Virginia is one of my favorite places to be. Aside from the fact that I got my Master’s there, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is my happy place. I’m a history nerd, and I don’t apologize for it.
However, there’s so much more to this commonwealth than southern history. One of the many reasons to love Virginia is the wine.
The state is home to over 300 wineries, and the industry contributes about $750 million to the economy each year. This means there is no shortage of great options when exploring wine tasting in Virginia.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few of these wineries, and I have to say, the wine is pretty darn good. If you’re looking for a wine-tasting adventure, Virginia is the place to be.
Where to Go for Wine Tasting in Virginia
- Barboursville Vineyards
- Breaux Vineyards
- Horton Vineyards
- Jefferson Vineyards
- Gray Ghost Vineyards
- Keswick Vineyards
- Barrel Oak Winery
- Pearmund Cellars
- Paradise Springs Winery
- Bluemont Vineyard
1. Barboursville Vineyards
Located in Charlottesville, VA, Barboursville is one of the oldest wineries in the state. The vineyard was planted in 1976, and the first wines were produced in 1980.
The vineyard is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, which has been praised by wine critic Robert Parker.
For some, this winery won’t be as accessible, because it’s a premium wine producer. That means the wines are a bit more expensive, but they’re worth it.
If you’re looking for a splurge, the Octagon 1814 is one of the best wines in the state. It’s a Bordeaux-style blend that is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels.
2. Breaux Vineyards
Located in Loudoun County, VA, Breaux Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery. The vineyard was established in 1985, and it now covers 404 acres. The vineyard produces a variety of wines, but it’s best known for its Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc.
The tasting room is open daily, and it offers a variety of wine tastings. If you’re looking for a more intimate experience, you can reserve a spot in the VIP tasting room. This room can accommodate up to 10 guests and offers an exclusive experience.
If you want to take Breaux Vineyards home with you, you can join their Cellar Club, offering discounts on cases, tastings, and events. You’ll also get exclusive invitations to members-only events.
3. Horton Vineyards
Horton Vineyards is located in Gordonsville, VA, about an hour from Charlottesville.
The vineyard was planted in 1971 and was one of the first in the state to produce Viognier. Today, Horton produces a variety of red and white wines, as well as a dessert wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
The tasting room is open daily, and wine tastings are $10 per person. The fee is waived if you purchase a bottle of wine.
If you’re looking for a more unique experience, you can book a private tour and tasting. This includes a tour of the vineyard, barrel room, and winery, as well as a tasting of four wines.
If you like touring castles, this is definitely the place for you, because the tasting room is located in an actual castle. Yep, an actual castle.
The 17th-century structure was built by Governor Alexander Spotswood, and it’s now on the National Register of Historic Places.
4. Jefferson Vineyards
I mentioned that I love Thomas Jefferson, right? So when there’s a winery in Virginia named Jefferson Vineyards, I have to check it out!
The Woodwords have been operating this winery since 1992, but generations before that, their ancestors were studying in Paris and growing up on French farms.
This family home is built on land granted by Thomas Jefferson in 1773, and you can actually stay here! If you do, don’t rub it in, because this would be an experience to die for.
The vineyard is located in Charlottesville, and it offers a variety of red and white wines. My favorite is the 2016 Chardonnay, which has notes of apple and pear. The tasting room is open daily, and wine tastings are $10 per person.
There’s also a Jefferson Vineyards wine club with limited distribution.
5. Gray Ghost Vineyards
The owner of this winery successfully conducted his first fermentation in 1969. Shortly thereafter, he was married and his job transferred him to Virginia, where the wine culture was just starting to develop.
In 1982, they bought their first vineyard here, but a few years later, they moved. They painstakingly moved their 180 vines along with them, and in 1992 they planted the first vines of what would become Gray Ghost Vineyards.
The winery opened in 1994 and the tasting room is open daily for wine tastings and tours. They frequently have live music and holiday celebrations, along with tours of the grounds.
6. Keswick Vineyards
Keswick Vineyards is located in Keswick, VA, just outside of Charlottesville. The vineyard was established in 2000 and they’ve been producing award-winning wines ever since.
The vineyard offers a variety of red and white wines, as well as a rosé. They also have a sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir grapes.
The tasting room is open daily for wine tastings, and they offer a variety of tours, including a tour and tasting, a vineyard tour, and a barrel room tour.
The winemaker, Stephen Barnard, hosts a Facebook Live every Tuesday for a Tasting Tuesday. Tune in virtually to learn more about wine and Keswick Vineyards.
7. Barrel Oak Winery
Go to their website. Do it now. Dogs. Everywhere. If you know me, you know that my heart immediately melted. The images for winery staff on the about page? Puppies. Their calendar image? A dog. I can’t stand it.
The owners of this winery are committed to sustainable farming and producing high-quality wines. They use solar power, recycle water, and use natural materials.
In addition to wine, you can also enjoy beer from the taphouse. And don’t forget to order a charcuterie to pair with your wine.
The vineyard is located in Delaplane, VA, about an hour from Washington, D.C. They offer a variety of red and white wines, as well as a rosé and a sparkling wine.
The tasting room is open daily for wine tastings, and they offer tours of the vineyard by appointment.
8. Pearmund Cellars
Chris Pearmund started making wine in his garage in the early 1990s. He later attended UC Davis to study viticulture and enology. In 1995, he purchased a vineyard in Virginia, and in 1997, he opened Pearmund Cellars.
Chris and his wife Mindy are committed to sustainable farming practices and producing high-quality wines. Fifteen unique wines await you in the tasting room, which is open daily.
They offer a variety of tours, including a vineyard tour, a history tour, and a food and wine pairing.
Sit in the barrel room, enjoy the outdoor terrace, sit in the field, dine in the vineyard, or lounge in the farm store. There’s so much ambiance here that you’ll never want to leave.
9. Paradise Springs Winery
History says that presidents and generals visited the town of Clifton, Virginia for its healing waters. The mineral springs were on the west side of town.
In 1904, the water was tested to be pure enough for bottling. What started out as Paradise Springs bottled water was, 100 years later, bottling a different kind of liquid.
In 2004, the historic property was purchased and vines were planted. The winery opened in 2009 and offers a variety of reds, whites, and rosés.
You can also sign up for quarterly shipments from the wine club. The tasting room is open daily for wine tastings, and they offer a variety of tours, including a vineyard tour and a history tour.
10. Bluemont Vineyard
The town of Bluemont, Virginia is located at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The views are incredible, and so is the wine.
The vineyard was planted in 2001, and the winery opened in 2004. You can opt to stay in one of their 5 cottages, some of which are pet friendly and all of which are equipped with a kitchen.
The vineyard offers a variety of red and white wines, as well as a rosé. The tasting room is open daily for wine tastings.
They offer a variety of tours, including a vineyard tour, a barrel room tour, and a food and wine pairing. You can also enjoy live music on the weekends.