1. Ingleside Vineyards Petit Verdot ($40)
Petit Verdot may be the most exciting grape to hit Virginia since Viognier, and Ingleside’s 2014 was one of the year’s best.
2. Barboursville Vineyards Octagon ($55)
This Bordeaux-style blend was poured at an inaugural celebration for President Obama in 2009. “If there’s one wine to take to a dinner party and say, ‘Okay, shut up about Virginia wine,’ this is it,” says Charlie Palmer Steak sommelier Nadine Brown.
3. Keswick Vineyards Cabernet Franc ($36)
Depending on the vintage, Keswick’s Cabernet Francs can taste of berries, truffles, or even leather, but all are powerful and pair beautifully with smoky summer barbecue.
4. Old Westminster Winery Pétillant Naturel ($35)
Still very experimental but outrageously popular, three styles of pétillant naturel—an ancient method of creating naturally spark-ling wines—sold out immediately last year. This year’s bottles were to be released on April 21—only at the winery.
5. Linden Vineyards Hardscrabble Chardonnay ($40)
Jim Law is a legend in Virginia winemaking, so you’re in terrific hands with any Linden wine. His Hardscrabble Chardonnay is exceptional.
6. Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay ($30)
This bubbly’s grapes are 100 percent Virginia, grown near Charlottesville, but the style is pure Champagne.
7. Michael Shaps Wineworks Petit Manseng ($30)
Shaps, one of Virginia’s top winemakers, runs wineries in Charlottesville and Burgundy (yes, the one in France). His 2014 bottling won a gold medal at last year’s Governor’s Cup in Virginia.
8. Horton Vineyards Viognier ($20)
Dennis and Sharon Horton pioneered many of the grapes now growing in Virginia, including Viognier. This elegant, floral wine is a perennial Horton star.
9. Boxwood Estate Winery Rosé ($19)
Our go-to summer sip is a dry, picnic-friendly blend of Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot grapes.
10. Boordy Vineyards Albariño ($20)
Boordy took best in show in Maryland’s Governor’s Cup. Dismiss that accolade if you want, Virginia snobs, but this crisp Spanish varietal is finding a home in the Mid-Atlantic.
Read more from our winery guide:
This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Washingtonian.