Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Potomac Point Winery

On Saturday, we visited the Potomac Point Winery in the backwoods of Stafford’s Widewater peninsula, completing our tour of the most local wineries. I have to say, I was underwhelmed. Oh, the wines were fine, if a bit overpriced, and as of yet, made from grapes grown in the area, but not on the premises. It was the whole huge fake Mediterranean-style “villa” that turned me off. It looks about as much like an actual European villa as Cinderella’s castle in Disneyland looks like the actual German castle it was modeled after. The place was clearly designed as a venue for weddings and other special events, and on the afternoon we visited, there was a wedding getting ready to start. Nine different rooms or outdoor spaces are available for rent. As for the tasting room, it reminded me of our visit to Prince Michel, a bit too commercial for my tastes, although I suspect the owners might take the comparison as a compliment. Fees for wine tasting range from $5 to $10, depending on the number and quality of wines you want to try, and includes a larger-than-most wineglass (doesn’t match my souvenir wineglass set, sad to say) and a complimentary olive oil tasting.

This winery is in stark contrast to wineries such as Hartwood or Old House. There’s something much more homegrown about those other two, where the business and the wine have slowly evolved over a number of years...kind of an organic feel that I appreciate, and that is lacking at Potomac Point. The trip did, however, give us an excuse to cruise around a part of Stafford we haven’t really explored. We drove along the Potomac River, and checked out some of the homes down on Aquia Creek. The rolling hills and rural setting of Widewater is very scenic, and made for a pleasant drive in the country.

Okay, that’s it, I’m done with wineries for awhile. For the time being, I’ll limit my wine tasting to Friday nights at Kybecca, where I can always find a tasty wine at a tasty price.

The vineyards/wedding ceremony venue.

The courtyard patio.

Here's the tasting room. Note the mural above the wall. It's reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel ceiling where God and Adam touch fingers, except in this version, one hand holds out a wineglass, and the other holds out grapes. Since art is a matter of taste, I'll leave it to you to decide whether this is tasteful or tacky.

The olive oil tasting station. The olive oils were all basically the same oil with a number of flavored versions to try: basil, lemon, orange, lime, rosemary, etc. Personally, if I want the flavor of basil with my olive oil, I add basil.

Aquia Creek.


Anonymous said...

A few blogs ago you mentioned a farmers' market in Spotsylvania County.

Would you please let us know where it is, exactly? Including landmarks when driving there, please.

We're big fans of your blog. Thanks for the effort you obviously invest in it.

Merry N said...

Thanks for your kind words! The Spotsylvania Farmer's Market is in the commuter lot at the intersection of Gordon Road and Rt. 3 West. From I-95 Exit 130B (by Central Park), drive west towards Culpeper approximately 4 miles to Gordon Road/Route 627 (there's a light at Five Mile Fork, where George's Pizza is, and then the next light is Gordon Rd...I think!) Make a left onto Gordon Road, and the commuter lot entrance will be on the right. The market is open on Saturday mornings from about 8-1. There is another Spotsy farmer's market at the Courthouse that is open on Saturdays and Wednesdays, but I don't know how it compares--I assume it's a smaller one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the excellent directions.

Big Fan

Anonymous said...

Prince Michel's owners' daughter is my best friend. You can't even compare that Potomac Point place to Prince Michel.Prince Michel is far superior.

Merry N said...

Just talking about the ambiance, not the quality of the wines.

D. Janelle Kennedy said...

I think you gave entirely too much credit to this winery. I was disappointed with everything about it including the wines and as for trhe mural, I vote for tacky. A definite must-skip. Too bad, it is obvious a lot of money was sunk into this place and it could have been very nice.