The Best of Virginia Wine Country: Vineyards edition
July 8, 2015 2:03 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite vineyards (the vineyard property, not just the wines they produce) in the northern Virginia area, specifically Fauquier County and Rappahannock County?

Friend and I are locals living in the northern Virginia area. This summer, we've planned a day trip to Narmada Winery, which is known for its Indian small plates(!).

If we wanted to check out one or two other vineyards near Narmada (25 mile radius) on the same day, where should we go?

And, because this won't be the last time we have a wine outing together, what Northern Virginia/Northwestern Virginia area vineyards should we keep on our shortlist for future outings?

There are always snowflakes...

"Must-have" vineyard traits:
- Gorgeous views. The more majestic, the better. The view at Linden Vineyards took my breath away, even in the winter.
- Outdoor seating. Yes, this includes just being able to spread out a blanket.

Ideal, but not required vineyard traits:
- At least one dry, full bodied red wine for purchase. Two is even better. Three (or more!) would be heaven.
- Has small plates, or local cheese/charcuterie for purchase AND/OR you may bring your own picnic lunch
- Knowledgeable yet unpretentious staff. I'm no Master sommelier, but I know wine and enjoy hearty, joyful conversations about wine and wine making. Given the choice, I'd rather talk to the grizzled guy with callused hands and mud-caked Wellies than the young sapling behind the tasting counter.

I'm also open to recommendations for breweries and distilleries (so far, I've been to and toured both Copper Fox and A. Smith Bowman).

P.S. We are aware of the Nelson 151, but since that area is more of a drive for my friend than it is for me, I'd prefer recommendations limited to mostly Fauquier, Rappannock, Culpeper and Loudon. Fairfax County and Prince William County are okay, too, although I don't always associate them with the lush, open space that I do the aforementioned counties. Which I realize may be an inaccurate perception, depending on where you go.
posted by nightrecordings to Travel & Transportation (2 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a fan of Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane, VA, just outside your radius at 29 miles away. It's definitely not the best wine I've ever had but it's a very nice ambiance, especially for groups and friends. There's a large lodge with a cozy upstairs and an expansive outdoor area with a couple bars for tastings, picnic tables, big patio, fire pits in the winter. On the weekends people will bring their dogs and children and spend the day outside listening to live music. They do have cheese plates and other small plates but they also welcome picnicing, inside or outside. There are probably places in Virginia with more majestic views, but the landscape is very pretty with all of the rolling hills and nice countryside vistas.

I go for dry reds too and I enjoyed the Cabernet Franc and the Bawhaus Red.
posted by exutima at 2:21 PM on July 8, 2015

Breaux Vineyards in Loudon is lovely and delicious, although there may not be anybody grizzled there.
posted by JanetLand at 6:25 AM on July 9, 2015

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