This is far better than a Virginia Eats post. It's a Virginia Drinks post. Cheers to that! As a born and bred Virginia girl, I have some serious regional gastronomic pride. Except for ham, strangely. But, wine is no exception. You're probably thinking "Wine? In Virginia?" Yes.  While Virginia had only 6 wineries in 1979, it is now among the top 5 wine growing states in the US. It's also making its mark globally. Virginia was also named one of the top 10 best wine travel destinations this year!

So if you're traveling near DC, a stop in a Virginia vineyard is a must. With dozens of vineyards within an hour of DC, you'll need to do some research before deciding where to spend the afternoon relaxing. One of our personal favorites is Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, VA because:

  • The property was previously owned by the husband's family (he grew up there!) as a horse farm.
  • Five minutes beyond, the town of Middleburg is adorable with spectacular shopping and good eats.
  • The view? Gorgeous.

So before the internship wrapped up, we made a day of wine tasting, eating some really, really good tofu dip and enjoying the company. These girls have been amazing companions on my journey and we all feel so lucky to have such a wonderful class. The best we can explain our relationship to other groups of interns is "We are obsessed with each other." True fact.

There are two tastings you can engage in while at this vineyard. One covers whites, and the full tasting covers both reds and whites. I highly recommend the full tasting which is great education experience. Our tasting hostess was very knowledgeable about the wine industry and could describe the flavors of each wine to perfection.

My favorite wine was the Chrysalis Vineyards Chardonnay Reserve. I can honestly say I'm not usually a Chardonnay girl, but the crisp apple flavor and smoothness brought on the purchase of a full bottle. The rest of the group found a soft spot for Sarah's Patio White and Sarah's Patio Red. And we all became obsessed with the tofu dip one of the girls brought. Even the carnivorous husbands/boyfriends!

A few last recommendations for visiting Virginia wineries:

  • Check if any events are being held when you intend to visit. If it's a beautiful day, it can be packed.
  • Bring food and a blanket if you intend to sit on the ground.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • If you have a big group, call ahead if you are set on doing a tasting at a specific time.
  • Brush up on some wine terms. 
  • And the obvious: Do not drink and drive. Please. 
Cheers to your health, Virginia wine, and camaraderie,
-Carlene

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.