Since Zach (my hubby) and I live in Richmond most of the wineries we have visited are from around the Charlottesville area. One goal each year is to visit five-ten new Virginia Wineries. Last year we decided to venture up to Northern Virginia for our anniversary to see what all the fuss was about. There are SO MANY wineries in a small space that you can visit, which made this the perfect adventure.
Typically we start planning weeks in advance for a weekend away. I look up local bed and breakfasts and make little “trails” that are easy to drive to from our location. I always ask around if people recommend any wineries before we go as well. Typically I look at the winery Instagram and website to see their wine list and pictures. I am a sucker for a good view as well! We also check and see their policy on food. Generally my hubs and I enjoy packing a picnic but we love wineries that sell food too, cheese plate anyone?
Stone Tower Winery – This winery was one I have had my eye on. Their Instagram is amazing and I had heard a lot about this winery. When Zach and I first arrived we were shocked, it was huge! There are two separate tasting facilities, the barn area as well as the actual tasting room. They have two labels, their Stone Tower label which means it is estate grown and the Wild Boar label which means they supplement with grapes that are from outside of Virginia. The tasting was a great experience and my favorite was their Wild Boar Brut Rose. We enjoyed a glass while walking around the huge beautiful estate. The view was stunning!
Casanel Vineyards and Winery – My girlfriend Katherine, recommended this winery after she visited with her friends, so I had to check it out. It was a lovely little family run winery. We enjoyed our tasting then shared a picnic outside with a bottle of wine. I loved how they had two different Pino Gris of the same vintage but made a different style. The Ellianna is aged in stainless steel so it is nice and crisp. The Patricia Maria is aged in a 50/50 blend of American and French Oak barrels. This had more vanilla characteristics.
8 Chains North – I was drawn to this winery since they pair their wines with chocolate. I am such a sucker for wine and chocolate. They focus their wine making in a French style. I really enjoyed the chocolate and wine… who wouldn’t?
Sunset Hills Vineyard – This winery was close to our B&B so we decided to make the stop! I loved our experience! My favorite wine I enjoyed was their Cab Franc Rose. We enjoyed glasses while we sat outside and listened to the live music.
The Wine Reserve at Waterford – This was one of our favorites! We had not planned to visit The Wine Reserve but it was literally a walk away from our B&B. When we entered they gave us a generous pour of Sparkling Rose from Italy. On busy weekends they start with this pour while you wait for space at the bar, how fun! I love anything with bubbles so I was already in love. Another funky thing about this winery was their wine names! Their Birthday Suit Chard was very fun and different ~ it is aged in super-neutral oak that allows the grape to shine!
Bed and Breakfast – Loudoun Valley Manor – Zach and I love Bed and Breakfasts! I love how homey and relaxed they are compared to a hotel. Olga is the proprietor of this lovely B&B. The location is perfect, close to all the wineries! We enjoyed our stay so much we have planned a visit for Valentine’s Day Weekend! The room was amazing and the breakfast each morning was even better.
Bluemont Vineyard – This winery was our favorite of the whole trip! The view was breathtaking! We spent so much time at this place ~ fun flights, great view and a fun atmosphere. I loved most of their whites, I was super impressed. They also made a fab sangria which was very refreshing since it was so hot outside.
Otium Cellars – This place was also another recommendation and I am glad we made the stop. The cool thing about Otium were their different reds. They had several Austrian and German varieties such as Grüner Veltliner, Blaufränkisch, and Dornfelder. I love visiting places with new and different grapes I have not tasted before!
The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards – I decided to hit up The Barns because I had tasted some of their wine that was in the Governor’s Cup. I loved the interior of the barn, it was rustic and cozy. We enjoyed their tasting, especially their Bank Barn Red, this is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin… I LOVE Chambourcin.
There you have it! Eight wineries in two days! I am SO excited to be visiting Loudoun again in a week… I already have our wine “trails” set and I am so excited to try new places so I can share with you!