On a windy fall weekend, Cork Hound cofounder, Jeremy, our pups, Greta and Bentley and I, headed out from the D.C. metro area to visit Cape Charles, Virginia. Cape Charles is a small seaside town along Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The primary purpose of our trip was to visit family, so we only had time to stop at one winery.
Table of Contents:
Vineyards to Visit
Weekend Trip Accommodations
More Wineries/Vineyards to Visit
Vineyards to Visit:
Chatham Vineyards & Winery
9232 Chatham Road
Machipongo, VA 23405
Photo from inside the tasting room. Photo by Jeremy Glesner, All Rights Reserved
As you enter the property, you'll first see the brick main house, Chatham, built in 1818. The manor is not open to the public. Instead, the tasting room is off to the left side in a modern warehouse with covered patio and fire pit out front. Inside, you'll find a large round tasting bar serving guests. The rest of the space is crammed with wine barrels and production equipment. It's a bit tight around the bar, so if you have a small dog, you may want to hold them while you taste. Now, if you like oysters and wine, then Chatham is the place for you! They frequently host oyster weekends (with bonfires) and the events are very popular. This vineyard welcomes dogs inside the tasting room, outside and on the patio.
Photo of the Chatham Tasting Room. Photo by Jeremy Glesner, All Rights Reserved
Weekend Trip Accommodations:
If you have additional time to explore the eastern shore, we suggest the following:
Cape Charles is a small seaside community on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. It was a busy, booming place in the 1880s when the railroad transported goods and people to awaiting ships. Take your dog for a stroll along the town’s Main Street for a glimpse into its Victorian past. Many of the shops are dog-friendly, but ask/call before you go inside with your pup.
What dog doesn’t love a walk along the beach on a warm, sunny day? Well, my Greta isn’t a huge fan of the water, but she enjoys chasing the sand crabs. Many of the beaches along the eastern shore allow dogs but have restrictions at certain times of the year, so make sure to investigate before you head out. And remember, always clean up after your dog and keep them leashed and under your control at all times. TIP: This area has a high amount of prickly burrs that grow in the scrub. Your pup can pick these up in their paws and it’s very painful. Be on the lookout for these little buggers!
The Bistro in Bloxom
The Bistro in Bloxom used to be a winery, but no longer. Now they operate as a bistro serving a limited menu of pizzas. Photos on their website indicate they still offer their own wine, but it’s unclear if the wine is available for purchase or tasting. They are only open on Saturday from 4pm - 8pm. Dogs are welcome outdoors and on the covered patio.
More Wineries/Vineyards to Visit:
Bordeleau Vineyards & Winery
3155 Noble Farm Rd.
Eden, MD 21822
Sip and watch for passing bald eagles, great blue herons, and snowy egrets. Bordeleau offers an assortment of wines including Malbec and a sparkling Chardonnay. Dogs are welcome outdoors and on the patio.
Layton's Chance Vineyard and Winery
4225 New Bridge Rd.
Vienna, MD 21869
This is a family owned and operated vineyard. They grow Chambourcin,Vidal Blanc, Traminette, and Norton grapes — best suited for the climate along the eastern shore. They offer a unique red blend of native Catawba and Chambourcin grapes, called Freedom. The label features the likeness of American icon Harriet Tubman. Tubman, born on Maryland’s eastern shore, was an escaped-slave who spent most of her life helping other slaves reach freedom in Northern states by way of a system of safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. At Layton’s Chance, dogs are welcome outside and on the patio.
Cover Photo is of a wooden walkway to the Chesapeake Bay beach near Cape Charles, Virginia. Photo by Jeremy Glesner. All Rights Reserved.