Carly Crist '19
Name: White Hall Vineyards (Rank #3)
When you went: Weekend afternoon
Best for small or big groups? Small
General vibe: The employees were phenomenal and did everything they could to have us enjoy our tasting experience.
Favorite wine from that vineyard: Gewürztraminer, as that is not common to have at a tasting
Anything interesting about the vineyard that makes it different from others? They brought out the actual grapes for us to try while we were doing the wine tasting. Right outside, they also have trees that grow pawpaws. A pawpaw is a fruit that has the texture of an avocado but tastes tropical, like a mango. The guy pouring our tasting brought one in for us to eat and before we left we were able to go outside and collect as many as we wanted to take home with us.
Quality of “free” wine tasting glass (1 to 5): I don’t believe the glass was included, but at $5 for the regular tasting and $10 for the reserve tasting, paying a few dollars for a glass is not bad at all!
Name: Horton Vineyards (Rank #2)
When you went: Friday morning/afternoon
Best for small or big groups? Either, can accommodate large groups easily for tasting
General vibe: The employees were extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the wines. They handled a very large group with ease and were fun with us, especially as they gave us additional wines to try during the tasting. However, there were a handful of fruit flies in the room.
Favorite wine from that vineyard: The fruit and dessert wines; most vineyards don’t have them, but Horton has many of both to try and all are delicious.
Anything interesting about the vineyard that makes it different from others? With the tasting, you get to choose which ten wines to try out of more than forty, and not everyone in the group has to try the same ten. When I was there, they actually gave us more than ten, as they kept asking if we wanted to try different ones. Next to each wine and its description on their list is a nickname, like “Pizza Wine,” “Sippin’ Red,” “White Burgandy,” or “Spanish Delight.”
Quality of “free” wine tasting glass (1 to 5): The glass is not free, but the tasting was significantly cheaper than most at $6, making a $3 glass very reasonable
Name: Veritas Vineyard & Winery (Rank #1)
When you went: Weekend afternoon
Best for small or big groups? Either; it can accommodate large group with its large outdoor area, so it is easy to hang outside with a large group to drink wine.
General vibe: Large open tasting room with the word “LOVE” made out of wine corks hanging from the ceiling, an enormous lawn with vineyards in sight, and a beautiful view of the mountains.
Favorite Wine from that vineyard: I really can’t choose. This is my favorite winery because it is the only one where I liked every single wine at the tasting (white, red, and in between). However, I would recommend the Viognier, because while it is made with the Virginia grapes— and so almost every vineyard here has it—it is better at Veritas than many of the others.
Anything interesting about the vineyard that makes it different from others? On the second Saturday of each summer month (June, July, August, September) they host an outdoor concert on the lawn, and people bring picnics and enjoy wine while listening to music. This August, I attended when they hosted the Legwarmers.
Quality of “free” wine tasting glass (1 to 5): 5, you get a free glass with each tasting and some events held there. I currently have a set of four Veritas glasses.