A Taste Of Hampton Roads’ Vineyards
WINE A BIT IN HAMPTON ROADS: WHERE TO ENJOY QUALITY REDS AND WHITES
Some may believe you don’t see as many wineries in Southeastern Virginia because the land isn’t as conducive to grape-growing as other parts of the country. In truth, there are wineries that obtain grapes from other parts of the state, and some along the Carolina coasts that do just fine. Recently, however, the Hampton Roads region of Virginia is showing more on the winery map as vintners learn more about best practices for growing grapes in the region. Next time you plan a vacation in the Seven Cities – Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and on north to Williamsburg–why not broaden your palate with tastings at these wineries:
While the land on which the winery sits has been settled since 1607, it wasn’t until about thirty years ago that vines were planted. The Williamsburg Winery is a popular attraction on the Upper Peninsula, with enthusiasts enjoying the regular tours and tastings. Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon are some of the vintages sold here. There’s also a restaurant on-site that offers gourmet delights and pairings, and musical events throughout the summer. Tours and tastings come with a fee, and the winery is open daily except for select holidays.
Pungo Ridge Winery
Pungo is a sparsely developed area close to Virginia Beach and the North Carolina border, best known as a great place to pick strawberries and other produce in season. More recently, the Pungo Ridge Winery has opened it doors to sell a variety of wines and meads made with fruit grown on the property. From tart blackberry, sweet pear, and of course strawberry wine, one can find a bottle or two for porch sipping.
Norfolk, Virginia’s first winery is quite unusual in that no grapes are grown on the premises. That’s because Mermaid Winery is strictly urban, located the in heart of the trendy Ghent neighborhood. All wines produced here are made with Virginia grapes, however, and you can taste and pair with a fine selection of cheeses, meats, and chocolate desserts. They also have a second location on Shore Drive in Virginia Beach!
Located in charming Smithfield, Virginia, Smithfield Winery specializes in sparkling wine, having perfected their own Southern Bubbly! Located in the heart of Smithfield, you can enjoy red, white and even a port inside or on the scenic patio.
New Kent Winery
Located just outside of Williamsburg, New Kent Winery is a family-owned and operated vineyard and tasting room. The winery was constructed with 100 year-old reclaimed materials, and their 31-acre vineyard produces 6,500 cases of wine per year. Stop by to taste the wine, and stick around to the beer from their new adjoining brewery!
Saude Creek Vineyards
In-between Richmond and Williamsburg, overlooking the Pamunkey river, is Saude Creek Vineyards. Originally named Saude Creek Farms, this small business produced cider from apples harvested at Hill Pleasant Farms in Norge, VA. Since 2011 they have been producing wine from six varietal grapes grown on their adjacent vineyard. Stop by for a sip and soak in the view of this historic site that was once the location of a popular colonial tavern!
Martin Walsh is an owner of The Vacation Channel, and filmmaker with over a decade of experience making engaging travel content. He’s on a mission to make sure your family has fun this year with a trip to Coastal Virginia. If you would like a local’s opinion, you can always send him a question via email. Now get outside and go have an adventure!