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    Is everyone excited for #Virginia #CraftBeer Month next month? It's time to put your game face on and visit a new local #brewery or get adventuresome on a #VA #beer trail. Find your way at Virginia.org/craftbeer and tag your photos with #vacraftbeermonth! This is glass of @ardentcraftales' #IPA, found on tap in Richmond. #rva #vabeer #drinklocal #locavore #ardentcraftales
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  • Posts Tagged ‘wine’

    A Toast to Great Views! 18 Virginia Wineries for Outdoor Sipping

    by Casey | Posted on June 27th, 2014

    Virginia’s vineyards are beautiful, especially this time of year when the vines are heavy with luscious grapes. Savor the view while you also savor the vintage at these wineries boasting impeccable views. Their patios and decks are perfect for summer evening unwinding.

    Early Mountain Vineyards

    Early Mountain Vineyards

    Virginia Tourism staff were asked their favorite wine tasting room and tasting experience, but the responses exited the tasting room in favor of the outdoors …

    “The outside views from Barboursville tasting room are beautiful with the mountains in the distance. We also enjoyed walking the trail to the ruins of the Barboursville Mansion, which are on the vineyard property.” (Barboursville, VA)

    Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

    Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

    King Family Vineyards. I love the range of the wines, the beautiful vistas at the winery, and you even catch a polo match on summer Sundays!” (Crozet, VA)

    “King Family not only has an excellent patio/outdoor situation, but on Sundays during spring/summer they host Polo games on-site. I recently went and was blown away by the huge numbers of people out there attending the games. Everyone had lawn chairs, pop-up tents, huge tailgating spreads, dogs, kids, etc. It was a great Sunday afternoon activity. The view is great right next to the mountains and the polo games were really exciting—especially while enjoying some great VA wine!”

    Chateau Morrisette, of course. The setting right off the Blue Ridge Parkway is wonderful … Best scenic ride winery in the western region, in my opinion.” (Floyd, VA)

    Pippin Hill. Their tasting room is really pretty but the lounge areas on the porch are even better.” (North Garden, VA)

    West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery

    West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery

    “We went to a winery last Sunday with an incredible view … Pippin Hill.”

    Early Mountain. They have beautiful indoor and outdoor seating.” (Madison, VA)

    Glass House has a tropical conservatory, patio with a view, and they also serve locally made chocolates.” (Free Union, VA)

    Afton Mountain has an outdoor porch with scenic mountain vistas.” (Afton, VA)

    Little Washington Winery

    Little Washington Winery

    “A favorite of mine is the West Wind Farm Vineyard and Winery … a dreamy rural setting in the Wytheville hills, this family owned and operated winery provides a most appreciated respite that includes local foods, their wines and soulful local musicians to further enchant the spirit.” (Max Meadows, VA)

    Little Washington Winery. Great view from their deck. It was raining when we were there but they let us take Lucy, our dog, in too.” (Washington, VA)

    These Wineries Were Also Mentioned:

    With more than 260 wineries to choose from all across Virginia, there are most certainly dozens more wineries with outstanding scenic views. Sound off by leaving a comment! We want to know which one(s) you flock to on a summer evening.

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    Couples, Outdoors, Wine | 5 Comments

    25 Beautiful B&Bs with a Winery Just a Mile Away

    by Casey | Posted on April 2nd, 2014

    Vineyards are stunning with rolling hills of green vines. If you love the feeling you have when you visit a winery tasting room and walk the grounds, stay nearby so you don’t lose it. We’ve identified 25 beautiful Virginia bed and breakfasts that are a mile or less away from a Virginia winery. Stay close, sip close.

    Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast, Afton

    Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast, Afton

    Central Virginia

    The Farmhouse at Veritas is located in Afton and has two wineries nearby. On site is Veritas Vineyard & WineryAfton Mountain Vineyard is .9 mile southwest. The Farmhouse is a comfortable reflection of its 19th century history.

    Also in Afton is Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast and Cottage, a Civil War-era landmark on the grounds of Flying Fox Vineyard. In fact, the tasting room is just 30 feet away from the main house!

    When you visit Democracy Vineyards in Lovingston you can stay at Orchard House Bed & Breakfast, less than a half-mile away. The home dates to 1874 and boasts a beautiful front porch for rocking and relaxation.

    Check into one of the guestrooms or suites at The Mark Addy Inn in Nellysford to sample the best of Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery just about a half-mile away. Hill Top offers “true to the fruit” wines and honey mead; pick blackberries seasonally, if you wish. One of five porches is awaiting your return.

    Pool at Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast, Free Union

    Pool at Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast, Free Union

    Overlooking the vines of Glass House Winery in Free Union is the Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast. A two-bedroom suite on the upper level affords amazing views of the property and pool. Three lower-level rooms with private baths boast radiant heated bamboo floors; two have private entrances.

    Inn at Crossroads in North Garden is on the National Register of Historic Places and located next door to Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. Hundreds of rolling acres steal your breath while you spend time on the front porch of this Federal style gem.

    If you happen to love horses in addition to wine, stay at Reba Farm Inn in Bedford where you can saddle up and find great wine just a mile away at Peaks of Otter Winery.

    A visit to Barboursville Vineyards near Charlottesville offers you a choice of two B&Bs. The 1804 Inn at Barboursville Vineyards is on the grounds of the vineyard and features bits and pieces of England, Italy, France and Virginia. Just .9 mile east in Gordonsville is Uphill House Bed & Breakfast, a relatively new home and B&B with English flair. Even closer to Uphill than Barboursville is Horton Vineyards and Winery at .7 mile away.

    Blue Ridge Highlands

    In Blacksburg you’ll find a luxurious retreat at Beliveau Estate Bed and Breakfast, plus Beliveau Winery is right there with it. Each spacious room has a cozy fireplace and private bath. Some have a private entrance and yet others have air jet tubs. Get comfortable with your wine!

    Shenandoah Valley

    In the southern Shenandoah Valley is Fincastle Vineyard & Winery and the vineyard’s bed and breakfast, too. The beauty of 80 acres of woodlands, pasture and vineyards will sweep you away; stay a while.

    Back in Thyme Bed and Breakfast in Raphine is just down the road from Rockbridge Vineyard. The beautiful Victorian is comfortable with three bedrooms and private baths, plus a hearty country breakfast. Sample the wines at Rockbridge and bring a bottle out to enjoy on the swing below the vineyards.

    Villa Veramar B&B sits among the grapes of Veramar Vineyards in Berryville and has romantic rooms with whirlpool tubs, evening wine and cheese platters, and of course, a fine breakfast.

    Northern Virginia

    Forgotten Creek Bed and Breakfast in Amissville is less than a half-mile from Gray Ghost Vineyards and Winery, a winery boasting an extensive list of national and international awards for their blends. Forgotten Creek B&B offers two suites and a farm-fresh quiche for breakfast.

    Hillsborogh B&B, Hillsboro

    Hillsborogh B&B, Hillsboro

    The rustic, country-style retreat of Hillsborough B&B is just about a half-mile away from Hillsborough Vineyards in Hillsboro. A pool with waterfall offer a tranquil setting to enjoy a glass of something beautiful.

    The Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast in Middleburg welcomes you to enjoy their 47 rolling acres from their 1805 historic country inn. It can be home base for visiting Leaves of Grass Vineyards, a very small operation that is open by reservation only, guaranteeing your own personal wine experience.

    Spread your wings a little on the 138-acre Belle Meade Farm in Sperryville, home to Belle Meade Inn, a restored Victorian farmhouse. Practically a stone’s throw away at .2 mile is Sharp Rock Vineyards, which also has its own B&B cottages.

    Settle in at The Blue Rock Inn in Washington. An on-site pub and restaurant make your dining choices easy while Little Washington Winery is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

    The Barns at Hamilton Station, Hamilton

    The Barns at Hamilton Station, Hamilton

    In Hamilton you’ll fall in love with your surroundings, and Zion Springs Bed & Breakfast is just the beginning. The incredibly spacious suites will leave you asking, “Do we have to go home?” Less than a mile away is The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards, a welcoming wood and stone dairy barn-turned-tasting room.

    The folks at Gadino Cellars in Washington are fortunate to have a number of nearby bed and breakfasts for you to choose from. Specifically, take a look at these beauties less than a mile away:

    Chesapeake Bay

    In Irvington, the renowned Hope & Glory Inn, a Top 100 in the World and Top 10 in the US, is less than a half-mile from The Dog and Oyster, a refreshingly unique winery that teams up with Ingleside Vineyard to offer premium and reserve labels alongside their own wines for a one-of-a-kind tasting experience. Hope & Glory offers 25 rooms as well as cottages. National publications are known to gush over this beautiful property.

    Perched above the vines in Hague is The Manor House at General’s Ridge Vineyard. Sip a glass of the house wine from the balcony or porch after enjoying a tasting at General’s Ridge tasting room.

    Coastal Virginia – Hampton Roads

    Visit the urban Mermaid Winery in Norfolk and stay in the elegant Bed & Breakfast at Historic Page House Inn, a AAA Four Diamond accommodation. Mermaid offers 12 wine flights for your choosing, all made in small batches from Virginia grapes.

     

    Learn more about Virginia’s extensive wine offerings and the amazing bed and breakfasts awaiting you. Remember to drink responsibly and designate a driver.

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    Couples, Wine | Comments Off

    17 Scenic Drives for Virginia Wine

    by Casey | Posted on March 18th, 2014

    Ever growing and pulling in the medals and accolades is Virginia’s wine industry. Take a drive to sample the latest uncorked vintage where it was first crafted and learn from the winemakers themselves exactly what you should taste, smell and feel as each sip crosses your lips. You’ll also be delighted with special food and wine pairings or casual live music events throughout the warmer months. For certain, if you love wine, you must grab a friend or two and take to one or more of these scenic drives for Virginia wine. Remember to designate a driver.

    Afton Mountain Vineyards, part of the Monticello Wine Trail.

    Afton Mountain Vineyards, part of the Monticello Wine Trail.

    Shenandoah Valley to Blue Ridge Highlands

    Wind your way through the Shenandoah Valley and encounter several wine trails at once. The larger trail, The Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, includes 19 wineries between Berryville and Eagle Rock, a distance of 177 miles. Surely this is a weekend, or perhaps multi-weekend trip to take advantage of each trail, each winery, and every great bite of food along the way. Trail Map

    Farther down the Valley into the Blue Ridge Highlands is the Mountain Road Wine Experience, a meandering trail that highlights the tastes along the Blue Ridge Parkway between Roanoke and Floyd. Five wineries, a meadery and a cidery await.

     

    Northern Virginia to Central Virginia

    What better way to think of a gigantic wine trail than in clusters? Branch off on one or two of the Loudoun: DC’s Wine Country clusters for a delicious couples weekend away. Each cluster is six to eight wineries strong and includes destination dining hot spots as well. Trail Map

    South of the Loudoun trails is the Fauquier County Wine Trail featuring 23 wineries. This trail spreads from Delaplane off Route 17 to Sumerduck off Route 29. Route 55 is the main east to west corridor of this trail. Trail Map

    Bluemont Vineyards, part of Loudoun: DC's Wine Country.

    Bluemont Vineyards, part of Loudoun: DC’s Wine Country.

    Picking up in Warrenton, the 211 Scenic Vino Wine Trail follows Route 211 to “Little” Washington. Along the way you can choose to stop and sip at seven wineries or a distillery, or continue past Washington to Luray and on up the mountain to pick up Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. Trail Map

    In the same neck of the woods, check out the Artisanal Wineries of Rappahannock (some of which are also included in the 211 Trail). Route 211 will intersect with Route 522 and it’s on this double route that you’ll find four wineries between Front Royal and Culpeper. Route 231 towards Charlottesville from Sperryville offers up one more winery to bring the total to five for this trail. Trail Map

    The Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop pretty much encompasses both the 211 and Artisanal Wineries trails as it does, in fact, loop from Front Royal on Route 522 to Warrenton, across Route 211 to Sperryville and continues on Route 340 through Luray to Front Royal again. With seven wineries and one distillery on this trail, you might opt to stretch it out over two days. Trail Map

    Just south of the three aforementioned trails is the Foothills Scenic Wine Trail, an exclusive club of two wineries off Route 231 in Sperryville and Etlan, respectively. Trail Map

    The Monticello Wine Trail is another large adventure that is broken up into five segments. Centered around the Charlottesville area, this trail of 30 wineries is meant to incorporate the goodness of Thomas Jefferson’s wine quests. Expect to experience history and great food as you branch off for a day or two. Trail Map

    From its most eastern point, the Monticello Wine Trail easily leads into the Heart of Virginia Wine Trail northwest of Richmond. This trail includes six wineries from Louisa to Glen Allen and Gum Spring to Spotsylvania. Trail Map

    Circling back to the west, and the area lovingly called the “sunrise side” of the Blue Ridge, Nelson County boasts the Nelson 151 Trail. The 151 stands for Route 151, a drive that includes seven wineries, three breweries, a cidery and a distillery. It’s the most diverse of the adult beverage trails in Virginia. Trail Map

     

    Central Virginia to Southern Virginia

    The Dog and Oyster, part of the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail.

    The Dog and Oyster, part of the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail.

    Along the Bedford Wine Trail aficionados will experience the tastes of five vineyards and wineries from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Smith Mountain Lake. Trail Map

    The SoVA Wine Trail (SoVA means Southern Virginia) includes 12 wineries. A trail map will be available later in 2014.

     

    Chesapeake Bay to Coastal Virginia – Eastern Shore

    The 9 wineries of the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail await your arrival. The scenery along the bay will steal your breath and the wines will tickle your taste buds. Check out their trail map: Page 1 | Page 2

    The Eastern Shore Wine Trail has three wineries for you to visit. Just stay on Route 13 to hit Machipongo, Franktown (near Nassawaddox) and Bloxom to complete the trail.

     

    While these trails are a great start to get you out enjoying the wine where it’s made, they do not incorporate every winery in Virginia. See our directory to locate one near you or where you’re headed.

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    Wine | Comments Off

    18 Virginia Wineries Go Green

    by Casey | Posted on October 23rd, 2013

    Cheers to sustainability! Virginia’s winery owners are naturally committed to preserving and protecting the environment, and they realize their customers really care about the environment, too. Here are some of the ways 18 Virginia wineries have included “green” alongside their reds and whites.

    DuCard Vineyards' new tasting room is fully powered by solar, and all food waste is composted.

    DuCard Vineyards’ new tasting room is solar powered, and all food waste is composted.

    • Each winery has committed to voluntarily minimize the environmental impacts of their operations – including:
      • Provide recycling and implement waste reduction practices
      • Minimize the use of fertilizers and chemicals
      • Reduce water and energy consumption over time
      • Strive to host and promote green events and festivals
    • Many wineries are also engaged in other sustainable practices such as:
      • Solar power (two wineries are now producing more energy than they use)
      • Two winery tasting rooms are certified by the US Green Building Council
      • Geothermal heating and air conditioning systems
      • Composting all food waste and disposables from tasting rooms and certain festivals
      • Stormwater collection systems that reuse water for flushing toilets and irrigation
      • Innovative wastewater treatment designs that use wetland plants to purify water prior to discharge
      • Winemaking techniques that dramatically minimize waste, water use, and energy needs for stabilization
      • Recycling corks and using bottles, corks, and packaging that minimize material uses and waste

    Guests can expect to see recycling and many other green practices in place at every Virginia Green certified winery. Include one of these 18 wineries in your vacation plans by planning a trip at VirginiaGreenTravel.org. Look for the Virginia Green logo!

    Cooper Vineyards' tasting room is certified LEED platinum and uses solar power, as well as a geothermal heating and cooling system.

    Cooper Vineyards’ tasting room is certified LEED platinum and uses solar power, as well as a geothermal heating and cooling system.

    Learn more about Virginia Green certification for wineries.

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    Wine | 1 Comment

    230 Wineries and Counting

    by Casey | Posted on October 1st, 2013

    There is no shortage of great wine in Virginia with more than 230 wineries. Here are a few ideas to help you kick off your Virginia Wine Month adventure.

    Jefferson Vineyards

    Jefferson Vineyards

    Sip the signature Virginia Viognier and Cabernet Franc from the leaders in its production – Barboursville, Keswick, Jefferson, Pollak, and Veritas – all in the greater Charlottesville area. Within easy driving distance of one another, you can easily make it a two-day excursion or spread it out to three. MAP

    Why not pay a visit to recent recipients of the “Best of Readers’ Choice Awards” by Virginia Wine Lover Magazine to see which wines and wineries Virginians love most?

    Best of … Central Virginia

    • Best Winery – Gray Ghost Vineyards, Amissville
    • Best Dessert Wine - 
    • Peaks of Otter – Pumpkin Pie
    • Best Fruit Wine – Peaks of Otter – Light Sweet Peach
    • Best Red Wine – Gray Ghost – Cabernet Franc 2011
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Barboursville – Brut
    • Best White Wine – Veritas – Viognier

    Best of … Eastern Virginia

    • Best Winery – Chatham Vineyards
    • Best Dessert Wine – Williamsburg – Late Harvest Vidal Blanc 2009
    • Best Fruit Wine – Williamsburg – Raspberry Merlot
    • Best Red Wine – Chatham – Cabernet Franc 2009/2010 blend
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Ingleside – Virginia Brut
    • Best White Wine – Chatham – Church Creek Steel (unoaked) Chardonnay 2010

    Best of … Northern Virginia

    • Best Winery – Sunset Hills Vineyard, Purcellville
    • Best Dessert Wine – Breaux – Nebbiolo Ice 2011
    • Best Fruit Wine – Mattaponi – Pow Wow Chocolate-Covered Strawberry
    • Best Red Wine – Barrel Oak – BOW Norton 2011
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Paradise Springs – Apres Sparkling Viognier
    • Best White Wine – Sunset Hills – Viognier 2011

    Best of … Shenandoah Virginia

    • Best Winery – Cave Ridge Vineyard, Mount Jackson
    • Best Dessert Wine – Cave Ridge – Fandango 2010
    • Best Fruit Wine – Shenandoah – Raspberry Serenade
    • Best Red Wine – Cave Ridge – Red Silk 2007
    • Best White Wine – Bluestone – Beau

    Virginia Wine MapBest of … Southern Virginia

    • Best Winery – Rosemont Vineyards and Winery, La Crosse
    • Best Dessert Wine – Rosemont – Lake Country Sunset
    • Best Fruit Wine – Bright Meadows Farm – BAG Wine (Blackberry, Apple, Grape [Concord])
    • Best Red Wine – Annefield – Cabernet Franc 2010
    • Best White Wine – Annefield – Viognier 2011

    Best of … Western Virginia

    • Best Winery – Chateau Morrisette, Floyd
    • Best Dessert Wine – Chateau Morrisette – Frosty Dog
    • Best Fruit Wine – Attimo – Sweet Berry Sunset
    • Best Red Wine – Attimo – A.D. 325 2011
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Chateau Morrisette – Star Dog 2008
    • Best White Wine – Chateau Morrisette – Our Dog Blue

    Finally, stretch your legs for a few days with a Virginia 48-Hour Fall Getaway that is riddled with wineries and great food.  Our two examples include wineries in Northern Virginia (Berryville to Delaplane) and Coastal Virginia (Eastern Shore to Williamsburg and beyond).

    These are just a few ideas to get you started, but we have a handy-dandy wine map that might generate a few more ideas. Check it out, and use our other friendly tool, the Trip Planner, to make your own custom weekend complete with driving directions.

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