5 Virginia Wineries Worth Visiting

These vineyards are turning out some of the best wines in the state, and their settings are lovely.

Jim Law at Linden Vineyards. Photo courtesy of Linden Vineyards.

Linden Vineyards

Thomas Jefferson may have introduced viniculture to the state of Virginia, but Linden’s Jim Law perfected it. The humble winemaker has been turning out consistently excellent wines for nearly 30 years—and generously educating visitors, as well as fellow winemakers who have gone on to produce their own noteworthy labels (more on that below).

While Law prefers to fly under the radar, Linden can’t help but attract the attention of oenophiles and critics. This has made it difficult to keep the crowds at bay, although the small, comfortable winery has its ways. Buses, parties of more than four and outside food are forbidden. Leashed dogs are allowed on the grounds, but they are not permitted in the winery or on the deck areas. Follow those rules and you can take full advantage of the in situ experience that Linden offers.

It’s worth arriving by 11:30 a.m. on weekends for the free, 30-minute tour. A $7 tasting in the main room showcases about a half-dozen of Linden’s most popular pours, but you won’t regret shelling out the $25 for an hour-long cellar tasting, which provides an in-depth education and a closer look at the terroirs of the three local plots of land where Linden’s grapes are grown.

Linden’s wine menu continually evolves to reflect soil and weather conditions. Among its nearly 20 current releases, you’ll find an array of reds—from an easy-drinking claret to other Bordeaux blends with aging potential—and some nice whites, including a crisp, Chablis-style “Avenius” chardonnay and several dessert wines.

Local cheeses and charcuterie are available for purchase on the small back porch (heated in winter, open-air in summer), where you can swirl and sip with glorious views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On weekends, the porch is reserved for “Case Club” members—loyal customers who buy at least 12 bottles of wine each year. Summer visiting hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday, but are subject to change seasonally. www.lindenvineyards.com

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