Paradise Springs reputation preceded it: immediately upon telling Fairfax County friends and neighbors about our "150 wineries in 150 days" tour, they insisted we check out Paradise Springs.
The first winery in the county was big news for a while, as various community groups fought to keep the winery from opening in historic Clifton. But the grape proved too powerful for the townfolk, and today a lovely log cabin, circa 1800, fronts a big new tasting room and production facility.
Depending on where you enter Yates Ford Road you may encounter a "No Outlet Ahead" sign. But press on, and mind the speed bumps.
The winery quickly made a name for itself, winning the Governor's Cup for its Chardonnay soon after opening its doors. Visitors followed, then more visitors...and now Friday nights on the lawn or big covered deck are the
place to be on warm summer nights, enjoying the live music. Live music Saturday afternoons also.
If the deck is full (and it does tend to fill up on weekends), there's plenty of room inside the massive (but still somehow cozy) tasting room, with barrel tables and stools scattered around. Windows along the wall look onto the dim barrel room, stacked with full and soon-to-be-full racks of estate grown Cab Franc, as well as Merlot and Meritage from nearby vineyards.
When we visited, Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, and a sparkling Viognier were also on offer, and Norton and Petit Verdot were being bottled. Every 3rd Friday of the month is "Swagger Friday," when Paradise Springs opens up their Cigar Bar and pours complimentary tastes of of their fortified, port-style Swagger with every cigar purchase.
In late 2015, Paradise Springs announced that it was going bi-coastal with plans to expand winemaking operations into Santa Barbara.
Groups of more than 8, please call in advance to set up a private tasting. No children or pets on the back deck. Picnics welcome, and light snacks are available for purchase.
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