Culinary — 05 October 2017
Visit a winery—or, better yet, several of them—in Virginia to toast in fall.
In addition to lip-smacking yummy adult beverages, enjoy autumn color and pleasant temperatures.

By Chris Chamberlain

We’re big fans of wine here at Getaways for Grownups, and discovering wine regions beyond traditional favorites is a frequent motivation (excuse?) for travel among our writers.

Virginia WineUnlike lots of West Coast wines, many Southern wines never leave their home states, because the wineries can sell their entire supply within miles of the facility. That means the best way to try and buy these wines is to visit the state where they are produced. (Aw shucks, another excuse to travel!)

October is Virginia Wine Month, an excellent opportunity to learn more about the wines of the Commonwealth. This annual initiative celebrates the harvest season. Fall is when Virginia’s nearly 300 wineries harvest their vineyards, which means picking grapes, crushing the juice out, and starting fermentation. Since October is typically when the Blue Ridge Mountains most dramatically burst into autumn color, there are actually two great reasons to visit Virginia this month.

Check out the official calendar of events for things to do during your visit. Among the highlights you can enjoy…

  • Special tastings and winemaker dinners at Virginia wineries
  • Limited-time Virginia Wine pop-up offerings at restaurants and retailers throughout the state
  • Unique events at individual wineries

As the nation’s fifth largest wine-producing state, Virginia employs more than 8,200 people in the industry and contributed almost $1.37 billion in 2015 to the state economy. In 2016, Virginia ranked in the top 10 in USA Today’s “Readers’ Choice: Best of America’s wine regions” in several categories, including:

  • Best Tasting Room: Early Mountain Vineyards (ranked #1)
  • Best Wine Festival: Virginia Wine Summit (ranked #4)
  • Best Winery Tour: King Family Vineyards (ranked #7)
  • Best Wine Country Hotel: The Salamander Inn & Spa (ranked #4) and The Inn at Little Washington (ranked #10)

In short, October is a great time to visit Virginia—especially for wine lovers. Cheers!

– Photos by Chris Chamberlain

Chris ChamberlainChris Chamberlain is a food, drink, wine, spirits, travel and personal interest writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has lived his entire life except for four years in California where he studied liberal arts at Stanford University and learned how to manipulate chopsticks. He is a regular writer for the Nashville Scene and its “Bites” food blog as well as Nashville Lifestyles magazine. He is the Southern correspondent for FoodRepublic.com. He has also contributed to the Nashville City Paper, Her Nashville, Relish, Julep, Local Palate, The Bourbon Review, 2001 Edgehill, the SFA’s Gravy newsletter, Thrillist.com, and as a kitchen gadget reviewer at geardiary.com. He has published three books: The Southern Foodie: 100 Places to Eat before You Die and The Recipes That Made Them Famous, The Southern Foodie’s Guide to the Pig, and Nashville Beer: A Heady History of Music City Brewing.

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