Many people consider Virginia the birthplace of American wine, dating back to the first vines planted by early settlers in 1609. Several problems kept local vineyards from flourishing, such as unstable vines, pests, revolutions, wars, and prohibition.
Virginia persevered, however, and a lot has changed in 400 years. The grapes grown in the area now are the product of years of study and careful cultivation.
Wineries in Northern Virginia carried on the tradition and now offer some of the country’s most heralded wines. The area is home to several award-winning vintners and wineries offering tours, seminars, and special events all year round. This guide will introduce you to seven of the best wineries of Northern Virginia.
18755 Foggy Bottom Road
Bluemont, VA 20135
The views from high atop the Blue Ridge Mountains are one of the most impressive things about this winery and vineyard. Seating at the dual-level patios is breathtaking, but picnics on the grounds below offer comparably scenic views.
Bluemont offers an extensive menu of light bites and seasonal delights along with its most touted wines, such as petit manseng, port and a blend called Farm Table Red. The cottages are an option for those who can’t take it all in during one visit. They offer one- to three-bedroom units nestled right among the vines, and all are chock full of amenities.
Adventurous wine lovers can opt for self-guided hikes through the Bluemont backcountry, or they can make a reservation to relax among a row of vineyard vines while enjoying a tasting menu of seasonal wines.
Ankida Ridge Vineyards
1304 Franklin Creek Road
Amherst, VA 24521
Anyone who revels in the serenity of remote locations will love Ankida Ridge Vineyards. It’s snuggled so deep in the mountains that visitors are encouraged to download directions since most GPS signals generally fade out along the way.
The elegant pinot noir and chardonnay grown here defy logistics, as the area is famously known for its verdant red wines. Visitors to the tasting room are greeted with breathtaking panoramic views from the 1,800-foot cape to accompany the exquisite wines.
Stone Tower Winery
19925 Hogback Mountain Road
Leesburg, VA 20175
The vineyards, cellars, and protocols are as important to winemaking as the grapes, and Stone Tower is no exception. Visitors are enchanted by the tours, tastings, and events held in this rolling hillside of Virginia. The vineyard and winery sit on 300 acres of land owned by the Huber family for three generations. They invite everyone to enjoy their pristine views and world-class wines, such as estate rosé, petit verdot, and cabernet franc.
Stone Mountain is a relaxing place to enjoy a two-hour tasting in the tasting room or adjourn to an outdoor space when there’s more time to spare.
Twin Oaks Tavern Winery
18035 Raven Rocks Road
Bluemont, VA 20135
Twin Oaks, built in the late 1800s, is a throwback to Virginia’s early settler days. It started life as one of the many inns that populated the area, serving as a mountainous retreat from the heat of urban life in D.C.
The inn was devastated by fire in the 1950s and remained defunct until the Evers family purchased it in 1998. It finally became the renowned vineyard it is today after more than a year of renovations and considerable effort.
They began with chardonnay and cabernet franc grapes and had their first harvest in 2002. Twin Oaks now makes more than 10 varieties of merlot, vidal blanc, cabernet sauvignon, and riesling.
Fox Meadow Winery
3310 Freezeland Road
Linden, VA 22642
Civil War battles once raged in the spot where Fox Meadow Winery now stands. A fantastic seasonal display of wildflowers sometimes covers the surrounding grounds before rows of vineyard grapes stretch across the horizon. The views from the tasting room and patios are phenomenal as a result.
Their Freezeland White is a popular choice with notes of coconut and tropical fruits, followed closely by the Blue Mountain Mist. Their unique takes on classics such as oaked chardonnay and pinot grigio are local favorites.
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards
38906 Mt Gilead Road
Leesburg, VA, 20175
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards has the oldest winery in Louden County. The first grapes here were planted on an acre of land in 1981. They offer a variety of carefully coordinated versions of red and white wines today. Groups of six or fewer can enjoy a few pleasant hours in the charming outdoor seating area or inside the tasting room.
This is another remote winery that GPS won’t be able to find, so be sure to print out directions before you head out. They hold a selection of events throughout the year that feature their unique seasonal blends, food pairings, music, ambiance, and entertainment.
15669 Limestone School Road
Leesburg, VA 20176
This earth-friendly winery planted its first vines in 2001, and soon their popular brands of merlot and petit verdot were born. They offer tours, events, and a tasting room with their finest reds, whites, and specialty ciders. Their signature wine pouches are local favorites in every flavor.
Tastings are self-guided at Fabbioli Cellars and are accompanied by paired food bites. It entails six of their wines, including some of their most prized.
A day out in Northern Virginia can mean anything from exploring history at the Arlington National Cemetery or enjoying a concert at Birchmere Music Hall to indulge the senses. Just be sure to stop by at least one of these beguiling Northern Virginia wineries.
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