I had every intention of making this post back in the spring, but then I decided to move across the country, which threw my whole edit calendar off track. Better late than never, I guess!
As most of you know, I’m a Northern Virginia native. After I moved back to the area after college, I got a job with a regional magazine, and with that position, I got to explore the area pretty extensively in my early-mid 20’s. One magical part of NOVA that I was introduced to through my old job was the Middleburg AVA (AKA, Northern Virginia Wine Country). After I had my first sip of local wine at age 23, I was hooked — and it sparked my love for the industry.
After spending 8 years touring wineries in the area, I’m thrilled to see it grow and thrive. If you’re looking for the best Northern Virginia wineries to visit, here’s my list of recommendations. Also, Northern Virginia wineries are only a 1 to 1.5-hour drive from Washington, D.C. This would make for a fantastic day trip.
The Best Wineries to Visit in Northern Virginia
1. Walsh Family Wine — Purcellville, VA
Walsh Family Wine is a newer winery (opened in 2019), and it is an absolute gem located in the hills of Loudoun County. I can safely say that it is one of my favorite wineries in the entire state. This family-owned boutique winery produces premium wine that’s reasonably priced for the area — you can get most of their wine for under $35/bottle.
They have a great balance of white and red wine to please any group, and their red blends are pretty exceptional. Nate Walsh, the winegrower for Walsh Family Wine, has several years of experience in the Virginia Wine industry — he started his career in the Monticello AVA (Central Virginia) and previously served as winemaker for Sunset Hills Vineyards for seven years before opening his own winery.
Walsh Family Wine is also known to partner with other wineries in the state, and I love how they cultivate community in the Virginia Wine industry. Plus, the tasting room is intimate, charming, and the service is next level!
Reservations: Required for groups of 8 or more. Walk-in seating is available for groups of 8 or less.
2. The Wine Reserve at Waterford — Waterford, VA
One of the reasons I absolutely adore The Wine Reserve at Waterford is that it’s one of the most laid-back, approachable, and fun wineries in the area. Here, you’ll enjoy a unique wine tasting out of test tubes, and indoors, you can enjoy the quirky, fun decor (I mean, how cool is that cassette wall?)
I loved how they accommodated my group for my belated birthday celebration back in March as well — I had a couple of people in my party that didn’t drink alcohol. They made delicious mocktails for them to enjoy so they didn’t feel left out. The customer service is truly next level, and my friends and I were so impressed with how they went above and beyond for us!
They have a great selection of quality, small-batch wines, so no matter what your wine preferences are, you’re going to find a wine that you love. Here you can find Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, Meritage blends, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc.
Reservations: Recommended for indoor tastings. Outdoor seating is first-come, first-serve.
3. Delaplane Cellars – Delaplane, VA
Out of all of the tasting rooms in Northern Virginia that I’ve visited, this one is one of the most picturesque. Delaplane Cellars sits atop Lost Mountain and overlooks Northern Virginia’s Rural Historic Crooked Run Valley. If you’re looking for views and incredible wine, Delaplane is the ideal winery for you!
The wine here is pretty exceptional. I’m not a huge white wine drinker, but I was impressed with both the reds and the whites offered. This year, they’ve offered wine dinners, partnered with acclaimed local chefs, and served dishes with local, fresh in-season ingredients. If you’re in the area, check out their blog and try to snag a reservation for one of their events!
Reservations: Strongly recommended for Saturdays and Sundays. Required for groups 6+. Their grass and picnic table areas are first-come, first-served every day and do not require a reservation.
4. Greenhill Vineyards — Middleburg, VA
Fun fact: Greenhill was the very first winery I ever visited back in 2013. After receiving a tour of the vineyard and learning about wine production for the first time, I became hooked. After this visit, I was eager to explore more of the area, and I started planning Northern Virginia wine trips for my friends and blog readers!
Greenhill Vineyards is one of the most stunning wineries I’ve visited in the area. They have plenty of outdoor space, and it’s a great location for mid-large-sized groups. I’m a big fan of their Blancs de Blancs — I don’t see many Virginia wineries producing sparkling wine, but Greenhill has done it very well for several years now! They also have a great selection of white and red wine but have one of the most expansive selections of white wines in the area.
FYI — Greenhill is open to guests 21+. No children or infants allowed!
Reservations: First-come, first-serve. Required for groups of 10+.
5. Slater Run Vineyards — Upperville, VA
If you’re a French wine lover, this is the perfect winery for you. Slater Run’s winemaker, Katell Giraud, grew up working at her family’s vineyards in France and went on to study winemaking at Bordeaux University. Honestly, if I did a blind taste test with Slater Run wines and wines from France, I wouldn’t be able to tell which one was made in Virginia — it’s that good!
This winery is run on solar power, and they make premium Virginia wines in a dry French style. They also host educational tastings every Sunday with their sommelier, and it’s a great way to learn more about how wine is made in a pretty approachable manner.
Slater Run is an adults-only winery — all guests musts be 21+; no children or infants permitted.
Reservations: Strongly recommended.
6. RdV Vineyards — Delaplane, VA
I will preface this by saying that RdV is not for everyone (and that’s okay!)
Out of all the wineries in Northern Virginia, this tasting room offers an experience that’s much closer to a Napa Valley-style of wine tasting. If you like red wine and are super passionate about wine tasting, this is the ideal spot for you. RdV does not offer white wines, FYI! Their founder drew inspiration and mentorship from Napa Valley and Bordeaux, and the result is a truly exquisite wine.
RdV can only accommodate parties of 4 or less, and you must book a tour and tasting. This is one of the most expensive tastings I’ve done in the state ($120/person), but it’s 100% worth it if you’re really into wine. The tasting also comes with a charcuterie board and a welcome glass of bubbly. These wines are also produced in pretty limited quantities, and most of the time, only club members can purchase their wines. I signed up for their wine club earlier this year and truly love it!
Reservations: Required. Be sure to book well in advance!
Have you visited wineries in Northern Virginia before? Let me know your favorites in the comments below!
Photos by Tom McGovern