Skyline Drive Wine Tour: Thornton Gap Entrance
Summer is almost here and if you’re like us, you probably feel the need to hit the open road and burn off the cabin fever. What better way to do that than taking a road trip, experiencing the great outdoors and sipping on fine wines from our local vineyards?
Just under an hour from Warrenton, VA lies Shenandoah National Park. It’s the perfect spot to slip away to for a weekend with your family or friends of camping, fishing, hiking and more.
Tucked into the edges of Shenandoah’s scenic Skyline Drive you’ll find 27 wineries, a whiskey distillery, unique local restaurants and a dozen quaint bed and breakfast spots. So if you want a break from the 105 mile route, take a detour and stop in for a bite to eat or sample the vino from some of the locals at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
92 Schoolhouse Road
Washington, VA 22747
Friday, Sunday & Monday
If you’ve ever dreamed of slipping away to a vineyard in Italy, get a taste of the old world at Gadino Cellars in Rappahannock County, VA. This Italian-inspired winery features gourmet cheeses, sausages, two regulation size Bocce Ball courts and, of course, an assortment of fine wines to please any palette.
You may also want to grab a bottle of Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay and enjoy a picnic while taking in the beauty of the vineyards and the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. Leashed pets are welcome to join as well.
According to the Gadino family, “Quality is never an accident. It is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilled execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” It’s because of their commitment to quality that since 2004 they have chosen to only produce between 2300 – 1400 cases per year.
If you plan on visiting in the fall, ask about taking part in the yearly harvest festival!
72 Christmas Tree Lane
Washington, VA 22747
Friday – Sunday
11:00am – 5:00pm
Little Washington is more than a place to sample some of the best wines in Virginia, it’s an interactive experience.
Sign up for FoodieU and join the wine and food pairing classes each weekend. Other courses include Wine Bootcamp, Cheeseology, Wines of the World, Blending Class, Home Winemaking Class and more. You can also participate in the Dirt Road Wine Tour featuring not only Little Washington’s George (named the #1 red in Virginia), but other incredible wines from small farm wineries across the country. With seven new wines to choose from every day, you’ll want to visit again and again.
In July, Little Washington Winery hosts Winestock, named one of the best wine festivals in Virginia. Break out your groovy hippie wear and enjoy a day of music, food, and wine!
9 River Lane
Sperryville, VA 22740
Monday – Saturday
10:00am – 6:00pm
1:00pm – 6:00pm
It may not be a winery, but we couldn’t leave Copper Fox Distillery off our tour.
After visiting several distilleries across the US and traveling to Scotland, the birthplace of Scotch whiskey, owner Rick Wasmund launched Copper Fox Distillery, the first applewood aged whiskey in the world, in 2000.
Both the Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky and Copper Fox Rye Whisky are made from scratch by hand-malting the barley, then flavoring the grain with a progressive series of new and used applewood and oak chips inside used bourbon barrels.
Along with both the malt whiskey and the rye whiskey, Copper Fox offers a gin made from malt, Mediterranean juniper, citrus, spice and selected botanicals as well as a barrel kit. Whether you’re a pro or an aspiring mixologist, the barrel kit offers an opportunity to age spirits at home.
If you’ve already tried out Gadino Cellars, Little Washington Winery and Copper Fox Distillery on your way to the Thornton Gap entrance, look for our next guide where we’ll head north and discover more one-of-a-kind wineries along the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills.