The drive to Greenhill Winery shows off the best of Virginia horse country; rambling old stone and timber houses, towering Dutch barns, rolling hills and wood fences.
Greenhill's tasting room - a charming 19th century former tobacco packing barn - and members-only stone Manor House fit right in.
In 2013, owner David Greenhill purchased what was until then Swedenburg Vineyards, one of Virginia's earliest wineries, which had its first crush in 1987. (Juanita Swedenburg, who passed away in 2007, was a key figure in the nascent Virginia wine industry, including leading the charge to change legislation to allow wineries to ship direct to out-of-state customers.)
The winery is part of the new Middleburg American Viticultural Area (AVA), and grows mostly vitis vinifera on 35 acres in northern and central Virginia, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, plus some Riesling and Seyval Blanc. That acreage also includes many new vines, which add Viognier and Petit Syrah to the mix.
The real attraction at Greenhill is the perfect picnic lawn, a vast green blanket that rolls out for acres. If you've gotten too creaky for a picnic in the grass, you'll find a few picnic tables.
Or you might opt to join the Wine Club, which gives you and a guest access to the elegantly appointed, adults-only/members-only Manor House (note reservation requirements for guests and Manor House tastings).
Greenhill is a popular place for weddings and corporate events, and both the Manor House and Tasting Room facilities are available for use.
Kids and on-leash pets are welcome at the Tasting Room. Light fare is available, and picnic foods are permitted outside.
Groups of 10 or more for tastings must call ahead (and pre-pay). Buses and limos are required to call 48 hours ahead.
Patrons in wheelchairs may access the winery via a wheelchair ramp that connects the outside terrace to the tasting room through a side door entrance.
If you're still peckish after your visit to the winery, backtrack a mile to Middleburg for a bowl of Virginia peanut soup or fish and chips at the historic Red Fox Inn.
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