Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by Maggie McKneely
Looking for the best wineries in northern Virginia to visit in the winter? Here are my top 5 suggestions!
5 Cozy Wineries in Northern Virginia for the Winter
I’m not entirely sure how I ever got into wine tasting. It could have been the stresses of attending a college made for overachievers, my involvement in politics, or the fact that I’m just a natural foodie. Whatever the reason, I have 100% adopted wine tasting as a hobby. So much so that after graduation, I got a part-time job working in a tasting room.
One of the major perks of that job was that I got free wine tastings at every Virginia winery I visit, and anyone who went with me usually got a discount. Some wineries even gave them their tasting for free too. Needless to say, I’ve done my fair share of wine tasting in Virginia. She’d never say so, but I know that that free-winery-visit thing is the real reason my mom tags along on adventures with me.
However, I know most people can’t just pop into a tasting room and demand free wine. You need to be a little more judicious about what vineyard gets your time and money. Fortunately, I’ve done the oh-so-difficult work for you of sampling what the wineries in northern Virginia have to offer.
But here in Virginia’s Wine Country, we face a challenge that our vino-loving friends in Napa and Tuscany and other, more moderate wine-growing districts do not. Here in Virginia, winter is as it should be: cold (except for those random 70-degree days, but let’s be honest, that’s typical Virginia too.)
In warmer months, there is no place better than the outdoor patios at one of Loudoun County’s 58 wineries. Many a Sunday has found me with a glass of White Merlot under the trumpet-vine-covered arbor at Hillsborough, absorbed in a book while honeybees provide that background summertime buzz as they work from bloom to bloom.
But what to do right now, when summer is still far out on the horizon? When you can’t sit out on a patio and sip your wine without twenty blankets and a fire pit? Many of our local wineries in northern VA capitalize on the natural beauty of Loudoun County and are best enjoyed when it’s more than 10 degrees out. But your resident wine snob is here with recommendations on wineries in northern Virginia to visit on days when you need to scrape ice off your windshield.
Best wineries in Northern Virginia to visit in the winter:
Creeks Edge Winery
Situated on the banks of Catoctin Creek, Creeks Edge Winery is the exemplar of rustic elegance. Polished hardwood flooring, hand-cut wooden tables, stone facades, and a roaring central fireplace make this the perfect setting for a snowy afternoon. In addition to a selection of warming red wines (such as my favorite, the 2015 Petit Verdot Reserve), they also have an extensive food menu, featuring flatbread pizzas, a plethora of sandwiches, and a variety of smaller bites! When the temperatures dip low, Creeks Edge is one of the best wineries in Northern Virginia to check out.
- Hours: Friday: 12-6 PM, Saturday-Sunday: 11-6 PM
- Location: 41255 Annas LN, Lovettsville VA
- Reservations: Recommended but not required. To make one, go here.
Lost Creek Winery
Lost Creek Winery is part restaurant, part winery which, if you love food as much as I do, is a major plus. The culinary experience here is just as important as the wine tasting, which makes them stand out from the other wineries in northern Virginia. Their farm-to-table menu changes seasonally, and you can order a flight to pair perfectly with your meal. So take your glass of 2015 Genesis and claim a table by the fireplace, order a bowl of seafood risotto, and enjoy not freezing your fingers off outside.
- Hours: Monday &Thursday-Friday: 12-5 PM, Saturday-Sunday: 11-5 PM
- Location: 43285 Spinks Ferry Rd., Leesburg, VA
- Reservations: Reservations for the tasting room are highly recommended. Reservations for the wine and food pairing are required. Go here to make them.
There’s a good reason why this is one of the most popular wineries in Northern Virginia, especially for novice wine drinkers. Many of us have heard of the value of pairing food with the right kind of wine, but Fabbioli Cellars is one of the few wineries that actually demonstrates why this is important.
Each tasting wine is paired with gourmet food bites that complement that wine and bring out its unique characteristics. The staff creates a new line-up every month, so you can visit multiple times and always have a different experience. One of the winter selections was the Zinfandel paired with a Spiced Turkey Meatball and Sicilian Gorgonzola Dip on a Beet Crisp – that is sure to warm your taste buds. If not, order hot cocoa made with their Raspberry Merlot – yum!
- Hours: Thursday-Sunday: 11-5 PM
- Location: 15669 Limestone School Rd., Leesburg, VA
- Reservations: Required for groups of 6 or more.
- Tastings: $15 for 6 wines and food bites
As I already mentioned, Hillsborough Vineyards is an incredible place when it’s not frigid outside; it is undoubtedly one of the best wineries in northern Virginia for a great view. The tasting room is situated on top of a hill overlooking the valley between the Short Hill Mountains and Catoctin Ridge. But it’s an equally stellar destination for this time of year too.
Their stone tasting room, originally built in the 1840s, has a homey, farmhouse-style vibe. The yellow-painted walls, cream-colored tables, and colonial blue décor provide a cheery interior when the weather is less so. A seated tasting conducted by one of their knowledgeable and entertaining hosts is an excellent way to celebrate the national holiday. And, they recently opened a brewery as well – that way, if you’re more into wine but your tasting partner prefers a brew, you’ll both be happy with a trip to Hillsborough.
- Hours: Friday-Monday: 11-6 PM
- Location: 36716 Charles Town Pike, Hillsboro, VA
- Reservations: It Is first come first serve
It’s not located in northern VA, but I couldn’t leave it off this list. Orchid Cellar is both a winery and a meadery in Middletown, Maryland, about 30 minutes from Leesburg. Built in 2015, the Lincoln Logs-style tasting room provides a respite from wintry conditions outdoors. If you’ve never tried mead before, nothing will lift the spirits during a polar vortex-like fermented honey, a.k.a mead. And to make things even fierier, they offer a line of meads infused with the hottest peppers in the world. My mouth is still recovering.
- Hours: Thursday-Sunday: 12-5 PM
- Location: 8546 Pete Wiles Rd, Middletown, MD
- Reservations: Not required
With that list, you should be set to properly celebrate the holidays or any time when the weather is drab and dreary! So pick a winery, grab some friends, and enjoy some Virginia vino!
Got questions about visiting wineries in northern Virginia? Need a friend to go with you so that you too can get a discount? 😉 Let me know in the comments or send me an email!
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These are some great options. My husband and I got to DC a couple of times per year and I will have to add on our must-do list for the next time. Thanks for sharing!
Yes!! That “free wine tasting thing” is quite amazing! BUT…. getting to tag along and test these wineries out with the best “partner in crime” is a treat all by itself! ????????
Definitely, winter isn’t the right time to enjoy a glass of wine sitting out on a patio, but this comprehensive list makes the process of wine tasting a lot easier! Enjoyed the read!
I love visiting wineries and wine tasting. This isn’t too far from where I live. It would make a fun long weekend. Thanks for recommending some great wineries. It’s always nice to know which ones are worth visiting before you go.
Been pouring for quite a few years now for different wineries myself….. we should grab Dani and your mom and let them hang with us!!! Great blog!!! Love you!!
Let’s do it, Jo Ellen!!
What a great guide! I got into wine tasting/drinking because of food and wine pairings, so Fabbioli sounds like a great place for me! Next time I’m in DC, I’ll allow myself some extra time to check out these awesome places!!!
Great round up of Virginia wineries! I am still a little skeptical of the area. My memory from when I lived in DC is that the Virginia wines cost more per bottle than comparably tasting wines from Argentina, Chile, or even Europe. But, for a day trip from DC, it’s a good way to spend a day.
Sounds like a great way to spend the weekend. .. food and wine! Such a great guide thanks for sharing ????
I love wine!!! I would love to do these!! It looked like a blast!
A gal after my own heart. Wineries! I would love to visit these one day but it is a wee bit far away from wee ole NZ. Fingers crossed one day though. I think you might be on to something when you say your Ma tags along for the free wine 😉
I’ve never done any kind of wine-tasting before since it’s not pretty common over here. Whenever I heard about this experience, it would be in either Europe or America and I’ve never been to any of them. I thought it was such a lux experience since over here wine could be so expensive. However, reading your post here, I’m surprised that it could go as low as $8 for the experience. Thank you so much for sharing this! 🙂
I had no idea Northern Virginia had wineries. I would love to visit the Creeks Edge Winery. I was pleasantly surprised at how reasonable their wine tasting prices were. I also love an establishment with a fireplace. Makes the entire experience so cozy.
I never think of wine tasting in the winter – brilliant! I love the fire roaring and the food pairings… sign me up!
We visited some wineries in Virginia in 2010. It is probably time to go back. I see there are some we haven’t been to!
Thanks for sharing ! Nice article with the opening hours and prices ! Never been to Virginia, but would definitely appreciate a list like yours when I last visited French wineries !
Wine tasting isn’t something I usually associate with winter, but these wineries sound perfect for winter, mostly the ones with warm cosy fireplaces. I especially like the sound of learning more about why different wines pair well with different wines as it isn’t something I know anything about – it’s a great idea to add something more to the experience.
Sorry, obviously I meant *different wines pair well with different food
Being a teetotaler, I may never visit it however everything looks fabulous. You have captured some nice shots. Wineries are completely a different world altogether and looks so fresh and cozy at the same time.
I never thought of wine tasting as a hobby but I’m sure it can be kind of fun! Your post is a great guide to wineries and I was surprised to discover how affordable it can be. I’m sure you had a good time researching this post!
As a fellow oenophile, I loved reading this post! In Connecticut, we have the same problem in the Winter months with beautiful vineyards made for the summer months being somewhat less exciting or less accessible. I would love to check out some of the vineyards you mention next time I am in Virginia (especially the ones with food pairings: that is not something you commonly see at vineyards up North)!
I’m a big wine gal but to be honest, I’ve never really thought of visiting wineries during winter. It’s always been a summer season thing for me and my family but I’m for sure intrigued now and will have to book a flight over to VA. Lost Creek definitely sounds right up my alley too. You had me at wine and amazing food and who can say no to sipping a glass in front of a cozy fireplace!