Since it is now a bajillion degrees outside in DC, one of my favorite things to do is round up my girls and head an hour outside the city to beautiful Loudoun County, VA, AKA DC Wine Country. For those of you who aren’t local, there are over 40 wineries in Loudoun County alone. What better way to spend your weekend than to sip on locally grown vino?
I’ve been on a few different vineyard visits in the last couple of years, but over the weekend I finally organized a trip on my own. Here are a few tips if you want to plan a trip for you and your friends.
Pick wineries that are close to each other. Ideally, you should visit 2-3 vineyards in one day. Loudoun County is pretty massive (there are even a couple of wineries in Fairfax and a lot of them in Fauquier as well), so make sure your wineries are no more than a 20 minute drive from one another just to make your trip as smooth as possible.
Pack snacks and water. One thing I didn’t realize about wineries and vineyards is that quite a few of them allow you to bring outside food. My friends and I always like to pack meats, cheeses, breads and spreads. You’re going to need to eat and hydrate yourself after being outside all day, so make sure to pack some food for your trip!
Arrange for transportation. Do not, I repeat, do not drive out to wine country yourself. It’s incredibly easy to arrange for a limo/bus to pick you up from D.C. to get you there! It’s about an hour outside the city and the roads in wine country are your typical country backroads: narrow, windy and kind of dangerous. I’ve tried out a few different transportation providers in the area, but I swear by Reston Limo. My drivers have always been on time, they’re pretty flexible on the pick up location (hello, they picked me up a block outside of my apartment on Saturday) and the entire staff is incredibly friendly and a pleasure to work with. Reston Limo also has public winery tour buses every weekend if you don’t want to arrange for a private trip.
Keep track of your wineries. You’re going to love some wineries more than others. Why not keep track of that? I tried out VinoWine App for the first time this weekend and I loved it! You can mark which wineries you’ve visited, leave reviews for each winery and search other nearby wineries just in case you have enough time to fit one more winery visit on your trip. You can also buy tickets for events and wine festivals through the app as well. A vino lover’s dream!
What winery trip tips do you have?