If grapes could talk, they'd recount their dreams, the first time they got plucked, and the first time they felt victimized by nature's rumor mill—the vine. Taste the tales of the grape with today's Groupon: for $40, you get a wine tasting for two, a guided tour, a cheese plate, two souvenir wine glasses, and a $10 wine credit at DuCard Vineyards in Etlan (a $70 total value).
DuCard Vineyard expertly converts its grapes into a delicious selection of wines, hosting regular tastings and tours in the shadows of the mountains of Shenandoah National Park. In the tasting room visitors can sample recent releases such as the Signature viognier 2010 and Gibson Hollow white 2010 while viewing the mountains through the window wall, then venture out onto the side patio to gawk at the vineyards and inhale the aged aroma of the C'est Trop 2008, a port-style red dessert wine crafted with norton grapes and fortified with brandy. The guided tour educates aspiring viticulturists about the complexities of cultivation and provides an opportunity to observe grapes frolicking in the fields and a cheese plate joins the sips of wine to bring balance to palates. Each guest also receives a souvenir wine glass to commemorate the trip and the $10 credit can be applied toward the purchase of a bottle of a favorite spirited sample, such as the Sweet Virginia vidal blanc 2008 ($18) or petit verdot 2009 ($30).
Though DuCard Vineyards has only been around a few years, its property—situated on the edge of Shenandoah National Park—has yielded grapes for the last decade. At first, they formed the flavorful foundation of pours at a nearby winery, whose product went on to win best wine in the state at the Virginia Governor’s Cup. After this, DuCard's winemakers used the grapes to craft varieties for friends and families, and growing demand virtually willed DuCard Vineyards into existence soon thereafter.
Besides its meticulously sustainable operation, DuCard's grounds host a tasting room for sampling everything from raspberry-flavored reds to whites with hints of peach and lemon peel. A "hidden gem," according to The Madison Eagle, the vineyards also host numerous year-round events, including board-game days and live music more melodious than somebody tapping an empty wineglass until it's refilled.
40 Gibson Hollow Ln.
Etlan, Virginia 22719Get Directions