A Virginia Red-Wine Lover’s Day Trip

These three wineries specialize in carefully crafted reds.

Delaplane Cellars. Photograph of Grapes by Logan Mock-Bunting

Start at: Red Truck Bakery

Grab a to-go sandwich for lunch, but don’t miss the real prize: double-chocolate Moonshine Cake. Buy a slice or, even better, a whole cake for later. 8368 W. Main St., Marshall; 540-364-2253.

Next stop: Delaplane Cellars

Set out for Delaplane Cellars, where ceiling-high windows frame a 50-mile view. Delaplane specializes in single-vineyard, Bordeaux-style blends. Try to taste the differences between the Left Bank red, from the estate’s vines, and the Williams Gap, made from similar grapes grown 20 miles away. Tasting: $8 to $12.

Next stop: Arterra Wines

Up a steep hill, in a thicket of trees, Arterra’s timber-framed tasting room coexists with a mixed-media art studio—Jason Murray makes the wine and his wife, Sandy, the art. Ask Jason about his commitment to native-yeast fermentation, then taste the results. Enjoy your Red Truck lunch at a picnic table in the grove. Tasting: $10 to $15.

Last stop: Boxwood Estate Winery

End the day at Boxwood, whose steel-and-glass design is a contrast to the rusticity of most wineries. A Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend, Topiary, is a favorite. You’ll find a small ring-shaped tasting bar and a smattering of tables and chairs. Picnic tables outside offer more space to relax. Tasting: $10.

Round trip from DC: 120 miles

Read more from our winery guide: 

This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Nancy Bauer

Nancy Bauer is founder of the popular Facebook group, Virginia Wine Love, and the website