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By Amy Falksofske
In March, Prince William Living took you on a tour of area breweries and distilleries. This month, we’ll take you on a tour of some of the area’s wineries and wine tasting rooms.
The History of Wine in Virginia
According to virginiawine.org, the first attempts at winemaking go back to the first settlers and a few founding fathers. However, winemaking didn’t become an industry in Virginia until the late 1970s.
At first, the wine world dismissed Virginia viticulture (the cultivation of grapevines), but European immigrants and dairy farm matriarchs persisted and overcame the obstacles. What resulted was a sharp increase in wine quantity and quality in Virginia. In the 1990s, there were only about 50 wineries in
Virginia. Today, there are nearly 300.
The Winery at La Grange
“In addition to our fine selection of wines, The Winery at La Grange strives to make each guest feel welcome in our historic 18th-century manor house,” said Director of Marketing & Web Designer Kevin Chevallier. “The La Grange estate is steeped in history and legends. We love to share the stories with our guests
as they enjoy a glass or bottle of wine.”
You’ll find a lot more than wine at The Winery at La Grange.
“Throughout the year, we offer a variety of events, including wine dinners featuring local chefs, wine and chocolate pairings, K9s in the Vines tasting weekends, outdoor movie nights, and local vendor markets,” he said.
The Winery at La Grange is located at 4970 Antioch Road in Haymarket.
The Winery at Sunshine Ridge Farm
The Winery at Sunshine Ridge Farm counts itself as both a brewery and a winery. Sunshine Ridge is locally owned and operated, with over 20 acres of land, a rustic wine tasting room, and an old pub-style brewery with large fireplaces.
“What sets us apart is that we are situated on Lake Manassas, so unlike other local venues, we have amazing water views. Prior to our opening, these water views could only be enjoyed if you lived in the neighborhoods surrounding the lake or belonged to one of the country clubs on the lake. Now anyone can come and enjoy the lake with a cold brew or a glass of wine,” said Maria Rafferty, Co-owner.
The Winery at Sunshine Ridge Farm is located at 15850 Sunshine Ridge Lane in Gainesville.
The Wine Tasting Rooms
Aroma Wine Tasting
According to General Manager Alexandria Scadden, what distinguishes Aroma Wine Tasting from other wineries is its deluxe pairing plates, wine slushies, and “Cheers” atmosphere. Each month you can get a “Passport” to Food Pairings featuring different countries. You can also enjoy trivia every third Sunday
and coming soon, Sip & Paint.
Aroma Wine Tasting has two locations, at 9249 Center Street in Manassas and 14871 Washington Street in Haymarket.
Bottle Stop Wine Bar
“Bottle Stop Wine Bar has brought international acclaim & recognition to the area through being awarded Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence for four years and counting. The Wine Bar also offers a more urban-style option for wine, cocktails and dining to the area,” said Co-owner Kim Wigode.
Bottle Stop has a Sommelier (wine steward) curated, award-winning wine program that includes more than 25 wines by the glass and 300 bottles.
Bottle Stop Wine Bar is located at 311 Mill Street in Historic Occoquan.
The Spot on Mill Street
The Spot on Mill Street is actually a bistro that serves wine. They offer free wine tastings on the weekends. You can also participate in wine tastings on the first and third Wednesday of every month or daily bourbon, whiskey, scotch, and gin flights.
“Being a small, female and veteran owned business, we love to partner with female and veteran-based wineries from Virginia and around the world. Our wine reps work hard at finding unique wines for us and love that we explore different varietals and unique wines,” said Co-owner Denise Ormsby.
The Spot on Mill Street is the only place on the east coast to carry the only two white merlots currently being produced worldwide. It’s located at 406 Mill Street in Historic Occoquan.
WineStyles Montclair is “a great place to eat, drink and mingle with the locals that’s not a sports bar,” according toCo-owner Arthur Lampros, who also owns Giorgio’s Family Restaurant right next door.
“It’s fun to give people a different outlet. We carry wines from all over the world, not just Virginia.
So, we expose them to something off the beaten path,” said Lampros.
WineStyles Montclair does wine tastings on Friday and Saturday nights from 5 to 8 p.m. It’s located
at 4394 Kevin Walker Drive in Montclair.
Amy Falkofske is a freelance writer and screenwriter. She has a Master’s degree in Film-TV with a concentration in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University. She lives in Bristow with her husband, two boys and two Beagle dogs.