With more than 230 wineries and vineyards currently cranking out fantastic Virginia wines, it’s almost impossible to try them all. I say “almost” because I know a few people who are doing their best to make it happen, myself among them. But in the meantime, there are some wineries that demand our attention for their incredible beauty, setting and ambiance. All of the wineries on this list have been recognized by wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike for their incredible pairing of delicious wine with the kind of beautiful backdrop that you can only find in Virginia. Scroll through and start planning your next weekend wine tasting trip today!
1. Bluemont Vineyard, Loudoun County
The delicious wines aside, this vineyard has been praised for its views by the likes of American Winery Guide and the Washington Post - and it's no wonder. Set in rolling hills of Loudoun County, it's said that on a clear day, you can see as far as the Washington Monument. Now that's a view. Visit them at www.bluemontvineyard.com.
2. Ankida Ridge Vineyard, Amherst
Ankida Ridge Vineyards in Amherst is more than just a cool name. The view is beyond belief and the wines are internationally acclaimed. But you have to admit, the name IS pretty cool - the word “ankida” is an ancient Sumerian word meaning, “where heaven meets earth.” And as you can see from the views, the description fits. Learn more at www.ankidaridge.com.
3. Crosskeys Vineyards, Crawford
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Harrisonburg and Massanutten Resort, you can assume this vineyard will have stunning views, even before you see the grand estate house that holds its cellars and tasting rooms. Plan a visit at www.crosskeysvineyards.com.
4. Notaviva Vineyards, Purcellville
Idyllic only comes close to describing Notaviva Vineyards. When you pull up to a winery and it feels like you are visiting friends (albeit "friends" whose home has appeared on HGTV's "Dream House"), you know you're in for an incredible experience. With wines that are paired to musical genres, this vineyard and winery in the small Northwestern part of the state is a more than perfect place to while away an afternoon. See them for yourself at www.notavivavineyards.com.
5. Potomac Point Winery, Stafford
If you want to feel like you're sipping wine in the Tuscan countryside, but Italy's a bit far to travel for the weekend, then head 45 minutes south of DC to Potomac Point Winery. This beautiful estate offers a veranda, patio or courtyard, in addition to a tasting room and lounge. Best of all, kids are welcome in their own "Little Buds Room" located just off the main tasting room. Learn more at www.potomacpointwinery.com.
6. Valhalla Vineyards, Roanoke
A modest entrance does little to hide the stunning views at this Roanoke vineyard. Perched at 2,000 feet on a mountaintop in the Blue Ridge, Valhalla has been producing award-winning wines and world-class views since 1998. If you haven't been there by now, it needs to go on the bucket list…immediately. Visit www.valhallawines.com to learn more.
7. Abingdon Vineyard and Winery, Abingdon
Surrounded by the kind of beauty that can only be found in Southwest Virginia, Abingdon Vineyard and Winery appears to be part of the forest and mountains themselves. Sit on the patio or by the stream with a good glass of wine, some music in the background and the mountain air and you may never want to leave. Find out more about this mountain treasure at www.abingdonwinery.com.
8. Barboursville Vineyards, Barboursville
If you want to combine a little history with some really delicious wine, Barboursville Vineyards is the place to go. Here you can take a walk beside the ruins of an 1800s mansion while sipping some of the finest wines in Virginia. Or don't leave the patio - your choice and either way, you win. Make plans to visit this beautiful vineyard just outside of Charlottesville at www.bbvwine.com.
9. Chateau Morrisette, Floyd
When David Morrisette opened Chateau Morrisette in the 1980s, the art of winemaking was still relatively new to the Commonwealth. This stunning "chateau" in the mountains of Southwest Virginia was among the first, and today the oldest, working wineries in Virginia. Their award-winning wines are known as much for the dogs on the label as the delicious wines inside. And the winery itself has become famous for its beauty. With music festivals, summer music series and many more special events year round, Chateau Morrisette is more than worth the trip. See more about the winery and its unique history at www.thedogs.com.
10. Chester Gap Cellars, Front Royal
This quaint vineyard and winery in Northern Virginia offers some of the best views - anywhere. Voted among the Best Views by both the Washington Post and American Winery Guide, Chester Gap Cellars' observation deck hangs over the vineyards themselves and offers breathtaking panoramas of the valley below. Plan a visit at www.chestergapcellars.com.
11. New Kent Winery, New Kent
Set in the farmlands of New Kent County, the main building of this winery is as interesting as it is beautiful. According the winery's website, it was built from reclaimed materials all more than a century old. The heart-pine trusses came from a 1901 Southern Railroad Depot in Richmond, structural timbers and floor timbers came from an 1852 Connecticut warehouse, the exterior facade is composed of handmade, pre-Civil War bricks and the siding and roof shingles were made "from cypress logs that had been submerged in Florida rivers for more than 150 years." From the patio, you can enjoy a world-class wine while taking in the countryside around you. Meet the team behind this one-of-a-kind winery at www.newkentwinery.com.
12. Good Luck Cellars, Kilmarnock
While we've featured a lot of mountain views, Good Luck Cellars shows the diverse, but equally amazing, beauty of the state. Set on the Northern Neck of Virginia, this vineyard is relatively new to the wine scene, but it's naturally beautiful setting, delicious wines and friendly atmosphere have made it a favorite. Listed by American Winery Guide as one of the best views and ambiance in Virginia, Good Luck Cellars offers the perfect setting to sit back, sip a glass of wine and enjoy the view. Read more at www.goodluckcellars.com.
The more Virginia wineries I try, the more I realize that it’s hard to go wrong. But if you’re looking for a short list to get you started, or just want to try something new, this list is a great place to start. Tell us a little bit about some of your favorite Virginia wineries or let us know if there are some treasures that we left off the list in the comments below!