Shenandoah Valley Wineries: A Tasting Itinerary

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Virginia is slowly commanding national attention with its award-winning wineries. Since Founding Father and oenophile Thomas Jefferson so nobly proclaimed, “Good wine is a necessity of life for me,” his great state has garnered acclaim for its Cabernet Francs and Viogniers. A road trip through the lush, breathtaking Shenandoah Valley is an ideal way to taste Virginia’s terroir and take in its natural beauty.

Day 1

Image Source: Yelp

Cedar Creek Vineyard
7384 Zepp Rd.
Star Tannery, VA 22654
(540) 436-8394
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 8 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: From I-81, State Rte 623 to State Rte 600. Turn left onto VA-42/W Reservoir Rd. Turn right onto State Rte 605, then continue straight onto State Rte 763. Turn left onto State Rte 676. Turn right onto State Rte 623/State Rte 676, then turn left onto State Rte 600. Keep right to stay on State Rte 600, Cedar Creek Vineyard will be on the right.

This boutique, family-owned vineyard specializes in award-winning Chardonnay and Cabernet Francs. Cedar Creek Vineyard’s 77-acre farm is located in the mountains of Northwestern Shenandoah Valley, along the banks of historic Cedar Creek. Cedar Creek Vineyards’ Chardonnay is aged in American oak seven to 10 months before bottling, and the Cabernet Franc for 10 months in American Oak. Insider tip: Pack a picnic, buy one of the winery’s award-winning bottles, sit on the back terrace, and enjoy spectacular views of the gently rolling Blue Ridge Mountains.

Image Source: Yelp

North Mountain Vineyard & Winery
4374 Swartz Rd.
Maurertown, VA 22644
(540) 436-9463
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 38 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: From Cedar Creek Vineyard, head southwest toward State Route 642 for 0.2 miles, turn right onto State Route 642 for 0.5 miles, turn left onto State Route 655 for 0.4 miles, and then turn left onto State Route 623 for 1.2 miles. Turn right onto State Route 600 and after 4.4 miles then turn right to stay on State Route 600, and after 3 miles, North Mountain Vineyard & Winery will be on your right.

North Mountain Vineyard & Winery offers an array of wine varietals, ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Riesling, and Traminette, as well as the German-Austrian varieties Gruner Veltliner and Zweigelt. Cozy up to the fire in the great room and sip wine, take a stroll in the flower gardens, or peruse the winery’s gift shop with items made by local artisans. If a visit to the vineyard falls on a Saturday, you’ll be able to enjoy live music. Insider tip: For something different, ask to try the sweet Virginia Apple Wine, made of 100 percent Golden Delicious and Fuji apples, handpicked in the Shenandoah Valley.

Image Source: Yelp

Muse Vineyards
16 Serendipity Ln.
Woodstock, VA 22664
(540) 459-7033
Reservations: Required
Directions: From North Mountain Vineyard & Winery, take State Route 609 and Hollingsworth Road for 1.6 miles to South Water Street in Woodstock. Continue on South Water Street to North Lee Street for 1.2, and then follow State Route 642/Swartz Road for 4.7 miles to Muse Vineyards.

Less than three miles east of the quaint town of Woodstock, Muse Vineyards is located on the banks of the Shenandoah River on a site farmed since the 17th century by Mennonite settlers. The winery is known for its balanced and classic wines, which are based on the French domaine system that produces the wines of Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley. White wines are Chardonnay, Roussanne, and a blend of Rhône varieties including Marsanne and Viognier. Insider tip: The red wine—Clio—is a roughly equal blend of four Bordeaux varieties—Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon—and is the winner of the 2015 Governor’s Cup.

Day 2

Image Source: Shenandoah Vineyards and Yelp

Shenandoah Vineyards
3659 South Ox Rd.
Edinburg, VA 22824
(540) 984-8699
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 40 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: Location 4.4 miles south of Woodstock, off Interstate 81. From I-81, turn left onto State Rte 686.

Pioneers of the Virginia wine industry, Jim and Emma Randel planted the vineyard’s first vines in 1976. At the Randel’s Shenandoah Vineyards, wine is paired with the estate’s rich history—a farm that has existed since the 1700s. This winery offers tastes of award-winning wines in a Civil War-era barn: once upon a time, the cellar housed farm animals, and the tasting room was located where bales of hay were stored. Insider tip: Ask Emma, known as the “Grand Dame of the Virginia Wine,” for an oral history of the estate as you sip in the tasting room.

Image Source: Yelp

Wolf Gap Vineyard
123 Stout Rd.
Edinburg, VA 22824
(540) 984-3306
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 42 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: From Shenandoah Vineyards, head 0.1 miles northwest on State Route 706 toward State Route 707, and then turn right onto State Route 707. After 0.6 miles, turn right onto State Route 694, where you will drive for 0.7 miles and then turn right onto State Route 691. Continue straight onto State Route 682 for 1.6 miles, turn right onto State Route 675, and after 1.9 miles, turn left onto State Route 686. After 1.6 miles, Wolf Gap Vineyard will be on your left.

Edinburg’s Wolf Gap Vineyard produces exclusive small batches of vintage reds, whites, and blends. Located on a 50-acre estate in the Shenandoah Valley, this winery has breathtaking views of the Great North Mountains from its tasting room’s deck. Red varieties include Cabernet Franc and Bordeaux-style blend Mariage, and whites include a lightly oaked Chardonnay and semi-sweet Rose. Insider tip: If you’re into dessert wines, ask to try the blueberry wine, a sweet elixir made from 100 percent wild Maine blueberries.

Image Source: Yelp and Cave Ridge Vineyard

Cave Ridge Vineyard
1476 Conicville Rd.
Mt. Jackson, VA 22842
(540) 477-2585
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 45 reviews
Reservations: Required for groups of 6 or more
Directions: From Wolf Gap Vineyard, head head north for 0.2 miles toward State Route 703. You’ll take a slight left onto State Route 703/Conicville Road, where you’ll continue down the road for 0.5 miles, then take a slight right onto State Route 716 for 0.2 miles. Turn right onto State Route 694 and drive for 2 miles, and continue straight onto State Route 707. After 0.6 miles, turn left onto State Route 706, and after 0.1 miles Cave Ridge Vineyard will be on your left.

Family owned and operated, Cave Ridge Vineyard, known for producing wines that emphasize fruit character, is located in the foothills of the Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, overlooking the lush Shenandoah Valley. Varieties range from bold reds like the Fossil Hill Reserve 2011 (a Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Chambourcin blend) and the Red Silk 2010 Cabernet Franc (“best Cabernet Franc they have ever had,” according to Virginia Wine Lover Magazine) to light whites like the fruity La Petite Traminette and Riesling 2013, a Governor’s Cup winner. Insider tip: Virginia Governor’s Cup award-winner Fossil Hill Reserve is named for the ammonite fossils that have been found on the vineyard’s estate.

With the bucolic backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley wine trail makes for a quiet and relaxing adventure that is off the beaten path. While tasting award-winning wines, you’re bound to fall in love with Virginia’s wine country with its friendly vineyard owners, rustic tasting rooms, and beautiful natural surroundings.