Maybe I’m a bit biased because I’m a native, but I think Virginia produces some of the best wine in the country. Did you know that there are over 230 wineries in Virginia? We take our wine production pretty seriously over here!
The month of October is Virginia Wine Month, and IMO it’s the best time to plan a winery trip in our great state. Towards the end of the month, you’ll get stunning fall foliage views, and you can also try all of the incredible cuisine that our state has to offer.
If you’re looking to visit Virginia during October, first you’ll need to decide which wine region you want to visit. I personally love the Monticello AVA, as it’s home to most of my favorite wineries in Virginia. Stay in Charlottesville, charter transportation out to the wineries during the day, and enjoy incredible dining and nightlife in town at night.
Another great option? If you’re headed to D.C., the Middleburg AVA is only an hour outside of the city – so I’d plan on making a day trip! As always, I would recommend getting car service out to this region. The roads are very narrow and windy, and it’s hard to get a phone signal while out at these wineries, so don’t rely on Uber/Lyft or GPS.
Which wineries are my personal favorites? Here are seven wineries in Virginia that you need to visit!
1. Stinson Vineyards (Monticello AVA)
Stinson Vineyards is a family run vineyard that’s only minutes away from downtown Crozet, VA. Every time I’m in town, I always make a point to visit Stinson: the staff makes me feel like family, and they’re all incredibly knowledgeable, and I’m a huge fan of their distinct French influence. They produce one of my favorite rosé’s on the planet – and we always make sure to stock up on them before they sell out!
2. Gabriele Rausse Winery (Monticello AVA)
Hands down, this is my absolute favorite tasting room experience in all of Charlottesville. What I love most about Gabriele Rausse is how innovative they are. They offer some of the most unique varietals in the area, and everything is reasonably priced. Their tasting room is a local favorite, is hip and secluded, and to be perfectly honest: I want to keep this little gem to myself! However, as a travel blogger, it’s my job to share all of the incredible wineries in Virginia with you, right? They offer food and wine pairings until 1 PM, and they’re constantly switching up their menu. Heads up: they are not open on Saturdays, so make sure to stop in either on a Thursday, Friday or Sunday.
3. Greenhill Winery & Vineyards (Middleburg AVA)
Greenhill holds a special place in my heart because it was the very first vineyard that I ever had the opportunity to visit (as a baby 23-year-old!) Little did I know that the first winery I ever visited would end up being one of my favorite wineries in the entire state. Definitely try the Blancs de Blancs here, it is one of my favorite sparkling wines in the state (and one of my favorites in the entire country!)
4. Williamsburg Winery (Hampton Roads)
Williamsburg is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state, and I rather impressed with their winery when I visited earlier this year. Since the winery sits on flat land and is close to the ocean, they’re a bit limited on what varietals they can grow. However, they really knock it out of the park with their Petit Verdot and Rosé. They have a sister vineyard in Argentina, so definitely try their Malbec – it is beyond.
5. Muse Vineyards (Shenandoah Valley AVA)
It’s a bit of a hike to get to this tasting room, but it is 100% worth it. Muse Vineyards produces award-winning estate wines that have been recognized in both regional and international wine competitions. The tasting room staff was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, and several other wineries in Virginia purchase their grapes from their vineyards, which speaks volume about the quality of their wines.
6. Afton Mountain Vineyards (Monticello AVA)
We loved Afton so much that we decided to get a wine club membership here. As soon as I stepped foot on their property, I fell in love: the views are spectacular, the tasting room is cozy and full of charm, and I have to respect that they’ve been producing wine since the late 70’s. I also love that you can purchase varietals here that you don’t see very often in the state of Virginia: including Gewürztraminer and Albariño.
7. Sunset Hills Vineyard (Middleburg AVA)
This is one of my favorite wineries in Northern Virginia, and I’m pretty lucky that this gem is only 20 minutes away from my mom’s house! Sunset Hills is incredibly spacious, and you can opt for tastings inside their barn, listen to live music on their covered deck every Saturday and Sunday, or lounge outdoors. Sunset Hills offers a little something for everyone: no matter if you gravitate towards sweet white wines or bold reds, you’re bound to find wine you enjoy at this winery.
Have you ever visited wineries in Virginia?
Photos by Tom McGovern