Fall colors and wine tasting in Virginia's Blue Ridge Wine Way

  • Rows of grapevines, heavy with leaves and grapes, line the medial side with the road even as we pull in to a winery's driveway. We pause for a moment around the steps to admire the mountain views and delightful expanse of trees. Inside, we sip Chardonnays and Cabernet Francs, spicy wines, fruity wines, and dessert wines. A taste of horseradish cheese improves the flavor of an local red, as you move the vintner explains his goal for that particular vintage.

    Shall we be held in California? France? Try Virginia. Nowhere Ridge Wine Technique is home to a consortium of 12 wineries, all located an hour or so for an hour and a half from Washington, D.C. Together with wine tasting, this region comes with a gateway to Shenandoah National Park and its particular scenic Skyline Drive. Hiking and canoeing are popular fall activities, as well as wandering through little towns and driving tree-lined backroads past farmland and gorgeous countryside.

    Fall is regarded as the popular time to go to the Loudoun Wine Trail. By mid-October, the trees have burst into vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges, as well as the wineries are busy with harvesting this year's grapes. An October or early November visit offers stunning views and crowded tasting rooms. If you do not mind passing within the best fall colors, a November getaway will promise decent weather and also a more intimate wine-tasting experience.

    A weekend inside the Blue Ridge Wine Way

    Wine tasting and leaf peeping are intricately connected in Virginia, as well as a weekend getaway can certainly encompass both activities. The absolute right place to see the area's majestic colors is down the Skyline Drive, the road that runs through Shenandoah National Park. Consider a map before you go since you can only enter and exit the park with a few locations. The 2 entrances with this a part of wine country have reached Front Royal and Thornton Gap (near Sperryville). As Shenandoah is often a national park, you will have to pay an entrance fee of $15 per vehicle ($10 from December through February). Alternately, the wineries themselves plus the drives to them offer landscape views at no cost.

    In order to check out a large numbers of wineries in a single day, I highly recommend a chosen driver. We hit three wineries before lunch, i was woozy enough which i handed my boyfriend the automobile keys and instructed him to get a nearby restaurant. Or, let someone else perform driving. The Omni Shoreham Hotel as well as the Lansdowne Resort offer accommodations packages which include a wine tour. If you are staying in another property or want transportation in the D.C. area, Virginia Wine Country Tours offers guided tours. A van or limo for groups of as much as 10 people costs $75 to $85 per hour-not a poor deal if you possibly could muster a sizable enough group. For $45 an hour, a chauffeur will drive your automobile and act as your personal winery host.

    Most of the Virginia wineries are mom-and-pop operations and not nearly as large or polished his or her Californian counterparts. On the vineyards we visited, Gray Ghost has certainly the most effective wines, but chaotic Oasis pours the largest samples. Rappahannock Cellars contains the most suitable tasting room, together with a play position for the very-under-21 set. Fox Meadow is often a new vineyard, in which the owners preside within the tastings, discussing how each wine was created. Crowds varied throughout the day. At 11 a.m., Gray Ghost was practically deserted, but by 4 p.m., there was to wait patiently for a destination for a available at Fox Meadow's tasting bar. Should you be considering a midweek getaway, be sure to check open hours because many wineries offer only public tastings on weekends.