Vineyard lodging is having a growth spurt. As wine tourism grows in Virginia, so, too, do the number of wineries rolling out the welcome mat at everything from refurbished farmhouses to log cabins to luxe suites. More than 30 wineries now offer lodging; here are five local favorites.
The Farmhouse at Veritas, Veritas Vineyard & Winery
A designer’s touch is evident in the updated English countryside feel at The Farmhouse at Veritas, from silk draperies to custom wainscoting to the soft rugs on wide-planked floors. Some of the spacious rooms are snugged up by coffered ceilings over plush, king-sized beds, and a bottle of complimentary Veritas wine waits on a side table. Built in the 1820s as a family home, the Farmhouse at Veritas was updated and reopened as lodging in 2012.
Wine hour begins at 5pm in the salon with small plates of housemade nibbles: cheeses, pickles, charcuterie, and jams. Guests can rack up a game of billiards or take a walk through the Inn’s flower garden and grounds. Most visitors eventually find their way to porch rockers, where they stick like glue until dinner at 7pm.
For late risers, the best part of the Farmhouse schedule is the gloriously late breakfast, served to order from 9 to 11am. A glass of Veritas sparkling wine can be enjoyed solo, or as part of a duet with fresh-squeezed orange juice, along with croissants, fruit, and choice of a sweet or savory main course, such as housemade brioche French toast with house-cultured yogurt, local maple syrup, and granola, or Free Union Grass Farm fried chicken with Gruyère, fried egg, and house-fermented hot sauce honey.
For dinner, guests can drive 30 minutes to Staunton or Charlottesville, but most choose to dine in at the excellent Farmhouse Restaurant. (Reservations required; $85 for four courses, including wine pairings.)
$200-650, 72 Saddleback Farm, Afton. veritasfarm house.com, (540) 456-8100.
Vineyard Cottages, Afton Mountain Vineyards
Last fall, there was a particularly riveting photo of Virginia wine country making the rounds—have you seen it? October’s gone-to-orange vines marching in straight rows toward a glittering pond, backed by rising layers of gold-brown and blue mountains, all topped off with puffy white clouds. That iconic image was taken at Afton Mountain Vineyards, and that’s also the view from your private deck when you check in to one of the four Vineyard Cottages. Apartment-sized at 650-square feet, the Cottages feel fresh and airy, with a wheelchair-accessible quadrant design of king bedroom, huge bathroom with walk-in shower, cozy living room with cute electric fireplace, and kitchen with full-size appliances.
A two-bedroom, two-bath Guest House is also available, just 15 long strides from the tasting room. The full kitchen is outfitted for those who love to cook, while a comfortable living room with fireplace, front patio, and screened porch are perfect for those who love to sit.
Lodging fees include two tastings at the winery, and horseback riding in the vineyard can be arranged with a local outfitter. Two of the cottages are dog friendly, but there’s an extra fee.
Dinner options within a 10-minute drive include the excellent Farmhouse at Veritas (reservations required) and the nacho/wings/pizza/burger goodness at Blue Mountain Brewery, both in Afton.
Cottages $165-338; Guest House $225-355, plus fees. 234 Vineyard Ln., Afton. aftonmountain vineyards.com, (540) 456-8667.
Glass House Winery B&B
An extravagance of color, texture, and whimsy, the B&B at Glass House Winery might seem like the harvest of someone’s wildest imagination, were it not for the winery’s other flagship space—a glass conservatory off the tasting room that blooms year-round with 10-foot-tall banana trees, heliconia, and other tropical flowers. Glass House Winery is delightfully exuberant, to put it mildly.
The B&B’s main common areas are modern-meets-jungle with animal print furnishings and lots of greenery around an open kitchen. Outside, wicker furniture surrounds a pool, hot tub, and tiki bar.
Three bedrooms and a large, two-room suite—more sedate in décor—come with ensuite bathrooms, and the live-in innkeeper, Peggy Young, is available to help answer questions and cook up a generous breakfast in the morning.
There’s music and dancing at the winery every Friday from 6-9pm. Children and dogs are welcome at the B&B and winery.
Nearby dining options are few, but Duner’s, a busy local favorite with an upscale American menu, is 20 minutes away, or drive a few more minutes to The Mill Room, reopened this year at Boar’s Head Resort after a multi-year renovation.
$125-395 (book the entire B&B for $650-1,000 a night), 5898 Free Union Rd., Free Union. glass housewinery.com, 964-2190.
1804 Inn and Cottages, Barboursville Vineyards
An aura of stillness and a sliver of a story begin your stay at Barboursville Vineyards’ 1804 Inn and Cottages, which stands among hulking ancient boxwoods in the shadow of a silent ruin. If former Virginia governor James Barbour’s brick shell of a home (it burned on Christmas Day 1884) reminds you passingly of Monticello, that’s because it was designed in the same Palladian style by a neighbor—Thomas Jefferson.
For sheer elegance, book one of the suites in the 1804 Inn; each has a separate sitting room, fireplace, and wide balcony or patio, plus enough oriental rugs, chintz, and antique furnishings to make you thirsty for an aged brandy. Inn guests breakfast together in the central dining room.
The cottages are more relaxed and casual, each with its own estate history as a schoolhouse, gardener’s cottage, or servant’s quarter. Inside, working fireplaces keep it cozy, and kitchenettes are stocked with DIY breakfast, plus happy hour wine, grapes, and cheese.
A shared deck behind the cottages is great for evening stargazing and sipping on a glass of Barboursville’s luscious dessert wine, Paxxito (available at the winery).
Three additional suites are now open in the Blue Run Cottage, which was the family residence for winemaker Luca Paschina for 30 years.
Though the room rate includes a wine tasting, consider upgrading to the winery’s Library 1821, a quiet, ritzy enclave overlooking orderly rows of cabernet franc vines. For a starting price of $25, you can sample Barboursville vintages dating back 20 years or more.
Reserve ahead for lunch or dinner at Barboursville’s gracious and welcoming Palladio Restaurant, featuring an a la carte menu of Northern Italian cuisine with wine pairings. The price for a three-course dinner pairing is $75 or $105 with wines, while the four-course pairing is $90 or $125.
$240-550, 17655 Winery Rd., Barboursville. bbv wine.com, (540) 832-5384. Library 1821 open Friday- Monday; reservations suggested, (540) 832-3824. Palladio Restaurant open for lunch Wednesday-Sunday and dinner Friday and Saturday, (540) 832-7848.
Historic Chestnut Log Cabin and Vineyard Farmhouse, DelFosse Vineyards & Winery
The tasting room at DelFosse Vineyards sits at the bottom of your palm, just above the wrist. Your fingers hold the trellised vineyard rows, rising up and away. At the top of your middle finger is a log cabin, and as you perch on the cabin’s flagstone patio, big enough for 50 of your friends, the entire estate—lake and winery, tiny cars and people—is your view. You rule. You are master of the universe. At least until the sun goes down; then you are bear bait. Ha! We kid: There’s a huge reinforced fence around the property. So instead, you are simply—alone.
The 150-year-old cabin is the best kind of retreat: full of character yet fully-functional. There’s a comfortable bedroom upstairs, satellite TV, and an updated kitchen and bathroom so thoughtfully done that the integrity of the log house—the smoky, dark woodsiness of it—remains.
The Vineyard Farmhouse, just outside the winery gates, has old-house charm in a modern package. Popular with DelFosse’s wedding parties, the Farmhouse holds nine guests in four ensuite bedrooms, plus full kitchen, dining room, and living room.
For dinner, break out the DIY steaks, or take a country drive 20 minutes northeast to Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie, which, in our opinion, has no reason to be humble: It’s by far the best pizza around.
Cabin $175-$395; Farmhouse $695, 500 DelFosse Winery Ln., Faber. delfossewine.com, (434) 263-6100.