A Winchester Virginia getaway or day trip offers tasty dining and craft beer, beautiful scenery, interesting history, and unique fun ...
There are two wineries in Fairfax County—Paradise Springs Winery and The Winery at Bull Run—and they both offer history, scenery, and some tasty wine. The burgeoning Virginia wine scene draws wine tasting crowds to neighboring Loudoun county, but the FFX will not be left behind!
We don’t go to critique the wines; we go for the funness. Our usual strategy is to share a tasting, then purchase a glass or bottle of wine to enjoy outside. Both wineries have friendly staff, a generous pour, and lots of nice places to relax.
The large property features an historic log cabin built in the early 1800s and later renovated by a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright.
There is plenty of outdoor seating in both shaded and sunny areas, a large covered deck where you can hear local bands, and a large tasting room. If you want to visit when the joint is jumping, come for the music on Friday nights (5:00-9:00) or Saturday afternoons (2:00-6:00).
Just a few miles north of Clifton, The Winery at Bull Run is right at the edge of Manassas National Battlefield Park. In fact, the winery is so close to the battlefield that it was used by picnickers, the rubber-neckers of their day, to watch the fighting at the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861.
Glass in hand, we enjoy exploring the history of the former Hillwood Estate—the stone patio is what remains of the original Hillwood Mansion and the foundation and chimney of a later house stand nearby.
Civil War artifacts and a large mural depicting the property during the First Battle of Bull Run are displayed in the tasting barn. A mural by the same artist graces one of the outbuildings.
If you have a designated driver, you could visit both wineries in an afternoon and compare, but we suggest you make separate visits and combine them with some local flavor. When you visit Paradise Springs, take time to wander around the small town of Clifton, stopping in at the hundred-year-old General Store.
Even with all their space, both wineries get very busy on weekends with groups jostling for a spot at the tasting bar. If you can visit on a weekday, you’ll miss the music but find a more relaxed and peaceful environment.