Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Day 2: Afton Ridge, Veritas, and the Blackfriars

We got a little bit of a late start yesterday as Karen was having a bit of asthma trouble. We found a walk-in medical practice in Staunton and got her a new inhaler and then we were on our way.

Our original plan to go to three wineries cut down to two, we first visited Afton Mountain Vineyards. Once again, we were the only people there for the tasting. Afton Mountain, as Brian informed us, is 15 years old, making it a very old winery by Virginia standards, but we had never been there before. Once more, the views were fantastic.

Next we went back to an old favorite, Veritas Vineyard and Winery. Mark and Julie Holm brought us to Veritas a few years ago, back when they were just getting started. Much of the complex was still under construction when last we were there, and they held the tastings at a little bar on the deck. That has always been one of my favorite winery experiences, chilling on the porch with my family and some truly excellent wines, enjoying the scenery and the friendly environment of a winery just starting out.

Well, they're not starting out any more.

In addition to having built an absolutely gorgeous facility, Veritas is producing some of the best wines in Virginia, and joins Horton and Tarara in the list of our favorite vineyards.

After going back to our suite for a bite to eat, we drove back down to Staunton to see The Winter's Tale at the Blackfriars. I'll tell you, it's a very rare thing at this point in my career to be able to see a play by Shakespeare that I haven't read, seen, or worked on. This show was simply amazing, and had director Kate Powers' fingerprints all over it, from the musical choices to the unbearable honesty of the most implausibly dramatic moments. If you have a chance to see this show, go do it.

It's cooled off a lot today, so we're putting on some jeans and heading for the Appalachian Trail. Kind of winging it today.

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