Top Places to Taste Virginia Wines

More than 20 wine grape varieties are grown in Virginia, and dozens of wineries dot the landscape. Winery settings are uniformly lovely, overlooking vineyards and valleys. There visitors can taste a variety of wines, from reds to whites, dry to sweet.

Some Virginia wineries charge a nominal fee for tasting. Food is available at most and ranges from Virginia delicacies sold in on-site gift shops to elegant restaurants that serve multi-course meals paired with local wines.

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    Thomas Jefferson is the father of the Virginia wine industry. In the Blue Ridge Mountains one mile from Monticello, Jefferson Vineyards grows wine grapes on 20 acres that were once planted by Thomas Jefferson in 1774. Classic tastings are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, cost $12 per person and include a souvenir glass. Outdoor lawn spaces as well as an indoor seating area are available for imbibers to enjoy.

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    The only winery in historic Williamsburg, this place is part of a 300-acre farm than features some 40 acres of vineyards, Wedmore Place, Café Provençal and The Gabriel Archer Tavern, so you can overnight here as well as dine at the tavern or café and savor a local vintage with a meal. Tastings include current release reserve wines plus several premium wines. Visitors may keep a monogrammed tasting glass as a memento.

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    Outside of Charlottesville, Barboursville encompasses the historic ruins of a home designed by Thomas Jefferson. Shakespearean plays and operas are performed outdoors in season, and the Palladio restaurant pairs award-winning wines with gourmet fare year-round. Visitors can also check into The 1804 Inn on the premises, a classic Georgian villa, to spend the night. Our favorite spot is the  Sangiovese Cottage, a former gardener's cottage scaled just for a couple.

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    One of Virginia’s largest wineries, a visit can include a tour of the extensive wine museum and production facility, a meal at the Grille, and an overnight stay in one of the French-Provincial-styled, one-bedroom Suites at Prince Michel.

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    Chrysalis boasts the largest planting of the native-to-Virginia Norton grape, developed in Virginia and the source of distinctively robust red wines.
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    Two black Labradors welcome guests to this site off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Dine indoors by an open fire in cool weather and top off a meal with Sweet Mountain Laurel dessert wine.
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    This picturesque 400-acre estate, one hour's drive from Washington, DC, produces twelve acclaimed wines. Taste any or all at the new visitors center.
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    This family-owned winery outside of Charlottesville at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains  offers free daily tastings. Wine lovers can sip and savor vintages on an outdoor terrace or make a picnic from the selection of cheeses, salami, and piping-hot French bread King Family Vineyards makes available. The setting is especially lovely for outdoor wedding receptions. And the wines? They're inspired by the old world, but uniquely expressive of the Virginia terroir.

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    The former Kluge Estate is now run by a son of the 45th President of the United States and has been renamed.