Afterwards, we enjoyed just walking around Old Town Manassas and marveling at the quaint old historical buildings and how they have been brought back to life and transformed into various restaurants & boutiques.
We had a wonderful time and look forward to returning soon and, maybe, trying out one of those interesting restaurants like "Ocra's" or Foster's Grill. Hope to see you there!