Taste Your Way through the Shenandoah Valley AVA

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Muse Vineyards

The term “flavors of the Valley” often refers to the fantastic farm-to-table movement where local farmers partner with area restaurants to reach a common goal: feed people. However, “flavors of the Valley” also refers to the Shenandoah Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA).

Our AVA is distinct in that nearly every varietal can be grown here. We have a nice range of altitude, plenty of limestone, fertile fields thanks to the watershed of two mountain ranges, and our summers are fairly dry. The Shenandoah AVA was Virginia’s first recognized AVA (1982) and encompasses 2.4 million acres across 10 Virginia counties and two West Virginia “panhandle” counties.

It would be no small task to taste your way through the Shenandoah Valley AVA as there are 37 wineries to mark off the list. Rather, we’ve chosen seven to get you started and included a resource below to help you with additional adventures.

Muse Vineyards | Woodstock, VA

Muse Vineyards is a dog-friendly, Virginia Governor’s Cup-winning, 50-acre river-hugging destination you can’t miss. Trails help you navigate the vines while the modern tasting room delivers beautiful views and delicious food service. Book a night in the 1792 farmhouse; Muse is a great hub from which to tour other wineries.

Muse won the Virginia Governor’s Cup in 2015 with their 2009 Meritage.

CrossKeys Vineyards | Mt. Crawford, VA

CrossKeys Vineyards encompasses 125 acres with the Tuscan-style Bistro and tasting room taking center stage. Once you visit you’ll know why CrossKeys is also a popular wedding venue (it’s exquisite!). Be sure to enjoy a flight and take a guided tour of the grounds and facilities.

CrossKeys’ wines have been included in the Governor’s Case at the Virginia Governor’s Cup in 2018 and 2015.

Barren Ridge Vineyards | Fishersville, VA

Barren Ridge is anything but barren. In fact, it was once an apple orchard (1890s). Now it’s a gorgeous, laid-back winery with rolling fields of luscious vines and tremendous mountain views. Most weekends feature entertainment at Barren Ridge. Secure your wine and cheese, a seat, and enjoy the views and music.

Wisteria Farm and Vineyard | Stanley, VA

Wisteria is a small farm winery raising not only grapes but also free-range chickens and Romney sheep. Bring a picnic to enjoy with a bottle of 100% estate-grown Wisteria Farm wine. The Music Under the Arbor series is each Saturday from June through October.

Wisteria wines have won silver and bronze medals at Virginia Governor’s Cup over the years.

Peaks of Otter Winery | Bedford, VA

Home to the annual Horse and Hound Wine Festival each July, Peaks of Otter Winery is a working farm winery known for their fruit wines. Sample a wide array of surprising flavors and don’t miss the baby goats!


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Star in the Valley Estate Winery | Strasburg, VA

The pouring began in 2019, yet Star in the Valley is already making a strong showing in its early years. The Beverage Testing Institute recently gave their 2021 Dry Rose 86 points, just three points shy of the score they gave the 2020 Red Blend earlier in May. For sure, their 11,000 vines are going to yield more notable sips to come.

Ecco Adesso Vineyards | Fairfield, VA

Newer still, Ecco Adesso is quickly growing into a unique wine destination complete with multiple lodging accommodations and a large timberframe pavilion. While their grapes have not yet matured for estate wine-making, they’re pouring a few hand-picked favorites from Shenandoah Valley neighbor Barren Ridge Vineyards and others. Keep this up-and-comer on your radar.

The Virginia Wine office is a comprehensive resource for all things wine in Virginia. See all of the wineries in the Shenandoah Valley AVA here.

Header photo courtesy of Muse Vineyards.

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