29 July, 2021
Beyond Wine: 11 Unique Virginia Vineyard Experiences

Beyond Wine: 11 Unique Virginia Vineyard Experiences

All Virginia wineries offer breathtaking scenery and world-class wine, but some wineries go way beyond that and offer unique experiences that make the visit unforgettable. From polo games and kayak expeditions to various wine tastings and horse rides – these eleven Wineries offer exciting entertainment to turn your typical vineyard visit into a fun Virginia adventure.

Paddle your glass to Chatham Vineyards on the east coast of Virginia

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Photo Credit: Sam Dean, IG Account: @sdeanphotos

The beautiful Eastern Shore winery, Chatham Vineyards has partnered with Southeast Expeditions to offer a relaxing 45 minute paddle tour of Church Creek on your way from the local Wharf of Bayford to Chatham Vineyards. The guides identify local wildlife and aquaculture along the way and show you the historic property on land. After your free wine tasting, there is always free time to sit outside with a glass of wine and a cheese tray to soak up the vineyard before paddling back. The cost is $ 89 per paddler and covers guide, equipment, boat, winery, and a free bottle of Church Creek wine for every two paddlers.

Try fresh seafood at The Dog & Oyster Vineyard

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Is there really anything better than enjoying a glass of chilled white wine with a selection of delicious Virginia oysters? Head to Irvington’s Dog & Oyster Vineyard to enjoy this incredible combo with Chesapeake Bay oysters served at Slurp, the winery’s oyster restaurant and bar. With the bay less than a mile from the vineyard, this waterfront wine town is guaranteed to get only the freshest oysters.

Note: The winery is closed for the winter and will reopen in the spring. Opening date TBA; Check out the Dog & Oyster Facebook page for updates.

Catch the Bridgerton vibes at Greenhill Winery in Northern Virginia

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Greenhill Winery in Loudoun County offers old-school horse-drawn carriage rides through the vineyard so visitors can pretend they’re on the set of Netflix Bridgerton while sipping a glass of Blanc de Blanc. In addition to romantic carriage rides, the winery has its own polo team, a nod to the winery’s location in Virginia’s Horse Country. Contact the vineyard for information on upcoming polo games.

Find your zen at Veritas Vineyards

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Veritas Vineyards near Charlottesville offers one-, three-, and four-day yoga retreats with a full program of hiking, yoga, dining, and wine experiences to delight your senses. The program includes educational vineyard tours, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, cooking classes and of course lots of yoga in the Garden House. The days end with a convivial cocktail hour with Veritas wines and light dishes. The winery also hosts Starry Nights events on select summer evenings with live outdoor music, Veritas wines, buffet reservations and an unforgettable evening under the stars. Visit the winery events page for the latest information on planned Starry Night events.

Explore the Charlottesville wine country on horseback

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Photo credit: Carlita Pitts IG: @iamthelita

Explore Central Virginia’s wine country on horseback with Indian Summer Guide Services. This guided driving experience is offered at several wineries in the Charlottesville area and Albemarle County including King Family Vineyards, Veritas Vineyard, Keswick Vineyards, Glass House Winery, and more. These private, guided five-star horse rides through the vines allow you to learn more about the grapes and the production process of the vineyard while getting up close and personal with the terroir of Virginia that results in world-class wines.

Ride a bike to the Upper Shirley Vineyards along the Virginia Capital Trail

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Photo Credit: Large Orange Frame

Basket & Bike is based in Richmond and partnered with the beautiful Upper Shirley Vineyards for its Signature Ride in mid-March 2021. From Upper Shirley Vineyards, take a leisurely 14 mile guided bike ride along the Virginia River on the Capital Trail to learn about Virginia’s history and scenic landscape from the Capital Trail. Priority bikes come with Nantucket Bike Baskets, or riders can choose from RVA on Wheels Pedego electric bikes to make the ride easier. The tour includes a glass of wine and lunch at the Upper Shirley Vineyards. $ 5 of the tour fee goes to helping one of the rotating conservation partners (Capital Trees, James River Association, VCU Rice Rivers Center, BridgePark RVA) so you can support local nonprofits while enjoying the great outdoors, Virginia history and some enjoy wonderful wines.

Attend a proper polo match at the King Family Vineyards

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Photo credit: Matthew Brown

Starting in May, the King Family Vineyards hosts weekly polo games on Sundays, where visitors can throw a socially distant family picnic and enjoy King Family wines against the breathtaking backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. These events are free and open to the public, but subject to weather conditions. Check the website or Facebook page for the latest information on Roseland polo games at King Family Vineyards.

Escape the tropics at the Glass House Winery

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Photo credit: Carlita Pitts IG: @iamthelita

The Glass House Winery has built a stunning tropical sun room attached to its tasting room and filled with exotic plants that surround tables and walkways. You’ll feel like you’re drinking your wine on an island far away rather than in the heart of Central Virginia’s wine country. Don’t miss out on pairing your wines with the vineyard’s decadent chocolates, made by their own chocolatier and available in flavors like raspberry champagne, salted peanut butter, red wine cream, and cherry chilli.

Tee off at Little Washington Winery

About 100 km west of Washington, DC, at the base of Shenandoah National Park, Little Washington Winery & Brewery combines scenic views with outdoor sports on its 18-hole, par-60 Jenkins Mountain Disc Golf Course, par 60. The course spans 55 acres with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background and is open to the public year-round at no additional cost (just bring your own discs!). Start your game in hole number 1, which is right at the entrance to the winery / brewery. However, head to the Pro Shop first to stock up on snacks, drinks, and supplies for your game. As you play the course, you’ll come across the Skyline Vineyard where you can take a break and have a bite to eat. Depending on the day, you can even listen to live music! Finish hole 18 at the brewery / winery entrance and toast the winner with a glass of Little Washington wine or beer.

Browse Wine & Pie Pairings at 8 Chains North Winery

Photo credit: Emily Powers

8 Chains North Winery and Mom’s Apple Pie Company, a local Loudoun bakery favorite, are owned by a brothers and sisters duo. After the winery and bakery were firmly established, the two decided to join forces for special wine and cake pairings. Would you like more sweet, sugary goodness during your visit to 8 Chains North? The winery also stocks chocolates from local chocolatier and restaurant The Conche, which can be combined with your tasting for just $ 5 more.

Soothe your senses at the Purple Wolf Vineyard

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Photo credit: Chad Williams; IG account: @echadwilliams

At Purple Wolf Vineyard, wine isn’t the only relaxing aspect of your visit. The tasting room is part of the White Oak Lavender Farm outside of Harrisonburg. Before visiting the tasting room, take some time to stroll through the Discovery Area, an interactive garden area with a petting area, life-size chess board, duck pond, maze, oil distillery, drying barn and of course, lavender gardens. Visitors can pick their own lavender during the season and purchase a variety of lavender products from the gift shop, including lavender body products, teas, culinary lavender, and even lavender ice cream. If you want to learn more about growing and harvesting lavender, join the self-guided audio tour of the farm, which for just $ 9 covers your entry to the discovery area and picks 20 lavender stalks (when they are in bloom).

Once you’ve toured the property, sample up to 12 unique wines in the tasting room at mini-tastings, flights, or seasonal wine delights like slushies. Your lavender experience doesn’t end at the doors of the winery, however. Some of the wines are mixed with lavender, a surprisingly refreshing variant of the classic Virginia Vino glass.

Beyond the Wine: 11 Unique Virginia Vineyard Experiences first appeared on Virginia’s travel blog.

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