If my friends’ Pinterest pages are any indication, it’s apple season. With so many orchards and vineyards here in Virginia, you can make the rounds and still have enough time to make Caramel Apple Bacon Mini Pies or just the energy to drink a bottle of wine that you picked up. Depending on your apple picking posse, check out one of these apple and wine pairings:
Girls Getaway: Visit Stribling Orchard or Hartland Orchard and then stop by Chateau O’Brien for their Apple Dessert wine. Continue onto some of the other surrounding wineries including Vintage Ridge Winery, Chrysalis Vineyard, or Boxwood Winery. Top off your day with window shopping and dinner in downtown Middleburg. If you want to make a weekend of it, stay at the luxurious Salamander Resort and Spa. After all of that apple picking, draw inspiration from one of their seasonal cooking classes in their cooking studio.
Bring the Kids: For kids of all ages, check out Marker-Miller Orchards. Not only can you pick your own apples, pumpkins, and squash; there’s also a deluxe playground, cow train, and hayrides. While the kids play adults can sample a variety of their fruit wines. Afterwards, stop by Bluemont Vineyard, Veramar Vineyard, or Bogati Bodega and Winery. Bogati offers a variety of tastings, including some with food pairings like a wine and chocolate pairing.
Football Fanatics: Blacksburg and Charlottesville share a college football rivalry and both offer a variety of great wineries and orchards. Cheer on the Virginia Tech Hokies and then make your way to Johnson’s Orchard. Be sure to stop by the Peaks of Otter Winery afterwards for a sampling of their fruit wines which are made using many of their estate-grown fruit. Then head for other neighboring wineries like Fincastle Vineyard and Winery, Villa Appalacia Winery, or sip some Foggy Ridge Cider in their tasting room. If you’re headed out to Charlottesville for UVA football, make a stop at the Carter Mountain Orchard. Then reward yourself at one of the many area wineries and tasting rooms including Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery, Jefferson Vineyards, and Virginia Wine Works. However, if your inner Christopher Walken urges you on with “more cowbell apple,” there’s also nearby Castle Hill Cider and Albemarle Ciderworks which offer tastings.