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AVA/Viticultural District Virginia has nine wine regions and 6 AVA's or American Viticultural Area designations. An AVA is a federally recognized wine producing region possessing soil types or elevations that are distinctive to that area. Having one of these designations on your label is potentially lucrative to the winery, but no guarantee of quality. AVA's are more about geography and to some extent politics.

Tasting Rooms/Shops store fronts or outbuildings on winery or brewery grounds set up for the distinct purpose of sampling the wines, brews or spirits made and sold by each establishment. Some wineries have converted old barns or stables into specialized areas that not only showcase the wines, but what types of appetizers or chocolates and desserts can be paired with a certain vintage, but their properties and views make for some spectacular settings for weddings.

Reporter-at-large generally a person who is a jack of all trades for the newspaper or magazine they write for. Smaller town prints usually have this type of reporter on the payroll.

Required: Day #18

Skein a length of yarn or thread wound in preparation for use or sale. Possible Derivations - Late Middle English or Middle French.

Yarn fiber material used in the making of sweaters, blankets, sock, hats, scarve, mittens, gloves, clothes, toy and accessories for wear or for the home. The oldest known ball of yarn was recently excavated in England and is dated to be 3000 years old. This particular material was plant based, possibly made of nettles.

Materials used to make yarns run from silk and cotton and man-made acrylic fibers to the high end fibers of Nature. Merino Wool is from the fleece of the Merino sheep. Mohair is from Angora Goats. Alpaca yarns come from the hair of Peruvian Alpacas, a type of llama.

Bonus: Day #18

Four Wine Grape Varietals in Virginia

Red Varietals

Norton oldest native North American varietal was cultivated and made into wines in Virginia prior to the Civil War. A Virginia native, Norton was named "The Best Red Wine of all Nations" at Vienna's World's Fair in 1873. Norton are deeply colored, age-worthy wines, with rich fruity aromas and flavors.*

Petit Veridot dark, purplish medium-bodied red wine characterized by aromas ranging from fruit and spice to herbal. The tannins and flavor of the Petit Veridot go well with cabarnets and merlots and makes for a small but influential addition to many blended red wines.

White Varietals

Petit Manseng a variation of the black Manseng grape, gets its name from its small berries. It makes a distinctive dry white wine and if harvested late, a fine dessert wine.

Viognier has strong aroma of fresh fruit and flowers. While this usually suggests a sweet wine, Viognier is typically dry to slightly off-dry. This grape is a popular choice with vineyards and vinters alike. Virginia Viognier's are garnering attention beyond the state borders and the grape has been designated the state's signature varietal.*

* On a personal note: If anyone does any of the wine tours in the Virginia area, a winery that is a must visit is Bluemont Vineyards, in Bluemont, VA. I love their Norton and Viognier wines. The winery is gorgeous and some of the best views in the Blue Ridge. For the Chambourcin wines of Virginia, I would recommend Hidden Croft Vineyards. I have tried some from the other wineries in the state and have yet to find one that is better than theirs. A son and daughter-in-law live in the heart of wine country and we tour as many of the craft breweries and wineries as we can fit in a visit with them. For the sheer number of them there, I need to do alot more visiting!!!*
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