A two-story tasting room, with five steel tanks square in the middle, is the first thing you notice at this Delaplane winery. The tanks aren't just for show; Vintage Ridge's sweet white wines are aging inside, giving visitors a big, gleaming reminder
of the wine-making process. For those trying to squeeze in a day of winery-hopping, this estate should make the cut mostly as a place to stay a while, sip a little and chat a lot, primarily because of its unusual seated tastings. Guests can plant themselves at bistro tables, with servers arriving every few minutes to pour sips and answer questions. The first weekend of the month, Vintage Ridge also offers simple, crostini-heavy pairing platters, matching strawberry and balsalmic vinegar with merlot; arugula, blue cheese and turkey with syrah; and cab franc with goat cheese and spicy plum chutney. At other times, order a round of the "chevre
devils" - dates stuffed with a chunk of goat cheese ($7) and served with sticky, freshly roasted spiced nuts. The red wines do wonders for bringing out the snack's complex flavors.
--Lavanya Ramanathan (Aug. 17, 2012)