I had a fun little visit to Virginia over Mother’s Day weekend that included a fun little day trip to Smithfield. I grew up in Newport News Virginia which is on the peninsula and only an hour from Virginia Beach. Since I spent my childhood, teen and young adult years there most of my exploring was limited to the beach, Busch Gardens, and later on…the bars! Smithfield never really made it on my radar. All I knew growing up was that they made hot dogs there and you had to cross the James River Bridge which was most definitely the scariest part of drivers ed! My best friend and in-laws still live in Hampton Roads so I try to make it up there at least twice a year. So much has changed in that area and I find myself appreciating so much more as an adult. I loved growing up near the ocean and so much water….I’m sure I took that for granted. I also took for granted the historic areas that I now find so charming. When my friend suggested we visit Smithfield for the day on my latest visit I wasn’t sure what we would be doing there, but she assured me there was wine involved and shopping so I was in!
Smithfield is a small town in Isle of Wight County. Smithfield has been around a very long time…colonized in 1634. Walking through downtown felt a lot like downtown Apex. The historical buildings are now occupied by the cutest shops and restaurants….we even went to the adorable Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor and besides from being a little bigger it felt like just like our own Ice Cream Shop here in Apex. The ice cream was for our kids so we could buy time shopping around the cute shops! There is plenty of antique and consignment shops around, but my friend Krista and I share a love of boutique type shops. Luckily there were no kid boutique shops because those are a true weakness, but we found plenty of other cute shops to check out. We browsed around 4-5 shops. If you are looking for any cute gifts these shops will deliver. My favorite store and my daughters because of their huge selection of Simply Southern was Vicotria’s Rose. I got the cutest Simply Southern trucker hat. My kid got nothing and wasn’t too happy about that, but she’s not deprived one bit so don’t worry about her. I also really liked The Frilly Lilly. My best friend Krista is a great gift giver and sent my girls cute monogrammed cinch bags for Christmas that she got at The Frilly Lilly. They specialize in just about anything monogrammed! I loved the sandals and swimsuits with the monogram. I loved all the shops we visited and if we had been kid free it would have been nice to browse a little longer, but time was running out and I still had to visit the main event…
The main event was the coolest little winery…Smithfield Winery. Krista had been before and described the wine as more of a champagne. We winery has the best decor I’ve ever seen. Everything was wood, brick, wine barrels and rustic with a statement chandelier thrown in. We were the only people there since it was still early afternoon and the owner Natasha looking adorable in a dress and cardigan happened to be there to serve us. We had no idea she was the owner until she started describing the wines and mentioned that earlier when she was in the FIELDS…wait..what!? This beautiful girl in her heels was working the fields just hours before? Yup…she explained to us that wine making had always been a family hobby and they turned it into a career. Natasha and her family purchased land right in Smithfield to grow grapes and she personally makes all the wine right there behind the doors of that perfectly rustic tasting room. I’m always so fascinated by entrepreneurs…it’s just risky to me…but I loved the passion Natasha had for her craft and loved that she was all in….from growing grapes to formulating and tweaking recipes. Making wine isn’t an instant process so I imagine she has spent years working hard to make her business a success. That is all nail biting to me so I love the meet people who have lived that, especially when they have found success through the grind. I’m no wine connoisseur, but I would say the winery is a success. The atmosphere and decor was perfect for me! The wine which I promise I am getting to was amazing and the staff and Natasha were so pleasant and fun. Our kids were kind of running around and they were so good with them and they gave the best presentation of all the wines we tasted. SO, now the wine! I mentioned that Krista referred to their wine as almost a champagne. Natasha explained that is was more of a sparkling wine they like to call Southern Bubbly! They had me at Southern Bubbly. Love the name and love the product. Krista had a glass of her favorite Southern Bubbly the Serendipity. Natasha explained that the Serendipity was actually a mistake and is now a bestseller. I decided to do a tasting and so glad I did. I tend to like a dryer wine and true to form my favorite was the dry. I also really enjoyed the Sultry which was a red and slightly sweeter bubbly. I really enjoyed all of them. They also have a few reserve wines and I absolutely loved all of those. I ended up purchasing a bottle of the Sultry, but only because they were out of the Dry. Smithfield Winery just opened in January of this year and the success of many of the Bubbly’s has already caused a few sell outs! Natasha pointed to a few barrels above our heads and said those were more Bubbly’s just waiting to be ready…a process that can take up to 5 years! We had a really great experience at Smithfield Winery and it sounds like they do some fun events…tastings, craft nights and special holiday events so definitely check it out.
I can’t believe it took getting older to appreciate something that was right in my backyard for so many years! We had a great day and visit and anything that ends with wine and fun people are just icing on the cake:)