Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, May 16, 2014

We've Got Wine; We've Got Scenery

Winery Sign ©MMSikes
Our little Virginia town is right across the Pamunkey River from New Kent County which is now booming with wineries. The newest one, Gauthier Vineyard, is located off the Farmer's Road which winds through farmland along a trail once foraged by wild animals. I've never thought of this narrow road as particularly scenic. It is mostly used as a cut-through road from Rt. 33 to Barhamsville, an annoyance, I suspect, for the farmers along the way.

"Pond View" ©Mary Montague Sikes
The winery is a little hidden treasure. With blue Adirondack chairs dotting the verandah, the facility offers an opportunity for parties and club events. The view from the windows features a scenic pond that I did not realize existed there.  The vineyard is located on a farm that once served as encampments for both Confederate and Union soldiers.

As I watch New Kent grow and develop, I think about our little town that is naturally scenic with three rivers forming most of its boundaries. At the turn of the 20th Century, it was a thriving recreational destination with the Terminal Hotel, located on the York River peninsula point, attracting numerous tourists. Many came from Richmond by train and some eventually boarded a steamer en route to Baltimore. It is a magical history that can easily become a writer's delight. When the hotel burned, the waterfront magic stopped and has never been restored.

In 1914, a paper mill was built on the edge of the Pamunkey River and became a part of the scenery there. The mill, mostly the Chesapeake Corporation through the years but now RockTenn, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this weekend. It is not so scenic, except when viewed at night, but it has brought money into the town. That money has paid for an excellent school system that is one of the best in the state of Virginia.

Still, when I look at the scenic developments in New Kent County, I wonder, why not our little town as well? After all, we've got scenery. Perhaps we need a winery here, too.


Stephanie Faris said...

I'm not a big wine fan, but wineries are so charming, they make me wish wine tasted like margaritas!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

They are charming, Stephanie. Thanks for visiting!