Tarara is one of the big guns in Northern Virginia wineries, with more than twenty five years under their belt and some of the oldest Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc planted in Virginia.
If you haven't visited in a while, it's time for a return trip.
The venue will seem similar - dozens of cars and long black limos at any given time, and a laid back crowd enjoying a cheese plate and glass of vino on the treehouse deck, with its framed views of the valley and Sugarloaf Mountain. (Note: no outside food on the deck or in the Tasting Room, although picnics are encouraged at the tables up the hill by Shadow Lake.)
Parents note: Tarara's deck, group area and club lounge are all 21+.
Different (better) is the wine, now fully under the control of General Manager and Winemaker Jordan Harris. Jordan and his new wife arrived from Canada in 2007, where Harris, then just 26, had received outsize acclaim for such a young vintner. Accolades continued at Tarara, where Harris was featured in Wine Enthusiast Magazine's 2013 "40 Under 40 Tastemakers Issue," and where he made three of the first seven Virginia wines ever to be rated 90 points by Wine Enthusiast.
While each year brings more knowledge of Tarara's unique riverside terroir, allowing the painstaking fine tuning needed to create great wine, Tarara is also looking toward major vineyard expansion - a necessity in the new era of Virginia's grape shortage. In the meantime, Tarara's Killer Cluster label - made from out-of-state grapes - ensures the shelves stay stocked even through killer weather vintages.
In summer months, Tarara hosts huge outdoor concerts on their vast upper lawn on Saturday evenings, along with Friday Night Flights - a variety of Friday evening activities on their covered lakeside deck - plus weekend afternoon music.
Tarara offers lots of fun options for groups, including reserved picnic tables by the lake, private reserved tastings, tastings with the winemaker and more. Note that ALL groups of 10 or more require a reservation, even if it's just for a regular tasting or lakeside picnic.
For something different, book a Paddle to the Winery kayak trip with River & Trail Outfitters that lands you at Tarara just in time for one of their summer concerts.
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