It’s a widely known fact that I love visiting Virginia’s wineries. And not particularly for the wine, though I do wind up with some great bottles. But mostly for the sitting outside and relaxing with friends. We make a point to escape the city pretty regularly, and I’ve got a long list of favorites. But stop the presses, re-write my list of favorites, because I’ve found a winery that takes my perfect formula (sun, country, wine) and improves upon it – something I never thought possible. How can you possibly improve upon the experience of sitting around a table in the middle of rolling hills, with a chilled glass of alcohol in your hand, you ask? Here’s how: add food. So that’s where Vintage Ridge Vinyards comes into the picture. I’ve found a winery that gives you food pairings (cheese! salami! more cheese!), with your wine. Good lawd, I’ve died and gone to winery heaven.
Vintage Ridge Winery, tucked in Delaplane, Virginia, not far from Barrel Oak Winery, or Three Foxes, blows all my previous favorites out of the water. Unlike other wineries, where you and your comrades belly up to the tasting bar and are hurried through rounds of whites, roses, and reds, Vintage Ridge allows you to stop, sit, relax, and, best of all – eat. You walk through the doors, and are greeted by a hostess who lets you choose a table to do your tasting at.
You agree to the fee (a mere $15!) and the wait staff brings you wine, and hauls out a big ole cheese plate o’heaven. As you are walked through the tasting menu, the staff tells you what bits of happiness pair best with each wine. You’ll work your way through whites paired with blue cheese, reds paired with goat topped with a spicy plum compote, and finally through dessert wines, paired with spicy walnuts Vintage Ridge crafts up in-house.
When your tasting is done (and the wines are great!) you’re able to choose a glass or bottle, order more food if you’d like, and relax for as long as you can. Wait staff stop by every so often to check on you, and you forget that the hustle and bustle of DC exists only an hour away.
Vintage Ridge Vineyards is located at 8517 Maidstone Rd, Delaplane, VA 2014, about an hour outside of the city.