VA Wine Month Round-Up
Celebrate Virginia Wine Month in and around Waynesboro
The wine industry in Virginia has grown significantly over the last decade, and it's really beginning to make a name for itself on a worldwide stage. What makes visiting a Virginia winery so special is that you’ll get to talk to the knowledgeable folks in the tasting room who can tell you the wine’s history, production, and fermentation methods. You can learn about the wine's terroir, how the wine is a unique product of a particular cultivar of grapes grown in a particular type of soil. You might also learn fun details like the inspiration for the name or how the label was designed. Enjoying a wine tasting lets you select your favorites and purchase them directly from the producers. Plus, many of our wineries offer amazing views of the Virginia countryside. Waynesboro's location offers the best of both worlds when it comes to visiting Virginia wineries, with the Shenandoah Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) to the west and the Monticello AVA to the east. There is much to explore, so get started today!
Schedule a guided tasting at Lightwell Survey in their cool, industrial tasting room located in the old South River Mill complex on select weekends, and keep an eye out for their quirky special events. Sample the best of their “small batches of lively reds, dense whites and unique combinations of the two” and learn about the winemaking process. Grapes used in Lightwell Survey’s wine are grown with care in Virginia’s stony soil at high elevations, resulting in a distinctive wine that is very much tied to place. Keep an eye on their events calendar, and check out their upcoming Hellawine Release Party, which takes place around Halloween annually. It's Lightwell Survey's largest event of the year and always a spook-tacular time!
Barren Ridge Vineyards sits on a hill that looks out over a rolling Augusta County landscape framed by distant mountains. You’ll love watching the summer greens shifting to bright autumnal colors and you relax and sip your wine. Barren Ridge’s best can be enjoyed by the bottle, glass, or flight, and there’s live acoustic music on Saturday evenings.
The Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room is located in downtown Staunton. Ox-Eye offers seven estate-grown varietals that “fully express the terroir of the Shenandoah Valley.” Though you won’t be onsite at the actual vineyard, you’ll learn a great deal about the wines you sample and about growing and tasting in general. There's also outside seating and a small art gallery upstairs.
The Shenandoah Valley has a number of fine wineries that are worth the short drive to get there.
To the north, try:
To the south, try:
- Rockbridge Vineyard and Brewery
- Great Valley Farm Brewery & Winery
- Above Ground Winery
- 12 Ridges Vineyard
- Jump Mountain Vineyard
Just over Afton Mountain in Nelson County to the east, try:
- Afton Mountain Vineyards
- Veritas Vineyard & Winery
- Valley Road Vineyards
- Flying Fox Vineyard
- Hazy Mountain Vineyards & Brewery
- Cardinal Point Winery
- Pollak Vineyards
Places to Buy Local Wine
The City Foxes Wine Bar + Market serves only Virginia wine, plus an assortment of local food products and handcrafted gift items. The wine menu will rotate seasonally, but they currently offer 16 different wines from 13 Virginia wineries, 2 of which are produced right here in Waynesboro (Lightwell Survey and Thibaut-Janisson). They also have local craft beer available.
Basic City Beer Co. is well known for freshly brewed craft beer, but did you know you could get wine, craft cocktails, and cider there, too? The wine list features several Virginia favorites, including the Gabriele Rausse Merlot, made with Albemarle County grapes. Hungry? The taproom at Basic City serves wood-fired pizza!
Fishersville Lunch Box & Market sandwich shop sells local wine. If you’re in Staunton, you can find it at Yelping Dog, The Green Room, and Nu-Beginning Farm: The Store. Further north, Valley Pike Farm Market also has an excellent selection of Virginia wine and craft beer.
Make a Weekend of It
Head to the Iris Inn for a panoramic view of the Valley, nearby hiking in Shenandoah National Park, and private luxury accommodations. Better still, the Iris Inn offers a number of wine and spa packages guaranteed to relax you.
Cider House Bed and Breakfast features a historic house with modern amenities, a gourmet breakfast, and a tranquil environment. The romance package includes luscious chocolates, red roses, and a bottle of Virginia wine.