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There’s really never a reason not to visit a winery in Virginia. What kind of friend would you be if you turned down the rolling hills, fresh air, and inexpensive tastings of beautiful, family-owned wineries? Don’t ever be that friend. After a short drive from DC (or an incredibly long one depending on 66 traffic), you may even find yourself twirling in glee upon your arrival at the Philip Carter Winery in Fauquier County.

Carter is able to trace his Virginia roots back to the House of Burgesses, when his family began growing grapes and making wine as early as 1759. Then, the Revolutionary War got in the way and the family wine-making was halted until Philip Carter returned to the production of wine in 2008.

The winery is humble, with beautiful views and a laid back atmosphere. Wines include a buttery Chardonnay, fragrant Viognier, smooth Cabernet Franc, and (my favorite!) a beautiful, robust Bordeaux. Educational tastings are $6 and glasses start around $8. You’re invited to bring your own picnic lunch and play outdoor games like corn-hole as you sip wine and wallow in the Virginia countryside. For a relaxing weekend afternoon–especially once the colors begin to change–it doesn’t get much better.

Photos: Lauren Jones

Philip Carter Winery
4366 Stillhouse Road
Hume, VA 22639
(540) 364-1203