There are some negative reviews up about Tarara, and I don't dispute what they say. A number of the wines here aren't up to snuff, and the tasting room is underground, windowless, sparsely decorated, and not terribly personal.
The good blows away the bad. Two Tarara wines - Long Bomb 4 and Social Secret - are among my favorites I have tried in Virginia. Whitey's D-9, a dessert wine - is also superb. The winemaker, Jordan, is a dynamic, fun guy who makes some very good wines. He was written up recently in Wine Spectator (I believe - it was one of the big wine magazines) as one of the "top 40 under 40" in the wine business. He's only been with Tarara for a few years, so I know he's still getting a feel for the place and putting his personal stamp on the wines. I expect great things under his stewardship for years to come.
I LOVE the staff here, and have gotten to know a number of them. I imagine any bad experiences mentioned in some reviews come from tasting with new hires or part timers. The regulars here are amazing. There is a real sense of community about Tarara. They invite you in, welcome you to use the grounds, remember your name and face, and always make you feel well cared for.
The grounds at Tarara are the best feature - lovely views, tons of space, great picnic tables by the lake. etc.. The summer concert series ( every Saturday in the summer - check the website for who's playing) is great fun, and they BBQ stand at the concerts - Monks - whips up some very tender, tasty BBQ.
Make Tarara your picnic destination, and grab a bottle of Long Bomb 4 to enjoy with your picnic (until it sells out).
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