Southern Loop Starting Point – Visitor Center, Luray, VA
Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop – Open for Business
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- From route 211 at Luray take Route 340 South across the Main Street intersection in the historic town of Luray
- Cross main street and as you drive up the hill (50 yards after the Main Street intersection) you will see the beautifully restored historic Luray Train Station. which is the town’s visitors center. This is worth a shortstop to see the nicely restored structure and to gather a wealth of travel information on places to go and stay in the Shenandoah Valley and the region. This is the Southern start point for the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine loop.
Lodging Recommendations on the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop
Cabins – “Shadow Mountain Escape” is located directly on the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop 10 minutes east of Luray and on 15 secluded and enchanting acres along the Shenandoah National Park. This family run business is Virginia’s first and only authentic timber frame cabin rental business. With four unique timber frame cabins decorated in romantic “old world” European décor, Shadow Mountain Escape provides the perfect wine trail couples get-a-way. www.shadowmountainescape.com
Hotel – The Mimslyn Inn is a beautifully restored Grand Hotel located in the center of town that offers a clean and classy experience with a full complement of services to include a nice restaurant and the locally popular “Speak Easy” Pub. The Mimslyn Inn location is within short walking distance into the old town area, the award winning Green Way Park along the Hawksbill Creek, and even the Luray Caverns. www.mimslyninn.com
Bed & Breakfast (Luray, VA) – Piney Hill Bed & Breakfast and Cottages dates back to the early 1800’s. Located less than 10 minutes from downtown Luray on 2 acres in a peaceful country setting. It is far enough from town to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside, yet close enough to local restaurants, area attractions and activities. Enjoy the panoramic mountain views and vistas of the Blue Ridge, Skyline Drive and Massanutten Mountains. They serve a full country style breakfast each morning. Piney Hill B & B Website
- From the Luray Visitor’s Center go South on Route 340 until you see the Hawksbill Diner on your left (a classic and tasty traditional country diner dining experience is highly recommended by Discover Shenandoah )
- Make a left on Hawksbill road just before the diner and follow for less than a mile until you intersect with Marksville Road
- Go left on Marksville Road for ¼ mile where you will see an old white farm house on the right side with “Wisteria Farm and Vineyard” sign out front
- Pull into the winery parking lot and follow the signs for the short walk onto the small deck with trellis and into the charming tasting room
Wisteria Winery is an adorable small family run farm/vineyard. You will likely appreciate a unique and charming family farm environment and a personal tasting session with the wine maker and/or his wife. The owners are delightful people who provide a warm and casual tasting experience.
The wine maker comes from a foreign lineage of small town winemakers and his “personal touch” in the wine making process ensures flavorful wines and he often produces very nice variations of typical regional wines. Considering the scale of Wisteria’s operation, the winery sells a surprising variety of wines to include a delicious dessert wine named “Daisy”.
Don’t hesitate to ask the vintner for a tour of his production facility or for an update on his recent experiments with organic processes. Other than wines grown and produced on site, the small farm raises chickens and sheep which guests are welcome to visit. Wisteria also sells their hand made wool, eggs when available, and offers cheeses and sausage upon request. The winery holds monthly special events with local music that are worth attending.
- Depart Wisteria for the next stop
- Make a right out of the parking area on Marksville Road and continue East
- You will see the intersection with Ida Road on the left
- Follow Ida Road to Valleyburg Road on the right
- Make the right on Valleyburg Road
- Follow for mile until it intersects with Lake Arrowhead Road
- Make a right on Lake Arrowhead Road
- Travel 2.5 miles to the intersection with Jewell Hollow Road and Jewell Hollow Access Road
- As a way marker, to the right of this intersection you will see the Shadow Mountain Escape Timber Frame Cabin rental compound – the only authentic timber frame cabins rentals in Virginia
- Make a left up Jewell Hollow Access Road (a gravel National Park Road)
- Follow it for ¾ mile until it intersects with the Route 211
- Be very careful as you make a right on Route 211 and then follow Route 211 East as it winds up and down over the mountain through Thornton’s Gap and the main entrance of the Shenandoah National Park
- As you come down the mountain you will enter the very small, quaint and historic town of Sperryville (worth a stop to walk through the small town and visit the unique shops including arts, antiques, and eateries)
- As you depart Sperryville on Route 211 you will immediately see the sign for the next stop at Copper Fox Whiskey distillery
- Follow the Copper Fox Distillery signs to the right and drive the short distance to the Copper Fox Distillery compound
Hot Tip – The Shenandoah National Park is at the heart of the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop and has two excellent dining locations at Sky Land and Big Meadows Lodge. We strongly encourage travelers to incorporate a dining visit along the Skyline Drive to either of these locations which offer inspiring views and great dining experience. If you can, make time for a hike in the park.
Recommended Dining – Thornton River Grill
Recommended Side Trip from this Location
- From Sperryville central intersection follow Route 522 East for less than a mile.
- At the Intersection of Route 522 and Route 231, turn right onto Route 231 South.
- Proceed on Route 231 until you see signs for Sharp Rock Vineyard on the right.
- Visit Sharp Rock at the base of Old Rag Mountain and try their delicious Rose wines.
Featured Stop #2: Sharp Rock Vineyards
Sharp Rock Vineyards is located in a historic farm located at the base of Old Rag Mountain – one of Virginia’s top mountain hiking locations.
The tasting room and surrounding buildings are filled with historic charm and, located next to a large mountain stream, the surrounding landscape is magnificent. The Vineyard offers a wide variety of excellent artisan wines and offers a sausage, cheese, and bread plate for the hungry wine enthusiast.
- Return to Route 231
- Make a right to continue south for a few more minutes into the very small road side town of Etlan, VA where you will see the right turn off to DuCard Vineyard
- Follow Road to DuCard Vineyard ( look on right side for sign)
Featured Stop #3: DuCard Vineyards
DuCard Vineyards is another of the region’s magnificent locations that offers an unforgettable tasting room with an adjacent patio located next to a charming mountain stream. The picturesque Vineyard produces a variety of high quality wines.
Unique to DuCard Vineyard is a stunning Port wine. DuCard Vineyard also provides some cold food (cheeses, chocolate, etc.) and a fun little wine related gift shop. Depart DuCard and return to route 211 in Sperryville to return to the wine loop route.
- Depart DuCard.
- Return to Route 211 in Sperryville and follow east to Copper Fox Distillery to return to the Wine Loop Route.
- Pass across the Shenandoah National Park along Route 211 at Thornton’s Gap and follow directions as described after Copper Fox Distillery in the above text
The Copper Fox Whiskey Distillery is an extremely interesting and enjoyable experience for visitors – whether you drink whiskey or not.
The Facility is located in an old wooden apple processing facility which creates a wonderfully rustic and practical environment for the whiskey distilling process. Take the tour which is a very informative and entertaining experience. Visit the small shop where you can buy the unique and tasty Virginia distilled whiskey products to include Rye whiskey.
The Copper Fox Distillery even offers a popular small personal oak barrel which allows the whiskey lover to bring home his own whiskey barrel and oak age it to personal taste and color.
- Depart The Copper Fox Distillery.
- Get back on Route 211 East (make a right on 211).
- Within a minute you will see the sign for Gadino Cellars.
- Make the right off of Route 211.
- Follow the signs for several minutes to Gadino Cellars Winery and Vineyard.
- Road turns to gravel for the last half mile.
The Desert Rose Winery located in Hume, VA is one of Fauquier County’s more unique boutique wineries. This family and pet friendly winery strives to make all guests feel welcome and at home. Guests are invited to bring a picnic and find a place either inside, on the deck, around the pond (which sports a fountain and Koi fish), or out under the trees to enjoy with their favorite glass or bottle of Desert Rose wine.
Members of their own family will often be in the winery helping including brother Ken and his dog GiGi who has become a popular welcoming figure along with being selected to be “Miss November” in the 2013 Dominion Wine Dogs Calendar.
They are still a breeding, boarding and training operational horse ranch and you will often see horses displayed in the adjoining corral – some even for sale!!
After entering along a simple gravel road, the Gadino Cellars’ neat vineyards and tasting room with a large sun deck strikes the visitor at first greeting as a very pleasant and nicely groomed surprise. With its Italian flare, visitors will likely find Gadino Cellars as a unique treat relative to many other Virginia Wineries – as the vintner and his family strive to stay true to their Italian Wine making roots. The Winery provides an impressive variety of consistently tasty wines. They produce a popular Pinot Grigio and a fantastic Viognier. Numerous fine red varieties are also available as well as a dessert wine.
Gadino Cellars offers an generous selection of bread, meat, cheese, and other items for the hungry wine tasters. It would be hard to imagine a more pleasurable afternoon than lounging on Gadino Cellars sun deck on a bright day with a cool freshly poured white wine; or, sitting in front of the fire place in the large tasting room with a spicy Gadino red during the cooler seasons.
- Depart Gadino Cellars.
- Return to Route 211.
- Continue East to Route 522 toward Flint Hill.
- Make the left off of Route 211 onto Route 522.
- Travel North through beautiful rolling landscape into Flint Hill, VA.
Recommended Dining – Griffin Tavern, Flint Hill, VA
- Continue through Flint Hill, VA.
- Travel along Route 522 North, until you see the Rappahannock Winery signs.
- Follow the signs to the right turn.
- Drive just a short distance to Rappahannock Winery.
Rappahannock Cellars is one of the regions larger vineyards with an impressive tasting and sitting area. The winery also provides a well stocked and fun shop for those interested in buying virtually any wine related items. Rappahannock produces many varieties of delicious red and white wines.
Don’t miss one of the winery’s numerous seasonal events or holiday events which usually include local live music or other special attractions. Rappahannock Cellars’ daily wine tasting schedule and generous open seating makes for a delightful experience on any day.
- Depart Rappahannock Cellars.
- Turn right on Route 522 heading North.
- Drive approximately 2.5 miles towards the ridge
- You see the entrance for Chester Gap Cellars on the right.
- Take the right turn and follow to the tasting room parking area
Chester Gap Cellars is a small family winery in a lovely location. The winery offers generous varieties of both red and white wine. The Vintner’s central European heritage is detectable in a glass of his delicious Viognier Reserve or in his sweeter Cuvee’ Manseng. The wine maker’s admirable focus on creating unique artisan wines ensures a delightful tasting experience for all wine lovers.
A large sun deck sits adjacent to the tasting room – a perfect sampling location on a warm sunny day. Chester Gap makes for a pleasant stop as you crest the Blue Ridge into the Shenandoah Valley.
- Return to Route 522 and continue into Front Royal.
- Pick up Route 340 South towards Luray, VA.
- Soon after heading south on Route 340 you will see a stop light at intersection with Route 649.
- Make that left on Route 649 towards Browntown.
- Follow for 5-10 minutes until you see the entrance sign on the left side for Glen Manor Vineyard.
- Follow the entrance drive up the hill to the tasting room.
Recommended Dining – Joe’s Steak House, Front Royal, VA
The family owned Glen Manor Vineyard sits on a relatively high altitude farm just below the Shenandoah National park boundary and the Skyline Drive.
The views and the large open family farm make for a fantastic experience; add in the delicious aroma and taste of the wines from the meticulously managed vineyard and you may choose to stay here all day.
The tasting experience here is a pure pleasure – service comes with many smiles and is very informative and engaging. The result is often an unforgettable product with wonderfully unique aroma and flavor. The Sauvignon Blanc, with a distinct aroma of apricot and heavy touch of grapefruit on the pallet, is not to be missed. The winery’s exquisite Hodder Hill Red wine won Virginia’s coveted Governor’s Cup Gold Medal in 2012 – a testament to a world class vintner and the quality of wines being produced in the region.
- Depart Glen Manor on the same route on which you entered.
- Return back to Route 340.
- Go south for 30 minutes to the main intersection with Main Street (Route 211 Business ) in Luray.
- On the main intersection of Route 340 and Route 211, you will see the Artisan’s Grill on the corner.
- The Visitor’s Center is just up the hill – a good place to find many other places to go and things to do in Shenandoah Valley area.
Recommended Dining – Artisan’s Grill, Luray, VA
End Point – Visitors Center, Luray VA