From Washington, D.C, hop on 1-66 West and drive about 50 miles to Delaplane, Virginia. The area is known for fox hunts, farm-to-table agriculture, expansive country estates, and more working vineyards than any other on the east coast of the U.S. Most vineyards offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges, sure to enhance any visit to the area with your dog/s.
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Day trip Itinerary:
If you only have one day to visit Delaplane, we highly recommend visiting Desert Rose Ranch & Winery, Barrel Oak Winery, or Three Foxes Vineyards:
Desert Rose Ranch & Winery
13726 Hume Rd
Hume, VA 22639
Photo of author Peggy and her dog Greta Garbo, outside of Desert Rose Ranch & Winery. Photo by Jeremy Glesner, All Rights Reserved
Cowboys and girls, horseshoes, and saddles. What do these three things have in common? In our case, it was Desert Rose Ranch & Winery, which is owned and operated by Bob and Linda Claymier. Jeremy, my dog Greta and I, visited this western-themed outpost in rural Hume, Virginia during a cold weekend in February. Dogs are welcome, outside, on the patio/porch and inside the tasting room. I’ve never been to a ranch out West but when I think of old westerns, Desert Rose fits right in, just on a slightly smaller scale.
The ambience begins as soon as you approach the property you can’t miss the hanging ranch sign arching over the driveway to the tasting room. Near the signage out front, visitors are greeted by a large, rusted ironwork horse that is reared up on his back legs. Real horses roam nearby in fenced pastures on the property. Giddy up! The tasting room resembles a frontier log cabin, emblazoned with “Desert Rose Winery” appearing in a lasso-style font on one side. As you enter the tasting room, you’ll notice the distinctive clanging of a cowbell. Once inside, your eyes are immediately drawn to a large cowhide that is displayed over the wooden tasting bar. Something about the atmosphere makes you feel welcome and comfortable.
After you approach the bar, take note of all the foreign money from all over the world underneath the glass countertop. It turns out that Bob grew up on a ranch in Oregon but traveled east to Virginia to start a life and career. Bob and Linda’s jobs gave them the opportunity to travel to many different exotic locations over decades. While sipping my wine, I surveyed the faces that appeared on the currency and found Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and who I thought might be the Shah of Iran. It must have been quite an experience visiting some of these places in years/decades past! Now retired, the owners spend their days growing grapes, operating their winery and sharing their hospitality.
The owner’s wife took some time to talk with us and gave Greta a dog treat! There was another dog visiting while we were there, too. A puppy named Bjorn. He was one of the most well-behaved puppies I’ve ever seen -- quite a gentleman.
Photo of Bjorn inside the Desert Rose Ranch & Winery tasting room. Photo by Jeremy Glesner, All Rights Reserved
There are plenty of tables for sitting and sipping in the tasting room, including some leather chairs by the stone fireplace. With the fire going, it’s a nice spot to warm up tired bones.
Our favorite wines: Ole Moo Moo, Sparky Rose, Uncork the Cure Chardonnay
Barrel Oak Winery
3623 Grove Ln, Delaplane, VA 20144
Photo of Barrel Oak Winery's outdoor tasting bar. Photo by Jeremy Glesner, All Rights Reserved.
When it comes to dog-friendly vineyards, Barrel Oak Winery, also known as (BOW), is the gold standard. This place loves dogs so much they have them on the label. Dog paintings and photos line the walls of the hilltop tasting room. Here, dogs and wine go hand-in-hand (err, paw-in-paw). BOW offers a variety of white, reds and dessert wines to try. Purchase a bottle then grab a picnic table on the hillside. Sit back and toast the canine-palooza! Dogs are welcome inside the tasting room, outdoors and on the patio.
Learn more about this exceptionaly dog-friendly vineyard by reading our interview with BOW's owner, Brian Roader.
Our Favorites: Meritage, BOWhaus Red, Seyval Blanc
Award Winning Wines: Petit Verdot, Norton, Reserve Stainless Chardonnay
Three Fox Vineyards
10100 Three Fox Ln, Delaplane, VA 20144
Photo of Three Foxes Vineyards, Delaplane VA. Photo by John M / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Three Fox Vineyards is a short drive from BOW. Here you can sample wines with dog and cat names and labels. The tasting room is a small building at the top of a hill. In the summer they set up a tent to serve the overflow of visitors. Surrounding the main house, you’ll find plenty of tables, chairs and sloping hills to enjoy a picnic with your dog. They even set up tables and chairs in the vines, so you can immerse yourself in the experience. Dogs are welcome in the tasting room, on the patio and grounds.
Our Favorites: Gato Bianco
Award Winning Wines: La Boheme Viognier, Piemontese Nebbiolo, Calabrese Pinot Grigio
Weekend Trip Itinerary:
With so many vineyards in one area, it’s hard to not want to spend more time in Delaplane. If you have a whole weekend, there are plenty more wineries to visit. Also consider exploring some of the area’s other attractions, Sky Meadows State Park , antique shops, road side produce markets, to name a few.
Dog-friendly Hotels, Inns and B&Bs:
Search Bring Fido:
Bring Fido Dog Friendly Hotels, Delaplane
Homeaway Dog Friendly Rentals
Delaplane Historic District
Historic Delaplane encompasses 24 buildings and 3 sites in the rural village of Delaplane. Notable buildings include two brick structures that were used as stores, stations, and warehouses during the mid-19th Century.
Photo of Historic Delaplane VA. Photo by Mark Plummer / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Sky Meadows State Park
This 1,900-acre park is located on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains with 24 miles of trails and the 1860s Mt Bleak-Skye Farm. Every Memorial Day, the park plays host to the annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival. Pets are allowed in the park but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet and kept under supervision while in the park. Pets are also not allowed in public facilities (bathhouses, visitor centers, park offices, restaurants, etc.)
The ruins of Rosewell Plantation, offer a unique look into colonial Virginia’s past. Begun in 1725, Rosewell was home to the Page family for more than 100 years. In 1916, a fire swept the mansion leaving just its shell.
Additional wineries to visit
Winding Road Cellars
4289 Leeds Manor Rd, Markham, VA 22643
Named after the long-winding road the winery is located off of, Winding Road Cellars offer a small selection of French style wines. Step into the tasting room and take in the pine woodwork, built by Amish craftsmen. Bring your own cheese and crackers, or purchase some Amish cheeses, crackers, oil and bread. Dogs are welcome on the patio and grounds.
Philip Carter Winery of Virginia
4366 Stillhouse Rd, Hume, VA 22639
For the family that owns PCW, wine runs in the blood. They claim to be the producers of the first internationally recognized fine wines in America on October 20, 1762. Be sure to try their 1762 port, made from Chambourcin. Dogs are welcome on the patio and grounds.
Cobbler Mountain Cellars
5909 Long Fall Ln, Delaplane, VA 20144
Where Ireland meets Virginia, you’ll find Cobbler Mountain Cellars. At this Irish-themed winery, you can picnic on the hillside, hike on Cobbler Mountain, and if brave, take a dip in the creek. Step into the tasting tavern and sample a Cab Franc or a Merlot. And don’t miss out on sampling their ciders too! Dogs are welcome on the patio and grounds.
Cover Photo: A dog and its owner enjoy the picnic area at Barrel Oak Winery. Photo by Peggy Mihelich, All Rights Reserved.