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The stars shine brighter in Halifax County, VA

Partners in Wine

I like wine. Pinot Noir, Malbec, Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, you name it. If it comes from a grape, I like it. I’m always up for learning more about wine -especially when it involves tasting–so after an epic girl’s weekend of antique shopping and spa treatments in South Boston, my friends and I decided to make a small detour to a winery before heading home. Hunting Creek Vineyards is a hop, skip, and a jump from South Boston (in Clover) and is a must-stop on your next trip to VA.

We arrived shortly after lunch and pulled up to what looked like a vintage landscape painting with the rows and rows of grapevines alongside a bright red, renovated barn. Owners, Sandy and Milt McPherson greeted us, and graciously showed us around while telling us their story.

In 2002, they discovered this spectacular piece of land and decided to live on it and try their hand at growing grapes. They began selling them to local wineries while enjoying small batches of wine they made for themselves. After several of their friends told them their wine was just as good if not better than the places they were selling to, Hunting Creek Vineyards was born. Their secret is to stay small so they can add an extra level of TLC to each bottle. With backgrounds in chemistry and nursing, Milt and Sandy cultivate their grapes with precision and nurture their grapes “from the ground to the glass.”

Sandy poured us a taste of their most popular wine, Indulgence, so I could sample this “TLC.” Indulgence is a blend of Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon and it was love at first sip. Smooth and balanced with zero bite, which according to Sandy has everything to do with the harvest portion of the process (when picking the grapes, nothing goes in the basket that you wouldn’t want in the glass–including stems and seeds.). One of my friends, who claims she doesn’t like wine, even tasted the Indulgence and said, “this is pretty good,” which, believe me, is a high compliment!

The barn we were in serves as the winery’s main tasting room as well as an event space. Its rustic elegance-meets-farmhouse-chic vibe is almost as impressive as the wines you can enjoy here. There’s also a large outdoor area with a fire pit for guests to relax around while sipping their wines and taking in the picturesque views. Tastings are held every Saturday from 11-5 or by appointment and everything you taste is available to purchase by the bottle or case.

After touring the barn, my friends and I went to the wine cellar — the other tasting room on the property. Surrounded by barrels of aging wine and the intoxicating smell of fermenting grapes, I felt the need to ask about the wines’ creative names. Often dubbed “The Sin Series,” Hunting Creek’s signature wines have names like Indulgence, Decadence, Temptation, Seduction, and Envy. According to Sandy and Milt, the names represent the sinful feelings you may have after tasting something so unique and delicious. Even better? These sinful feelings are guilt-free as long as you don’t overindulge!

The highlight of our trip was getting to taste wine right from one of the oak barrels. This particular wine had been aging for a year and a half so it wasn’t quite ready to be bottled. It was fragrant and delicious and soon it would become even more “sinful.”

At the end of the day, my friends had gained a new appreciation for wine and the wine-making process and I gained several bottles to take home with me. It’s obvious that Sandy and Milt bring many skills from their former professions into their wines. Nurturing and caring for the grapes and their customers–and experimenting leads to creating some seriously amazing wines.

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