Food

The Best Virginia Wineries for Instagrammers

Bring your camera on this beautiful drive through western Loudoun County.
Hillsborough Vineyards. Photograph by Rick Collier

Start at: Hillsborough Vineyards

Route 9 takes you through the onetime mill town of Hillsboro, a picturesque clutch of stone houses clinging to a hillside. The fieldstone look continues as you enter Hillsborough Vineyards. Seated tastings in the French-country-style tasting room can be paired with European cheeses and charcuterie. Red wines here are unfiltered, a style that winemaker Kerem Baki uses to preserve flavor and aroma. Try the Bloodstone, a rustic red from the hard-to-find Fer Servadou grape. Tasting: $12.

Next stop: North Gate Vineyard

Three miles south, North Gate is a leader in being green. Solar energy powers the operation, and eco-friendly bamboo and reclaimed wood were used in the tasting-room construction and furnishings. (The owners are happy to give an eco-tour; call at least a week ahead to arrange.) Try the Meritage blend, a perennial medal winner, and the apple wine, which is just fun. Tasting: $8.

Lunch stop: Monk’s BBQ

For lunch, head to downtown Purcellville and a picnic table at Monk’s. Refresh your palate with one of the local craft beers on tap, then order up smoked meats that range from tender brisket to dry-rubbed ribs. Before leaving, grab Nilla Wafer–topped banana-pudding cups to go. 251 N. 21st St.; 540-751-9425.

Last stop: Barns at Hamilton Station

The rustic look is authentic: Tastings are held in a 106-year-old wood-and-stone barn, while the farm’s dairy history is evoked by what look like cows by the pond. (“Are they real?” is a game here.) Taste the wine lineup (the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon snagged the top prize in Virginia for 2017), then pick one to pair with your pudding. Enjoy both beneath a bright-red umbrella on the deck. Tasting: $8.

Round trip from DC: 111 miles

Read more from our winery guide: 

This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Get Our “Brunches This Weekend” Newsletter

The best breakfasts and brunches to try every weekend, plus our most popular food stories of the week.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.