With spirits undampened by the cool drizzle, the Smiths of Meredyth held a festival on May 22 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their winery. A large crowd of wine lovers from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia joined them in the vineyards near Middleburg. As the pipes of the Washington Scottish Pipe Band skirled out of the mist, the public tasted Meredyth's new releases and bought bottles of wine to down with their picnics.
Surrounded by 50 acres of budding vines, the Smiths and their supporters were proving that the confidence of earlier enthusiasts, Thomas Jefferson and Philip Mazzei, was not misplaced. Wine does have a home in the mid-Atlantic states of America.
Today Meredyth is just one of many commercial wineries within a day's outing of Washington. Whether you're a serious collector, an occasional drinker or just, like most of us, someone who enjoys a day in the country, a visit to a local winery offers something for everyone. Not all wineries offer tastings and tours on a regular basis, so call ahead if you're planning a visit.
The number of local wineries is growing steadily. Of those in Virginia and Maryland, the list below is as complete as possible. We've also included two wineries in Pennsylvania whose wines are available in Washington area stores.
BARBOURSVILLE CORPORATION (Zonin Gambellara), P.O. Box F, Barboursville, Va. 22923. (703) 832-5236/3824. 17 miles northeast of Charlottesville, at intersection of Routes 20 and 33 in Orange County. 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays only. Tours on Saturdays by appointment only.
FARFELU VINEYARD, Highway 647, Flint Hall, Va. 22627. (703) 364-2930. The winery is located in Rappahannock County, four miles east of Flint Hill, 13 miles west of Marshall on Route 647. Tours by appointment only.
INGLESIDE PLANTATION VINEYARDS, P.O. Box 1038, Oak Grove, Va. 22443. (804) 224-7111. Oak Grove is 30 miles east of Fredericksburg, in Westmoreland County. The winery is on Route 638 South. 1 to 5 p.m., Thursdays to Saturdays only.
LA ABRA WINERY, RD 1, Box 139, Lovingston, Va. 22949. (804) 263-5392. 30 miles south of Charlottesville on Route 29, in Nelson County. 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays.
MEREDYTH VINEYARDS, P.O. Box 347, Middleburg, Va. 22117. (703) 687-6277. Take Route 50 into Middleburg. Turn left onto Route 776, then right onto Route 628. The vineyard entrance is 2 1/2 miles down Route 628. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Large groups are requested to call in advance.
MONTDOMAINE CELLARS INC., Rt. 6, Box 168A, Charlottesville, Va. 22901. (804) 977-6120. Eleven miles south of Charlottesville, near Scottsville on State Route 20. Visits by appointment only.
NAKED MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS, P.O. Box 131, Markham, Va. 22643. (703) 364-1609. Take the Markham (Fauquier County) exit off I66. The winery is 1.7 miles north on Route 688. Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays.
OASIS VINEYARD, Route 635, Hume, Va. 22639. (703) 635-7627. Take the Mershann exit off I66, then Route 647 for four miles, turning right onto Route 635 for 10 miles. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
PIEDMONT VINEYARDS, P.O. Box 286, Middleburg, Va. 22117. (703) 687-5134. Route 626 out of Middleburg, in the direction of The Plains. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays.
RAPIDAN VINEYARDS, Route 4, Box 211, Culpeper, Va. 22701. (703) 399-1045/1855. 15 miles south of Culpeper on Route 611. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. For visits on weekends, please call in advance.
ROSE BOWER VINEYARD, P.O. Box 126, State Rt. 686. Hampden-Sydney, Va. 23943. Midway between Lynchburg and Richmond, west of Hampden-Sydney on Route 665. Noon to 6 p.m. every day.
SHENANDOAH VINEYARDS, Rt. 2, Box 280B, Edinburg, Va. 22824. (703) 984-8699. Take the Woodstock exit off I81. The winery is on Route 686 in Shenandoah County. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
BOORDY VINEYARDS, Long Green Farm, 12820 Long Green Pike, Hydes, Md. 21082. (301) 592-5015. Take the Baltimore Beltway to exit 29 (Cromwell Bridge Road), go north to the end, then left onto Glen Arm Road for 3.2 miles, to intersection with Long Green Pike. Turn left. Winery two miles on left. Appointments requested for all tours and tastings.
BYRD VINEYARDS, Church Hill Road, Myersville, Md. 21773. (301) 293-1110. Myersville is 10 miles west of Frederick. Take exit 42 off I70. Turn right onto Church Hill Road. Closed Tuesdays. 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays; 1 to 6 p.m. weekends.
MONTBRAY VINEYARDS, 818 Silver Run Valley Rd., Westminster, Md. 21157. (301) 346-7878. Take Maryland Route 97 north to Silver Run Valley Road. Turn right and winery is two miles from turn. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays; 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays. Please call in advance for weekday visits.
ALLEGRO VINEYARDS, Brogue, Pa. 17309. (717) 927-9148. Brogue is in York County on Route 74. The winery is on Muddy Creek Road. 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays; noon to 5 p.m. weekends.
NISSLEY VINEYARDS, RD 1, Bainbridge, Pa. 17502. (717) 426-3514. Bainbridge is in Lancaster County, on Route 441 S. The winery is on Wickersham Road. Noon to 6 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays; 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Large groups are requested to call in advance. No tours on Sundays -- tastings and sales only.
For further information write to the following associations:
VIRGINIA WINERIES ASSOCIATION, P.O. Box 347, Middleburg, Va. 22117.
MARYLAND GRAPEGROWERS ASSOCIATION, P.O. Box HH, Burkittsville, Md. 21718.