After what felt like months apart (3 weeks), we reunited for a weekend in the US in April when Sean came over from London. Following two days of Virginia rain, Sunday was absolutely gorgeous, so we decided to head out to the wineries to continue my Northern Virginia wine tasting adventures. We wanted to take advantage of the sun and Sean’s last day in the US. Sitting outside on a deck with a glass of wine seemed like the best way to do so. And so began our adventure wine tasting in Northern Virginia!
We decided to go visit Bluemont and Casanel. While Bluemont was planned, Casanel was a spontaneous choice on our drive back in. It ended up working out because the two wineries are completely different, but both have outdoor space for lazy sunny day wine drinking. I was happy – my sunburnt scalp, not so much!
Tasting: $8 for five wines
During the first couple weekends of wine tasting in Northern Virginia, I was hesitant to try Bluemont because I had heard too many good things about it. Silly, right? I was just worried that it was overhyped and would leave me disappointed. When deciding where to take Sean, though, the reviews of the view made my choice for me. And guess what? The views, and the place as a whole, deserve every bit of hype that they get!
We struggled a bit to find the vineyard (thanks, GPS) and panicked a bit as the car very slowly climbed the hill up to the tasting room, but once we arrived we were happy campers. They offer a guided tasting of five wines, but also the option to get the wines as a flight and taste them at your own pace. For those who only like white or red, they also offer ‘one-color’ flights. The flights are served in adorable little baskets that you can just carry outside to your table. The two of us didn’t eat any food, but some other guests were and the platters looked phenomenal. Oh – and did we mention the views? Website
Wine – 4/5 | Tasting – 4/5 | Views – 5/5 | Atmosphere – 5/5
Casanel Vineyard & Winery
Tasting: $10 for six wines
Knowing that we passed so many signs for wineries on the way out to Bluemont, I figured we could just start driving back and pick our next winery on the way. We chose an exit and I had Sean pick which place he wanted to visit…and that led us to Casanel!
Casanel is not a place you just stumble upon because it is in the opposite direction of the other wineries on the same road; however, it was a very charming place so I’m happy we went. Many of their buildings date back to the 1700s or 1800s in true historic Virginia fashion. Even better, the owner himself did all of the woodwork in the tasting room. They have some great stories to accompany their wines, some unique wines, and a cute little patio out back. Also, a lot of the wines are named after family members, which was really cute – my favorite was Ellieanna! We were pretty much the only ones there, which made for a nice, peaceful experience, but also kind of made me feel a bit awkward that there was nobody in such a large space! Website
Kelly’s Ratings: Wine – 3/5 | Tasting – 4/5 | Views – 3/5 | Atmosphere – 2/5
We recommend both Bluemont and Casanel to anyone looking to discover Northern Virginia wine. And, when you’re done tasting for the day, why not stop at one of Purcellville’s best restaurants? Many of them serve local and they all serve up delicious food. We especially recommend Monk’s!
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