Whew, it's hot out there. As the Dog Days of summer continue, a full day of drinking wine, even white wine or refreshing rosé, may be the last thing on your mind.
But not the winos at the Notebook. Hot summer days are sometimes the best days for imbibing in the Commonwealth; think less crowds, less babies, less noise.
We have chosen a few favorites where you can beat the heat...send us your's!
1. Maggie Malick Wine Caves
What better place to enjoy a tasting, or glass, on a hot summer day than a climate-controlled cave? The wine cave is a man-made structure under a grass covered hill and creates a truly unique tasting experience. Grab a bottle of the Melange Blanc, with its soft honeydew melon notes, and kick back by the pond in the back.
2. Sharp Rock Vineyards
Forget hiking up Old Rag Mountain on this scorching day...you can marvel at the mountain from Sharp Rock Vineyards, a favorite of the Notebook's since our first visit way back in 2001. Our go to hot day wine here is the Rosé Noir, consistently delicious and refreshing (and award-winning). Grab a spot by the creek at the bottom of the hill if you want to cool your heels.
3. Creek's Edge Winery
A relatively new winery in Loudoun County, Creek's Edge is a perfect year-round spot; the all-wood tasting building keeps the heat in during the winter, and the tasting room cooler in the summer. And the unusual locations of some of the tables inside, including at the top and at the bottom of their famous restored silo, is a great spot for sharing a bottle of their stainless steel vidal blanc.
4. First Colony Winery
Another long-time favorite of the Notebook, this Monticello AVA-based winery just gets better and better. We actually enjoy the wooded views from the deck here over some of the more famous mountain views at other Monticello AVA wineries. We always go for the rosé at First Colony; dry, refreshing, and as tasty as a strawberry Starburst.
5. Bluemont Vineyard
This is one of the most popular wineries in northern Virginia, and with good reason. It has a one-of-a-kind view from the mountainside, where you can make out the Dulles Airport control towers, the high rises of Reston and Tysons Corner, and even the tip of the Washington Monument on a clear day (bring your binoculars). We're going for a fruit wine here; The Peach. 50% peach and 50% vidal blanc. The Donkey rosé is another favorite.
Lots of protected spots inside the tasting room where you can escape the heat.
Some other spots we suggest:
Tarara Winery (the deck along the river banks)
Stone Mountain Vineyards (cooler temperatures when you taste the altitude)
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard (beautiful new tasting building nestled by the trees; don't take a dip in the pool though!)