When autumn leaves begin falling and temperatures start to drop, Virginia’s wineries heat up with hot spiced mulled wine and more.
Chilly weather opens the doors to Virginia’s winter wines. Mulled, port-style, even chocolate—the abundance of choices make selecting a few to bring home for holiday gatherings a challenge. Now a new wine country promotion, Virginia Wine Love Encore Pour, gives wine lovers a chance to taste before they buy.
Thirty-seven Virginia wineries are offering an extra pour of special holiday wines, slushies, sangrias, and wine cocktails through New Years. Just mention Virginia Wine Love or Encore Pour when purchasing a wine tasting or flight to receive the treats.
“I love this time of year at Virginia’s wineries,” says Nancy Bauer, event organizer and founder of the Virginia Wine Love website and Facebook group, where the promotion was launched. “With all the success Virginia’s had in recent years with red blends and up-and-coming whites like petit manseng and albariño, it’s easy to forget we also make some really lovely port-style and dessert wines. Virginia’s winemaking spirit of adventure may even be most evident in our holiday wines,” says Bauer. “They can be a chance for winemakers and the tasting room teams to be a little less serious and try some things just for fun.”
Participating wineries span the state: MountainRose Vineyards in Wise, in the far southwest, is offering an extra pour of their locally-famous OkieDokie; Hickory Hill Vineyards at Smith Mountain Lake is pouring hot mulled wine; Zoll Vineyards on Virginia’s Middle Neck peninsula is giving a choice of wine cocktails; and Briede Vineyards in Winchester has uncorked their Arandell, a red similar to Cabernet Franc and the only single varietal Arandell in Virginia.
“We’re excited about this promotion,” says Loretta Briede of Briede Vineyards. “When it gets cooler, things slow down a little and we can spend more time with our visitors. That’s important for us, since we’re growing varieties customers may not be used to seeing. We love to educate, so we chose Arandell as our extra pour.”
Many of the wines being poured are seasonal or limited-edition. Here’s a sampling:
- Seasonal pours include Morais Vineyards’ caramel apple sangria (Bealeton) and Christmas in a Glass spiced wine from Castle Glen Winery (Doswell).
- Red lovers can try Arterra Wines’ (Delaplane) 2019 Trilogy Red, a blend that includes the rare-for-Virginia fer servadou grape, and Bozzo Vineyard’s (Purcellville) Sei What? blend, which won a gold medal in this year’s Virginia Governor’s Cup competition.
- Port-style wines are offered at a half-dozen tasting rooms, including the white port-style, Cincinnatus, from James Charles Winery (Winchester).
- Sweet dessert wines are available at Old Farm Winery at Hartland (Aldie), Reynard Florence Winery (Barboursville), and Veramar Vineyards (Berryville).
- Perennial holiday favorites include Noche, the first chocolate-infused red wine made in Virginia, from Fifty-Third Vineyards (Louisa); nearby Lake Anna Winery’s warmed-up Concerto, a “cherry bomb” red with Montmorency cherry juice; and Vinocello from Chateau Merrillanne (Orange), the lemon-enhanced wine equivalent of limoncello.
A map of all participating wineries is available on VirginiaWineLove.com.
“Visiting wineries is a great way to spend a winter weekend,” says Nancy Bauer. “Grab a wine flight, settle in next to a firepit, relax. That’s what the holidays should be about: enjoying each other. Sharing a little extra love.”
For more information, visit VirginiaWineLove.com or follow the open-to-the-public Facebook group Virginia Wine Love at https://www.facebook.com/groups/206245544030181
Complete list of wineries participating in Virginia Wine Love Encore Pour (as of 11/1/22):
ARTERRA WINES & HAWKMOTH ARTS, Delaplane, NoVa Region. Extra pour of limited-edition 2019 Trilogy Red. (Rare chance to taste Fer Servadou in a blend!) Oct – Dec.
BARREL OAK WINERY, Delaplane, NoVa Region. Extra pour of Winemaker’s Choice. Oct – Dec.
BOZZO VINEYARDS, Purcellville, NoVa Region. Extra pour of Governor’s Cup Gold Medal winner Sei What? Oct – Dec.
BRIEDE VINEYARDS, Winchester, Shenandoah Region. Extra pour of Arandell. (The only single varietal Arandell in Virginia.) Mention VA WINE LOVE-ARANDELL. Oct-Dec.
BREAUX VINEYARDS, Purcellville, NoVa Region. Extra pour of port-style Lineage. Oct – Dec.
BRIX & COLUMNS VINEYARDS, McGaheysville, Shenandoah Region. Extra pour of port-style Six Penny Postscript. Oct-Dec.
CARDINAL POINT WINERY, Afton, Central VA Region. Extra pour of soon-to-be-released Nouveau Red. Mid-Nov through Dec.
CASTLE GLEN WINERY, Doswell Central VA Region. Extra pour of Christmas in a Glass spiced wine. Oct – Dec.
CHATEAU MERRILLANNE, Orange, Central VA Region. Extra pour of the limited edition Vinocello. November only.
CORCORAN VINEYARDS & CIDERY, Waterford, NoVa Region. Extra pour of housemade mulled wine. Oct – Dec.
DEMELLO VINEYARDS, Quicksburg, Shenandoah Region. Extra pour of seasonal mulled wine port-style Aurora. Oct – Dec.
FIFTY-THIRD VINEYARD & WINERY, Louisa, Central VA Region. Extra pour of chocolate-infused Noche. Oct – Dec.
FOX MEADOW WINERY, Linden, NoVa Region. Extra pour of Freezeland Red or mulled wine. Nov – Dec.
GOOD LUCK CELLARS, Kilmarnock, Historic Northern Neck region. Extra pour of (not yet released) 2021 Seyval Blanc. Nov-Dec.
HICKORY HILL VINEYARDS, Smith Mountain Lake. Extra pour of hot mulled wine. Saturdays in Nov-Dec.
JAMES CHARLES WINERY, Winchester, Shenandoah Region. Extra pour of Cincinnatus White Port-style wine. Oct – Dec.
JOLENE FAMILY WINERY, Quinton, Central Virginia. Extra pour of seasonal slushy or mulled. Oct – Dec.
LAKE ANNA WINERY, Spotsylvania Courthouse, NoVa Region. Extra pour of mulled warm Concerto. Oct – Dec.
LITTLE WASHINGTON WINERY, Washington, VA, NoVa Region. Extra pour of hot spiced wine. Oct – Dec.
MAGNOLIA VINEYARDS, Amissville, NoVa Region. Extra pour of blush sangria (Oct) and hot mulled white wine (Nov/Dec).
MATTAPONI WINERY, Spotsylvania, NoVa Region. Extra pour of warm mulled spice wine or warm chocolate wine. Oct – Dec.
MOLON LAVE VINEYARDS, Warrenton, NoVa Region. Extra pour of port-style Ariadne. Oct – Dec.
MORAIS VINEYARDS, Bealeton, NoVa Region. Extra pour of caramel apple sangria. Oct – Dec.
MOUNTAINROSE VINEYARD, Wise, Southwest Virginia. Extra pour of the famous wine cocktail, OkieDokie! Oct – Dec.
NARMADA WINERY, Amissville, NoVa Region. Extra pour of port-style Allure. Oct – Dec.
NORTH MOUNTAIN VINEYARD, Toms Brook, Shenandoah Region. Extra pour of spiced holiday wine — warm or straight from the bottle.
OLD FARM WINERY AT HARTLAND, Aldie, NoVa Region. Extra pour of Sweet Vixen Dessert Wine.
POTOMAC POINT WINERY, Stafford, NoVa Region. Extra October pour of one white and one red (Winemaker’s Choice). Nov/Dec features spiced grog.
REYNARD FLORENCE, Barboursville, Central VA Region. Extra pour of Riesling 21 dessert style wine. Oct – Dec.
THE BARNS AT HAMILTON STATION VINEYARDS, Hamilton, NoVa Region. Extra pour of 1910 Port-style wine. Oct – Dec.
THE HAGUE WINERY, Hague, Chesapeake Bay Region. Extra pour of (not yet released) 2020 Chardonel Sur Lie. Oct – Dec.
THE WINERY AT KINDRED POINTE, Mt. Jackson, Shenandoah Region. Extra pour of mulled wine. Oct – Dec.
VERAMAR VINEYARDS, Berryville, NoVa Region. Extra pour of D’Ora dessert wine. Oct – Dec.
WIND VINEYARDS, Tappahannock, Chesapeake Bay Region. Extra pour of seasonal sangria. Oct – Dec.
WISTERIA FARM & VINEYARD, Stanley, Shenandoah Region. Extra pour of mulled wine. Oct – Dec.
ZOLL VINEYARDS, Dutton, Hampton Roads Region. Extra pour of your choice of cocktails, including Gluhwein, Sweet Life, Silver Fox, & Dutton Sour. Oct – Dec.
ABOUT VIRGINIA WINE LOVE
Nancy Bauer started the Virginia Wine Love Facebook group in 2020 in response to Covid, when wineries were struggling to sell their wine during a time of chaos. Today, it’s a judgment-free zone of wine beginners, enthusiasts, and experts where its 10,000 members share tips and trade favorites, and where wineries share what’s happening in the vineyard, cellar and tasting room. The new website Virginia Wine Love.com launched during Virginia Wine Month in October 2022 and serves as the gathering place for Virginia wine enthusiasts and wine travelers looking for lodging, dining, education, and events.
ABOUT NANCY BAUER
Nancy Bauer and her husband, photographer Rick Collier, launched one of the country’s first travel apps, Virginia Wine in My Pocket. Her Virginia Wine Country articles appear in travel and lifestyle magazines, and she wrote the book Virginia Wine Travel Journal.
Join |Virginia Wine Love Facebook Group
Learn| Virginia Wine Travel Journal (Amazon)