14 April, 2021

Beyond the Wine: 11 Unique Virginia Vineyard Experiences

All of Virginia wineries offer beautiful scenery and world-class wine, but a few wineries go further and offer unique experiences that make the visit unforgettable. From polo matches and kayak expeditions to various wine tastings and horseback riding, these eleven wineries provide exciting entertainment to turn your typical vineyard visit into a fun Virginia adventure.

Paddle with your glass to Chatham Vineyards on Virginia's east coast

Paddle Your Glass Off Kayak Tour Paddle Your Glass Off Kayak Tour
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 through Church Creek en route from the local Wharf of Bayford to Chatham Vineyards. Guides identify local wildlife and aquaculture along the way and show you the historic property once they land. After your complimentary wine tasting, there is always time to sit outside with a glass of wine and a cheese plate to enjoy the vineyard before paddling back. The cost is $ 89 per paddler and includes the guide, equipment, boat, winery experience, and a complimentary bottle of Church Creek wine for every two paddlers.

Sample fresh seafood at The Dog & Oyster Vineyard

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<p>Is there really anything better than enjoying a glass of chilled white wine with a selection of delicious Virginia oysters? Head to Dog & Oyster Vineyard in Irvington to enjoy this incredible combination, featuring Chesapeake Bay oysters served at Slurp, the winery's on-site oyster restaurant and bar. With the bay less than a mile from the vineyard, you're guaranteed to get only the freshest oysters at this waterfront wine destination. </p>
<h5>Note: The winery is closed in winter and reopens in early spring. Opening date TBA; check out the Dog & Oyster Facebook page for updates.</h5>
<h2><strong>Catch Bridgerton Vibes at Greenhill Winery in Northern Virginia</strong></h2>
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Explore Charlottesville Wine Country on horseback


Photo credit: Carlita Pitts IG: @iamthelita

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

Cycle to Upper Shirley Vineyards along the Virginia Capital Trail

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<h5 class=Photo credit: Large orange frame

Based in Richmond, Basket & Bike partnered with the beautiful Upper Shirley Vineyards for its Signature Ride, returning in mid-March 2021. Departing from Upper Shirley Vineyards, enjoy a leisurely 14-mile bike ride along the Virginia Capital Trail, where you will learn about Virginia's history and scenic landscape from the Capital Trail. Priority bikes are equipped with Nantucket Bike Baskets, or riders have the choice of opting for RVA on Wheels Pedego electric bikes for an easier ride. The tour includes a glass of wine and lunch at Upper Shirley Vineyards, and $ 5 of the tour cost goes towards supporting one of the rotating conservation partners (Capital Trees, James River Association, VCU Rice Rivers Center, BridgePark RVA) so you can support local nonprofits while also enjoying the Great Outdoors, Virginia history, and delicious wine.

Attend a good polo match at King Family Vineyards

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<h5 class=Photo Credit: Matthew Brown

Starting in May, King Family Vineyards will host weekly Sunday polo matches where visitors can set up a social distance family picnic and enjoy King Family wines with a beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. These events are free and open to the public, but are weather dependent; check the website or their Facebook page for current updates on the Roseland polo matches at King Family Vineyards.

Escape to the tropics at Glass House Winery

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<h5 class=Photo Credit: Carlita Pitts IG: @iamthelita

Glass House Winery has built a beautiful tropical conservatory next to the tasting room, filled with exotic plants surrounding tables and walkways. You will feel like you are sipping your wine on a remote island rather than in the heart of Central Virginia's wine country. Don't miss pairing your wines with the vineyard's decadent chocolates, made in-house by their very own chocolatier, which come in flavors like raspberry champagne, salted peanut butter, red wine cream and cherry pepper.

Hit a ball at Little Washington Winery

About 60 miles west of Washington, D.C. in the foothills of Shenandoah National Park, Little Washington Winery & Brewery combines scenic views with outdoor sports on their 18-hole par 60 Jenkins Mountain Disc Golf Course. The course covers 55 acres with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, and is open to the public year-round at no extra cost (just bring your own discs!). Start your game at Hole # 1, right at the entrance to the winery / brewery, but stop at the Pro Shop first to stock up on snacks, drinks and accessories for your game. As you play the course you will come across the Skyline Vineyard, where you can take a break and grab some food. You can even attend some live music depending on the day! Finish hole # 18 back at the brewery / winery entrance and toast the winner with a glass of Little Washington wine or beer.

Dive into wine and cake pairings at 8 Chains North Winery

Photo Credit: Emily Powers

8 Chains North Winery and Mom & # 39; s Apple Pie Company, a Loudoun bakery popular with locals, are owned by a brother and sister. After firmly establishing the winery and bakery, the two decided to team up for special wine and cake pairings. Want more sweet, sweet goodness on your visit to 8 Chains North? The winery also has chocolates from the local chocolatier and restaurant, The Conche, which can be paired with your tasting for just $ 5 extra.

Soothe your senses at Purple Wolf Vineyard

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<h5 class=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 actually part of White Oak Lavender Farm, located outside Harrisonburg. Before visiting the tasting room, take a moment to walk through the Discovery Area, an interactive garden space with a petting zoo, life-size checkerboard, duck pond, labyrinth, oil distillery, drying shed and of course lavender gardens. Visitors can pick their own lavender in season and purchase a wide variety of lavender products from the gift shop, such as lavender body products, teas, culinary lavender, and even lavender ice cream. If you'd like to learn more about the lavender growing and harvesting process, take the farm's self-guided audio tour, which covers your entry to the Discovery Area for just $ 9 and picks 20 stalks of lavender (when it's in bloom).

After visiting the property, finish in the tasting room and sample up to 12 unique wines during mini tastings, flights, or seasonal wine treats such as slushies. However, your lavender experience doesn't stop at the winery doors. Some wines are infused with lavender, a surprisingly refreshing twist on the classic glass of Virginia vino.

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