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Thanks to its crisp climate and elevated terrain, Northern Virginia is one of the country’s most ideal locations for winemaking. Curious wine lovers will enjoy exploring the more than 70 wineries in the region that produce every variety you can imagine — from crisp chardonnays and refreshing Rieslings to chocolaty merlots and hearty zinfandels. To take in the most of Northern Virginia’s vibrant wine culture, Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest following one of the five wine trails. This way, you can visit several wineries in one day, or over the course of a long weekend.
One of Northern Virginia’s most prominent wine destinations is Loudoun County, an area chock full of charming small towns and sprawling landscapes. Spend a day here and you’ll find it hard to believe this quaint countryside gem is situated just 25 miles from Washington, D.C. Loudoun County is home to several boutique wineries, like Bluemont Vineyard which is perched above the historic towns of Leesburg and Middleburg as well as Breaux Vineyards, nestled between the scenic Blue Ridge and Short Hill Mountains. Because there are so many wineries to see in Loudoun County, we recommend stretching your visit into an overnight or weekend stay full of leisurely wining and dining as you take in all the area has to offer.
The newest route along the Northern Virginia wine trail is the Artisanal Wineries of Rappahannock County, a casual trail that features visits to five family-operated wineries located all within a short scenic drive from one another. If you’d like to make your visit an overnight adventure, the trail has partnered with two local lodging options: the Marriott Ranch in Hume, Virginia, and the Sharp Rock Bed & Breakfast in Sperryville, Virginia.