You may want to have a good cure for the hiccups — and a designated driver — before venturing into Purcellville, Va.: The bucolic town, 50 miles west of Washington in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is full of wineries, breweries and an organic distillery. But if booze is not your thing, there’s easy access to the scenic Washington & Old Dominion bike trail for cyclists.
Aim to arrive at this sprawling vineyard in time for sundown when - as the name implies - you can catch dazzling views from the stone pavilion. Also stunning is the lofty, 8,000-square-foot tasting barn built in 1870 and restored in 2006. There you can sample a half-dozen varieties of vino, as well as Amish cheeses, farm breads and mulled wine for the season. The property is 100 percent solar-powered and hosts live music on the weekends.
Thai noodle soup. Caramel macchiato. Garam masala. These are acceptable flavors for beer, according to Adroit Theory Brewing Co. The experimental brewery and tasting room produces one-and-done batches of esoteric brews. "We don't make beers for the masses," says manager Dan Segall. The brewery has produced two to three new beers a week since opening in January.
Last year, Becky and Scott Harris moved their certified organic distillery from a 2,000-square-foot warehouse to a 6,000-square-foot facility (a Buick dealership in the 1920s). Now more than 10,000 visitors a year witness the production of gin, white whiskey and - their flagship product - rye whiskey aged in charred Minnesota white oak barrels. "About 60 percent of the flavoring comes from the barrels," Becky says. There's a 30-minute tour ($5) and a tasting room ($5-$10).
Chef Jason Lage sources the lettuce for his burgers from a farm just two miles down the road. But you come for the juicy, all-natural angus beef patties. Lage can tell you the name of every grower and farmer whose produce is served at the burger joint, which is housed in a former candy shop. "You're supposed to eat things that are in season and grown close to you," Lage says. "It's nothing new."
LoCo Joe is where teleworkers, knitting groups, spinning club and all other members of the community meet for piping-hot cups of coffee made using beans from M.E. Swings and Hypnocoffee Roastery. "People who come here want community and to savor their food," says owner Juanita Tool. Nearly every snack is made locally, including vegan macaroons from A Better Choice Bakery. Tool's shepherd, Stetson, is the shop's official mascot.
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