Studying wine grapes in their natural habitat is much more enjoyable than exploring the dank, melancholy caverns of root beer's namesake. Stroll through blissful vineyards with this Groupon.
$7 for Spring Barrel Tasting Festival for Two ($14 Value)
Choose from the following dates:
- April 20 or 21
- April 27 or 28
Guests can fill their souvenir glass with a vertical tasting of cabernet franc wines. At 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., the staff will lead group tours into the cellars, after which guests can enjoy the spring weather with wine and cheese pairings.
Autumn Hill Vineyards
Autumn Hill Vineyards owners Ed and Avra Schwab have made a lot of wine in the past 30 years, from their gold medal blend of petit verdot and merlot to their vintner’s reserve chardonnay that takes on the flavors of the French oak barrel it ferments in. The one thing you won’t find in their cellars, however, is a sweet wine. That’s because the pair strives to craft Virginia wines with a European influence, resulting in dry, full-bodied vintages brimming with character. This specialization has led them to cultivate seven types of wine grapes, including some of the oldest cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay vines in Virginia.
Though the duo spends most of the year tending to their vines in private, they invite guests in four times a year to see in the inner workings of their operation. Visitors to the vineyard are privy to tours through the barrel-aging cellar, helpful advice on how to pair wines with food, and vertical tastings of the same vintage to highlight the flavor differences among the grape crop every year. For guests who can’t make it out, the vineyard offers a wine club that delivers select vintages to clients' doorsteps or sommeliers' giant beanstalks in the spring, fall, and holiday season.