Jul 21, 1991


Fall colors and wine tasting in Virginia

Rows of grapevines, heavy with leaves and grapes, line along side it from the road even as pull right into a winery's driveway. We pause for a second on the steps to admire the mountain views and beautiful expanse of trees. Inside, we sip Chardonnays and Cabernet Francs, spicy wines, fruity wines, and dessert wines. A taste of horseradish cheese enhances the flavor of your local red, whilst the vintner explains his goal for the particular vintage.

Am i in California? France? Try Virginia. Nowhere Ridge Wine Method is the location of a consortium of 12 wineries, all located an hour to an hour . 5 from Washington, D.C. As well as wine tasting, the therapy lamp supplies a gateway to Shenandoah National Park and it is scenic Skyline Drive. Hiking and canoeing are popular fall activities, together with wandering through little towns and driving tree-lined backroads past farmland and beautiful countryside.

Fall is easily the most popular the perfect time to visit the VA wine tours. By mid-October, the trees have burst into vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges, and also the wineries are busy with harvesting the 2011 grapes. An October or early November visit offers stunning views and crowded tasting rooms. If you don't mind passing inside the best fall colors, a November getaway will promise decent weather as well as a more intimate wine-tasting experience.

A weekend within the Blue Ridge Wine Way

Wine tasting and leaf peeping are intricately connected in Virginia, plus a weekend getaway can easily encompass both activities. Where to view the area's majestic colors is over the Skyline Drive, the highway that runs through Shenandoah National Park. Consider a map before you head because you can only open and shut the park in a few locations. The two entrances on this part of wine country are in Front Royal and Thornton Gap (near Sperryville). As Shenandoah can be a national park, you will need to pay an entrance fee of $15 per vehicle ($10 from December through February). Alternately, the wineries themselves along with the drives directly to them offer landscape views free of charge.

If you wish to check out a great number of wineries in one day, I strongly recommend a delegated driver. We hit three wineries before lunch, and i also was woozy enough that I handed my boyfriend the vehicle keys and instructed him to identify a nearby restaurant. Or, let some other person perform driving. The Omni Shoreham Hotel and also the Lansdowne Resort offer accommodations packages that include a wine tour. If you're staying at another property or want transportation in the D.C. area, Virginia Wine Country Tours offers guided tours. A van or limo for multiple up to 10 people costs $75 to $85 per hour-not a bad deal when you can muster a large enough group. For $45 an hour, a chauffeur will drive your vehicle and act as your personal winery host.

Many of the Virginia wineries are mom-and-pop operations and not as large or polished as their Californian counterparts. In the vineyards we visited, Gray Ghost has definitely the very best wines, but chaotic Oasis pours the biggest samples. Rappahannock Cellars gets the best tasting room, including a play area for the very-under-21 set. Fox Meadow can be a new vineyard, where the owners preside over the tastings, discussing how each wine came to be. Crowds varied every day. At 11 a.m., Gray Ghost was practically deserted, but by 4 p.m., there were to have to wait for just a location to throw open at Fox Meadow's tasting bar. If you are planning a midweek getaway, you'll want to check open hours because many wineries only offer public tastings on weekends.

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