Savoring Nelson 151 and Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail and the best wineries in virginia

The area around Love Ridge is known for its rich agricultural history. The new arrival on the scene is a thriving and evolving craft beverage industry. Wine Enthusiast named Charlottesville and the 40 wineries that comprise the Monticello Viticultural Area the 2023 Wine Region of the Year for a reason.  Even though Thomas Jefferson aspired to grow grapes at Monticello, the Virginia wine industry didn’t come to fruition until the 1970’s when the skilled viticulturalists, including Gabriele Rausse, whose wine we offer at Love Ridge, found vines that thrived in our region and started producing the best wineries in Virginia

Since that time, enthusiasm has been growing along with the number of vineyards that dot both slopes of the Blue Ridge.  Not only is the area considered the birthplace of American wine, but the countryside around Charlottesville is renowned for other craft beverages. The result is a delightful blend of flavors, experiences, and scenic beauty that welcomes visitors and locals alike. 

A flight of 4 craft beers lined up on the bar.

Discovering Nelson 151: Where Breweries and Wineries Thrive

Nelson 151, affectionately known as Virginia’s Weekend Address, is a stretch of road that winds along the Rockfish Valley on the east side of the Blue Ridge in Nelson County, As you travel the road a panoply of wineries, breweries, cideries, and distilleries unfolds revealing Virginia’s rich beverage culture, inviting visitors for tastings, tours, and breathtaking views.

Best Wineries in Virginia: Wine Tasting with a View

  • For those with a penchant for wine, Nelson 151 boasts an impressive lineup of vineyards, each offering a unique terroir and selection of varietals. From full reds to delicate whites, the wineries in this region practice the art of winemaking amidst breathtaking vistas.

  • Veritas Vineyard & Winery: With its sprawling estate and meticulously tended vineyards, Veritas Vineyard & Winery is a crown jewel of Nelson County. Guests can partake in guided tastings of Veritas’ acclaimed wines, such as their signature Viognier and Cabernet Franc, while admiring panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

  • Afton Mountain Vineyards: Perched atop Afton Mountain, this family-owned winery combines Old World charm with modern winemaking techniques. Visitors can sample Afton Mountain’s handcrafted wines in their cozy tasting room or unwind on the expansive deck overlooking the rolling hills below.

  • 12 Ridges Vineyard is just 9 miles down the Blue Ridge Parkway from Love Ridge. The 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge and their high-elevation wines makes 12 Ridges a must stop location for wine lovers staying at Love Ridge. On the weekends, they often have music and food trucks.

Breweries Galore

From crisp lagers to bold IPAs, the breweries dotting this scenic route offer a diverse array of brews crafted with precision. Whether you’re a seasoned beer lover or a curious novice, there’s something to suit every palate.

  • Blue Mountain Brewery: Situated against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Blue Mountain Brewery is a must-visit destination for beer lovers. Their expansive outdoor patio provides the perfect setting to savor their award-winning brews, including the popular Full Nelson IPA and the refreshing A Hopwork Orange.

  • Three Notch’d Brewery: A recent arrival to the Nelson scene, this Virginia brewery and craft distillery is housed in an historic schoolhouse in Nellysford. Guests can enjoy a wide selection of handcrafted beers with interesting collaborations and seasonal brews while soaking in the rustic ambiance of their spacious beer garden. For some extra fun, sign up for a session of axe throwing to top off your Three Notch’d experience.

  • Devil’s Backbone Basecamp Brewpub: Situated at the base of the mountains, Devil’s Backbone Basecamp Brewpub offers a quintessential Virginia beer experience. Visitors can sample a diverse selection of Devil’s Backbone’s award-winning beers, paired with hearty pub fare and live music on weekends.

  • Bold Rock Hard Cider: While not a brewery per se, Bold Rock Hard Cider is a beloved stop along Nelson 151, offering a refreshing alternative to beer. Tucked between 151 and the banks of the Rockfish River, Bold Rock’s cidery invites visitors to sample their crisp and flavorful cider varieties, expertly crafted using locally sourced apples.

A Culinary Journey through Virginia's Beer Scene and the best wineries in Virginia

On the other side of the Blue Ridge in Waynesboro and along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, a meandering route that winds through Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, offers a wide array of breweries, wineries, and eateries. From historic towns to bucolic countryside, the Beerwerks Trail invites travelers to savor the flavors of Virginia’s vibrant craft beer scene while exploring charming communities along the way.

Highlights include:

  • Commonwealth Crush was founded with the idea of introducing small grape producers and winemakers to tasters. Beyond the relaxed vibe of the boho tasting room, is an operation wine-making area that serves as an incubator and production facility for small grape growers. When you visit Commonwealth Crush you are supporting the Shenandoah Valley small wine industry and also getting to sample some of the most innovative and unique vintages in the area. They also produce wines from 12 Ridges Vineyards, the closest vineyard to Love Ridge.

  • Stable Craft Brewing: Located on a sprawling farmstead in Augusta County, Stable Craft Brewing is renowned for its farm-to-table fare and handcrafted brews. Guests can enjoy a leisurely afternoon of beer tasting and horseback riding, followed by a hearty meal crafted from locally sourced ingredients.

     

  • Seven Arrows Brewing Company: Tucked away in downtown Waynesboro, Seven Arrows Brewing Company is a hidden gem known for its small-batch brews and laid-back atmosphere. Beer enthusiasts can sample an ever-changing lineup of inventive beers, ranging from classic styles to experimental creations.

Central Virginia’s rich beverage culture offers a wide array of flavors, experiences, and hospitality that keeps visitors and locals coming back. Book your visit now to Love Ridge Mountain Lodging and enjoy the journey through this dynamic and beautiful region to discover the craft beverage scene and the best wineries in VirginiaCheers!

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