Virginia Winery Tour

Can’t afford to go to Napa? Well, you’re in good company ‘cause neither can we.  However, Nathan and I are here to tell you that there are other options for East Coast wine enthusiasts!   We took a quick vacation down to south west Virginia to visit some of wineries in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Sometimes it’s more fun to explore what’s in your own backyard than to travel across the country (or ocean) to get away and have an adventure.

Here’s where we went (and what we bought!):

Chateau Morrisette – 2007 Chardonnay
This was the largest and most established winery that we visited. There was a large tasting room, gift shop, and wine making area, along with a restaurant. Oh, and I hope that you like dogs because that is all their branding consists of.

Valhalla – 2004 Valkyrie
Valhalla sat on top of a mountain that overlooked the entire Roanoke Valley. It had a spectacular view and a nice stone building for tasting. We asked to buy a bottle of their Merlot and when we got back we found that they had given us the Valkyrie instead! Oh well…at least it was our second favorite.

AmRhein – Saffire
I’m still a little bitter about this one… we drove 45 minutes to get to AmRhein and when we got there I realized I had left my ID behind! I had to sit and watch as Nathan and his Mom tasted the wine… Of course, just to rub it in Nathan said it was the best wine he had ever tasted. We shall see when we open up the bottle of Saffire that we got.

Villa Appalaccia – Rustico Reserve
This winery was our favorite setting. The tasting house is built to look like a Tuscan Villa with surrounding gardens. It even had a bocce court that you could play on while drinking some wine! Alas, we visited on a day that was chilly and rainy so no bocce for us (that just means we sat around and drank more wine instead).

Blacksnake Meadery – Squashed (Honey Squash Spiced Wine)
Talk about ‘out of the way’! This meadery was definitely on the back roads of south west Virginia. This place is run by a couple that lives part time in Roanoke and part time out in the middle of nowhere. They run the meadery out of their ‘country home’ and tend to the bees that produce the honey for the mead.

Foggy Ridge Hard Cider – Sweet Stayman
A nice little place also out in the middle of nowhere but with a surprisingly modern little tasting and brewing house.

Stay tuned to see what we pair with each of these picks!
Go to http://www.virginiawine.org for a complete list VA wineries.

Any suggestions on other wineries or breweries that you would recommend? Please share!

9 Responses to Virginia Winery Tour

  1. Anonymous says:

    Would you put labels with your pictures? Those places look awesome… I may want to go visit some and need to figure out where they are…

    • Nathan says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures and thanks for the comment! I’ll go ahead and list where each picture was from here:
      1 – Valhalla Winery – This is actually from the driveway from the main road to the tasting room, and after this beautiful drive in you get a great view of the Roanoke Valley at the tasting room. Great setting!
      2 – Villa Appalaccia – This shot is from the outdoor tasting area at the winery villa. It rained all day long and because we were up in the Blue Ridge Mountains we were basically IN the clouds which is why it was so foggy.
      3 – Chateau Morrisette – The barrels you see in the picture are from the production area in the main building of Chateau Morrisette. They run quick tours through their space and you get to see their wine making set-up.
      4 – Blue Ridge Parkway – If you’ve never taken a drive through Virginia on the Blue Ridge Parkway then you are missing out. This picture is from a nondescript overlook on the Parkway and there and many, many more just like it!

      If you have any more questions let me know! You can also click on the links for the wineries to find out where they are located.

      Nathan

  2. [...] is one of the wines that we bought during our VA winery tour.  Oddly, the bottle we drank with our pizza tasted totally different than what we remember tasting [...]

  3. [...] Ridge Cidery is one of the locations we visited on our Virginia Wine tour.  What could be more logical than pairing a cider with apples (probably lots of things).  This [...]

  4. Erinn C. says:

    Mama Marie took us to Barrel Oak Winery and we loved it. Favorite wines that made their way home with us were the Norton and the Chocolate Lab.
    http://www.barreloak.com

  5. [...] we visited Blacksnake Meadery for our Virginia Winery Tour and found a mead infused with honey, butternut squash, and pumpkin pie spices we knew it could [...]

  6. Angela says:

    wow, what stunning photos! i LOVE touring wineries, hearing the stories and the passion from the wine makers. (and tasting, of course.) i can’t help you with wine from Virginia, but if you have any questions about Australian vino, i’m your girl! :)

  7. [...] and oak then this is the wine for you. We bought this wine at a winery in Roanoke, VA during our VA wine tour and decided that it would be a suitable pairing for a salty meat and vegetables. Valkyrie is a mix [...]

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