My Favorite Virginia Wineries
As I mentioned last week, Virginia wineries are making really good wine. And not just by Virginia standards. A couple of people have asked for recommendations, so I’m sharing my favorite wineries.
I like them. You may not. My taste runs towards rich, flavorful wines and rarely for sweet. My preferences are also skewed towards locations within an hour or two of DC, so Charlottesville and southern Virginia in general are under represented. I’ve received no compensation to include them in my list, though if any of them are reading this post, it would be awesome if they wanted to comp me some wine!
Favorite Wineries in Virginia
Glen Manor Vineyards Front Royal, VA
Consistently the best wine in Virginia every year based on both value and flavors. They specialize mostly in Bourdeaux style reds, but usually have a tasty Sav Blanc and Rose as well. One of the few places where almost every friend I take thinks all wines are good, even if they didn’t love everything. The tasting room looks out on the Skyline Drive and picnics are welcome.
Linden Vineyards, Linden, VA
No Virginia wine tasting is complete without a stop at Linden. The owner Jim Law pioneered good Virginia wine and most of the state’s best wine makers have worked for or consulted with him. The wines are good and for the quality, affordably priced. If you’re serious about wine, the cellar tasting is a must. The tasting room offers gorgeous views with the option to purchase hot bread and local meats and cheeses to enjoy on the porch, but is limited to case club members during the weekend.
RDV Vineyards, Delaplane, VA
Tasting is by reservation only and costs $50 but you get a guided tour of their gorgeous facility and in-depth tasting complete with locally sourced charcuterie. The wine is quite good, but quite expensive. More like Napa than Virginia.
Delaplane Cellars, Delaplane, VA
Delaplane is an exception to my “no concerts” rule as they do have live music on the weekends in their spacious tasting room, but it’s tasteful and doesn’t overwhelm the wine. They produce a wide range of wines and the quality varies year to year but there are always at least 2-3 that I’m impressed by. Great views of the vineyards and options to purchase a local cheese and meat plate or bring your own picnic. Note: no one under 21 is allowed, including kids.
Boxwood Winery, Middleburg, VA
A tiny modern tasting room tucked in horse country. Worth visiting for the drive in alone! Their wines are not quite as excellent as the wineries above, but are an incredible value for the price. Their reds tend to be fairly earthy and tannic and the rose is usually excellent. Fun outdoor seating and occasional food and music events. Order from their local sourced menu or bring your own.
I usually like many, if not all, of the wines year to year at the wineries above. Other wineries are worth a visit but the quality can vary more. Below are ones that I will try/tried to visit at least once a year. There are many more that I have tried and enjoyed but are not listed since I have not visited recently.
Barboursville Winery, Barboursville, VA
Just outside of Charlottesville and one of the Virginia wineries that first “got me into wine.” Their tasting counter often has 20+ wines which can be overwhelming to both mind and palate, and not all of them are great. But they are incredibly affordable for Virginia and it’s a perfect stop for a group with varied preferences — from sweet to tannic. Don’t miss the impressive ruins on-site either!
Chester Gap Cellars, Front Royal, VA
I haven’t been in a little while but they usually produce some wonderfully flavorful Viognier. And the view from the tasting room porch is one of the best, offering gorgeous views of the mountains.
Phillip Carter Winery, Hume, VA
Can be hit or miss — last year was a miss, the year before was outstanding. Their whites are usually interesting and they’ve recently started making Port.
Cave Ridge Winery, Mount Jackson, VA
Only visited here once during an event, but loved each of the three wines I tried. The whites are sophisticated and the red blends artfully done. Will be headed back this summer!
I’m always excited to try new places so feel free to recommend other wineries in the comments!
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