Paper, Planes & Pinot

In Other Words… Stationery, Travel, and All Else that Matters

Northern VA Wineries

Winery-ing is an outing with friends consisting of the following:

  • Going to a winery
  • Participating in a wine tasting
  • Enjoying a bottle (or two, or three, or so many that you lose count) of wine
  • Eating cheese, crackers, and dips
  • Laughter, gossip, and great memories

Basically, I love winery-ing. What is not to like? Even if you do not know everyone in your group when you head out to the vineyards, wine will have you catching up like long lost friends in no time!

DISCLAIMER: This post will be NOTHING about how amazing the wines at a particular vineyard taste. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Everyone has a different palette. I personally prefer red wines, so I may not be able to give white wine drinkers the best suggestions.
  • As much as I love wine, I am not a wine snob. I know good wine when I have it, but I also appreciate wine makers pursuing their dreams.
  • I like any drink as long as it has alcohol.
  • Let me be honest: after the pre-winery mimosas (or after the 1st winery stop), I am usually too inebriated to actually taste/give an opinion about the wines I am enjoying.
  • I usually gulp to fast to taste the wine. What can I say, I am just trying to make my way to Winebombed, VA. Just kidding…but really…

Wine e-card

So what should you expect from this post? You can expect a listing of the Northern VA wineries that I have been to along with some information/tips that you can use when visiting these same wineries. Let’s get started!

Philip Carter Winery
http://www.pcwinery.com

One aspect that will make me a fan of a winery is the amount of wines on their tasting menu. More wine = more fun. Philip Carter had a good number of wines on the tasting menu when I visited earlier this month. Good thing. . .because I was ready to get my “wine on” upon arrival.

You will also see that I am a big fan of wineries that let you bring your own food. Philip Carter allowed me to do this as well! I was happy to enjoy cheese and carbs from home, and spend my money on more bottles of wine (opposed on having to get less wine because I had to buy food).   BONUS: I did have to splurge on the key lime flavored cake pops at Philip Carter… they were too delish to resist!

Three Fox Vineyards
http://www.threefoxvineyards.com

Three Fox Vineyards is another winery that gives you a good number of wines to taste. Tastings are $7.00 and usually include 10 to 12 wines (you can pay an extra $2.00 for a “guest wine”). Unfortunately when I went, the tasting pours were very small. At the end of the tasting, our group blindly chose bottles to buy since we had no idea what the wine really tasted like.

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I will warn you that this winery does not have ‘real’ bathrooms. What they do have are the most beautifully decorated port-a-potties that you have ever seen. There are flowers and beautiful décor in each stall; literally it is a sight to see.

Now for the good part: this place has tons of seating. There are covered patio areas, and tons of outdoor seating. The vineyard is perfect for families to enjoy the day, pets are allowed and there are corn hole sets for young ones to play with while their parents get their ‘drank on’.  A winery is the perfect place for young ones to perfect drinking games while they are young.

The Winery at Bull Run

http://www.wineryatbullrun.com

First off, if you type in Bull Run in your GPS you may not end up at the vineyard. The Bull Run area has a hiking trail, park area, shooting range, and a few other places of interest. If you choose to go to the winery, make sure you set your GPS to the correct Bull Run destination.

This is another winery that has a good amount of wines on its tasting menu. BONUS: One of the wines even comes with a sweet treat for you to test your palette with. BONUS #2: Bull Run has live music.

You can bring your own food to this winery, but you cannot eat it inside the main tasting room. In the main tasting room, there is an opportunity for you to buy food (you can pre-order it the day before as well to make sure that you are not waiting for food while you have the drunk munches the day of). If you choose to bring your own food, there is a covered patio area and outdoor picnic that you can sit, eat, and wine at. When I went to Bull Run it was still chilly out, and we were fine on the covered patio since there were heat lamps to keep us warm.

Notaviva Vinyards
http://www.notavivavineyards.com

This vineyard pairs their wines with music rather than food. While tasting your wine your host will give you a description of the music that goes with this wine. Very interesting, but it was not something that really floated my boat. If you know me, you know that I am a chatty person. The longer the description of each wine given by the host, the less I got to hear myself talk.

This vineyard was very homey. It could have been the snow falling outside or my wine coat, but I felt very warm and cozy inside. This is another vineyard that allows you to enjoy your own food inside. Embarrassingly, one of my girl friends and I finished about 2 blocks of cheese on our own at this vineyard while enjoying the wine. My boyfriend, who was with us, does not like cheese (no he is not lactose intolerant. I used to ask myself, “What was wrong with him… who doesn’t like cheese?!” Now I realize that this just means more cheese for me). Our other friend had made the mistake of eating a large breakfast, so he was not wanting any food. Needless to say, being warm inside and having all the wine and cheese I desired made for an awesome winery-ing trip!

Bluemont Vineyard
http://bluemontvineyard.com

This is probably one of the most picturesque vineyards that I have been to in Northern VA. There are grape vines upon grape vines as far as your eyes can see. The drive up to the tasting room through the property is beautiful. I went through on a very dreary day… still beautiful.

One thing that I really liked about the tasting at this vineyard was the fact that you didn’t have to be at the ‘bar’ for the tasting. You do the tasting comfortably seated from your table and the hosts come to you for each tasting round! Unfortunately, this vineyard does not allow outside food (inside or outside). They do have a great menu to choose from though if you MUST have food with your wine.

Bogati Bodega & Vineyard
http://bogatibodega.com

I will use this as an opportunity to tell you to make friends with your driver if you hired one OR are taking a wine tour. They will have great suggestions! On this particular wine tour, Bogati was not one of the stops on our original itinerary. Our driver informed us of a great little shop by this vineyard with the best pie ever. It was the best pie ever.

What my friends and I decided to do was buy pie and wine and eat it outside. We opted out of the tasting for this vineyard. Nonetheless I would recommend this stop. Go get your wine on then go get your sweet tooth on with some pie from next door!

**Now comes the listing of wineries that I went to, but do not quite remember. These were later stops in the day, therefore I have hazy recollections of enjoying these wineries. I can tell you what little I remember…

Naked Mountain
http://nakedmtnwinery.com

This was the 3rd winery stop of the day, and when I arrived I was feeling great! Every wine I tasted was delish, and the more wines I tasted, the more bought. Luckily, when I opened these bottles at home, I still enjoyed them. This is another winery that you can bring your own food to!

8 Chains North
http://8chainsnorth.com

I remember live music, comfy chairs… and lots of toasting! Let’s be honest… Where there is live music, drinking, and strangers, there is always good people watching.   Unfortunately it is sometimes “good people watching” consist of my friends and I dancing like we are Queen Bey backup dancers.

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Linden Vineyards
http://www.lindenvineyards.com

It was beautiful… I drank wine… I think that is all I can say. This winery does do tours. I wish I could tell you that I went on it, but it was so popular and booked when I got to the vineyard.

Hunter’s Run Wine Barn
http://www.huntersrunwinebarn.com

Super friendly staff at this Winery! There is a children’s play area so boozy parents will know that their kids will be entertained. Also wine-os can be thoroughly entertained by the play area.

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Otium Cellars
http://www.otiumcellars.com

This is another winery that will do your tasting at your table, and you can bring your own food. We came here for the 2nd stop for my birthday… it was awesome!

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Lastly, here is some stationery that I made for some fellow wine lovers! It is a great design to send to friends near and far. Write in a letter what you would chat about over wine!

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For all you wine lovers, I hope that this post helps you out! Let me know if you need any more information OR a winery partner. Also email me at paperplanesandpinot@gmail.com if you would like to order any wine stationery!

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