GETTING THERE: The Smokehouse Winery and B&B is just south of Sperryville, Va., about 75 miles from Washington. Take I- 66 west to Gainesville, then Route 29 south to Warrenton and exit at Business Route 29. Take Route 211 west for 28 miles to Sperryville. From downtown, take Route 522 one mile out of town and go right onto the Scenic Byway Route 231. Go about two miles and take a right onto Route 608 (Ashby Road). Proceed 3/4 mile; the Smokehouse is on the left.

STAYING THERE: The two-story cabin rents for $120 a night per couple, plus $25 for each additional person. Children under 5 stay free, and well-behaved pets are welcome -- assuming they can get along with Hallberg's guest-friendly cat. Info: 540-987-3194, www.smoke If Hallberg's place is booked, or you want finer quarters, the worthy Belle Meade Bed and Breakfast Inn (540-987-9748, www.bellemeade is just down the highway on Route 231. The Victorian farmhouse offers organic meals, swimming pool, hot tub, massage and reiki services; rooms start at $120 a night.

WHAT TO DO: Aside from mead sipping and walking the bee-filled grounds, Hallberg hosts folk music concerts the first Friday of every month (call ahead). And his annual Morels and Mead festival is April 26 and 27. Outside the Smokehouse confines, nature beckons: The venerable, and extremely popular, Old Rag Mountain is nearby, as is Skyline Drive and the outdoor diversions of Shenandoah National Park. Or you can take a canoe/kayak/raft/tube trip down the Shenandoah River with gear and/or guides from the Downriver Canoe Company (800-338-1963, in Bentonville.

If nature's not your thing, downtown Sperryville has quaint shops and enormous antiques places around the outskirts. And Ben Jones, the indomitable former congressman and character actor, runs Cooter's Place (11691 Lee Highway, 540-987-8545,, just outside Sperryville, a free museum of all-things "Dukes of Hazzard."

WHERE TO EAT: Fuel up on cheap ($3-$9) sandwiches, pizzas and pastries at the car-themed Appetite Repair Shop (20 Main St., Sperryville). For carryout on your way to the mountains, try $5 sandwiches at Rae's Place & Deli at the intersection of routes 211 and 522 downtown. If the budget will bear it, a six-course candlelit dinner is available by prior reservation for $70 a person at the Conyers House Inn & Stable (3131 Slate Mills Rd., Sperryville, 540-987-8025.

INFO: Two unofficial but useful Web sites,,