Sample Award-Winning Wines, Craft Beer and Legal Moonshine

Today, the Commonwealth of Virginia is the 5th largest producer of wine in the United States.  The surrounding area  is included in the  Monticello AVA in the central Piedmont area. The Inns at Montpelier are all nestled within this region along the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains and encompasses the small ridge known as Southwest Mountain.  The region that Jefferson referred to as the “Eden of the United States”

SPECIAL OFFER - A special opportunity for Inns at Montpelier overnight guests only: Stay with participating inns and book a private winery tour in a luxury Cadillac Escalade.  The Inns at Montpelier have partnered with Central Virginia Wine Tours to create two transportation packages:

  • The Local - Visit 3-4 wineries in the Orange and Madison County areas.  $225 M - Th; $275 F - Su for the entire private vehicle.
  • The Regional - Visit 3-4 wineries and breweries in the Charlottesville and Afton areas. $345 daily for the entire private vehicle.

Contact your innkeeper for details and to book your private tour!

 

Below is a list of several wineries located in and around the area:

Barboursville Winery - www.barboursvillewine.net

One of the oldest wineries in the region, it was established in 1976 by the Zonin family, a 7th generation of wine makers in Italy.  Its Bordeaux blend Octagon wine is the most consistently awarded red wine in the Eastern United States.

Despite the efforts of local officials who said the only thing to grow on this acerage was tobacco,
Gianni Zonin decided to plant grape vines.  To show how very right he was, drive through the winery gates to see all the incredible plantings and then visit the beautiful tasting room for a selection of their wines.  


Early Mountain Winery - www.earlymountainwinery.com

Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on land once owned by Revolutionary war veteran Lt. Joseph Early, the winery was recently purchased by Jean and Steven Case and is run as a social enterprise with all profits returned to benefit local and state venues.
Presently offering tastings of local and estate grown wines, Early Mountain welcomes you to enjoy their beautiful facilities, sit in the tasting room by the fire for those chilly days, or bring the kids and the dog for a picnic on the patio.   

 

DuCard Winery - www.ducardvineyards.com

A small boutique winery at the edge of the Shenandoah National Park in Madison.  Established for over a decade, wonderful wines come out of DuCard and are presented in their VA Green certified new wine tasting room.  They encourage their visitors to relax, enjoy the view (often accompanied by live music) and soak in the Virginia winery experience.


Belmont Farm Distillery - www.belmontfarmdistillery.com

Virginias' hills have been home, albeit not always legally, to fresh whiskey for over 400 years.  
Belmont Farm was originally an old English land grant in 1836.  During the Civil War it was occupied by the North and was involved in the Battle of Cedar Mountain. The main house was burned to the ground during its occupation.  The present brick colonial house was built in 1975.
Belmont Farms has 195 acres where all the corn, wheat and barley used in the production of their traditional copper pot whiskey is grown.  The only distillery in the United States that does so.
Closed during the winter months Belmont opens its doors to tours and tastings from April 1st through the end of December.

 

Beer Hound Brewery - www.beerhoundbrewery.com
A nanobrewery located in downtown Culpeper, Virginia, Beer Hound Brewery strives to keep beer local by brewing and serving our beer direct to customers at the brewery. Founder, Kenny Thacker, originally got into brewing beer as a business opportunity with a full-service homebrewing store, the Fermentation Trap. Since that time, he has fallen in love with beer and brewing and felt compelled to do it professionally, and in 2012, Kenny opened Beer Hound Brewery. All of the Beer Hound beers are named after famous hounds in movies and history, with an attempt to link the beer style to the hound. Beer Hound Brewery serves a variety of beer styles fresh daily, so stop by and enjoy a pint.


Burnley Winery - www.burnleywines.com/burnley/

Tucked away on Rt 64l in Barboursville is Burnley Vineyards, home of the Reeder family and one of the oldest wineries in the area.

Planted in the spring of 1977 their first vintage was in the fall of 1984 and consisted of a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay. They now produce fifteen wines with their latest being Chambourcin, barrel aged for one year and a dry but light to medium-bodied red, beautifully smooth and fruity.

 

Chateau MerrillAnne - www.chateaumerrillanne.com

"A most unlikely place to find such good wine!" A comment made by one of their first customers. You will not expect to find such good wine on a working farm sold out of an old barn. But what they lack in grand buildings they make up for with excellent wine, great service and a relaxing country atmosphere.

 

Chestnut Oak Vineyard - www.chestnutoakvineyard.com

Chestnut Oak Vineyard is a small boutique tasting room three miles south of Barboursville Vineyards. Focusing solely on Petite Manseng and Cabernet Sauvingnon, they are produced in small quantities and barrel aged in oak.

 

Far Gohn Brewing Company - www.fargohnbrewing.com
A “Tavern Brewery” in Culpeper serving the Culpeper area that celebrates the German immigrant contribution to the American beer tradition but also embraces the variety of beer styles from all over the world. Brewing and serving are all done in the same space, modeled after the small taverns that dotted the landscape before prohibition.  Our house beers are the classic German ales : Kolsch, Hefeweizen, and Altbier. There will always be a rotating variety of additional styles, including British ales, Belgian styles, and the American craft brews that are the envy of the world.


Gray Ghost Vineyards - www.grayghostvineyards.com

Situated in Rappahannock County close by the Blue Ridge Mountains where their vines are sheltered from inclement weather is the Gray Ghost Winery, where the owners Al and Chery Kellert lovingly tend their grapes and wines.  Opening in 1994 this award winning winery offers a variety of events each year and where you can sign up as a volunteer to help pick their annual harvest.

Civil War buffs may also know of a Confederate Colonel Mosby who came to be known as The Gray Ghost and for whom the winery is named.  For much more fascinating information visit their web site.


Honah Lee Vineyards - berrywoodcrafters.com

A wine tasting room for several well known wineries in central Virginia and also a farm market that sells fresh produce, jams, jellies and sauces, baked goods and crafts.

This newest vineyards tasting room and market reflect the rustic ambiance of rural Americas’
old country stores.


Horton Winery - www.hortonwine.com

In 1988 Dennis Horton bought 55 acres on Rte 33 to establish the Horton Winery.  After traveling in France he decided that the Viogner grape was perfect for this area.  In 1992 with his wines well received in a national competition the building began for the present day winery, with stunning below ground wine cellars and a vaulted ceilinged tasting room.

Well known for his popular Horton wine, the tasting room now offers a selection from 50 plus
wines - they suggest a limit of 12 for safeties sake.

 

Keswick Vineyards - www.keswickvineyards,com

Established in 2000 by Al & Cindy Schornberg, is a family owned and operated winery specializing in small lots of high-quality wines. Originally from Michigan, the Schornbergs chose Virginia to pursue their dream of owning a vineyard after an extensive search that spanned coast to coast.  Al’s goal was straightforward: “I just wanted to be able to enjoy a really good wine that I made. There’s something very natural and satisfying about that.” 

With their first vintage in 2002 winning the honor of "Best White Wine in America" at the Atlanta International Wine Summit, the Schornbergs knew they had made the right decision.  In 2009 they were awarded the Virginia Governor's Cup for their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, further transforming their dream into a reality.  Now, in 2016 Keswick Vineyards received their second Virginia Governor's Cup for their 2014 Cabernet Franc Reserve.

 

Narmada Winerywww.narmadawinery.com
Narmada Winery was established in Rappahannock County, VA in 2009. Owners Pandit and Sudha Patil had a long-standing dream to own a vineyard one day.  The couple arrived in the US from Mumbai, India, some 40 years ago and have finally achieved their goal.  The Patils began construction in 2009. The combination of art and science is a given in making wine. Sudha Patil’s competence in both areas has made Narmada Winery something special right from the start.

With attention to using the best quality grapes, diligent sorting of the berries, and maintaining proper chemistry of acidity and pH, Sudha’s medical background ensures clean processing of the fruit from harvest through the aging process.  Sudha’s knowledge of complex spices acquired during her childhood in India enable her to coax latent flavors from her grapes that perhaps would be overlooked by others. Her focus is to create graceful wines that are a true reflection of the fruit and to produce Virginia wines of the highest possible quality.

This goal has been evident even as Narmada Winery released its first wines to critical acclaim. Gold medals were awarded to Narmada Primita in 2009, and to Narmada Mom – the winery’s signature blend – as well as to Narmada Viognier in 2010. In the following years, Narmada wines have achieved more than 40 gold medals in national and international competitions.


Old House Vineyards - www.oldhousevineyards.com

From an abdandoned farm house with overgrown fields, to a productive winery, this is a tale of imagination and hard labor, but with an abundance of fun thrown in.

Visit the invitingly restored 18th century farm house and see the finished result while you enjoy a tasting of their award winning wines. Check their web site for some fascinating vineyard facts and figures.
 

Prince Michel Winery - www.princemichel.com

Established in 1981 in Madison County by Jean & Sylvia LeDucq because of its close resemblance to their beloved France; Prince Michel is also home to Rapidan river wines.

Presently owned by Kristen Swanson Holzman, one of only a handful of female winery owners in the world, Prince Michel continues to grow and enjoy success not only in Virginia, but also in the world market.   


Reynard Florence - www.reynardflorence.com

One of the newest in the area, a family owned boutique winery, producing hand-crafted, high quality award winning wines.  Relax on their patio with a glass of wine and enjoy some of Orange County’s spectacular mountain views.

Open weekends or by appointment.


Other local wineries in the Orange and Madison area include:

Brightwood Winery - www.brightwoodvineyardsandfarm.com
Castle Gruen Winery - www.castlegruenwinery.com
Cooper Vineyards - www.coopervineyards.com
Gray Haven Winery - www.grayhavenwinery.com
Weston Farm Vineyards and Winery - www.westonfarmvineyardandwinery.webs.com