As a Top Wine Region, Virginia’s Exquisite Terroir Draws Incredible Winemakers

The best Virginia wineries to visit from DC.

Stone Tower Winery
Stone Tower Winery | Photo credit: Neal Alfano Photography, photo courtesy of Stone Tower Winery
Stone Tower Winery | Photo credit: Neal Alfano Photography, photo courtesy of Stone Tower Winery

From the picturesque beaches of the Eastern Shore to the ancient peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia is rife with natural beauty all across its borders—and all of that fertile soil has given rise to a truly impressive wine scene. Though not quite as developed as states like California and Oregon, the Old Dominion is equipped with its fair share of high-end wineries, ranging from opulent estates to small-scale operations all scattered just past DC limits.

For an easy getaway from the national capital, sip your way through the bucolic landscapes of Loudoun, Fauquier, and Virginia’s other wine-rich eastern counties. Here are the best Virginia wineries to visit from Washington DC.

RdV Vineyards
RdV Vineyards | Photo credit: Jeff Mauritzen, photo courtesy of RdV Vineyards

Virginia wineries 1 hour from DC

Though not quite as large as some of Loudoun County’s other wineries, 868 Estate makes up for it with a particularly idyllic atmosphere and a portfolio that’s brimming with stellar wines. For Sauvignon Blanc fans, the property is equipped with a top-quality 2021 varietal that’s loaded with citrus and melon notes, while the 2020 Canvas White imbues the palate with sweet notes reminiscent of ice wine—and to sweeten the deal, the venue is a popular spot for live music performances, drawing talent from all across eastern Virginia for guests to enjoy.
By car from Washington DC: About 1 hour

When it comes to crafting the perfect Virginia wine, the estate’s soil is believed to play a major role in the flavor and mouthfeel of the final product—and few operations are as dedicated to the study of terroir as RdV Vineyards. After careful consideration, founder Rutger de Vink purchased the property due to the massive granite deposits buried below its fields, a quality that’s believed to imbue RdV’s wine with unique characteristics that set it apart from other Virginia products. To sample a taste of the surrounding landscape in liquid form, guests can snag a glass of Lost Mountain, a hearty red blend that’s packed with both Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
By car from Washington DC: About 1 hour

Breaux Vineyards
Breaux Vineyards | Photo credit: Aboud Dweck, photo courtesy of Visit Loudoun

While Breaux Vineyards is located in the heart of Loudoun County, the estate brings some serious Cajun flair to the Old Dominion, with no shortage of classic Louisiana dishes up for grabs around here. In addition to hearty Pelican State cuisine, the venue also offers a wide array of high-end wines, each one produced with 100% Virginia-grown grapes. Upon arrival, guests can head into the tasting room—or lounge on the sprawling lawn when the weather is cooperating—and snag a taste of 2022 Cellar Select Rosé, a fragrant wine that’s equal parts complex and refreshing.
By car from Washington DC: About 1 hour

The pastoral beauty of Virginia is on full display at Arterra, a cozy operation that’s perched on 75 acres of verdant woodlands. While wines range from Chardonnay to Cabernet Franc around here, each one is carefully crafted to portray the flavors of Virginia at their finest, with native Old Dominion yeast and neutral barrels both used in the production process. While visitors are welcome to swing by without a reservation, any budding artists should be sure to book a pottery class led by owner Sandy Gray-Murray, with each lesson coming complete with a complimentary glass of wine.
By car from Washington DC: About 1 hour

Measuring in at more than 300 acres, Stone Tower Winery showcases the true splendor of Loudoun County’s wine scene with dazzling tasting rooms, a dedicated wine library, and spectacular views found all across the property. The estate has given rise to a truly impressive portfolio throughout the years, with no shortage of flavorful reds, whites, and rosés for visitors to sample. For those in search of a non-buttery Chardonnay that lingers on the palate, the 2021 Kristi is a perfect fit, while reds around here span from the mineral-forward 2020 Wind Swept Hill to the 2019 Reserve Cabernet Franc, a peppery wine with a particularly fragrant nose.
By car from Washington DC: About 1 hour

Officially established in 2013, Greenhill carries on a legacy of Virginia agriculture that spans centuries, operating on a pastoral estate that’s been tilling the surrounding soil since the mid-1700s. In the modern era, grapes are the main focus around here, with all manner of high-quality reds and whites available to sample during a visit. After basking in the beauty of the surrounding farm, guests can head into the on-property tasting room for a glimpse into its rich terroir. Pinotage, Nebbiolo, and Merlot varietals are all up for grabs during a visit, and Greenhill has also gained abundant acclaim for their carefully-curated mezze plates.
By car from Washington DC: About 1 hour

While it’s a bit of a hike from downtown DC, those who make the journey to Stafford’s Potomac Point will be richly rewarded with flavorful Italian-inspired wine and gorgeous views of the Potomac River. While many wineries across Virginia aren’t able to offer food on-site, Potomac Point bucks the trend with Le Grand Cru Bistro, a polished venue that crafts hearty dishes made with locally-sourced Virginia ingredients. As you dine on Caprese Flatbreads and Artisan Cheese Boards, there’s a wealth of wines that pair perfectly with each dish, with options ranging from refreshing Albariño to decadent Moscato Dolce.
By car from Washington DC: About 45 minutes

Boxwood Estate Winery
Boxwood Estate Winery | Photo credit: Aboud Dweck, photo courtesy of Visit Loudoun

After a stroll around the charming town center of Middleburg, visitors can head just south to discover Boxwood Estate, a polished venue that specializes in the art of Bordeaux-style wines. While products range from citrus-forward Sauvignon Gris to the strawberry jam-reminiscent Topiary 2016, first-time visitors should be sure to pay a visit to the property’s wine cave. One of few found in eastern Virginia, this stunning space is perfect for a relaxing tasting session on a sweltering day, offering some much-needed reprieve from the sun with the added bonus of fresh cheese and wine.
By car from Washington DC: About 1 hour

Merlot, Chambourcin Rosé, and Virginia Chardonnay are just a few of the wines awaiting visitors at Blue Valley, a sprawling estate that offers gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to top-quality vino crafted in honor of the family’s Greek heritage, Blue Valley also comes equipped with an open-air veranda, a sunset terrace, and a massive wine cave, each one uniquely designed to provide a spectacular tasting experience—and these dazzling amenities have also cemented the venue as one of Fauquier County’s top destinations for an unforgettable wedding.
By car from Washington DC: About 1 hour

While Cana is home to a massive outdoor pavilion and vast swathes of vibrant flower beds, there’s a lot more to the venue than just its dazzling looks. In terms of winemaking, the estate has mastered the art of crafting the perfect Petit Manseng, taking advantage of the Virginia humidity to grow these hardy grapes to their full potential. In addition to this varietal, Cana is also equipped with a top-quality Albariño, with each glass imparting fragrant honeysuckle notes on both the nose and palate.
By car from Washington DC: About 50 minutes

Narmada Winery's annual celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
Narmada Winery's annual celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights. | Photo courtesy of Narmada Winery

Virginia wineries within 2 hours of DC

Building upon the charm of a classic Virginia winery, Narmada infuses their venue with an added dose of Indian culture, with owners Pandit and Sudha Patil helming the operation since 2009. During a visit, guests can marvel at the sprawling vineyards and discover firsthand how each grape performs in the bottle, with products ranging from 2019 Merlot to the 2020 Gulabi, a bright rosé that’s brimming with strawberry and cherry notes. As you sip your wine, be sure to put in an order of signature must-tries like Vegetable Samosas and Butter Chicken. Their annual celebration for Diwali is scheduled for October 21 this year.
By car from Washington DC: About 1 hour and 15 minutes

For those wishing to explore the thriving wine scene of Orange County, Barboursville Vineyards is the perfect spot. While this storied venue is best known as the birthplace of Octagon—a rich red blend that’s crafted from a diverse array of estate-grown grapes—that’s far from the only bottle worth tasting around here. In addition to a wide variety of reds, Barboursville also excels at crafting high-quality white wines, providing guests with an opportunity to sample crisp Pinot Grigio and pear-forward 2021 Chardonnay Reserve. Beyond the realm of whites and reds, guests can also try a taste of Paxxito, a sweet dessert wine that’s loaded with notes of tropical fruit.
By car from Washington DC: About 2 hours

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Jared Ranahan is a Thrillist contributor.