August Field Trip Friday • Aspen Dale Winery & Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon

August Field Trip Friday • Aspen Dale Winery & Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon

Welcome to the August Edition of Field Trip Friday!

In case you missed the April, May, and June editions, “Field Trip Friday” is a new(ish) blog series. We did not have a July edition and I apologize for not posting last month. David and I decided to take off the whole week of our annual Staycation at the last minute. So today I am sharing what would have been the July edition.

I hope you enjoy reading these local food and beverage reviews. We especially hope that they will help should you ever decide to visit this part of Northern Virginia and Shenandoah Valley. Perhaps you can check out some of the places we talk about if you visit.

Field Trip Friday cedar plank smoked salmon served with wine

Today’s edition of Field Trip Friday is about our visit to Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn. We finally managed to get to a winery on Friday evening that I’m happy to share with you. It’s not easy getting out of the city before wineries close up at 5 and 6 pm. Somehow we managed.

Rather than going out to a restaurant, this time we went home for Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon.

Before I begin with today’s great places, I just want to say that I’m not being compensated in any way for this post. Field Trip Friday posts are based on a good-faith, honest opinion of some of the places David and I visit. I will admit, the research is fantastic! 😋 

David and Debbie arriving at Aspendale winery

Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn

Aspen Dale is located at 11083 John Marshall Highway in Delaplane, Virginia. Delaplane is in Fauquier County just off of I-66 near the intersection of Highway 17 and Route 55, a little over 13 miles to the town of Front Royal, Virginia.

Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn was founded in 2009, tucked away on a 50-acre historic property in the heart of Virginia’s horse country. The winery’s name, Aspen Dale, is believed to have originated with a grove of East Coast Aspen trees that could be found on the property.

David going into the barn at Aspen Dale

When you arrive at Aspen Dale Winery you enter an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere of a converted 200-year-old barn. The barn has been restored with great attention to every rustic detail. It retains a lot of the look and feel of a rural country barn, right down to the squeaky floors and exposed wood. Fortunately, it doesn’t smell like one! 😂🤣

David and I first visited Aspen Dale about eight years ago when we met my childhood friend, John ( I’ve mentioned him before. He’s one of the innkeepers at Elmwood 1820. ) there to catch up on life and reminisce about old times.

tasting menus with food pairing

David and I fell in love with the obeisance of this winery and its unique rustic charm. There is a cozy atmosphere there. Especially in the winter months, when they have a nice fire burning in the fireplace.

Something special about the tastings at Aspen Dale Winery is that along with each tasting comes a food pairing. This is a great culinary experience. It gives you an idea of how you might pair the wines with the food on your table at home. Each wine is paired beautifully with an unusual assortment of cheese, meat, dried fruit, and chocolate to accentuate the wines.

a bottle of wine from Aspen Dale

We left that afternoon with a dozen farm fresh eggs, some smoky pheasant sausage and a bottle of Smokehouse Red 2017 to enjoy at home.

There aren’t many wineries that offer farm fresh eggs. What a treat!

Home for Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon

Every Friday I get off work at least an hour before David. It’s almost a guarantee. I usually run errands or do a little shopping.

On this particular Friday, wild sockeye salmon was on sale at The Fresh Market. After I left work, I stopped by the store and grabbed a nice salmon fillet to take home.

David and I LOVE salmon. We love it even more smoked on a cedar plank (LIKE THIS). We brush the Cedar plank smoked salmon with Dijon mustard and sprinkle it with brown sugar, which makes a nice glaze that coats the fish. The salmon fillet is slow-cooked on the grill atop a cedar grilling plank. It’s amazing and smokey good!

Our commuter car has a cooler in the back and the lovely folks at the store will give you a bag of ice whenever you need it. The fish stayed cold on ice and did not spoil on the way home. Which gave us the time we needed to have the wine tasting.

The wine we bought at Aspen Dale Winery was actually a wine we had with the pheasant sausage and some cheese and crackers as an appetizer.

We had another bottle of Virginia Rosé at home just waiting for a fillet of smoked salmon, so that’s the wine we drank with our meal. We also tossed some zucchini with olive oil and Greek Seasoning and threw them on the grill with the salmon.

Field Trip Friday cedar plank smoked salmon with zucchini on plate

I’m telling you when the weather is nice, a great Virginia wine, a nice meal… AND THIS VIEW!!!!!

It is really hard to beat!

Field Trip Friday dinner with mountain view

As the moon rose up over the valley that night, we counted our blessings once again. You know, you can’t do that often enough…

We are so very thankful for each day we call this home.


That concludes this edition of Field Trip Friday. I hope you enjoyed hearing about the local food and beverages we experienced.

Did you enjoy hearing about this? Want to hear about more places we visit on Field Trip Friday? Comment below.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our email list, to stay informed!



6 thoughts on “August Field Trip Friday • Aspen Dale Winery & Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.