Northern Loop Access
Northern Starting Point
The Visitor Center in Front Royal, VA is a restored historic train station with a friendly staff that will gladly provide travel support and guidance to passing tourists. This is a good location to obtain a wealth of travel and lodging information for locations in and around the Shenandoah Valley.
- From the Visitor’s Center take Route 55 South to Route 522 South
- Follow up and over the ridge for 5 miles
- As you crest the ridge look for Chester Gap Winery sign on the left
- Turn left into the Winery
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.
- Depart Chester Gap Winery
- Make a left on 522 South for 2. 5 miles
- You will see the entrance for Rappahannock Winery on the left
- Follow the signs to Rappahannock Winery
- Visit the Tasting Room
Rappahannock Cellars is one of the region’s larger vineyards with an impressive tasting and sitting area. The winery also provides a well-stocked shop for those interested in buying virtually any wine related items. Rappahannock is consistently recognized by the State and industry for its many outstanding varieties of delicious red, white and dessert wines.
Don’t miss one of the 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 make for a delightful experience on any day.
- Depart Rappahannock Cellars
- Turn left on Route 522 and proceed south
- In a few miles you will enter the small picturesque town of Flint Hill, VA
- Continue through Flint Hill along Route 522 South to Route 211
- Make a right turn onto Route 211 West towards Sperryville, VA
- Approximately a mile before entering the old town of Sperryville you will see a sign for Gadino Cellars
- Make that left turn and follow to the Tasting Room
Recommended Dining – Griffin Tavern, Flint Hill, VA
Featured Stop #3 – Desert Rose Winery
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 a long 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 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 such as their popular Pinot Grigio and a fantastic Viognier. Numerous fine red varieties are also available as well as dessert wine.
Gadino Cellars offers a 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 and return to Route 211
- Make a left onto Route 211 and follow west for a few minutes
- Just as you enter the Town of Sperryville, look for the sign on the road for Copper Fox Distillery and take that left turn
- Follow the signs and proceed for a short distance to the distillery compound
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. 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 Whiskey Distillery
- Return to Route 211 West
- Proceed towards Thornton’s Gap in the Shenandoah National Park
- As you begin to wind down the mountain on the west side towards the town of Luray, look for the first turn off on the left side of the road named Jewell Hollow Access Road. This is a sharp left turn onto a gravel road
- If you see the stone Shenandoah National Park Headquarters building on the right side, you went too far
- Just turn around and head back up the mountain and look for Jewell Hollow Access road as you go up the mountain
- Take Jewell Hollow Access Road for ¾ mile to the intersection with Jewell Hollow Road
- Make that right and continue for 2.5 miles to the left intersection of Valleyburg Road (just past Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park on the right)
- Turn left on Valleyburg Road and follow for to the intersection with Ida Road
- Turn left on Ida Road and follow until Ida road ends at Marksville Road
- Turn right on Marksville Road and follow until you see the old white farm house and Wisteria Vineyards on your left side
- Pull into the parking area and walk to the Tasting Room
Stop by the Rappahannock County Visitor Center
Recommended Side Trip from Sperryville
- From Sperryville central intersection take Route 522 towards Culpepper
- Go a mile East on 522 to the intersection with Route 231 South
- Proceed south until you see the signs for Sharp Rock Vineyard on the right side
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)
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 to return to the Wine Loop Route.
- Pass across the Shenandoah National Park along Route 211 at Thornton’s Gap and follow directions to Wisteria Farm & Vineyard as described after Copper Fox Distillery in the above text
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.
Wisteria Farm and Vineyard 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.
- Return to Route 340
- Travel North follow signs to the Front Royal Visitor’s Center
End Point – Visitor Center, Front Royal, VA
414 East Main Street
Front Royal, VA 22630
Toll Free: (800) 338-2576
Local: (540) 635-5788