As you travel the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail on Virginia's Northern Neck, you hear a lot about Ingleside Winery. They were the first on the Neck, and one of the first in state, producing commercial wines since 1980 - ancient, by modern Virginia winemaking standards.

But what you hear most is what a terrific mentor and encouraging friend they have been to other wineries in the area. And you hear about Dr. Jacques Recht, the Belgian winemaker who, with his wife, sailed his homemade 36-foot catamaran across the sea, landing serendipitously in the Chesapeake Bay. The Rechts met the Ingleside owner and agreed to stay on for a few weeks to provide some guidance to the fledgling winery. He stayed for thirty years.

And just as Jacques Recht left a lasting impression, so does Ingleside. The winery appears unassuming at first glance, but then the path toward the tasting room opens into a big, sunny interior courtyard. Perfect place for a party, you think.

Ask the tasting bar host about the day cruises from Tappahannock to Ingleside, the nearby birthplaces of George Washington, Robert E. Lee and James Monroe, and the 3,000 acre estate that has been owned by the Flemer family for over one hundred years. 

You also learn that Ingleside sells more than 20 wines, so you have to be strategic at the tasting bar or you may be spending the night.

But the best part isn't even in the tasting room or the outside patio. Have a little wander and discover the barrel room, a romantic space with low lights, dark walls, white lights decorating the barrels, and cozy seating options for two. Now this place really calls out for a party. Or an illicit liaison of some sort. Don't miss it.

Ingleside's size and space makes it particularly good for groups. If you visit with 6 or more, call for a reservation. Or if you'd like to bring along your alumni chapters, corporate teams, yacht or car clubs, etc., the winery offers several packages featuring private tours & tastings for groups of 8 or more, with reservations made at least 2 weeks in advance. The winery offers two lodgings for rental as well (see the separate listing).


  • Pet Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Open Daily (or almost)
  • Open Early
  • Groups Welcome (check website)
  • Weddings
  • ... View More