For oenophiles in the DC area, regional wineries offer plenty for the discerning palate. With so many fantastic options, narrowing down your choices may be the hardest part. If sipping and swirling a glass of the area’s finest Seyval is at the top of your fall to-do list, then perhaps we can help. To whet your appetite, we’ve narrowed down the best weekend wine retreats in the region.
Paradise Springs Winery
Located in Clifton, VA, Paradise Springs Winery is the closest winery to DC and one of our favorite fall activities in Fairfax county. Home to a long list of award-winning wines and stunning scenery, it’s no wonder Paradise Springs Winery was deemed “The Gateway to Virginia Wine Country.”
The winery comes alive every Friday night, rain or shine, with live music from 5 PM to 9 PM on the back patio overlooking the lush countryside. On Saturday and Sunday you can enjoy a tour of the vineyard and production room, followed by a wine tasting session.
If your getaway falls on the first weekend of December, you are in luck. A holiday homes tour and tree lighting ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 6, 2014. Caroling on horseback begins at 2 PM, followed by home tours from 4 PM to 7 PM. After the festivities a tree lighting ceremony will commence at town square.
Little Washington Winery
Idyllically located on Christmas Tree Lane in Washington, VA, Little Washington Winery is the perfect place for a weekend getaway this season. With sweeping views of the Shenandoah Valley and a 2 ½ hour wine tasting “boot camp” every Saturday and Sunday, this winery is an ideal place to enjoy yourself and educate your palate.
While in town, stay overnight and dine at the heralded Inn at Little Washington. A 5-diamond resort, this classic inn also earned the title of “World’s Best Hotel Restaurant” by Travel and Leisure. You’ll dine in class with the James Beard Foundation’s 2001 “Chef of the Year”: Patrick O’Connell.
We also recommend checking out the many outdoor activities the area has to offer. Easy access to plenty of hiking trails and scenic drives in the Shenandoah Valley make Washington, VA a top pick for wine and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
A top pick among wine enthusiasts, this winery in Linden, VA is also the home of the winemaker himself. That’s just one of the many reasons Linden Vineyards is known for providing a warm and tranquil tasting experience. Offering in-depth tours of the vineyard, cellar, and a well-cultivated landscape, Linden is a perfect pick for those with refined taste. Buy a case from the vineyard and you’ll also be granted special access to their deck and grounds on Saturday and Sunday.
Just a few miles away from Linden, in Warrenton’s Old Town, you can enjoy many holiday activities. During the first weekend of December, a tree-lighting and holiday festival will take place. Featuring a parade, horse-drawn hayrides, food trolleys and caroling, this small town festival is something you don’t want to miss.
While in the area, consider staying at L’Auberge Provençale, an elegant French country-style bed and breakfast. You’ll have the opportunity to choose from their extensive wine list and sample the finest French cuisine. With gorgeous guest rooms and easy access to additional wineries, this inn won’t disappoint.
As the air gets crisp and the Virginia countryside beckons, consider adding one of these weekend destinations to your list of things to do in DC.