If you’re a wine enthusiast, traveling is a great opportunity to discover new wineries and local wines in beautiful locales. We all want an opportunity to enjoy the fine wines of Bordeaux, Tuscany, or Marlborough in person; in the United States, most people are familiar with the Napa Valley and up-and-coming vineyards in Washington and Oregon. But there are some fantastic wineries that explore the unique land and grapes grown on the Eastern Seaboard, from perfect Rieslings to effervescent Moscato. Discover one of these eight fantastic vineyards when you’re looking for your next destination, from Virginia to Nova Scotia.
Jefferson Vineyards, Virginia
Jefferson Vineyards is located in Charlottesville and is known to have one of the young region’s most consistent track records when it comes when it comes to the quality of the wine it produces. The vineyard was named after Thomas Jefferson, as the Founding Father always had a dream of winemaking in Virginia—and he would be proud of his followers’ success. The contemporary vineyard has been awarded for their Viognier and Meritage. When producing their wine, they only use grapes grown in Virginia and don’t use commercial concentrates or additives to help intensify the taste of their wine. Owned by the Woodward Family, Jefferson Vineyards has spent over three decades replanting their grapes in select sites that provide them with better vines suited to the soil profile of the land. Today, they have four different types of grapes on four different sites that offer the best in air and water drainage as well as protection from harsh weather.
Black Ankle Vineyards, Maryland
The rolling hills of Maryland are home to a small number of dedicated but relatively unknown wineries. Black Ankle Vineyards in Mt. Airy has developed some new wines in small batches—if you’re visiting, don’t forget to purchase whatever is available because there’s a good chance it will sell out before you return. The winery planted their grapes for the very first time in 2003 and 2004, clearing 22 acres of gentle slopes and using the wood and stone on the property for their charming brewery and house. They had their first harvest in 2006 where the wine hung out in barrels until it was ready for bottling in 2008. The crew works diligently to ensure the grapes have the best sun and the best wind to produce the best wine possible. If you’re in the area, you can try one of their wines and enjoy a selection of local cheese and picnic items or even bring a picnic basket of your own for an idyllic outing in the sun.
Trump Winery, Virginia
Trump Winery is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with 1,300 acres of fine terroir dedicated to a variety of grapes that produce white, red, and sparkling wine. Before the Trumps assumed ownership, the winery had been developed by Patricia Kluge and won numerous awards, especially for their sparkling wines. Purchased by Donald Trump in 2011, it is now owned and managed by his son, Eric Trump. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Trump Winery is Virginia’s largest vineyard and the largest vinifera (Old World) vineyard on the East Coast. The vineyard has a luxurious 26,000 square feet boutique hotel on the historical Albemarle Estate. The hotel opened a new tasting room in 2011 where they provide their guests with a relaxing atmosphere, top quality gourmet cuisine, and spectacular views of the surrounding fields.
Old Westminster Winery, Maryland
Maryland is not considered a traditional wine region but these artistic vintners are trying to put the state on the map. Old Westminster Winery is a family vineyard run by a trio of dedicated siblings who manage the fields by hand. They plant, pick, and inspect their grapes with a light had to preserve the unique characteristics of each vineyard—half of the grapes grown at the winery and the other half found on neighboring farms to capture the many flavors of the differing geology, light, and air. They bottled their first round of wine in 2013 and invited hundreds of wine enthusiasts to help them celebrate their first wine release. They now produce about 30,000 bottles of wine annually. They’ve now opened their tasting room, which is a great place for people to relax, spend time together and enjoy wine. If you visit, don’t leave without trying their Chardonnay and their red blend, Tapestry—the two most popular wines.