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.
When they set about designing their year-round outdoor fields, WarPlay's founders—two Marine veterans who have played paintball for nearly 30 years— meticulously mapped out layouts that impacted strategy, which was something they felt most paintball fields lacked. They set up not only traditional woods-ball and speedball fields, but they also created their own hybrid fields that meld the quick pace of speedball with the more methodical play of woods ball. These course designs emphasize teamwork and heighten play because the markers and density of cover—which may include concrete bunkers, standing timber, and out-of-work black holes—make the fields seem bigger than they are. This can lead to rapid swings in momentum and intense firefights—first contact usually happens within 50 seconds. To keep the action going, every field features spawn areas that let players return to games within five minutes of being hit.
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.