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Wednesday August 27, 2014

Hamlet Vineyards

Article by Harrison Hamlet

Hamlet Vineyards is thriving in an unlikely location. Far away from the winery-rich areas of Albemarle and Loudon counties, Hamlet Vineyards is tucked away in Bassett, VA, a former manufacturing community in southern Virginia hit hard by factory closings and job losses, highlighted in the recently released Factory Man by Beth Macy. Residents are still dealing with the changes to their economy but they have learned to appreciate the beauty of the natural resources. 

Situated 30 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway along the Smith River, a renowned trout stream, the old factory town attracts visitors from throughout Virginia and its bordering states. More often than not, visitors will see SUV's and pickup trucks loaded with mountain bikes and kayaks ready to take advantage of the recreational opportunities. Hamlet Vineyards overlooks the Smith and has become a place to relax and meet friends after a hike, a kayak adventure, a bike ride or fishing for trout.

 

Offering European style wines (Merlot, Pinot Gris, Petit Verdot, Viognier, and Cabernet Sauvignon) the vineyard has also become a popular spot for small farm-to-table dinner parties on their brick Tasting Terrace overlooking the vineyard. Not limiting themselves to southern favorites, a recent dinner for 30 featured lamb and chicken shawarma, tabbouleh, kibbeh, bean salad and baklava to honor the Lebanese heritage of the hostess.

Hamlet Vineyards has decided to focus on growing excellent fruit, making wonderful wines and offering small, intimate experiences to their guests. Even simple tastings can last for hours as guests enjoy a small, quiet and charming place to try Virginia wine. Their motto is "A Virginia vineyard by Virginia natives with an old Virginia house and a farmhand named Virginia."

You can visit Hamlet Vineyards online at www.hamletvineyards.com or contact Virginia Hamlet at vahamlet@earthlink.net or 276-252-6100.

Tags: Bassett, Virginia, Dining, Fishing, Henry County, Insider's Tips, Just Breathe Yoga and Bodyworks, Local Business, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, PHCC Patriot Players, River, Smith River,