Horton Vineyards has always been a favorite for Virginia winery-goers; the sheer exuberance of the place makes it worthy of a visit. Dozens of wines to taste, many you won't see often in Virginia: Rkatsiteli, Roussanne, Pinotage, Syrah, Tinta Cao. Hordes of admirers. Whimsical wine naming: Chateau le Cabin, Rojo Xoco, Chateauneuf du Virginia.
These guys have a ton of creativity and a great sense of humor. They're well known for their "Norton from Horton" - in fact, Virginia viticulture pioneer Dennis Horton reintroduced the Norton grape to Virginia after its demise during Prohibition - and Horton was also the first in Virginia to grow the now-ubiquitous Viognier.
Horton also made the first Cabernet Franc I (Nancy) ever tasted, oh so many years ago, sending me off to countless Northern Virginia groceries to try and find more, more, more.
Many Virginia wineries buy grapes from Horton to fill in their gaps. If a winery is pouring Rkatsiteli, for example, there's about a 90% chance the grapes are from Horton - just ask.
The winery is open every day, 10-5, and still has one of the most reasonable tasting fees around ($6/person, at this writing.)
Kids and pets welcome; bring your picnic; parking for RVs and buses.
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