By Bob Tagert
As I write this we are bracing for the last rain storm of September. I am sure that we are all tired of the rain, but none more so than our Virginia winery friends. As they are getting ready to celebrate Virginia Wine Month, the wineries are hopeful that October will bring some relief from the weather. They have been devastated by rain thru all of 2018. Doug Fabbioli discusses the effects it has had this year in his Exploring VA Wine column in this issue. I encourage you to read about what too much rain can do to the grapes. The rain has not only damaged some of the fruit but has kept attendance down and in some cases, floods have closed wineries numerous times. As Philip Strother of Philip Carter Winery stated, “This season will certainly put a number of wineries out of business. Thankfully, we have built up an inventory over the past 10 years which will enable us to continue forward without any problems.” He went on to say, “We are down close to 10% this year in gross sales, when we should be growing. I just lost my entire crop, which is another $60,000 in grapes. We could use some love now.”
Road Trip this month is about heading to the mountains and visiting some of these wineries. The air will hopefully be cooler and crisper and that makes for clear skies to better see the foliage and view the mountains. Taking it south, in the Caribbean Connection we have a great interview with the owner of the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke in the BVI’s and their new rums – Soggy Dollar Old Dark and Soggy Dollar Island Spiced. The Dollar is owned and operated by a DMV local. We revisited one of Old Town Alexandria’s longstanding retail stores, Random Harvest Home Furnishings in Business Profile. Dining Out features the fairly newly opened Old House Cosmopolitan Grill in Old Town. If you crave German food and exceptional service this is the place for you.
I would like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to Liz Mandros and Mystique – they are celebrating 27 years in business and have moved to a new location. Check out their ad in this issue. Also a very Happy 5th Anniversary to Caroline and Bill Ross at River Bend Bistro. Can’t believe it has been 5 years already. They are celebrating with a “Pig & Oyster Roast” – see the ad in this issue for more info.
With a little bit of luck and some help from the weather Gods, let’s hope we have a dry and crystal-clear October. Everyone I know is looking forward to some much anticipated sunshine to bring them out of their rainy day funk. Once old Sol is in the sky, get out there and soak up some Vitamin D!
Oh…..don’t forget to have a very Happy Halloween and check out Union Street Public House’s party! It’s spooky out there these days.