5 Virginia Wineries Worth Visiting

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

RdV Vineyards. Photo courtesy Jeff Mauritzen.

RdV Vineyards

Named after owner Rutger de Vink, this boutique winery turned the Virginia wine industry on its ear when it emerged on the scene in 2011, offering Virginia’s first $100 bottle—a big red, eponymously named “RdV.” It was a bold move by de Vink, but wine critics from Robert Parker to Jancis Robinson agree that the wine has lived up to its price tag.

“We’ve made a wine that can stand on the same table as a wine from Médoc or Napa,” de Vink says. “I don’t want to put anything in a bottle unless I can knock it out of the park.”

RdV is intentionally situated on a gravelly hillock in Delaplane that offers growing conditions similar to those in Bordeaux. The vineyard grows four of the classic Bordeaux grapes—cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot—which are painstaking blended into one of two wines. Lost Mountain, its cabernet sauvignon-dominant, age-worthy premier cru, currently sells for $125, whereas Rendezvous, a more accessible and critically beloved blend, retails for $75. (In addition, a small selection of RdV’s “Friends and Family” bottling—a delicious, highly drinkable table red—is available to mailing list members and restaurants for about $35.)

The grounds are magnificent, with a modern farmhouse, state-of-the-art facilities and pristine caves. But it’s the wine itself that has reshaped public perception of Virginia’s wine bona fides. At $50 per person for a tour and tasting, RdV caters to folks who are serious about understanding wine and the winemaking process. Reservations can book up weeks in advance, with a maximum of four people per party (no babies or kids). Guests receive a glass of Champagne (yes, the real stuff) upon arrival before touring the facilities and, weather permitting, the vines. The 90-minute tour culminates in a tasting of both Lost Mountain and Rendezvous wines with local cheese and charcuterie. Reservations are available Thursday through Sunday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. www.rdvvineyards.com

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