Even if you skip the alcohol—someone has to drive—these wineries are pretty spots to take a picnic and wind down.
Bring a picnic and enjoy a serene, grown-up day, free from cornhole contests and rowdy kids (bringing kids is discouraged, though not prohibited) at this gem in the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains. Grab a table near the live music (on weekends) or set up lawn chairs before heading inside for a tasting. The Cabernet Franc has won Maryland’s top wine prize two years in a row. 15010 Roddy Rd., Thurmont, Md.; 240-578-3831. Winetasting: $12. Distance from DC: 66 miles.
Children may go a little nuts when they spot the tasting room at Morais, which rises into view like a castle. While Mom and Dad set up for an afternoon on a shady veranda, patio, or picnic table, the kids can race off to climb on a wooden train and an actual military tank. Generous tastings include eight pours and a pairing plate of nibbles ($10). The Portuguese-style Verdelho is a nice fall sipper. 11409 Marsh Rd., Bealeton, Va.; 540-326-6336. Distance from DC: 58 miles.
At this fifth-generation farm turned agritourism venue, craft-beverage tastings include wine, hard cider, peach wine, and mead ($10). September and October also mean pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, along with hayrides, farm-animal tours, and a corn maze for kids. Bring a picnic. Bring the dog. Pick up some farm-raised meats, honey, veggies, and eggs before heading home. 1550 Leeds Manor Rd., Dela-plane, Va.; 540-592-1021. Distance from DC: 59 miles.
More Vines Online: For additional ideas on where to go for a winery day trip, check out our wine tasting guide!
This article appears in the September 2019 issue of Washingtonian.