Though DuCard Vineyards has only been around a few years, its property—situated on the edge of Shenandoah National Park—has yielded grapes for the last decade. At first, they formed the flavorful foundation of pours at a nearby winery, whose product went on to win best wine in the state at the Virginia Governor’s Cup. After this, DuCard's winemakers used the grapes to craft varieties for friends and families, and growing demand virtually willed DuCard Vineyards into existence soon thereafter.
Besides its meticulously sustainable operation, DuCard's grounds host a tasting room for sampling everything from raspberry-flavored reds to whites with hints of peach and lemon peel. A "hidden gem," according to The Madison Eagle, the vineyards also host numerous year-round events, including board-game days and live music more melodious than somebody tapping an empty wineglass until it's refilled.
Rare and eco-friendly, organic tulips make up only 25 acres out of the 25,000 acres in Holland devoted to growing the flower that powers their nation. The sustainable variety is able to soak up more nutrients, making them stronger and less likely to catch disease or become pest infested. As one of the only American sources for the coveted vase filler, EcoTulips provides tulips grown in organic soil that is only used once every seven years. This year marks the first annual event celebrating the beloved bloom, with 40,000 planted to create a 10,000-square-foot pick-your-own garden experience. Stop by from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays without an appointment, or call ahead to schedule a picking time on weekdays. EcoTulips also recommends that you call ahead to ensure that the tulips are in full bloom before you embark on your gardening experience.
For Jose Morais, his winery is more than just a lifelong dream. With Morais Vineyard & Winery, he's also able to pay homage to his Portuguese roots, creating traditional libations such as jeropiga, a sweet liquor made from partially fermented red wine, and the touriga national, a full-bodied red with smoky notes that's won medals from two different wine competitions. Jose his team of the winemakers also experiment with styles and flavors, whipping up the Battlefield White from blanc and albarino grapes and conjuring aromas of smoke and ripe red fruits from the cabernet franc, which pairs well with meat dishes and Parisian accents. The winery's decor blends rustic and modern touches, from the grand ballroom decorated with marble floors and a rod-iron staircase to the tasting room, which sports a massive stone fireplace and sleek corkscrew chandeliers.
As a conglomerate of paintball facilities, Paintball International offers many distinct destinations for chromatic outdoor combat. Some fields, such as Splat Zone Paintball in Louisiana, challenge players to find adequate cover in an arena littered with creative obstacles. In Massachusetts, PnL Paintball thrusts players into a realistic Ghost Town, comprised of churches, multilevel buildings, and stone walls. Meanwhile, trees, leaves, stacked wood, and foliage inside K.C. Crusaders offer players all-natural hiding places from which they can spring forth to surprise their rivals or remain undetected while they determine the color palette they will use to paint Water Lilies on the surrounding bunkers.