With more than 300 wineries in the state, Virginia is a wine lovers happy place. According to Virginia is For Lovers, Virginia’s wine trails “allow aficionados to sip their way across the Commonwealth and experience everything from Albarino to Viognier. Be sure to include an exclusive winemaker’s dinner or festival to your trail pursuit. Or, happen upon live music and hot air balloon rides.” If you’ve never been to a winery or you’re not a wine connoisseur, it can be a little bit intimidating. You’ll notice that many tour guides will use a lot of technical wine vocabulary, or there are people in your group that know each and every lit bit of information that is to know about wine. But don’t worry if you’re not a master in wine flavors and varietals, you can still enjoy all that Virginia Wine Country has to offer.
Virginia Wine Trails
As you embark on the Virginia Wine Trail, don’t be embarrassed to start with a guidebook. No matter how much you know about wine, there’s always more to learn. Even professionals use these handy resources, because they’re a great place to learn about all of the tasting options. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions at the winery itself. Those working at the wineries are usually eager to send you down the road to their friends. What’s more—at least in small towns in Virginia—nearly everyone you meet will have an opinion about which wines to sample. And if you like a wine that you taste, after some tastings you won’t know anymore which wine was that that made you crave for more. So if you want to go home and order that favorite wine at a restaurant (or avoid the ones you really didn’t like) take some little notes so that you won’t forget what fancied you the most.
Another important thing to keep in mind as you embark on the Virginia Wine Trail is to give yourself plenty of time—don’t rush. Wine is one of the ultimate “slow foods.” If you’re having fun, a tasting can last over an hour, so set aside plenty of time between visits. You and your party will be glad you’re not in a hurry—and so will the person leading the tasting. Also, remember that the best way to enjoy wine is with delicious food. Inquire with those at the winery about local restaurants in the area.
Lastly, think about your outfit choices before you head to the winery. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes so that you can stroll through the vineyards without getting your feet dusty or deal with any mud on the grounds. If the tour is in the outside, odds are that you will spend some time under the sun, so bring along a hat and sunglasses. Conversely, always be prepared for rain. There’s nothing worse than a little rain ruining your wine parade.
For more information about locations and wineries along the Virginia Wine Trail, visit Virginia is For Lovers.