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Um hi: have you noticed a ton of winery photos on my blog and Instagram over the last few years? Nope, I’m not constantly traveling to Napa Valley — I’m enjoying the beautiful vineyards in my home state of Virginia. Did you know that Virginia ranks 5th for the amount of wine produced in the U.S.? I’ve made a couple of post touching on Virginia Wine Country in the past, but I figured it was time for me to just make an ultimate guide for you all, especially all of my out of state readers who want in on the fun!
Also, if you have any other questions about VA Wine Country, please feel free to shoot me an email. There’s only so much I could fit in this post!
The Three Regions
While there are wineries spread out across the entire state, if you’re visiting and want to hit a bunch of wineries in one spot, there are three regions you can choose from: Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville (Blue Ridge). For my D.C. readers/visitors, the Northern Virginia wine region is only an hour outside of D.C. if you’re looking for a quick day trip outside of the city. The Charlottesville/Blue Ridge is my personal favorite (2 hours away from D.C., one hour away from Richmond), and the Shenandoah Valley region is pretty quaint and great for those who are looking for a quiet, more relaxing wine getaway.
I would highly recommend skipping a DD and getting car service out to the wineries. A lot of them are on small, windy roads that can be tough to drive on, and let’s face it: drinking and driving at all isn’t cool! I also wouldn’t rely on Uber in wine country because your phone signal at these wineries will be nonexistant. I haven’t used a car service in Shenandoah Valley yet, but I love using Reston Limo in Northern Virginia, and Monticello in Charlottesville.
How Many Wineries Can You Hit in One Day?
When I first started going out to wineries, my friends and I were way too ambitious with the amount of wineries we could visit in one day. I think it’s realistic to hit 2-3 wineries in one visit if you’re with a group of 5+ people, and 3-4 if you’re with a group that’s smaller than 5. If you’re getting car service, coordinate with your driver to plan the best route: some wineries can be super far from each other, so it’s best to split up your wine visits into 2 different days.
Outside Food? Go For It!
One little secret about Virginia wineries? You can bring outside food to some of them! Most wineries also have pretty stunning outdoor seating as well for you and your friends, so we always like to pack either a small picnic or some cheese and a baguette. This will help cut costs down a ton, so I highly recommend bringing some snacks with you.
My Favorite Vineyards?
Last but not least, here are some of my favorite wineries in the vineyards in the state!
- Early Mountain Vineyards (Shenandoah Valley) — Most of my photos above were taken at Early Mountain. I joke and call it one of the most “blogger friendly” vineyards because it’s absolutely beautiful! That aside, it’s got a ton of seating and the wines are delicious, so this is a good spot to bring a big group to.
- King Family Vineyards (Charlottesville/Blue Ridge) — King Family Vineyards is pretty massive, and during the spring/summer they have polo matches every Sunday. Pack a picnic, tailgate the match, and enjoy a bottle of their Crosé!
- Stinson Vineyards (Charlottesville/Blue Ridge) — If you’re a fan of rosé (I mean, who isn’t?), you’re going to *love* this one at Stinson. It’s actually been ranked as some of the best rosé in the country, and I always bring home a bottle of it!
- Greenhill Winery (Northern Virginia) — Greenhill was the very first winery I went to as a 23-year-old, and I’ve been pretty obsessed with Virginia wine ever since. My favorite wine from here is the Blanc de Blancs, and I even get it shipped to me when I can’t swing a trip down!
- Stone Tower Winery (Northern Virginia) — If I had to get married in Northern Virginia, this would be the spot I would do it at! The wines here are just a tad too sweet for my taste, but it really is one of the most stunning vineyards in Northern Virginia and a great place to relax with friends on the weekend.
Want to know anything else about Virginia Wine Country? Leave any questions below! xx
Photos by Tom McGovern