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Jun 24, 2009

Kayak to a Winery on the Eastern Shore of Virginia

One of the more popular kayak tours we've been doing this season is the Kayak Winery tour. SouthEast Expeditions calls it “Paddle your glass off.”

I've been really touched by the number of people choosing to celebrate their special occasions: birthday surprises, family reunions, and wedding anniversaries.

One afternoon around the tasting bar at Chatham Vineyards, all three couples on my tour revealed it was their anniversary week, ranging from 1 year to 21. Coincidentally, it was also mine and Bill’s 15th in a few days. (Seems a lot of people get married around Memorial Day!)

Paddling to a winery is something we believe is unique in Virginia, if not the country. This time of year, the tour includes a peak at a great blue heron rookery where we’ve been sighting new nests weekly.

We land at the historic brick Chatham mansion, walk through 400-year-old farm fields (often accompanied by Wilbur, the terrier mascot) to the winery and tasting room. There Jon Wehner greets us and explains the nuances and creation of his award-winning European varietals. The Steel Chardonnay is very popular and the Vintner's Blend always sells out. My summer favorite is the Rose, a refreshingly not-to-sweet wine for porch-sitting.

After tasting about 5 wines, each couple gets a bottle of their choice courtesy of SouthEast Expeditions, which they can take home or uncork and enjoy on the patio. Cheese platters are also available, and of course, you can purchase wine by the bottle or the case for your home collection. (It’s a little-known fact that kayaks actually perform better when loaded with some ‘ballast!’)

To book a trip, call the shop at 757-331-2680 or Bill & I at 757-787-2933.

For more on visiting the Eastern Shore:

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