October is VA Wine Month! If you live in Virginia and haven’t heard of VA wines then shame on you! Local wineries are everywhere (literally everywhere) starting at about a pleasant 45-minute weekend drive outside of D.C. The beauty of this is that there are such a varities of styles, themes and sizes you could never get bored. That and there are literally so many of them it would take to a lifetime to visit them all. I could talk about wine forever so just to keep it simple, here are my tips for the perfect day of wine tasting:
– Pick 2-3 wineries to visit. If you’re going to make the hour drive then it might be worth spending the day winery-hopping …whether you hit them all or not is another story.
– Choose your friends wisely! There’s limited car space and counter space so small groups are usually best. Occasionally wineries also charge for private tastings for large groups.
– ALWAYS pack water and a picnic lunch. Drinking gives you the munchies. While most wineries have some sort of snacks for sale they are not filling or… sobering… and almost all allow outside food.
– Research your locations ahead of time. Most VA wineries are open year round but times can vary especially during the week.
– Pick locations near eachother and print a map ahead of time. Cell and GPS service are iffy out in the mountains. (Bonus from experience: turn off your phone while there or it will drain your battery)
– Check for discounts. Some run daily deals (groupons, living socials, etc) that can make your trip extra special not to mention special events (live music, games, festivals, etc)!
– Most importantly, be safe! Plan ahead who is going to drive and either share your wine tastings with them or make sure he/she is is sharing their wine tastings with you!
Last weekend some friends and I enjoyed an incredibly fun day at my favorite, Cobbler Mountain Cellars! They opened a new tasting room this year so we had to stop by and check it out. Not only do they have a great selection of wines, they also have unique ciders to taste as well. If you get a chance I highly recommend you check them out!
How do you plan on celebrating October VA Wine Month?