North Mountain Vineyards, part of the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, is one winery that visitors to the area do not want to miss. The winery, housed in a European-style farmhouse that resembles a chalet, offers southern hospitality found only in the mountains of Virginia. Despite the fact that the owners hail from all over the world, the comfortable, relaxed atmosphere at the winery quickly reminds visitors of the friendly people that inhabit the mountains.
Krista, who is from Bavaria and her husband, Brad, who hails from Texas, operate the winery with their son, John, a native Virginian and his wife, Kelly, a native of Philadelphia. They created a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere that makes visitors feel as if they are treasured guests rather than customers. Visitors enter the tasting room with a spectacular view of the vineyards and a wooden bar where tastings are performed. A limited tasting is free, but for $10, tasters are able to enjoy some of their premier wines as well.
Known as the Weinstube room, designed as a cozy German-style parlor with a small alcove that looks out over a deck with seating. The room has a magnificent view of the vineyards and North Mountain. The Great Room, with its roaring fireplace, cozy seating and casual tables offer a spectacular view of the forest, meadows, vineyards and mountain. The winery is so relaxed that during our visit we were joined by Emily, a beautiful, well-behaved four-legged creature.
We chose the free tasting, enjoying the Groenendael Trocken, Oktoberfest, Vidal Blanc 2010, and the Virginia Apple Wine. We also tried the Cabernet Franc Reserve 2010, Chambourcin 2010 and Tom’s Brook Red. Overall our favorite was the Vidal Blanc, which was created during the earthquake that struck Virginia that year. Those who preferred red wine enjoyed the Chamborucin. The Virginia Apple was fairly sweet, as was the Oktoberfest. However, the Groenendael Trocken was reminiscent of champagne and would work well in a Mimosa.
On Saturdays through the winter, the winery offers Live Music and Soup Saturday, providing home-made soups for $7.50 per bowl. Soup options range from Tuscan Minestrone to Flavorful Winter Chowder. In addition, the winery offers Greek Olive Oil on tap. Apricot Jam and Cherry Chipotle created at the winery is also available for testing. Guest can order gourmet cheese platters with freshly baked baguettes as well. Cellar and Barrel Room tours are also available.
North Mountain, located at 4374 Swartz Road in Mauertown, Virginia, is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Children and pets are welcome! Groups of eight or more are asked to make reservations, and the winery also suggests reservations for Live Music and Soup Saturdays by calling 540-436-9463.