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Any good Virginia/Maryland vineyards?

I'd like to organize a vineyard tour with a couple friends, but the vineyards I've tried in Virginia have been hit or miss.

Have you had any delicious wine from Virginia (or Maryland)?

Is there a vineyard you would recommend?

As a reference: I've really liked the wines at Unicorn Winery (Amissville), and not been a big fan of Pearmund or some of the other vineyards that do corporate-style tastings.

Thanks for the tips!

-Christina

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  1. You may wanto to try the MD Wine Festival since it's in a week or two
    http://www.marylandwine.com/mdwinefest/

    1. I encourage a look-see at Barboursville Vineyards, a little north of Charlottesville. Pleasant range of new wines, pretty setting, tasting menu at the restaurant, and rooms in the 1804 Inn, in case the wine suits you...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Veggo

        totally agree w/ barboursville. Other great charlottesville area picks are: Kluge, Keswick, DeFosse, Veritas. Good: Burnley, Horton, King. In NOVA, the best are Linden, Naked Mountain, Three Foxes. Swedenberg ok.

        You can get on any number of VA winery websites for more info. Being the 5th largest wine producing state means there should be something for every wine drinker!

      2. Another strong recommendation for Barboursville. And have you tried Tarara, north of Leesburg?

        1. KLUGE has a nice line up of wine,also near Charlottesville.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lcool

            Actually it's NORTON and not horton. Horton vineyards was the first to introduce it.

          2. Chrysalis (east of Middleburg) on Rte 50 makes a delicious Viognier. They are also known for their Horton (famous native Virginia red grape) but I haven't tried it.

            Willowcroft (south of Leesburg off Rte 15) makes a nice Riesling. I'm not big on their Chardonnay (actually, not big on many VA chards).

            4 Replies
            1. re: Bob W

              Second the Viognier at Chysalis. A very nice wine. I've tried the Horton and wasn't impressed enough to buy a bottle.

              1. re: Bob W

                oops.. I posted in the wrong spot. Beaux vineyards kicks butt as well.

                Actually it's NORTON and not horton. Horton vineyards was the first to introduce it.

                  1. re: chriscatva

                    I hate to say it, but I did not enjoy a single wine at Breaux. My visit there was several years ago, so of course the quality could have changed since then.

              2. A third for Barboursville, their Octagon is really good. I also really like the winery at Monticello near Charlottesville, I forget the name, the bottles for the white wine are kind of plain with white writting scribbled on them, maybe someone will remember the name, maybe it is through Keswick Hall I am not sure.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ktmoomau

                  Jefferson...i forgot about that one. It's good, you are right.

                  1. re: DCDOLL

                    That's it! Thansk for the name, Fiance's parents always bring us wine from there, and their chardonnay I believe is what they bring most often and it is one of our favorites from Virginia.

                    Charlottesville really is the place to go, don't bother with Maryland, being a native Marylander bless its heart, Ilove it to death, but don't drink the wine. The places near Charlottesville are just so much better.

                    I have heard very good things about Veritas, but haven't been yet, I wasn't crazy about the King family selections in July, but they had a new red wine that needed aging, that has great potential after it ages a bit.

                    1. re: ktmoomau

                      We just went to Del Fosse, i think it's called, this weekend and it was great...it's near Wintergreen so s. of charlottesville. They allow you to taste about 12 'regular' wines for free and another 8-10 'reserves' for $5 which is a great deal. We sat there and tried every last one! And then sat outside and had a glass while we watched a wedding rehearsal. I am a red drinker more than a white but their whites were mighty fine...

                    2. re: DCDOLL

                      Yes -- Jefferson makes some very classy red wines.

                  2. This is a great compilation! I might copy Christina and do the same!

                    1. One thing to look for if you like red wines. Cabernet Franc, which is mainly blended into Cabernet Sauvignon in France, does very well in Virginia and many wineries bottle it as the primary grape -- Jefferson down in the C'ville area for example, but I'm sure you could find many other good VA Cab Francs. It's softer than Cab Sauv, but more interesting than Merlot (cue Miles clapping with glee).

                      1. I definitely also recommend Barboursville...their wines are very consistent and I really enjoy their cab franc. In the Leesburg area, I really liked Tarara (love the Wild River Red, especially when eaten with chocolate!), Lost Creek, and Hidden Brook. The latter two are right next to one another and I found their wines to be consistently good, and both offer an excellent rose (which is not my usual thing). I was just out that way two weeks back, and was extremely pleasantly surprised by Lost Creek and Hidden Brook.

                        1. we really enjoyed both Doukenie and Chrysalis in VA- both times we were part of the final tasting of the day and the pours were flowing like there was no tomorrow! both friendly and beautiful grounds, excellent wines, and fun with friends.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Aphioni

                            I love both Doukenie and Chrysalis as well!

                          2. when they are ready to open (hopefully in the next couple of weeks), Black Ankle in Mt. Airey. The wines are very, very good.

                            1. Do a wine tour in C'ville every year and my favorites are:

                              1. Veritas (gorgeous grounds and tasting room as well as good wine),
                              2. Jefferson (on the grounds of Monticello)
                              3. Keswick

                              Barbousville has a wide variety of good wines, but I find that their tasting room is overrun on weekends and feels a bit too touristy.

                              1. Three Fox Vineyards in VA has created a Tuscan-style winery and it's a great place to picnic and taste. I can vouch for their unoaked Chardonnay, when available. Nice folks too.

                                1. I am going to go against Barboursville. For the price you pay, your wine should taste much better than what they are making.
                                  My husband and I perfer Prince Michele's Winery. And if your in the Eastern Shore Area, try St Michael's Winery also.

                                  1. There is a wine festival at Sotterly Plantation in Southern Maryland the 1st weekend of October. Lots of local Maryland vineyards are there. While not all the wines are great, it is a good time. Cost is inexpensive, plantation is gorgeous, and you can bring in a picnic lunch. Live music as well -- some fairly decent.

                                    1. Wine is different for everyone, and part of the winery experience for me includes the staff, the location, and the overall experience.

                                      Some of my favorites for a fun daytrip: Linden (in Linden VA) and La Grange (near Haymarket. La Grange is owned by Pearmund, so it may not be to your liking, but we had a fabulous trip there last fall/ Those are probably my two favorites overall right now.

                                      Linden does not accept any tour buses, has a lovely patio with a beautiful view, and they usually have great whites and a nice Riesling Vidal. There is also this quirky apple store somewhere near there (can't recall the name) that makes great doughnuts...kind of a fun place to stop on a day trip,.

                                      La Grange surprised me because they had really good red wines IMO (at more reasonable price point than Barboursville), and just about the friendliest staff I have ever encountered. Nice tasting room too. Gets a bit crowded though, because it is so close to 66.

                                      I think Barboursville is overpriced and usually PACKED with people in the fall. Been there several times on trips to C-ville and have never been a huge fan - but that's just me. Chrysalis is a beautiful spot for a picnic but I actually thought their suite of wines, outside of a few of the whites, were so bad as to be undrinkable.

                                      1. I thought I'd come back to report on some new favorites:

                                        Otium Cellars in Purcellville http://www.otiumcellars.com/ - Great German-style reds

                                        Glen Manor Vineyards in Front Royal http://glenmanorvineyards.com/ - Really nice wines, especially the juicy T. Ruth red blend, a crisp rosé, and their nicely aromatic sauvignon blanc

                                        Linden Vineyards http://www.lindenvineyards.com/ - delicious dry riesling-vidal and tasty (if pricey) claret. Too bad their beautiful deck is for wine club members only.

                                        Recent misses for us included Naked Vineyards (they are currently pouring a flawed wine that has an off-putting skunky/marijuana aroma) and Barrel Oak Winery (BOW). The latter is in a scenic, laid-back setting, but the wines are just OK.

                                        1. If you are in the Charlottesville area some other wineries for consideration that weren't mentioned above:
                                          Mountfair- only red wines, they tend to be more high tannin wines. We really like their wines and they can tolerate a bit of age well.
                                          White Hall- smaller than Barboursville, but they have some very high quality wines.
                                          King Family Vineyards- this is more all around. I don't think they are AS good as White Hall or Mountfair, but I would probably put it in the Jefferson-Veritas range. It's a great place to relax as there is a lot of space. It's also fun to go on a day when they are playing polo there.
                                          Flying Fox- it's a very small tasting room and very small production, I think they have sold out of a lot of the wines they held for a few years, but I still think they have some good wines.
                                          I haven't been back to Pollack since it first opened and the wines were not good, but my in laws say it has gotten much better and we have had a couple bottles at restaurants we have liked.
                                          If you are going to Jefferson, both Trump and Blenheim are nearby. Again not as good as some of the more exceptional wineries in the area, but a good stop (Blenheim is Dave Matthews winery), Trump has a beautiful view and tasting room.