Wednesday, August 16, 2017  

Wineries in the Chesapeake Bay Area

This historic Tidewater region of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula falls between the Potomac and York rivers, with the Chesapeake Bay to the east. Here in the winter of 1607–08, Captain John Smith was a prisoner of the Powhatans. Here were born three presidents — George Washington, James Madison and James Monroe — two signers of the Declaration of Independence and Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Here you’ll discover charming small towns that date to Colonial times, thousands of miles of shoreline, local museums, the Urbanna Oyster Festival and many bed and breakfast inns. The verdant land of these peninsulas provides sandy loam soil and a temperate climate year round. Many wineries call this area home—and they, too, await your discovery. Awaiting discovery by your taste buds are such Chesapeake Bay varietals as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio, Seyval Blanc, Syrah, and Vidal Blanc.

— from VirginiaWine.org


Athena  Vineyards
Athena Vineyards was established in 2002 by three nurses, where they enjoy healthy lifestyles, working in the vineyard and the finer things in life. Their interest in winemaking led to the construction of the winery in 2005. Athena has become the first commercial vineyard and winery in Northumberland County, Virginia. Visit the tasting room and share the warm hospitality in a beautiful vineyard setting. The vineyards overlook the Great Wicomico River with 15 acres of more than 20 varieties of grapes. Their philosophy of growing grapes and making wine in an environmentally safe manner is an important responsibility to land stewardship and the long-term relationship with their customers, neighbors and the world. Athena Vineyards strives to be environmentally friendly, economically sound and socially responsible with all their winery and viticulture practices. All grapes are hand picked at the peak of ripeness. Quality control is essential to ensure that only the finest grapes are used for winemaking—you can’t make great wine without great grapes. Athena Vineyards embraces the lifestyle of the Chesapeake Bay area. www.athenavineyards.com

Belle Mount  Vineyards
Belle Mount Vineyards was founded in 2002 by Ray and Catherine Petrie. The vineyards are on the “Beautiful Hill” overlooking the Rappahannock River and Cat Point Creek near Warsaw. If you enjoy bald eagle watching and leisurely trips to pristine freshwater wetlands then you will love it here.

There are eight acres of vines, and winemaking focuses on small lots of handcrafted, estate grown varietals and proprietary blends. The tasting room and gift shop is located in the cellar of the Great Hall banquet facility. Current production levels range between 1,000 to 1,500 annual cases, depending on  the vintage.

The wines are available in the tasting room, at numerous wine festivals throughout the state and at select wine shops and restaurants. The selection ranges from light and delicate food-friendly whites to hardy reds with  deep complexities and long finishes. Several sweet styles are perfect for  casual occasions.  With complementary tastings you are sure to find something to please your palate. See you soon. www.bellemount.com

General’s Ridge Vineyard
If you find yourself in the Northern Neck, be sure to set aside time to visit one of the newest additions to the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail, General’s Ridge Vineyards, located in Hague, Virginia and owned by General Rick Phillips (USMC Ret.) and wife Linda. GRV has been selling award-winning grapes wholesale for ten years and now has opened the doors to their Somewhere in Time tasting room. Aside from the lush grape acreage, the first thing guests will notice upon entering the property is the charming Manor House, an extensively renovated 1800’s in addition to some of Virginia’s highest quality wines handcrafted by Michael Shaps, a cozy area for seating, an enticing bistro menu, and frozen Frappe Vino treats. Grand Opening, scheduled for the first weekend in October. The Somewhere in Time tasting room opens at noon on Thursdays through Sundays, closing at 5 pm on Thursdays and Sundays, 6 pm on Saturdays, and  7 pm on Fridays, or by appointment.  www.generalsridgevineyard.com

Hague Winery
Fine wines in an historic setting. Indeed. The Hague Winery in  Hague, Virginia is located on a Buena
Vista plantation, land patented in 1658.  A 1933 barn atop a ridge houses the tasting room. Whether enjoying a glass of fine wine inside the tasting room or lingering outside under the pergola one sees a well tended vineyard, farmland,
and the restored plantation homestead.

Come and enjoy some of the finest wine on the Northern Neck. Expect French style wines. The 2009 Meritage Reserve, a Bordeaux style blend, won a 2011 VA State Fair Gold Ribbon winner.  Other wines are Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Rose`, Chardonel, and Muscat dessert wine.

The gift shop features local crafts and picnic fare. Gifts for wine lovers are also available. The $5 tasting fee is waived with  a bottle purchase.

Open daily 11-5 Apr through Nov.  Dec. - Mar. call ahead 804-472-5283.  www.thehaguewinery.com

Ingleside Vineyards
Ingleside Vineyards is nestled in the narrowest point of land between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers on the historic Northern Neck of Virginia. Here the Flemer family takes great pride in producing wines from the vineyards on their 3000 acre estate. The Flemers, three generations worth, have helped pioneer the emergence of Virginia wines onto the national and international wine scene. Producing its first wine in 1980, Ingleside is the oldest winery on the Northern Neck and the eighth oldest in Virginia. Ingleside is the first Virginia winery to make sparkling wine using traditional Methode Champenoise and to bottle Virginia’s first Petit Verdot. Ingleside continues to invest in the pursuit of quality Virginia wines by planting new clones of new and old varieties in their vineyards located on the highest summit of land in the Northern Neck. From Petit Verdot and Sangiovese to Albarino and Petite Manseng, the quest for new and interesting wines continues. www.inglesidevineyards.com

New Kent Winery
offers exceptional wines in a unique setting. Completed in 2008, the winery is mainly constructed of reclaimed historic building materials such as pre-Civil War brick, 40-foot heart pine beams from the 1850’s, and century-old railroad trusses. Along with wine tasting, New Kent Winery also offers tours of the building that tell of the history of the building materials as well as our winemaking process.

Having planted the first vines in 2001, New Kent Winery features seven fine wines, including Chardonnay, Meritage and White Merlot. Following a tour and tasting, guests are invited to relax and take in the scenery of beautiful New Kent Vineyards on one of the expansive covered lounging porches. The winery also offers gifts, wine accessories, clothing and other items in  our gift shop.

New Kent Winery is part of a master planned community that features estate lots at Viniterra, as well as the Club at Viniterra, an 18-hole Rees Jones Signature Golf Course. www.newkentwinery.com

Oak Crest Winery
A Long time effort by the Brandts family culminated in the opening of Oak Crest Winery in 2002. The winery’s creation involved a combination of genetics, scientific bent, fortunate opportunities, and the urge to create good wine and share it with others. Oak Crest Winery offers complementary tastings of our Bordeaux-style reds and Rhine-style whites ranging from dry dinner wines to luscious sweet dessert wines. Enjoy conversing with the knowledgable tasting room staff and relaxing in the Old World atmosphere in the authentic post-and-beam tasting room and gift shop. Bring your own picnic lunch to accompany your selection of the wines and enjoy the deck or patio overlooking the woodland beauty of scenic King George County.

Amish Cheese & Crackers are available for purchase. Think of Oak Crest  for special occasions such as weddings and receptions at the winery.  Located just 3 miles from Route 301. Visit us soon. www.oakcrestwinery.com

Potomac Point Winery
Stop by the tasting room and you’ll feel as if you’ve stumbled into Tuscany. Taste the award winning wines while enjoying a number of light fare selections from the Bistro menu. Browse the gift shop or explore during a facility tour. Manicured Mediterranean-style setting, featuring Le Grand Cru Bistro, veranda seating, internal Tuscan-style courtyard, tastings, tours, olive oil, picnic pavilion, event facility, wedding packages, and extensive gift shop. Just 30 miles south of D.C.

Harvest is coming-Don’t miss our Premier wine tasting and harvest cellar tour. See first-hand how the grapes are crushed, taste the juice and learn how wine is made. Also taste the infused olive oil bar and get a souvenir logo glass. Receive a 20% discount off wine and gift purchases that day. Reservations are required. Call Denyel at 540-446-2107. Tours are 1 and a half to 2 hours. Open Sun & Mon 11am-6pm; Wed & Thurs 11am-6pm; Fri & Sat 11am-9pm. Closed Tues. www.potomacpointwinery.com

Vault Field  Vineyards
Vault Field Vineyards is located on historic Vault Field Farm near the town of Kinsale. The award-winning wines are the result of a marriage between an exceptional terroir and the latest techniques in viticulture.

The first vintage wines (2006) have received the following medals: 2009 Virginia Wine Classic—Gold, Gold, Silver, Bronze; 2008 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition—Gold, Silver, Bronze; 2008 State Fair of Virginia—Silver; 2007 Virginia Governor’s Cup—Silver, Bronze, Bronze.

Wines: Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, White Wine Blend—Conundrum, a semi-dry Rosé. “Red” is a semi-sweet blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin. The flagship “Reserve Red” is a Meritage blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Vault Field Vineyards offers a tasting room, winery & vineyard tours. Ask us about private parties. Open Feb. to Dec., Thurs.-Sun., 11am to 5pm (6pm in summer), or by appt. www.vaultfieldvineyards.com

The Dog and Oyster
The Dog and Oyster is the newly acquired vineyard of The Hope and Glory Inn. The quirky name was created to honor the rescue dogs that rescue the grapes from deer and other animals; and, to honor the oyster, one of the Chesapeake Bay region’s greatest assets.

At the same time, the vineyard also sees great value in the synergistic partnerships it has formed.
One partnership is with the legendary Ingleside Vineyards. The Dog and Oyster has taken a one-of-a-kind approach by offering not only Dog and Oyster wines; but, also select premium and reserve labels from Ingleside to expand the tasting experience. Two vineyards at one—a novel approach to winemaking in Virginia.

An added partnership is that crafted with the Rappahannock River Oyster Company. Count on wine being paired with their award winning oysters. RRO, the recipient of the inaugural National Treasures Award, as well as a Food & Wine Tastemakers award, is the oyster choice of many of America’s top chefs; and, now you. www.hopeandglory.com

Good Luck  Cellars
Good Luck Cellars has been resurrected from an old sand and gravel mine into a marvel of ecologic recovery: a vineyard and winery site of magical beauty and serenity. Come join us to celebrate hand crafted on-site grown wines of superb quality.

Good Luck Cellars offers eight wines for tasting and sale. Bring a lunch or supper and enjoy our porches while you sip a glass of wine and take in the view.  We are now staying open until 8 PM  on Fridays to accommodate our working friends in “wine down” at the end of  their week. www.goodluckcellars.com