Since moving to this area from Waynesboro in 2015, I’ve become a bit obsessed with wine. We didn’t have these kind of great vineyards and tasting rooms near us where I grew up, but now that they’re a 15 or 20-minute drive from our house, winery appointments have become a weekly event — especially for my mom and me since she and my dad moved here four years ago. Years. I thought it was time to write a list of all our favorite wineries, so keep scrolling if you’re planning a visit sometime soon.
Oh, and by the way…I realize now as I’m writing this post that it’s going to sound like I’m constantly drinking. you are not completely Wrong, but we do it responsibly, and we also keep in mind that for us these tasting room visits are as much about uninterrupted time for chat, peaceful mountain views and delicious local food as they are about the wine. It’s our way of taking a deep, deep breath and focusing on the present. Some people relax by reading books, watching sports, or drawing. We do this by getting out into the country to learn more about the great wines being made right here in Virginia. Anyway, keep reading to hear about our top tasting room picks.
My mom and I decided to invest in becoming wine club members at two of our favorite wineries, starting with Pollack Vineyards. This means we get to enjoy some discounts, invitations to special members-only events, and an occasional selection of wines throughout the year. Pollack wines for sure Tasty (especially the Rosé and Meritage), and we can’t get enough of the gorgeous views of the mountains and pond from the tasting room and balcony (fireplace!).
They also allow dogs inside, which is a game changer for us since my rescue dog has severe separation anxiety and I try to leave her house alone as rarely as possible. Since I can bring our pup inside Pollak, it’s one of our most frequented tasting rooms during the colder months (although, in all seriousness, we go pretty much every other week all year). The staff here are absolutely amazing too, and we’ve already become good friends with some of them! They know their wines back and forth, so don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation or complete background on their varietals.
Notes: Enjoy delicious award-winning wines, gorgeous views, warm Albemarle Baking Company baguettes with olive oil and Mountain Valley Sharp Cheddar cheese, great wine club membership offerings, dog-watching, and a friendly/knowledgeable staff (hello, Sarah and Susan!) .
Just seek The pictures above comfort me! Veritas Winery It truly is our “happy place”, and I’m so glad that Mum and Dad are members of the wine club now. We make an almost weekly trip to their tasting room because Veritas has a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere that instantly relieves stress. My mom and I have grown close with the staff here as well, and we really appreciate the warm welcome we receive every time we walk into the tasting room.
Veritas is another winery with stunning mountain views, and during the summer, the breeze feels like you’re on the beach. We usually order their Saddleback Chardonnay, which is fermented in stainless steel, so it’s not as “oaky” or buttery as other Chardonnays. It’s really light and refreshing. Oh, and they have a full-service kitchen too, which is another reason why this winery tops our favorites list. The fact that we can have a delicious lunch is really great when we don’t have the energy to cook for ourselves or make lunches.
Notes: Visit for the mountain views, people watching on the weekends (bachelorette parties can be a lot of fun), great staff, delicious lunch options, wine club membership perks, a fireplace during the winter or a refreshing breeze in the summer.
Chiswell Farm and Winery
Chiswell Farm and Winery The winery is still almost new (they just celebrated their second anniversary), but they have been a favorite of ours from the moment they opened. They are very against allowing pets on their property, so we don’t go often, but when we do Do Go, it’s always so relaxing.
The tasting room is actually located inside a historic home, and rooms — upstairs and downstairs — are available for you to settle in with your wine. It’s so special and feels so magical to be able to step into our private room with views of the clouds, rolling farmland and mountains right outside the windows. There isn’t a single wine on their list that we don’t like, but the Sauvignon Blanc is a favorite. Our suggestion? Start with “Estate Tasting” as this allows you to choose your own wine to taste from their extensive list.
Notes: Check out the delicious wines, intimate tasting room atmosphere (it looks like something out of a vacation!), laid-back atmosphere (no kids allowed!), and its proximity to Greenwood Antiques & Uniques, which is located almost right around the corner and the perfect spot afterward. – Lunch stop.
Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards
My mom and I just started visiting Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards this year, but there’s no denying that this is a top pick for my list. It’s a trip for us from Waynesboro, which is why we tend to save it for special occasions, but it’s worth the drive in every way.
The food is truly unparalleled, and the wine is incredible too of course. The Zero White is our favorite, as are the sliders on their menu. It’s also fun to people watch at this winery, but beware it can get very loud inside on weekends. We’ve learned our lesson, and now continue our visits to weekdays when things are a little less crowded and quiet a lot More relaxed.
It is worth noting that the customer service here seems like a 5-star restaurant or hotel. They make us feel like queens, which is honestly a good thing because it’s really expensive compared to our other favorite wineries on this list. Again, it’s a “special occasions only” destination for us, but well worth it.
Notes: Enjoy unparalleled good food in the world, stunning hill views, classy people watching, refreshing wines, well-trained staff, and fun workshops and classes they offer as special events.
Okay, so Dog screaming not like that Technically A winery, but I couldn’t leave them off my list. When we want to try a new item from outside the Virginia area, this is our immediate first choice for a “wine and lunch” date. If you’re not familiar, Yelping Dog is located in downtown Staunton, and has a very warm and cozy atmosphere in its tasting room. You can settle in and taste wines from all over the world, and their cheese platters are my dream come true. I’ve had the same board for the eight years we’ve lived here (Dragon Hook), and I never plan on changing that. You can also order delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, a small selection of soups and desserts, or even just a simple baguette and olive oil dish, which is great if you’ve already had lunch but want a little something to eat between sips of wine. . .
Notes: Enjoy the large variety of wines on their list, wine-related gifts available for purchase, the animal-related charities they donate to, the downtown people-and-pet watching, delicious cheeses, a reliably consistent menu, and the cozy tasting room atmosphere.
There are a few other places we’d love to visit, but I wasn’t able to get pictures of them in time for this post. For example, we adore City foxes Right here in downtown Waynesboro. It’s hard to count on their opening hours since it’s also a special events venue, but when they are Can Get in there, it’s always a relaxing and delicious experience. The decor is beautiful inside, and the market gifts available for purchase are very nice and all made locally too (I have some pottery for sale there). Anyway, you He should Go visit next time you’re in town.
I know I’m leaving out quite a few other options for wineries in the area, but maybe that was actually intentional. We’ve tried a lot of them over the years, and we’re pretty picky. The five tasting rooms I mentioned above are ours TRUE Recommendations. However, I will try to update this story throughout the rest of the year so I can make the list more comprehensive. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to learn more about Virginia wines near us! Cheers!