I always wanted to get married at a winery. I ended up getting married at a beautiful historic house turned reception hall, but I’m still a little sad that the winery thing didn’t turn out, especially since I’m about to move to the middle of Virginia wine country and I’m surrounded by amazing wineries and vineyards that are the perfect place to hold a wedding or other private event.
Visiting wineries is a minor hobby of mine – I really enjoy it. But seeing how perfect so many Virginia wineries would be for DC area weddings and events, I am going to try and start documenting all of the ones I visit on this blog (knowledge sharing, right?).
The first installment of the Virginia winery wedding venue tour is Paradise Springs in Clifton, VA. It’s an appropriate first installment because it is considered to be the closest winery to Washington, DC – it’s only about a 40-50 minute drive from the city. However, it feels like an entirely different world. Once you leave the highway (66), you drive about 10-15 minutes on winding one or two lane roads through dense forest. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Then when you arrive at the winery, you are greeted by the sight of a wide open valley with vineyards on one side, the barn-esque tasting room, and plenty of tables to sit in the shade and picnic.
Paradise Springs has a few different options for weddings and private events, especially if you are flexible and can hold your event outside of regular business hours. For smaller events, they have the historical red barn which holds up to 50 people. The covered patio, below, holds up to 100 people. During business hours on weekends, this is a popular spot for guests to picnic and listen to live music.
The main tasting room is available to rent during non-business hours. It is a gorgeous room that I imagine can be completely reimagined for a wedding or event. I especially love the view of the wine barrels.
Oh, how’s the wine? It’s pretty good. I really loved the Sommet Blanc and I agreed with out pourer who said that their Chardonnay is quite different than most Virginia Chardonnays. I would say that for me, there are a few other local wineries whose wines I like a bit more at the same price point ($22-$30+ per bottle). And I’m also a bit partial to Loudoun County wineries and others that are further west because they tend to have beautiful mountain views. Don’t get me wrong – the ambiance at Paradise Springs is quite lovely. But I wouldn’t say there is much of a view.
For the location, it’s an easy drive from Washington DC and not too far off the beaten path and there are plenty of places to grab a table (indoors or out) and relax with a bottle and some good conversation.
I’ll close with a picture of these lovely ladies, who were my companions on our tasting and visit: Julianne, Lindsey and Abigail.
What are your thoughts on Paradise Springs Winery, or the winery trend for weddings in general? Any suggestions on which winery I should head to next?