The Blue Ridge Mountains. Hogback Mountain. Skyline Drive. The waterways of the Chesapeake Bay. Catoctin Mountain. The Shenandoah Valley. The Channels Natural Area Preserve. Old Rag Mountain. From Virginia’s Eastern Shore to the foothills of the southern Appalachians, north along the Blue Ridge Mountains, there are no shortage of scenic wonders in Virginia.
Many wineries offer spectacular views of Virginia’s beauty. Here are just a few of the many Virginia wineries that offer stunning views of the Old Dominion.
Known as DC’s Wine Country, Loudoun County is located about 40 miles northwest of Washington, DC, and is home to over 40 wineries and tasting rooms.
36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville, VA 20132. www.breauxvineyards.com
Located in the town of Purcellville, the 404-acre Breaux Vineyards estate offers visitors beautiful views and wines to match. With 104 acres under vine, Breaux is the largest winery in Loudoun County in terms of production and acres planted. Visitors can enjoy award winning wines from the property’s Cherry Hill park (named for the surrounding cherry trees) while taking in views of Viognier and Nebbiolo vines climbing up to Short Hill Mountain. The property also offers a great view of the sun setting over the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance.
Wine to pair with views: Nebbiolo (any vintage available) — each vintage showcases the potential of this Italian (Piemonte) grape variety in Virginia.
Stone Tower Winery—Leesburg
19925 Hogback Mountain Rd Leesburg, VA 20175. www.stonetowerwinery.com
Situated atop Hogback Mountain in southwest Leesburg, Stone Tower Winery offers some of the most beautiful vineyard and mountain views in the area. The second level deck of the newly finished winery building provides the best views of Viognier and Chardonnay vineyards atop surrounding rolling hills. Visitors can enjoy views of the Bull Run Mountains (a range of the Blue Ridge Mountains) from most spots on the expansive 306-acre property.
Wine to pair with views: 2013 Estate Hogback Mountain — a robust red blend (69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot), perfect to pair with cooler temperatures and great views.
18755 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont, VA 20135. www.bluemontvineyard.com
Bluemont Vineyards sits at 951 elevation on an eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The tasting room at Bluemont Vineyards is the highest in Loudoun County offering visitors a panorama of the Loudoun Valley and Washington, DC, on clear days.
Wine to pair with the views: 2015 Albarino — light and crisp with citrus notes that pair well with sunny, cool fall afternoons.
Ankida Ridge Vineyards—Amherst
1304 Franklin Creek Road, Amherst, VA 24521. www.ankidaridge.com
Located in Amherst, VA, about an hour southwest of Charlottesville, the vineyards at Ankida Ridge sit on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ankida, an ancient sumerian word that means ‘where heaven and earth join,’ is one of the most special places to take in Virginia’s spectacular views. From the deck of the tasting room at 1,450 in elevation, visitors have an up-close view of Pierce Mountain and Tobacco Row, a chain of hills that run parallel to Route 29 south to Lynchburg, in the distance. Owners Christine and Dennis Vrooman have recently cleared a new vineyard site at Ankida Ridge, at 1,800 feet elevation, with sweeping views east and south. (check website for tasting room hours)
Wine to pair with views: 2014 Pinot Noir. Yes, Pinot Noir ‘from’ Virginia! Amazingly delicious Pinot Noir.
Early Mountain Vineyards—Madison
6109 Wolftown-Hood Rd, Madison, VA 22727. www.earlymountain.com
The inviting patio and spacious grounds at Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, just north of Charlottesville, offer visitors views of Tippets Mountain and other Blue Ridge foothills. Visitors will find a broad range of Virginia wines available as part of Early Mountain’s ‘Best of Virginia’ program, which features wines from many of the state’s most notable wineries.
Wine to pair with the views: Block 11 — a blend of 65% Petit Manseng (one of Virginia’s most promising grape varieties) and 35% Muscat from the Block Eleven parcel at Early Mountain.
Stone Mountain Vineyards—Dyke
1376 Wyatt Mountain Rd, Dyke, VA 22935. www.stonemountainvineyards.com
Located 25 miles northwest of Charlottesville in Greene County, Stone Mountain Vineyards sits at 1,700 feet elevation in the Blue Ridge foothills. The Stone Mountain tasting room is the highest in Virginia. The expansive views of Greene County and surrounding foothills from the observation deck are breathtaking.
Wine to pair with the expansive views: Bacon Hollow Sunset — a red blend (40% Petit Verdot, 35% Cab Franc and 25% Merlot) named for the local area.
Glen Manor Vineyards—Front Royal
2244 Browntown Rd, Front Royal, VA 22630. www.glenmanorvineyards.com/
Located about 75 miles west of Washington, DC, Glen Manor Vineyards is situated on the western side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Glen Manor vineyards are planted on the steep slopes of Hodder Hill, named for owner and winegrower Jeff White’s grandfather. Visitors can relax in adirondack chairs with friends and some of the finest wines in the region while enjoying sweeping vineyard views and the beautiful foliage of Dickey Ridge. Part of the Shenandoah National Park, Dickey Ridge climbs to 2,400 feet; about 1,000 feet beyond Glen Manor’s vineyards.
Wine to pair with the views of Hodder Hill and Dickey Ridge: 2013 Hodder Hill — one of Virginia’s premier red blends (67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot).
—BLUE RIDGE REGION—
Foggy Ridge Cider—Dugspur
1328 State Rd 656, Dugspur, VA 24325. www.foggyridgecider.com
Founded by Diane and Chuck Flynt, Foggy Ridge Cider is located in Dugspur, VA, on the Blue Ridge plateau in southwestern Virginia, between Roanoke and Winston-Salem, NC. The husband and wife couple planted their first orchard in 1997 and today cultivate about 30 acres of semi-dwarf apple trees, with 30 different cider apple varieties used to make their artisan ciders. Foggy Ridge is a must visit for world-class ciders and some of the most dramatic views of the southern Appalachians and Blue Ridge Highlands. A visit to Foggy Ridge offers visitors breathtaking views of the southwest side of Buffalo Mountain and Long Mountain. After taking in the spectacular views from Foggy Ridge, visitors can follow the Mountain Road Wine Experience for a scenic and winding drive on the southern Blue Ridge Parkway to visit five wineries and a meadery.
Cider to pair with views: Foggy Ridge First Fruit, a blend of early season American heirloom apples. Refreshing, delicious, fine cider.
Saudé Creek Vineyards—Lanexa
16230 Cooks Mill Rd, Lanexa, VA 23089. www.saudecreek.com
Located about about 35 miles east of Richmond, Saude Creek offers wine enthusiasts some of the best views in the Tidewater region. From the upper deck of the tasting room, visitors have views of Chambourcin vines with the Pamunkey River and town of West Point in the distance.
Wine to enjoy with the views: 2013 Cabernet Franc — a multi-year Governor’s Cup medal winner, this peppery-cherry Cab Franc would pair well with bowl of chili on a cool afternoon.
9232 Chatham Rd, Machipongo, VA 23405. www.chathamvineyards.net
Visitors to the historic Chatham Vineyards property (patented in 1640 under English law) on Virginia’s Eastern Shore won’t see mountain ranges rising from valleys speckled with colorful foliage. Here, visitors will experience the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay. A short walk from the Chatham tasting room, visitors will find Church Creek, which backs up to the property (actually the front). Here, standing on the edge of the Creek, visitors have closeup views of birds nesting on Rabbit Island, salt marshes, blue crabs passing by in the water, and water birds like yellow-crowned night-herons, blue herons, osprey, and belted kingfishers along with other wildlife. Visitors may see oysterman pulling oysters from their beds in Church Creek or further up on Nassawadox Creek.
Wine to enjoy with the views and sounds of the Chesapeake Bay: 2015 Church Creek Steel Chardonnay — perhaps the state’s most site-expressive Chardonnay, offering tropical fruit and saline notes. Perfect with oysters cultivated steps from where the grapes were grown.
These are just a few of the wineries and cideries that provide views of Virginia’s stunning natural beauty.
Please share your favorite winery to enjoy Virginia’s beauty.
A Virginia native, Frank Morgan works in the Legal and Data Privacy group of a global company by day. He is the author of the DrinkWhatYouLike.com wine blog, started seven years ago to chronicle his wine travel experiences and to share stories of the wines, wineries, and winegrowers of Virginia. His site was recently named one of the top wine news blogs by Millesima. Morgan is also a contributor for edibleDC magazine, the wine site Snooth, founder of the monthly virtual wine tasting series Virginia Wine Chat (started in 2013), and is the associate editor of Virginia Wine Lover Magazine, the only print magazine dedicated to the state’s wine industry.
When not writing to raise awareness of the local wine industry or taking Wine & Spirit Education Trust classes, he can be found playing at the park with his daughter or reading his way through every published work of David Foster Wallace. He lives in the Tidewater area.