Despite the fact that Virginia is producing fantastic wines, it might not be the first state that comes to mind when you think of wine country. Of course, Virginia won’t be competing with the Napa Valley or Tuscany as a wine destination any time soon, but that doesn’t mean the region can’t produce great wine. It would behoove East coast wine enthusiasts to take a closer look at the small, boutique vineyards that have popped up across the state, especially those in its southwestern region.
We’ve rounded up five of southwest Virginia’s best wineries for your next visit down south. Do yourself a favor and give Virginian wine a chance. We doubt you’ll be sorry.
Tucked away in the scenic hills off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd County, Chateau Morrisette has been producing fine Virginian wines since 1978. Starting from humble beginnings as a family hobby, Chateau Morrisette has grown into one of the East coast’s most renowned wineries.
The vineyard’s acreage is composed of 13 acres of highland meadow planted with American Niagara grapes, a locally native species. Chateau Morrisette uses their small vineyard to produce exquisite Mountain Laurel and Red Mountain Laurel wines along with several other varieties of reds, whites, and rosés.
View a list of wines, full restaurant menu, and more vineyard information at thedogs.com.
One of Southwest Virginia’s younger wineries, Attimo was founded by Virginia Tech graduates Rik and Melissa Obiso. The main vineyard and tasting room is located just outside of Blacksburg, and visitors are encouraged to plan their visit around one of the events and live performances scheduled weekly at the tasting room.
Attimo maintains a primary vineyard of 11 acres at their Blacksburg location, and they source grapes from a few smaller leased lots of acreage across the state. All wine is made with Virginian grapes and crafted on-site. Attimo specializes in house blends, but they do produce pure varietals as well.
Find out more about Attimo Winery at attimowinery.com.
Beliveau Estate Winery
Beliveau Estate didn’t waste any time after opening their Blacksburg winery in 2012. The winery has already won several local awards, and they’re continuing to release fantastic new wines as they grow.
The vineyard is located approximately 30 minutes outside of Blacksburg, and it’s accompanied by a sprawling lavender planation, which can be enjoyed to its fullest during the peak blooming months of June and July.
Get a closer look at this exciting new vineyard by visiting beliveauestate.com.
Firefly Hill is a small, family owned Virginia Farm Winery (See section 5) just twenty minutes from Roanoke and Blacksburg. The entire estate is made up of 37 gorgeous acres planted with several varieties of grapes.
The vineyard was planted in late 2006, and the winery consistently produces seven varietals: Chardonnay, Merlot, Viognier, Vidal, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Traminette.
Get to know this genuine Virginia Farm Winery better at firefly.com.
AmRhein’s Wine Cellars
With a focus on German-influence wines and almost two decades of experience, this family owned and operated winery produces over 15 traditional varietals and several house blends. The winery has won several awards in 2014 alone, including multiple awards at the Virginia Governor’s Cup.
The 40 acre AmRhein’s vineyard is located on Bent Mountain, roughly halfway between Roanoke and Blacksburg, and it’s planted with 20 varieties of grapes. Tasting hours are available most days of the week, although they do change seasonally, and events are held regularly.
View event schedules, wine lists, and more at AmRheins.Thanks!
1. Photo by Susan Smith
2. Screenshot via Firefly’s website
3. Photo via AmRhein’s on Tumblr
Carrie is an avid writer, who spends her spare time biking and hiking the Appalachian Mountain trails near her home.