What do writing and wine have in common? First and foremost, they share standards of authenticity. Secondly, both will be represented at the Winery at La Grange this Saturday, October 13th, from 11:00am- 5:00pm, when the Winery hosts their Second Annual Fall Arts & Crafts Festival. “Write by the Rails”, a greater Manassas writer’s group participated last year and anticipates an even greater representation of local authors with; Stuart Schadt, June Kilpatrick, Carol Covin, Patricia Daly-Lipe, Carole Foley Bellacera, Nancy Kyme, and Dan Verner.
Imagine a book cover stating, “75% of this work is by the author,” with no mention of who authored the remaining 25%. Or, “This work is 75% bibliography, 25% filler.” This could be where writing and wine part ways because federal law allows bottlers to feature the name of a grape on their wine label even if only 75% of the wine is made with this grape. However, all is well, because I have since learned many Virginia wines exceed this standard.
As a member of “Write by the Rails”, I tasted the La Grange Cabernet Franc last year at the First Annual Fall Arts and Craft Festival while greeting visitors to our table. I was pleasantly surprised by its full-bodied taste, rich terroir, and its claim of 100% Cabernet Franc grapes. I had just returned from wine tasting in the Willamette Valley of Oregon where variety standards are self-imposed by the state at 90% and many wines prove superior to Napa Valley. I never imagined my afternoon at a Virginia winery would introduce me to rivals of these standards! However, when I tasted the Cabernet Franc, I knew writing and wine had truly joined forces in Virginia, and I had found a new favorite.
The paring of wine and writing caused many an aspiring novelist, blogger, or poet to pause before our table, glass in hand, to discuss Virginia’s promising wines and our common goal of producing high quality works. I am looking forward to the Winery’s Second Annual Fall Arts & Crafts Festival for another afternoon of beautiful music, lively conversation among fellow writers, and best of all, fin equality wine.
Nancy S. Kymeby