Valor City is home to a mixture of architectural and cultural styles. Walking the streets of Red City, you are taken by charm of the old redbrick houses and lush green parks, and may easily forget that only a few miles away there stands the modern glass and steel towers of the High Rises.
The diversity of Valor City is perhaps most noticeable when you head east. Just a few miles from West River, nestled by the Wandermere Ridge, lies Jonna’s Vineyard – a collective name for the several vineyards that quilt the mountain’s foot with their patchwork fields.
It is remarkable to think that this little patch of land still remains untouched by real estate developers, politicians, and time.
When you drive down the road to Jonna’s Vineyard, you are taken to a whole new time and place – or rather, an old time and place. There are a few bed and breakfasts, a couple of small hotels, and of course the famed restaurants. But the main reason to come to Jonna’s Vineyard?
There are still two wineries operating in Jonna’s Vineyard. There is the larger, more modernized winery, Virtute Praedium, makers of several excellent wines, and the much smaller – still family owned – Picard Vineyard, whose Vermentino is quite simply to die for.
There is a restaurant at Virtute Praedium, and they have paired their five course menu with the perfect wine counterparts. The menu may be a bit heavy for some, and you will be needing a taxi afterwards.
For a lighter meal, try the Picard Vineyard’s cheese and wine sampling, served in their wonderful garden. The combinations they have comprised will astonish you. I especially recommend the semi-sweet and aromatic Muscat paired with a slice of Blu del Moncenisio. It will send your tastebuds soaring.
But if you truly want the best gourmand experience Jonna’s Vineyard has to offer, there is only one place to go. There are three restaurants in the area, every single one of them worthy of praise, but all are not equal.
The newest of them, Ada’s Lodge, has two Michelin stars, and when you eat their roasted salmon with white wine sauce, all locally produced, you can’t help but wonder… Why only two? Surely this is an error that will be amended in the future. While there, indulge yourself with the allure of a Zabaglione and a glass of sweet dessert wine. The sommelier will undoubtedly tell you which wine to go with – trust her guidance, she knows what she is doing.
If you’re not into wine, if the admittedly over the top gourmet delights aren’t your thing, there is still a reason to visit Jonna’s Vineyard. The Trail. A path that leads you through Picard Vineyard, around Virtute Praedium, and up to the hills.
If no-one’s watching, grab some grapes from the vines to add to your rations. When you reach the end of the Trail, you stand upon a perfect spot above the vineyards – a vista of older times, vines and wooden houses. The smell of ripe grape in the air. Far, far in the distance, the lights of Valor City.
Whether you’re a wine buff, a weary traveler, true gourmand, or just passing by, Jonna’s Vineyard can offer you one thing you will not find anywhere else. It is by far the most beautiful scenery Valor City has to offer, and it has taken my heart for life.