Another year, and another Virginia Gold Cup in the books!
This was on my second Gold Cup, and it took a bit of convincing to get me to go again after last year's disastrous first attendance; I am happy to report that I did not get assaulted and threatened with physical violence by any random attendees like I did at last year's rainy mud-fest of a horse-race. In fact, if you watched the Kentucky Derby today, the weather at that event mirrored the Gold Cup's weather one year ago. Although it did sprinkle off and on as the afternoon went on, it was still much drier and enjoyable than the introductory fiasco from last year.
One benefit to being a muddy mess is it makes for dramatic pictures. I admittedly was more focused on relaxing than capturing photos this year, and my placement during the event was at the beginning of the home-stretch, not at the finish line like last year; for those reasons, I feel last year's photos turned out more dramatic, but that's no problem.
Since I presented last year's muddy photos in grungy black and white, I am sharing this year's captures in color. If you'd like to see all the photos in color and black and white (or even make a purchase), you can do so by viewing the gallery here.
Burnt out from last year's rain, we had a rain contingency plan this year since the weather was forecasted to be spotty; after enjoying a nice picnic lunch and spectating several of the races, the rain started rolling in and we packed up to head to a nearby winery. Being wine people, we'd visited quite a few of the nearest ones (Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn is a unanimous favorite), so with a bit of driving around we landed on Aterra Wines; a small, modern rustic barn tasting room with a selection of varietal and blended wines. With bold, fruity flavors and low tannins, this winery's offerings are on the sweeter side, and wine drinkers of all places on the sweet / dry spectrum will find a refreshing Summer wine to enjoy with a snack here. This hit the spot on a warm, rainy day!
Upon leaving The Plains, we spotted a controlled burn on the mountain opposite us; it appeared to be burning piles of branches from felled trees, with the satisfying smell to accompany this educated guess.