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Richard Leahy To Offer “Virginia Wine Expert” Winery Tours with Blue Ridge Wine Excursions

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA –Andrea Saathoff, President of Blue Ridge Wine Excursions, and Richard Leahy, a local authority on wines of Virginia, are pleased to announce that beginning on October 1, 2010 , coinciding with official “Virginia Wine Month”, Leahy will offer a “Virginia Wine Expert℠” tour of local wineries through Blue Ridge Wine Excursions℠,(a service of Albemarle Vintage Limousine).

“We are very pleased to be working with Richard by adding this new service for our winery tour clients,” says Saathoff.  “It’s a natural extension of how we already operate with our focus on offering custom- designed quality tours of select Virginia wineries. In this case, our clients’ experience will be enhanced by Richard’s personal presence on their tour, his considerable knowledge about the local industry and its wines, and the people involved.”

Leahy explains he was reviewing the existing winery touring companies in the Charlottesville area and decided to approach Saathoff because of her professionalism towards potential clients as well as the wineries. “We’re both dedicated to giving her clients a memorable, high-quality experience in their Virginia winery tours,” he says. He also found the reference to “vintage” in her limousine service name appropriate to wine touring. Leahy points out that he has no financial interest in recommending one winery over another; he and Saathoff will determine a tour itinerary based on the clients’ tastes and preferences, and he will give them “a personal, professional, and fun” guide to select Virginia wineries around the Monticello Wine Trail.

One of the ways Leahy will offer Blue Ridge Wine Excursion customers a specialized experience  is by offering “stock your cellar” tours to those who not only want to taste Virginia wine but stock their cellars with the best the Monticello wineries have to offer that will age gracefully. He points out that the ’09 vintage white wines are excellent, the ’08 and ’07 reds good to excellent, and the current 2010 vintage is shaping up to become “one of the best red vintages ever” in the state.

Richard Leahy has written on Virginia wine since 1986, and has a blog that focuses on wines of Virginia and eastern North America ( Mr. Leahy was East Coast Editor for Vineyard & Winery Management, a wine trade publication, from 1999-2010. There he also coordinated the seminar program for Wineries Unlimited, a large trade show for the industry East of the Rockies, Mr. Leahy organized the Virginia Wine Experience in London which brought the top 64 Virginia wines there for leading British wine media and trade to taste in May 2007, and helped coordinate the visit to Virginia in early September of ten members of the London-based Circle of Wine Writers, to critical acclaim for Virginia wines. He was a regional editor for Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide, and was Mid-Atlantic and Southern Editor for the Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America. He is a member of the Society of Wine Educators.

Saathoff launched Albemarle Vintage Limousine, LLC in 2008.  They offer modern luxury and vintage cars available for wine tours, weddings and special events.  The fleet includes three rare, classic American limousines from the 1940’s.

Blue Ridge Wine Excursions was founded as an extension of the luxury transportation already featured by the company.

Stacy Slinkard of reviewed BRWE this summer:

“Whether it’s a special weekend for two, wine country tours, a picture perfect wedding or a prestigious option for corporate transportation, Albemarle Vintage Limousine has an array of rare, meticulously-kept vintage vehicles that turn up the sparkle factor on any drive. They’ve also recently added a Cadillac Escalade to use for touring and formal evening vintage limousine service for dinner out complete with long stem roses for the ladies. Knowledgeable chauffeurs, down-to-earth owners and an exceptional grasp on all of the hidden treasures that lie along the Monticello Wine Trail, make for a memorable, private, customized excursion of the local wineries, vineyards and choice historical venues.”

At Albemarle Vintage Limousine we bring style and grace to your experience and all the memories that follow, says Saathoff.

Saathoff and Leahy look forward to introducing both visitors and area residents to the “Virginia Wine Expert”℠ winery tour this fall; call 434 531 5802 for more information or visit


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