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Wine Tasting/Tours

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Can you recommend a good one where they do not skimp on the wine and it tastes good? I am a fan of reds. I was going to go to the Williamsbuirg winery for a nice one night away from home but read the reviews which were mostly negative. Any suggestions on a one-night getaway? Thanks!

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  1. Our new favorite wineries are Keswick and Veritas in Charlottesville. Both for the wine and their gorgeous setting and tasting rooms. Neither have accomodations on site. I would strongly recommend staying at Barboursville Vineyard (nearby). Terrific accomodations and restaurant, decent wines, but an overcrowded and frustrating tasting room, especially on weekends.

    Barboursville has severl fancy and expensive suites on the property, but I'm partial to their two renovated slave cabins. Much more character and much less money.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Meg

      While I've never visited the Keswick vineyards, the unaffiliated Keswick Inn (www.keswick.com) is phenomenal. We spent the weekend we got engaged there, and we loved it so much that we returned the following year.
      I'll agree on Barbousville. Had a phenomenal lunch with wine pairings there on the way out to Charlottesville one weekend. One of our favorite meals. If you plan to go, make a reservation.

      1. re: Meg

        We go to Barboursville about once a year. Food is excellent, and lunch is a bargain. Midweek the tasting room is pretty quiet, particularly off-season. They charge for the tasting, but their wines are excellent as well. A couple of spectacular reds. But then I drink only Italian wines, so they are definitely to my taste.

        There are several decent B&Bs in the area as well. We've been to Sleepy Hollow Farm and Meander Plantation. Both have very good breakfasts. Meander requires that you eat one dinner during your stay in the restaurant. The food is quite good, so it is not a hardship.

      2. I have only been to a handful wineries in Northern Virginia so I cannot really speak to other areas. My personal favorite is Breaux Vinyards - about an hour or so from DC. They have some very nice red varietals - try their Cab, Merlot, and Nebbiolo. They have a tasting room with friendly staff, good pours, and snacks.

        There are several other wineries within 30-40 minutes of Breaux and several quant towns. We tried Chrysalis, (nice whites), Windham (nice cab franc), and a few others. I haven't spent a night out there, but I am sure there are some lovely inns and B&Bs out that way. Check out this website for ideas: http://www.virginiawines.org/index.html

        1. I'd have to second Veritas and Barboursville. My friends and I went to different wineries around Charlottesville recently and those were my two favorites, because of both the wines and landscapes. Veritas has chairs and tables inside and outside to picnic, although they do not have a restaurant. As for lodging, we camped but my parents also visited the area recently and stayed at the English Inn B & B (I think that was what it was called) and enjoyed it.

          1. I like Naked Mountain, off 66 in Markham. They have a beautiful tasting room with walls of windows overlooking the mountain. They're very generous w/ tastings. And, you can always pick up a t-shirt that says, "Get Naked." For a one night getaway, there are quite a few nice inns in that area. My favorite is the Inn at Vaucluse Springs.

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            Naked Mountain Vineyard
            2747 Leeds Manor Rd, Markham, VA 22643

            Inn At Vaucluse Spring
            231 Vaucluse Spring Ln, Stephens City, VA 22655

            4 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              Would have to add the Ashby Inn to that list, for outstanding accomodations and restaurant. It's 5 miles from Nake Mountain, in Paris, VA. (pay the extra bit and stay in the SchoolHouse).

              1. re: Meg

                That looks nice. Have you tried the restaurant there? It sounds good (though not sure about sitting on pew-like chairs as comfort goes!). Beautiful grounds.

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                Ashby Inn & Restaurant
                692 Federal Street, Paris, VA 20130

                1. re: chowser

                  I've eaten there 3 times and always had spectacular meals, food and service. My brother was married at the Ashby and their intimate dinner for 60 is still one of the most memorable meals I've ever had, wine pairings included. I understand that John and Roma the inkeepers for many years recently sold the property to new owners but not sure if the chef has changed or not. Can anyone else comment?

              2. re: chowser

                We really, really like the Inn at Vaucluse. Great owners, terrific range of rooms (often of historic interest), and great food. They have dinner available on Fri. and Sat. and often wine dinners with Linden wineries. Fantastic place--look at the raves on Tripadvisor.

              3. We've been to probably 80-ish VA wineries, so I think it is fair to say we've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. For red wines, I would suggest King Family, Burnley, Valhalla, or Breaux. King Family and Burnley are Chalotteville-ish area (King Family more so) so accomodations of any kind are available. Valhalla is much further south, not sure if that fits your plans, but their wines are really very good and the tasting room is one of the most beautiful in all of VA. Breaux is in Northern VA but out west past Leesburg; there is a ncie farm-to-table restaurant just down the road from Breaux, can't remember the name.