Looking to explore vineyards close to Washington, D.C.? Why not start by heading west toward the town of Middleburg, Virginia. Middleburg is a scenic area, characterized by rolling hills and numerous ridges not far from the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s about an hour’s drive west of the capital making it an ideal day trip with your dog. Here farmland and grand old manors sit in between vineyards and country roads. Wineries are relative newcomers to this part of VA, but they are producing a great variety of drinkable wines sure to please the palate.
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Day trip Itinerary:
If you only have one day to visit Middleburg, we highly recommend visiting Chrysalis Vineyards and Cana Vineyards:
39025 John Mosby Highway in Middleburg, VA 20117
At the Ag District, off of U.S. 50, just west of Aldie
Photo of the Ag District, Chrysalis Vineyards, Middleburg, VA. Photo by Peggy Mihelich. All Rights Reserved.
Located outside the village of Middleburg, Chrysalis Vineyards, specializes in Spanish and French varietals and the native Virginia grape, Norton. Tastings are held at their new Ag District facility, a large wood beam and metal structure perched on a hilltop. The floors inside are polished concrete, which in the summer time, offers a cool place for your dog to chill while you sip a glass of Petit Manseng. Bring your own food or purchase some meat, cheese and crackers in the tasting room. Dogs are welcome outside and on the patio and deck area**.
Award Winning Wines: Norton Locksley Reserve, Viognier, Albariño, Barrel Select Norton, Mariposa
Our Favorites: Sarah’s Patio Red, Viognier, Albariño
Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg
38600 John Mosby Hwy, Middleburg, VA 20117
Photo of a Cana wine glass looking out onto their vineyard. From: http://www.canavineyards.com
Just a short drive down the road from Chrysalis, is Cana Vineyards and Winery. The main house features covered porches on two levels and lovely gazebo. Come summer the owners put up a huge circus-like tent that provides additional shade for visitors. Cana has a variety of red, wine and fruit wines, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your taste buds. Dogs (on leash) are welcome in the first floor of the tasting room, the porch, the patio, and grounds. Breads, cheeses, meats, and spreads, are available for sale in the tasting room. Picnics are also permitted. Dogs are welcome on the patio and grounds**.
Award Winning Wines: Gewürztraminer, Le Mariage, Apple Wine
Our Favorites: Gewürztraminer, Riesling
Weekend Trip Itinerary:
Middleburg also makes for a great weekend getaway. Take some time to tour the historic downtown, filled with antique shops and restaurants, many that allow dogs on their patio area. Since you are surrounded by farmland, drive down a country road and pull off at a farmer’s stand/market and pick up some fresh produce. And be sure to squeeze in another winery stop before calling it a weekend.
Dog-friendly Hotels, Inns and B&Bs:
Salamander Resort and Spa
500 N Pendleton St, Middleburg, VA 20117
Search Bring Fido: Bring Fido Dog Friendly Hotels, Middleburg
Homeaway Dog Friendly Rentals
Here are some local sites to visit while you are in the area.
Middleburg Historic District
The area is known for its mid-19th century architecture best viewed on foot with your dog. Go for a walk down Washington and Madison Streets to take in the stone structures. The most well known house is "Chestnut Hill", also known as "The Hill," a large Federal-style house sitting apart surrounded by lawns.
Photo by Design for Health / CC BY-NC 2.0
Explore nearby Aldie, VA
The Aldie Mill is a water mill built shortly after 1804 to grind grain. Retaining much of its original machinery, it is one of the best-preserved mills in Virginia. The area around the mill includes two houses, the Mercer House and the Miller's House. Other buildings in the complex include a granary dating to the period 1809–1816 and a smaller "county mill" structure, used to make plaster. The complex is part of the Aldie Mill Historic Park, operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, and is open to the public.
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Walk the grounds of two Civil War battles, the First Battle of Bull Run/First Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861, and the Second Battle of Bull Run/Second Battle of Manassas which was fought between August 28 and August 30, 1862. Pets are allowed in the park and on the hiking trails but must be kept on a leash at all times.
Additional wineries to visit:
Quattro Goombas Winery
22860 Monroe-Madison Memorial Hwy Aldie, VA 20105
Quattro Goombas specializes in Italian-style wines and blends. Be sure to pair some wine with a Sicilian style pizza, available at Quattro, their pizza shop, located right inside the winery. Dogs are permitted on the grounds and on the patio**.
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards
38906 Mt Gilead Rd Leesburg, VA 20175
Willowcroft produces red, white, and rose wines. Tour around the red-painted barn buildings while you take in panoramic views of Loudoun Valley. The house, tennis courts and pool on the property are private. Be sure to follow their directions and not GPS: http://willowcroftwine.com/visit-us/. Dogs are allowed on the grounds and in the picnic area**.
**The Virginia Deptment of Agriculture has cracked down on dogs in tasting rooms. Happily, a new law allows them back in starting 07/01/18! We will update their status at this time.