We’ve been running wine tours now going on six years, and decided to close up shop for a couple of days and explore the wineries in Northern Virginia. We wanted to drive the Skyline Drive out of Waynesboro as well so we could direct our B&B guests and describe the trip as well.
We contacted Deidra of Virginia Wine Adventures, LLC, http://www.vawineadventures.com/ to see if she had availablity on a Tuesday, which she did!
The entrance to Skyline Drive is well defined by signs. From Arcady we went west on 64 to exit 99 and popped right on. It was a beautiful drive, and about an hour north we saw that there was an exit where you could get off onto 33 heading east. That would be a great day trip from our inn – an hour enjoying the Skyline Drive – possibly stopping for a hike or picnic – then getting off on 33 east and enjoy some wine tasting at Barboursville and/or Keswick Vineyards and back to our B&B.
We found it takes about 3 hours to make the entire drive up to Front Royal. The wildflowers were beautiful!
Once we got off at Front Royal we stopped at Rappahannock Cellers at Huntly and had a tasting. Great wines! Very nice staff, and pretty location. http://www.rappahannockcellars.com/
On we went to check in to our bed and breakfast which was a darling renovated building right in town called the Middleburg Country Inn http://www.middleburgcountryinn.com/. It was just what we wanted – a nice room, right in town, with great breakfast! Our host JoAnne had all kinds of suggestions for us.
The wine tour the next day was wonderful! We wanted to ensure that four wineries was enough for one tour, and found out that it certainly is! Any more and the wine all starts to taste alike. Our guide Deidra saved us a lot of time as hassle we found, as the wineries operate differently than down in Charlottesville. Here where we are located the wineries are open most of them seven days a week. Sometimes some are closed on Tuesday.
Up there in Loudoun County, many of them are closed during the week, only open on weekends. We would have wasted a lot of time driving around only to find the doors locked!!
I think of the four that we visited, Tarara was our favorite. They were all great but there was something about their Merlot that had Chris wanting more! What a nice afternoon we had, and when Deidra brought out the cheese plate I was ready to eat!
That’s another reason we chose Virginia Wine Adventures with whom to tour. Yes there are limos out there, but you usually need to tell them where you wish to go, and if you’re not familiar with the area you waste a lot of time and money not taking a well planned route. Plus they don’t provide cheese plates, to my knowledge, and I find that when you’re tasting wines it really helps to have something to eat midway. That’s why we provide one with our tours, and I’m glad we do now that I’ve done a similar tour in Loudoun.
We also enjoyed massages at Joan Marie’s Skin Care in Middlesburg, which were wonderful!
http://www.joanmarieskincare.net/ and the facial was relaxing too. We glowed afterwards!
The last mention is the French Hound Restaurant. http://www.thefrenchhound.com/
What a restaurant! It is not in one of the historic buildings, but somehow the design fits in beautifully. We just knew when we saw it that we’d like it for some reason! We sat in the little bar, had some wine and chatted with another traveler and the bartender who was charming enough to entertain us, and then sat down at a sunny table for wonderful dinner that was great quality for the price! REAL pommes frites, like in the old country! And REAL bread. Just wonderful.
Well, as soon as we got back we have tours booked like crazy, but we sure got in some great rest and relaxation. Now we can really see why our guests enjoy our tours. We’ ve been there!