If there's anything that matches The Winery at Bull Run's owners' passion for wine, it might be their passion for American history. Knowing the land’s proximity to historic battles, before breaking ground on their new winery the owners teamed up with Civil War excavators to salvage hundreds of bullets, buttons, and breastplates that laid dormant underneath the winery’s Centreville soil since the 1860s.
While sipping on award-winning red and white wines in the tasting room, guests can look over display cases full of artifacts and listen to stories of the farmland's historic past. During warmer months, guests are welcome to relax on the outdoor stone ruins, whose waist-high walls and stone fireplace are all that remain from the original 19th-century estate house.
Most obstacle courses are challenging enough without adding the undead to the mix. During the approximately 5K Blood & Guts Run, however, that's exactly what participants get. As they go sprinting through the Virginia woods, they'll have to traverse gore-drenched hay bale pyramids, climbing walls, tire gauntlets, and cargo nets while brain-hungry zombies slog after them. These creatures don't just moan and move, though—they take aim at runners with water guns filled with fake blood, creating a crimson-tinged scene reminiscent of classic horror movies or particularly gruesome ketchup fights.
At the end of the course, runners will collect prizes for the most creative costumes before dancing to live music and DJ-spun tunes. A portion of the profits go towards The American Cancer Society, the Military and Veterans Association, and local school districts.
As summer turns to fall, the 200-year-old Nightmare Manor opens its doors to scare-seeking guests. Inside, actors portraying the spirits of the Manor's former residents who died in a tragic fire frighten explorers with detailed scenes and special effects as they transverse a series of rooms and surrounding property that would strike fear into the heart of any human, whether dead or undead. In addition to this macabre attraction, Nightmare Manor also houses an outdoor theater, bungee run, and bonfire.
Voyager Executive Sedan Transportation’s licensed, insured, and security-cleared drivers have chauffeured clients such as Ed Gillespie, Janine Turner, Michael Steele, Don King, and the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Whether they’re toting around national politicians or people who can lick their own elbows, the drivers provide the same level of professional care. They roll up punctually in vehicles ready to whisk people away to events, the airport, or just around town for a night out. Voyager also specializes in regional trips, coordinating long-distance travel to locales such as New York City, Atlantic City, and Philadelphia.
If there's one word to describe the success of Willowcroft Farm Vineyards, it's persistence. Owner and winemaker Lew Parker planted the first vines on what is now Willowcroft's home vineyard in 1980, but they didn't grow. They died. Doubt about the feasibility of the project came from everywhere, including the Virginia Extension Service. Lew planted anyway, and in 1981 he grew his first cabernet sauvignon, riesling, and chardonnay grapes. Today, through Lew's hard work and horticultural innovation, Willowcroft bottles 14 different varietals from reds such as the merlot and cabernet franc to whites such as the chardonnay or muscat-ottonel.
Willowcroft's wines maintain a crisp, clean flavor due to the winery's sustainable dry farming, and have garnered a litany of awards since their first vintages in 1984. However, the wine isn't the only draw to the winery. Located atop Catoctin Ridge, panoramic views unfurl from the winery's tasting barn and open terraces, where visitors can enjoy cheese and wine purchased onsite.
Swedenburg is located on historic Valley View Farm, which dates back to 1762 and still has a slight fondness for powdered wigs. The vineyard itself was planted by the Swedenburg family in the 1980s, more than 200 years after the farmland was originally cultivated. Today, the family still lives in the original, Colonial-era "Patent House," a testament to the farm's long history. When you pay a visit to Swedenburg, be prepared for hospitality befitting the landscape and Old World values. Weather permitting, picnic tables with umbrellas are set up for a relaxing wine tasting amid the bucolic splendor. Sample the six wines the vineyard produces, including Riesling with green-apple notes, the dark, oak-berry richness of pinot noir, and a semi-dry rosé for middle-ground wine balance.