Route One Reads: An Oenophile’s Dream

Route One Reads mapWith summer heat waves on the way, it’s time to make plans to hit the road for a summer road trip! Of course, you’ll also want to pack some books to bring along for the ride, and Route One Reads is here to help you out.

Route One Reads is a partnership between the Virginia Center for the Book and 15 other affiliate Centers for the Book located along U.S. Route 1. The idea behind it is simply to create a regional reading list of books that showcase each participating state or district for travelers and armchair travelers alike.

Since Virginia is wine country and the theme for this year’s Route One Reads is mysteries, we selected author Ellen Crosby and her book, The Merlot Murders to put the Commonwealth on the map. To view books chosen by other states, click here.

The Merlot Murders is the first novel in Crosby’s Wine Country Mysteries series. Set near Middleburg, Virginia in the heart of horse and hunt country, the series chronicles the life of a young woman who has inherited her family’s vineyard along with a somewhat cantankerous winemaker.

Crosby says, “As an author writing about a woman who owns a vineyard in Virginia—we’re the 5th largest wine-producing state in the U.S.—I consider myself lucky to live in such a history-rich region of so much natural beauty.” Her latest in the Wine Country Mysteries series will be available in November, titled The Champagne Conspiracy.

To get ready, we recommend picking up a copy of The Merlot Murders at your local bookstore or public library and starting to plan your Route 1 vacation right here in Virginia with these resources:
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  • Learn about Wine & Culinary Tours and other activities through the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau at VisitCharlottesville.org
  • Explore the No Vacancy: Remnants of Virginia’s Roadside Culture online exhibition of historic motels along Route 1, presented by the Library of Virginia
  • Read up on Crosby’s varietals with the Wine 101 guide from Virginia Wine Lover magazine
  • Plan a trip along the Virginia Wine Trails detailed by the Virginia Tourism Corporation and discover wineries in each region of the Commonwealth at VirginiaWine.org
  • Do your research in advance with Virginia Wine Country and the New York Times
  • Discover why Loudoun County is known as DC’s Wine Country
  • And of course, always make sure to have a designated driver!