Very Virginia | Dog-Friendly Virginia Wineries

photo: Dog & Oyster Winery (Irvington, VA)

photo: Dog & Oyster Winery (Irvington, VA)

H a p p y  M o n d a y friends! I hope ya’ll had a great Fourth of July weekend! We had an amazing holiday weekend, filled with fun times at the pool, on the river, on our bikes, and — my favorite, with our Goldendoodle, Millie, at a couple of Charlottesville’s beautiful wineries.

Virginia wineries are notorious for their beautiful vistas and outstanding wines. But, many of them (in fact, 120 of Virginia’s 250 wineries) are dog-friendly, some even allowing your furry friend in the tasting room as long as they are on a leash! Here are two of our favorites, that we happened to visit yesterday:

Kewswick

 1575 Keswick Winery Dr, Keswick, VA 22947

(434) 244-3341

www.keswickvineyards.com 

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dogDog-Friendly Areas: Tasting room, porch, patio, picnic tables

 

Why We Love It: My husband and I made a trip to Keswick on the day we got engaged, so this winery has a special place in our hearts for obvious reasons. We’ve also really enjoyed being Wine Club Members at Keswick, which I highly recommend. Click here to find out more about membership!

Not only is Keswick dog-friendly, they also are huge supporters of the local SPCA chapters, hosting Yappy Hours on summer Sundays. For every bottle of wine purchased, Keswick makes a donation to the visiting shelter. They even have a Yappy Howl-O-Ween costume contest with the Charlottesville/Albemarle SPCA in October!

Want more information on Yappy Hours and the local SPCA chapters? Click here.

Our Favorite Keswick Wine: VMonticello White Wine.

“Straw in color, the nose is quite tropical with papaya and mango aromas being especially dominant. The slightly riper profile is due to the higher percentage Viognier in the wine as opposed to previous years. The wine still possesses healthy acidity that keeps the wine clean and focused on the palate. There are more stone fruit flavors on the palate with hints of flintiness and slate, almost reminiscent of a Sancerre. The wine is dry but has wonderful weight within the mouth, which along with the acidity will enable this wine to age for a few years if you choose to do so. This wine is a perfect summer time wine, easily drunk on its won but will pair with a variety of lighter fare such as salads and seafood.” Click here to purchase.

 

Barboursville

5210 Frederico Rd, Barboursville, VA 22923

(540) 832-1701

www.barboursvillewine.com

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Dog-Friendly Areas: Tasting room, outside areas, Barboursville Ruins

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Millie and me checking out the Barboursville Ruins.

Why We Love It: Barboursville Wine reigns king in Virginia, with renowned winemaker Luca Paschina on the throne. While Luca’s wines have received international recognition, and the Octagon red is on the pricier side of Virginia varietals, Barboursville’s wines are as accessible as they are varied, and it was a pleasant surprise to be able to bring our Millie along with us to taste these award-winning wines. Be sure to check out the Barboursville Ruins while you’re on site. Preserved as a ruin after its destruction by fire on December 25, 1884, Barboursville was one of the largest and finest residences in the region. The only building in Orange County known to have been designed by Thomas Jefferson, Barboursville was constructed between 1814-1822 for Jefferson’s friend James Barbour, who served as governor of Virginia, U.S. senator and secretary of war. A brick Flemish-bond mansion with a hipped roof, Barboursville stood two stories high over an English basement. After the fire, the family renovated a pair of brick dependencies to the west of the mansion. Today the estate is run as a vineyard.

Our Favorite Barboursville Wine: Of course, is the Octagon. But if you’re looking for a friendlier price point, the Nebbiolo Reserve is a can’t miss. Wine experts still come to this estate in the conviction that Nebbiolo should not be grown outside of Piemonte, only to express disbelief that Barboursville’s Nebbiolo is grown and crafted right here in Virginia. The Nebbiolo Reserve is a stand-out wine, of subtlety and finesse as well as power. Click here to purchase.

These are just two of our favorite Virginia wineries that happen to be dog-friendly, as well. Some of our other favorites include:

But there are so many to choose from and discover in Virginia! Interested in visiting Virginia’s dog-friendly wineries? Here are some additional resources:

What is your favorite dog-friendly winery? Leave your tips in the comments below!

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RVA Post | Dog-Friendly Patios

Happy Sunday, loves!

The sun is finally back out and shining after a grey and rainy Saturday here in Richmond. After being cooped up inside all weekend, I jumped at the opportunity to get out of the house, soak up some vitamin D, and treat my sweet Goldendoodle, Millie, to a day of exercise and sunshine.

10329313_920890865319_5092492245931051088_n (1)As a Richmond native and dog owner, I’m always looking for places that are people AND pooch-friendly. Since moving to Church Hill last week, I’ve been so pleasantly surprised at just how dog friendly this neighborhood is. From the beautiful parks (Libby Hill, Chimborazo, Patrick Henry, Jefferson) to the restaurants and markets, Church Hill is certifiably the most dog-friendly neighborhood in Richmond. In fact, I am currently blogging from the patio of the new Union Market grocery & eatery (2306 Jefferson Ave), which is pretty much my new favorite place…ever.

 

Including my new favorite, here are some pet-friendly patios in Richmond!

 

 

1. Union Market (Church Hill, 2306 Jefferson Avenue)

Just recently opened, this grocery and eatery just about has it all. From a diverse and seasonal beer selection (hello, Abita Strawberry & Shiner Ruby Redbird!) to carrying products from local purveyors (Pizza Tonight, Bambolini, Olli, Billy Bread), the grocery is as urban-chic as it is green-friendly. The eatery and bar offers beers on tap and wine, and a delicious menu of sandwiches and salads. My favorite? The prosciutto and fig sandwich. Perfection.  The patio seats about 20-25 and is a great corner of Church Hill to get a little work done or just enjoy a cold beer on a summer afternoon.

 

2. Cafe Caturra (Near West End, 5811 Grove Avenue)

A great people watching perch on the tony “Avenues” of the Near West End, Cafe Caturra is a great place to grab a glass of wine and some light fare. They always have bowls of water out to keep your pup hydrated! Try the fish tacos with a glass of Conde Villar Vinho Verde Rose (Portugal).

 

3. Libbie Market (Near West End, 400 Libbie Avenue)

A great little market in the Near West End of Richmond. From sushi to salad bar, sandwiches to specialties, this is a great place to come for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and the patio is always pet-friendly.

 

Other Fido-friendly RVA places:

Did I miss any dog-friendly places in Richmond? Add your favorites in the comments section below!

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Words | “though lovers be lost love shall not”- dylan thomas.

Words | dog’s eye view.

Richmond.com Column | Best Outdoor Dates

Best Outdoor Date Ideas

I’ve been bitten by the spring fever bug, and even though it looks like the cold weather is here for a bit longer, I couldn’t resist thinking about all the great outdoor dates here in Richmond.

Check out my picks by clicking here.

Richmond.com Column | Best of Celebrity Couples 2010

caroline

Richmond.com kicked off its annual “Best Of…” series today, including my column on the Best (and worst) of Celebrity Couples 2010.

Click here to read the entire article.

Puppy Love | The SHAPE of (Puppy) Style

I am absolutely addicted to Pecan Pie Puppies custom dog collars– Millie’s got four of them– and I am so excited to share that the Peony Seersucker collar was recently featured in SHAPE magazine!! I love when my favorites get national recognition — congrats, Ryan!

SHAPE is also giving away five of these cutie-pie collars, and you can enter by clicking here.

Here are the collars that Miss Millie has:

White Poinsettia Christmas Flower collar


Ted the Turkey collar


Red Dahlia flower collar


Tangerine Peony flower collar

And of course, I had to share a picture of Millie modeling her Red Dahlia collar!

Puppy Love | Posh Pooch

The dog collar selection at most chain pet stores is, well, pretty dull to say the least. I definitely will not be putting Millie in a black studded biker-pooch collar, nor will she be in a pink collar with sparkles on it.

So, on a quest for the perfect collar for my big-girl Goldendoodle, Millie, I stumbled about Pecan Pie Puppies on Etsy. I automatically liked her (she makes University of South Carolina collars– go Cocks!) and after browsing even more, I fell in love with all of her stuff.

These collars are preppy and girly without being TOO over the top – and they look adorable on the pups.

Head on over to pimp out your pooch, too!

Richmond.com Column | Video: Cocktails with Caroline

My friend JC from Media General was kind enough to bring out his camera and film Cocktails with Caroline on Monday. He put a lot of hard work into making this fabulous video, posted on Richmond.com, chock full of interviews, advice, and humor.

If you missed the event, head on over to check out the video by clicking here!

Richmond.com Column | Repost: Richmond- Hardly a “Mecca” for Singles

One of my friends recalled this post from April 2009 and I felt the need to repost. Comments welcome!

April 1, 2009
I have lived in Richmond my whole. Entire. Life. Grew up in the West End. Went to U of R. Stayed here after college to nanny for a summer before finally entering the working world. Save a couple of summers abroad and vacations, it’s been pretty difficult to get rid of me (sick of me yet, Richmond?)

I’m not the only one in my group of friends who end up here as “Lifers” (that includes you, Wahoos. Charlottesville is merely a satellite community of Richmond, in my humble opinion). We end up running around with the same crowd, at the same restaurants, bars, gym, and malls. It’s no surprise that, semi-incestuously, we’ve all got some kind of sicko 6-Degrees of Kevin Bacon-esque overlapping dating stories, too.

As we Lifers escort newbies into the Richmond scene, we inevitably hear them complain that being single here, well, kind of sucks.
This even includes those of you (you know who you are) who wish to remain permanently single. My dear Consultant has lamented to me on numerous occasions, that, after meeting an attractive girl, exchanging numbers and ultimately becoming Facebook friends, a treacherous pattern began to emerge. While examining mutual friends, it became evident that almost every single girl would be friends with his former conquests. “Oh, I see you dated my friend Kate, slept with my best friends Laura and Ali (simultaneously), and had a sloppy make-out with my college roommate Tina on the dance floor at Sine.” Not exactly the sweet beginnings of a long, lasting relationship.

This craziness goes for the ladies, too. Forgive me in advance for being stereotypical, but sometimes its easier to make global statements to make sense of the mania. Here are some of the reasons Richmond girls are single. And in some cases, should be just to avoid dating some of the below characters:

1. The Fellow Lifer
These are guys you have known since Kindergarten (sometimes longer). You’ve been mooned, shanked, and/or wedgied by most of them. You’ve probably set them up with at least one of their ex-girlfriends. You two have likely shared a friendly, champagne-induced New Year’s kiss if no one else was available at midnight. Perfect companion for Sunday Brunch or a riveting Goldeneye tournament, but you could never, ever, I repeat, EVER. Ever. Date them. Ick.

2. The College Buddy
Similar to the Lifer in un-dateablilty. They held you up for your first keg stand at a frat party. You probably slept in their dorm-room bunk bed with a pillow between the two of you when it seemed, at the time, humanly impossible to make it the extra 50 yards home. You saw them at their cracked-out, sleep-deprived worst during pledging. You also have probably set them up with at least one of their ex-girlfriends. You saw them every day during college, but now only see them occasionally at Metro or a mutual friend’s Tacky Christmas Sweater Party. Less “Ick,” but still a no-no.

3. The Neophyte iBanker
Super-driven, uber-successful, and generally very, very good looking. So, what is the problem, you ask? Corporate bitches for their first two years, these guys are working 100-hour weeks (at least). When they’re not slaving for the old guys downtown, they can be found at Metro, 3 Monkeys or BlackFinn. How to spot them? Still in their suits, the drunkest slobs in the room, cocky, loud, and a slew of Orange Crush bomb stains down their Brooks Brothers’ ties. A sense of entitlement to boot. The single ones “don’t have time for a relationship” and many of the taken ones can be found shamelessly groping other girls on the dance floor. Not boyfriend material. Run. (Eds. Note: No offense to my iBanking friends, but you know this was many of you or your coworkers to a T two years ago.)

Addendum: I have GOT to hand it to these guys. Not 20 minutes after I posted this, I got an email from one of my friends who happens to be in the iBanking field. His rebuttal was great, and I needed to share it so our Richmond girls don’t get TOO scared away by our Sartioral Suitors (very deliberate word-play):

“… it’s the “Not boyfriend material. Run.” part that caught my eye. There are diamonds in the rough everywhere, and isn’t that what we’re all looking for? How about – Run. But not too fast, it never hurts to make him chase you with a drink on his AMEX before you go – mythical stories have been told about kind souls lurking through the Wall Street lifestyle. Odds are he’s about to be laid off, and now may be the perfect time for him to chase you right out of his primitive ways.”

4. The Man Child
If you’ve been following my blog, this needs no explanation. Please see The Man Child: An Introduction

5. The Outskirts Guy
You might meet this charming fellow out downtown playing pool at Richbrau or sitting on the patio at Sine. He’ll be with a large group of friends (like yourself) and, to your surprise, has the guts to boldly approach you and your group of friends as a Lone Wolf. Nice conversation, cute dude, considering giving him your phone number. “So, where do you live?” Manchester. Colonial Heights. Petersburg. Hanover. This will essentially be a long-distance relationship. Unless you’re willing to travel outside the city limits, proceed with caution or turn around.

6. The Creepy Old Dude
This is one to avoid at all costs. The Creepy Old Dude (likely to be found at Curbside, Bogart’s, and occasionally Buddy’s) tends to stare for at least 25 minutes at you and your friends before pouncing as you make your way to the restroom. Politely offers to buy you a drink. You decline. Asks if you have a boyfriend. You say no. Acts stunned at how such a “pretty young lady” doesn’t have a “fella.” I’ve been cornered by one of these types who is a postal worker (nothing against that upstanding profession, I’d just never met one outside of their normal parameters). He was mustached and made my skin crawl. Probably hiding ex-wife under floorboards in basement. Run. Fast.

These few are just the tip of the Undateables Iceberg. Call me what you like, but it’s a perfidious dog-eat-dog world out there for Richmond Singles. At least you can be on the look-out for a few types to avoid.

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