When you think of the Commonwealth of Virginia, what comes to mind? Likely you’ll be reminded of the state motto, “Virginia Is For Lovers”. I can certainly claim that motto, considering I lured this Cajun boy from the bayous of Louisiana to settle in the land of lovers. Ok, I digress! Virginia is also the birthplace of Virginia Presidents, with its sprawling landscape of flatlands, beaches and mountains, a draw for foodies to sample the greasiest of spoons to the cleanest white tablecloth establishments. What Virginia also provides is an environment where grapes for the finest wines can grow. When you think of wineries, you probably think of California vineyards, but one of Virginia’s best kept secrets is its vast selection of fine wines, from renowned wineries.
I have the benefit of traveling the state for work and get to experience so much of what Virginia has to offer. Well, the wineries I get to experience after hours. I’ve committed when traveling for work to only eat local. With that, I’ve been able to experience some of the best food Virginia has to offer. One of the places that I’ve stopped at a number of times, and has quickly become one of my favorite stops is Kilmarnock, a small town in the Northern Neck of Virginia. Located near the mouth of the Rappahanock River in Lancaster and Northumberland counties, it’s a seafood lover’s dream! In my quest to turn this Cajun boy into a Virginian, we decided to load up the car with gas and make the back road, hour long trek from Williamsburg to Kilmarnock.
Our first stop was the Car Wash Cafe off of Main Street. This cute little greasy spoon is actually attached to a working car wash. The open concept kitchen allows patrons to be a part of the diner experience. The menu is full of traditional diner food with local seafood selections like she-crab soup, crab cakes and seasonal soft shelled crab sandwiches. Joey has been wanting to try a Reuben and his choice did not fail. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, so I had a crab cake sandwich and a cup of she-crab soup. The homemade cakes were quite tempting; however, our full bellies opted against it!
The next and final stop was a local winery called Good Luck Cellars. Tucked away on Good Luck Road, the small, yet sprawling landscape of grape vines was picturesque. The rustic building that housed a banquet room, tasting room and cellar was finished with a quaint wrap around porch with outside seating. We chose to venture up to the very top floor, which housed a private cupola that offered a 360 view of Kilmarnock.
Despite the tasting room being closed because of COVID, they did offer single shot samples of wines you were considering. Joey decided to go bold with a red, and tried their Petit Verdot 2016 blend. Using a lovely Bordeaux-style grape, it’s quite flavorful with notes of plum and other dark fruits and a hint of dried blackberry. My palette was in the mood for something a little more subtle and sweet (just like me), so I selected one of their more popular whites, the Viognier 2018 blend. Pronounced vee-oh-nyay, it’s a full-bodied white that has peach, honey and tropical fruit notes. If you’re ever in the area, you’ll want to put this one on your list.
Stay tuned for more Virginia ventures by the Next Door Daddies!