Viticulture in Virginia dates to Colonial times, but the state’s vineyards and wineries are just now hitting their stride. Wine Enthusiast recently put the state on its list of top 10 wine travel destinations (along with the likes of France, Italy and California). The wine list at The Manor House Restaurant offers several Virginia labels.
More than two dozen boutique winemakers call Fauquier County home. Grand vistas of rolling hills dotted with wooden fences and old stone walls mark the journey between the vineyards, where you will taste wines generally described as fresh, graceful and full of varietal character. Virginia’s Cabernet Franc and Viognier, in particular, draw praise.
Sunsets on the grounds of the wineries can be fantastic, as can a vineyard visit in full October foliage. You can head out on a relaxing visit to one or two or stop by several wineries for serious comparison tasting.
Be sure to check in advance: Some wineries are only open certain days, some offer guided tours and others have self-guided tours. Pre-arranged car and limo tours have become increasingly popular; they consist of a vehicle (anything from a Town Car to a Hummer Limo or bus can be arranged) and include a driver, snacks and water. Information on wineries and car or limo tours is found at visitfauquier.com. Additional information is available at virginiawine.org.
Poplar Springs has also developed four self-guided tours of wineries in the area. Guest services can provide directions and details:
- Local Wine Tour: Pearmund Cellars, Mediterranean Cellars and Marterella Winery
- Northern Virginia Wine Tour: The Winery at LaGrange, Chrysalis Vineyards and Swedenburg Estate Vineyard
- Blue Ridge Wine Way Tour: Gray Ghost Vineyards, Rappahannock Cellars and Philip Carter Winery
- Delaplane Wine Tour: Barrel Oak Winery, Three Fox Vineyards and Chateau O'Brien at Northpoint Winery and Vineyard