1. Travel
Send to a Friend via Email

Virginia Wine Trails

Explore the Picturesque Wine Growing Regions of Virginia

By

Virginia is home to more than 200 wineries and several wine trails. Wine has become such an important aspect of Virginia's tourism and economy that the month of October has been designated as Virginia Wine Month. The wine trails of Virginia meander along scenic routes, near historic towns and convenient to several of Virginia's popular attractions, offering a delightful way to explore the region. In addition to having year round visiting hours, many wineries host special seasonal wine events.

Tips for Your Virginia Winery Visits:

Virginia Wine Trails
A picturesque scene along one of Virginia's wine trails: Courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation
1) Purple and green Virginia Wine Trail road signs mark the way to many of the wineries.

2) Visit the Wine Trail Web Sites listed below to print a map to have with you as you explore.

3) Several full service wine trail tours are available.

4) Call ahead to confirm your winery visit, particularly if you are traveling with a group of eight people or more.

The Bedford Wine Trail

Located in Bedford County, the state's fifth largest county, the Bedford Wine Trail meanders around the scenic beauty of the central Blue Ridge Mountain region. At the center of the Bedford Wine Trail, the City of Bedford's historic Centertown Bedford is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also, Bedford is the town that suffered the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation and Bedford's National D-Day Memorial, dedicated in 2001, honors all Invasion of Normandy allied Forces. Other key attractions in the area include the Booker T. Washington National Monument, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest and Virginia's Explore Park. For information about chauffer driven tours, visit Premier Limousine Service - Winery Tours.

The Blue Ridge WineWay

Featuring more than ten popular wineries near Virginia's most picturesque scenic drives, Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Blue Ridge WineWay winds through Virginia horse country around small towns and crossroads with names like Amissville and Scrabble. Blending old world tasting rooms with Blue Ridge Mountain vistas, charming accommodations, great dining, unique shopping and more, The Blue Ridge WineWay is in Northern Virginia, just about an hour from Washington, D.C. For a very special treat, plan a getaway to the renowned award-winning Inn at Little Washington, consistently ranked as one of the top hotels in the world. For information about full service wine trail tours, visit Virginia Wine Country Tours.

The Botetourt Wine Trail

Three family-run wineries feature quality wines made with old-world techniques, plus picturesque views and welcoming hospitality. Located in one of Virginia's oldest and most scenic counties, winery visitors to the Botetourt Wine Trail may enjoy wine tasting and special events throughout the year. Nearby attractions include the National D-Day Memorial, Natural Bridge, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several museums, galleries and Civil War sites.

Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail

Winding along scenic byways in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay region, the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail explores nine wineries, each in a unique setting with charming courtyards, vineyard views, picnic areas or other delightful amenities. Featuring over 1000 miles of picturesque waterways including the Rappahannock River, the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay, the area is steeped in history and charm. Among the many other things to see, Colonial Beach, a small seaport town situated on the Potomac River, is the birthplace of George Washington and boyhood home of Robert E. Lee. For a special getaway weekend, consider a stay at the elegant Tides Inn, located on a peninsula with picturesque views of the Chesapeake in Irvington, Virginia.

Fauquier County Wine Trail

Launched in the fall of 2007, the Fauquier County Wine Trail explores more than 15 wineries with more openings planned for the future. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Fauquier County country scenes and landscapes include green rolling hills dotted with horse farms, charming historic towns and acres of picturesque vineyards, all within an easy 45 minute drive from the nation's capital.

The General's Wine and History Trail

Located near Washington, D.C., the General's Wine and History Trail blends the area's Civil War history, rich wine heritage and picturesque landscapes to offer a unique wine trail experience, featuring ten wineries and many local historic sites.

The Heart of Virginia Wine Trail

Located in the verdant rolling hills of central Virginia, the Heart of Virginia Wine Trail is within easy reach of Charlottesville, Richmond and Fredericksburg. Featuring four of Virginia's award-winning boutique wineries, visitors to this wine trail are able to create interesting itineraries that combine winery stops with visits to some of Virginia's top attractions and historic sites along the way. A few popular area attractions include the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, featuring the largest public display of Fabergé objects outside of Russia, the Museum and White House of the Confederacy, plus an array of historic sites in Fredericksburg and Charlottesville. For the young at heart, popular Kings Dominion is also nearby.

Loudoun Wine Country

Loudoun County, long known as the heart of Virginia's hunt country, is fast becoming known for its wineries as well and is ranked as Virginia's second largest region of wine grape acreage. Over 20 distinctive wineries in Loudoun Wine Country, feature unique facilities and tasting rooms including a man-made cave, an array of delightful restored barn and farmhouse settings, boutique wineries and more. A few other popular attractions in the area include the historic towns of Leesburg and Middleburg, the 1,000 acre Historic Morven Park estate of World War I era Governor Westmoreland Davis, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets for great discount shopping.

The Monticello Wine Trail

The City of Charlottesville, declared The Wine Capital of Virginia by the City Council, is at the center of the Monticello Wine Trail with 21 farm wineries arranged into five different wine trail groupings. The blend of Charlottesville's historic charm with the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains attracts thousand of visitors to this federally designated area, the largest concentration of wineries in Virginia. Featuring both large and small winery operations, tasting room hours vary from winery to winery. A few of the many popular attractions in the area include Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, the University of Virginia, James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland, Historic Court Square and circa 1784 Michie Tavern.

The Shenandoah Valley Wine Country Trail

Located about an hour from Washington, D.C., the Shenandoah Valley, named for a Native American word meaning daughter of the stars, wends its way past dairies, horse farms and orchards along the Shenandoah River. In addition to exploring the region's wineries, visitors to the Shenandoah Valley Wine Country Trail are able to enjoy Virginia's most scenic mountains, historic sites, natural wonders and more. A few other popular attractions to visit during your Wine Trail trip include Luray Caverns, Virginia's Natural Bridge, a number of Civil War battlefields and several charming small towns. If time permits, be sure to visit historic Staunton's Blackfriars Playhouse, the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's original indoor theater.

The SoVA Wine Trail

The SoVA Wine Trail, or simply SoVA, features ten small boutique farm wineries located in Southern Virginia, about two hours from Richmond, less than two hours from Raleigh, North Carolina and about four hours from Washington, D.C. In addition to the wineries, visitors may enjoy farm tours, historic sites and several charming small towns.

More Virginia Wine Trails:

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.