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50 W, A winery with a view

By Mona Austin

50 West Vineyards (50 W), a restored horse barn that sits on top of a hill  off of winery row, located on I-50 in Aldie is home to some of the best views is Northern, VA.    If the wine selection were as impressive as the surroundings I'd give the winery a 4 out of 5 review; instead I rate it 3 out of 5.  Here's why. . .





I visited the one-year-old  winery on a brisk, but breath taking fall day. The views were likely more striking than usual.  Were it not for the falling temperatures and the rising dust the wind was kicking up, drinks on the patio would have been my preference, which is close to where the music is performed.

Once inside I noticed it was a pet friendly environment. (Dogs must remain on a leash.)  

My eyes were then drawn to a caramel colored libation that filled the glasses of most of the seated guests.   It was the mulled wine they offered to accompany the cooler season.  


Yam shaped oyster crackers

The more chipper of the two servers offered me a sample of it and I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was.  Made with a Chardonnay blend and mulling spices the
50 W has won 8 medals.


drink tasted like apple cider with a kick.  The mulling spices are sold at the winery.

We moved on to the  award-winning flight I'd come to try at the crowded tasting bar.  Many of the wines were from Sunset Hills, which was apparently the winery on the property before they bought out 50 W.  An explanation as to why most of the labels read Sunset Hills would have been nice.



First on the list of all blended selections was their Chardonnay.  It was more flavorful than most and the best possible introduction to their presentation, especially for someone who is more so a "taster" than a real wine drinker like me.

Nothing else on the list was compatible with my palate, but I found the bouquet of the 2015 Vidal Blanc lovely, while the winner of the Governor's Medal, a red Cuvee was highly tolerable.
  
I asked to be pointed to the dessert wine they offer as I enjoy tasting sweets.  There was not a sweet option on the flight list, but she did say they offered one that I could have tried if only a bottle were already opened.  I would have expected to have a sweet on the menu since the selections were all blends.

Unlike many wineries in the area, the wine glass is not offered in the price of the flight.

View from the patio.
Mulled Chardonnay.
Another plus for me is that they sell Amish cheese, which saved me a trip from driving further to get some.  The cube was a pricey $10, however.  Overall, 50 W is a gorgeous spot  as an entertainment and events venue (they hold weddings and other public events) that offers decent wines and a friendly staff that made the customer feel right at home.