Here in Virginia, we are currently in Phase 1 of re-opening. That means most of our wineries have re-opened for outdoor consumption. However, tasting rooms are still closed and there are still a lot of things to navigate when visiting wineries. With all that being said, I am here to tell you the wineries are ready to serve you once again!
Zach and I have spent the last two weekends around the Charlottesville area checking out a range of wineries and we had amazing experiences at each one. I felt each winery was navigating their reopening smoothly and everyone was happy to have you back.
Some tips and tricks:
- Bring your own glasses. Most wineries are offering plastic cups but it is nicer to sip out of glass.
- Bring your own blanket and chairs… just in case!
- Bring a mask. Every winery requires you to wear it when walking around and in the restrooms.
- Be kind, smile under your mask and be HAPPY! We are finally out of the house!
King Family Vineyards was the first winery we visited and it did not disappoint. King Family does not require reservations so it was nice to just arrive on our own time. They have their outdoor patio area set up on a first come, first serve basis. You can also bring your own chairs and blankets and spread out on their lawn. This winery is not providing table service so you have to stand in line to order your wine. They are also offering tasting flights to enjoy on your own for $10. Another cool place you can hang out is their polo field. They have spaces spread all around the polo field where you can park and hunker down. They have staff driving around on a golf cart to order wine straight from your area. Zach and I packed a picnic and hunkered down in the Jeep!
Our next stop for the day was Stinson Vineyards. Stinson is a smaller winery that is accepting reservations. Reservations are available at no charge and easy to make from their website. Walk-ins will be accommodated as space allows. We had a reservation but there were only two other parties on site. We ordered a bottle of Sauv Blanc and enjoyed the view. They have plenty of seating all spaced out to enjoy! At this time, Stinson is only serving bottles.
The following weekend we started our day at Trump Winery. Trump does not require reservations either. You can grab a table or sit in their Adirondack chairs on a first come, first serve basis. We arrived right around 11 when they opened and snagged two Adirondack chairs. You can bring your own blanket and chairs to spread out on the lawn if seating is taken. We sipped on their Sauv Blanc and Rose and enjoyed the view. It honestly felt so normal. At this time, you can by bottles and they are still serving food but it comes in to-go containers.
Our next stop for the day was Veritas Vineyard and Winery. They have two options when visiting. You can make a reservation for your own tented picnic table or sit out on the lawn. With the first option, your area is private with a server. Here you can buy bottles, food and even a mini tasting. This is all contactless! The server drops off everything at a table, and from there you take it back to your area. This option is $25 an hour. Wine club receives a $15 voucher to use during their stay. This is an amazing option if you are concerned about having your own private space. With the second option, you can bring your own blanket and chairs for the lawn. This option does not come with a server but you can buy bottles and food from a nearby tent. We loved our experience at Veritas and can’t wait to go back. We sipped on their Sauv Blanc and enjoyed their Share Board from their Terrace Menu.
Our final stop for the day was Valley Road Vineyards. Valley Road has three different seating options during the weekends. Their Patio, Barn Deck and Lawn. The Patio and Barn Deck are reserved for 21+. All three options have walk up service but the patio does have table service. You can order glasses/bottles right from your phone for a contactless option. Due to high demand, reservations are being accepted for their patio area on weekends, so it’s a good idea to call to make a reservation. We went on a Tuesday so we did not make a reservation. We sat on the patio and ordered a bottle of, you guessed it, Sauv Blanc, while we enjoyed the view.
We might not be quite back to normal yet but it sure did feel that way most of the day! I am so happy to be doing what I love, supporting local wineries <3