Sunday, May 24, 2009

DC Wine Examiner Says Staycation at Barrel Oak Winery

The DC Wine Examiner is tohewise known as Dawn Mayhew Merritt. She is a native Virginian, communications professional and self-described wino. Her philosophy: “Think globally. Drink locally.” She loves the quality and variety of Virginia wines, but is willing to try anything.

She's great at poointing out wine and especially vineyards in the Capitol refion.

Staycation Idea #1: Barrel of fun at Barrel Oak Winery
May 21, 11:46 PM
Does your bank account balance have you staying home this Memorial Day weekend? Fill your “staycation” with great people, great scenery and great wines in Virginia.

Staycation Idea #1: Barrel Oak Winery’s one-year anniversary celebration (May 23-25, 2009)

One of the latest additions to the local wine scene, Barrel Oak Winery (BOW) is all about community. Whether it’s encouraging groups to visit and picnic for the day or raising money for charity ($30,000 in their first year!), owners Sharon and Brian Roeder are reinventing the concept of local winery as a destination.

This weekend, Barrel Oak celebrates its one-year anniversary with entertainment, the release of two new wines, the opening of a dog photography show, special tastings and tours. And the weather should be perfect Saturday and Sunday for the opening of their patio tasting bar.

If that’s not enough excitement for you, the winery is also giving away 36 memberships to their BOW Club (a $175 value), which includes 2 years of
Free tastings for you and your guests
10% off all wine purchases
15% off all case purchases
Free entry to monthly Second Saturday club events with owners Sharon and Brian, which include tastings of pre-releases and fine foods.
Barrel Oak Winery amenities include
Spacious indoor and outdoor seating: Tables and chairs downstairs. Comfy sofas upstairs. Picnic tables outside.
Plentiful powder rooms: Three lovely water closets indoors. (Clearly this is more critical for women than men!)Pet-friendly atmosphere: Dogs are welcome indoors and out, as long as they are leashed.
Kid-friendly atmosphere: They offered a juice box to my 3-year-old as soon as we walked in. And the field of horses next to the parking lot offers plenty of entertainment (after your tasting, of course!). Arrive early to avoid the crowds – and give your little ones more room to roam. (If your kids have “grabby hands,” you’ll need to keep an eye on them amidst the displays of art and jewelry.)
Romance: Plenty of spaces to get away from the aforementioned kids and dogs, either upstairs in the lounge or outdoors.
Great wine!
I’ll have details for you next week from my interview with Barrel Oak owner Brian Roeder. In the meantime, grab you dog, your kid, your friends and/or your honey and go BOW this weekend.

-- Dawn (

For directions and Memorial Day weekend event details, visit