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It’s not hard to find a great glass of wine in Virginia, but unless you’re packing a picnic, a filling meal is tougher to come by at local vineyards. Most tasting rooms offer a limited selection of cheese and cured meats to go with your Cab Franc and Chardonnay, and food trucks may pull up on weekends. But if you’re looking for more than a nosh, these five wineries within an easy drive of D.C. offer a variety of small and large plates with their pours.
14001 Harpers Ferry Road, Purcellville, Va.
This winery makes the most of its culinary connection to the adjacent Grandale Restaurant (from the same owners), and one of its several wine flights features savory and sweet bites paired with six pours. Tasters can order sharable flatbread pizzas topped with local meats, produce, and cheeses, as well as seasonal soups such as gazpacho and watermelon topped with feta.
38516 Charles Town Pike, Waterford, Va.
On Saturdays and Sundays, this cozy tasting room is home to the Farmer’s Table, which serves southern comfort food by personal chef Zan Dial. Popular plates include fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, local sweet sausage and truffle grits, and Dial’s signature Red Neck Eggrolls stuffed with chipotle pulled pork barbecue.
6109 Wolftown-Hood Road, Madison, Va.
Owned by former AOL execs Jean and Steve Case, Early Mountain boasts a sprawling tasting room and two patios where visitors can sample estate-grown varietals as well as top wines from across the state. The in-house bistro menu—created by D.C.-based personal chef Jenn Crovato—highlights local products such as Albemarle breads, Monastery Bakery honey, and an Everona Dairy cheese soaked in the vineyard’s lees (organic material left over after fermentation).
43 Narmada Lane Amissville, Va.
Narmada took home two gold medals from the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition this summer for its Viognier and Reflection, an oaked 100 percent Chambourcin. Winemaker Sudha Patil and her husband Pandit Patil, who were inspired to purchase the property after dining at the nearby Inn at Little Washington for their 30th anniversary, have created wines that complement select Indian small plates, including vegetable samosas, butter chicken, and vegetable biryani.
275 Decatur Road, Stafford, Va.
This winery is open later than most in the region—until 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday—and its Grand Cru Bistro is part of the draw. Star small plates include a pear and fig salad with warm bacon dressing, pork tenderloin skewers, and potato croquettes with ground prosciutto and provolone. Fall desserts include apple dumplings with pecans and raisins, coconut bread pudding, and chocolate mousse with cherries marinated in Potomac Point’s Rabelos port-style wine, aged in bourbon barrels from nearby A. Smith Bowman Distillery.
Photo courtesy Early Mountain Vineyard