You know what was my biggest revelation about Virginia when we moved here? The abundance of wineries and breweries in the area, something I thought was privy only to California. Little did I know that Virginia is indeed a heaven for wine lovers with over 300 picturesque wineries punctuating the verdant rolling hills across the state, all located within 1-3 hours from Washington, D.C.. You can see why it’s so easy to escape the capital’s hustle and bustle on a weekend if you crave idyllic pastoral views paired with delightful wine/beer and food. It’s also a simple yet delightful way to celebrate a special occasion. That’s exactly what I chose to do to mark my 36th birthday last week.
Serendipitously, Bluemont Vineyard reached out and generously invited me to spend a day on their winery, explore the grounds as well as their wines – an offer impossible to decline. I doubt there is a local wine connoisseur in Virginia who does not know or will not recommend a visit to the Bluemont Vineyard. Since its establishment in 2007, the winery has expanded and earned countless accolades, gained insane popularity and attracted one too many wine-lovers. Yet one thing has not changed, the Zurschmeide family-owned winery still feels like you’re visiting their home. Everything in the winery ensures that the guests feel welcomed in the most effortless way, and are treated to a relaxed, intimate atmosphere and approachable tasting experience.
I learned that whether you’re looking to celebrate a special day or simply sit back and soak up some sunshine and enjoy a refreshing mountain breeze, there is something for everyone not only at the Bluemont Vineyard, but also its sister properties next door. In an effort to encourage you to travel local and explore your own backyard, I thought I’d share a few fun experiences I think you might enjoy in the coming summer months:
Wine and Hiking Tour
One of the best ways to experience the unwavering hospitality of Bluemont and learn about the history of the vineyard is through their Wine and Hiking Tour. Now don’t get too stressed, it’s not a strenuous exercise, but rather a leisurely stroll, a self-guided tour through 6 designated spots around the vineyard. You’ll get a map with details and a video/audio tour (via QDR code) which will introduce you to Zurschmeide family and their wine-making story. A huge bonus of the tour is that you’ll get to see spots around the winery you’d probably miss if you just visited the patio or veranda.
Reserve A Row
Isn’t it a brilliant concept?! You can reserve one of the rows in the vineyard and picnic on the grass surrounded by the verdant vines. I think this is particularly fun for families with kids because you can let kids run up and down the slopes in privacy while you enjoy the vistas of Loudoun County and sip on that vintage. You can bring your lawn chairs, shade umbrella, or outdoor blankets to enjoy the scenic seating. All wine and food services will be served with disposable cups, utensils, and packaging. Reserve your row here.
Open Air Wine Tasting
If you prefer a more traditional seating arrangement, Bluemont has a number of outside options, both in shade and the sun. Enjoy a variety of light bites and seasonal specials, as well as a flight tasting or lunch on their veranda, north patio, upper and lower pergolas, outlook bar or lower outlook seating! You can pick your favorite spot and book it here. Reservations are encouraged on the weekends, but there is some space for walk-ins as well!
Brunch At The Bluemont Vineyard
If you know me, you know that brunch is my favorite meal, so even if you decide to make Bluemont Vineyard one of many stops around the Loudoun County tour, I highly recommend to stop here for a meal. Thoughtfully sourced and artfully arranged, their brunch boards (offered Saturdays and Sundays) feature local sausage, waffle quarters with all the fixings, deviled eggs, and loaded lox. Here is their Sample Brunch Menu.
Plates & Pours Dinner At The Harvest Room
Another option, and something that we did and loved, is to finish your day over a delicious farm-to-table chef’s culinary experience offered at the Harvest Room. A three-course dinner menu is expertly paired with Bluemont wines. I thoroughly enjoyed my duck-fat fries, pan-seared salmon, and strawberry cheesecake bites. Justin on the other hand raved about his Caprese salad, grilled filet mignon and chocolate-dipped apple cider doughnut truffle (I might or might not have stolen a few bites of this!). Everything is sourced from their farm or local purveyors and tastes absolutely delightful. When coupled with the unforgettable views from their roofed terrace, this wine and dine experience is definitely a winner.
The Henway Cider & Dirt Farm Brewing
Bluemont also has two fantastic sister properties that I visited on a few occasions. We marked Justin’s birthday last year at Dirt Farm Brewing and absolutely loved it. They produce small-batch, hand-crafted beer from ingredients grown on their family Great County Farms. The brews are spot on, combining farm-fresh grains, hops, fruit, and mountain water. I greatly enjoyed their fruit beers – Som’s Peach and Tart 31 Cherry Ale, although there are plenty of other choices.
Right across the street is Henway Hard Cider, heaven not only for adults but for kids as well (and a BIG reason why a visit to Bluemont is a great one-stop destination for families as a day trip!). Their graft-to-glass cider is served fresh at the base of the blue ridge mountains on expansive farmland where kids can interact with farm animals and birds, play on numerous obstacle courses and playgrounds and learn about sustainable farming. Henway is truly a playground for adults and kids. If I had kids, I’d start my morning here, wear out the kids and then head up to Bluemont to enjoy their plates and pours. Henway also has a farmer’s market where you can pick up seasonal produce sourced from the farm and offer small bites which you can enjoy by their large pond or indoors.
Stay at Bluemont Vineyard
It’s also worth mentioning that Bluemont Vineyard has several cottages located on their three properties and would make a spot to spend the night and continue exploring other wineries or breweries in Loudoun County. Accommodations vary from a quaint and romantic studio-style cottage nestled among the vines at Bluemont, to the stylishly appointed cottage at Dirt Farm Brewing, to a spacious three-bedroom cottage at Great Country Farms. There are also other hotels near Bluemont Vineyard that you can consider staying at.
Other notable offers that caught my eye at Bluemont Vineyard include their Sangria Packs and Home Tasting Kits (I snagged Macaron & Wine Pairing which was fantastic). Overall, I’d recommend checking their events calendar and planning your visit accordingly because they often offer live music, markets and other fun community events during summer.
I hope you’ll get to visit Bluemont Vineyard and enjoy it as much as I did. As I mentioned before, a list of wineries in Virginia is endless. There are so many fantastic options that I already checked out and yet have to visit. I cannot wait to share them with you in my upcoming posts. If you have favorite wineries or breweries in Virginia that you think I must not miss, please do let me know in the comments.
Stay inspired, my beautiful friends!
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