June 25, 2015

Mountain Cove Vineyards, Virginia's Oldest (And Most Approachable) Winery

Let's face it, the stereotype for most wine drinkers generally runs along the adjectives of affluent, sophisticated, and somewhat aloof, and most wineries tend to cater towards that higher-class stereotype - pinkies up, my friends! But while these stereotypes may have some root in truth, many of us winos are just your average Joes and Janes looking to enjoy a good glass of wine while rubbing shoulders with people from every background.  Wine is not just a country club event, and Mountain Cove Vineyards, the oldest operating winery in Virginia, showcases this approachable side of wine in a rustic setting fit for the Queen of Sheba herself.

Old red barn near the tasting room.
(C) Brittany James
I loved Mountain Cove Vineyards from the moment we wound our way down the gravel driveway, flanked by rows of vines and capped with the rolling skyline of the Blue Ridge.  Everything about the place, from the rustic red sheds on the property to the country-style interior of the tasting room, makes a visitor feel welcomed.  Whether in a sundress and sandals, shorts and a t-shirt, pinkies up or down, you'll feel right at home.

As we exited the car, we were greeted with a friendly "Hello!" from the vines. "Are you here for the wedding or the wine?"  the woman asked as she took off her gardening gloves. "The wine!" we called back, and she came out of the vineyard and led us into the tasting room.

Wooden shelves, canned jams, and a pot-belly stove sit side-by-side with the rows of Mountain Cove's wine inside the tasting room. Tastings are free, which is a welcome practice in an industry that often charges fairly high prices for very small samples. Two wines in particular took our fancy: the Skyline White and the Tinto.

(C) Brittany James
The Skyline White is Mountain Cove's signature white made from the Villard Blanc variety, a grape native to the Vouvray region of France. It is light on the palate with semi-sweet tones, perfect to pair with a chicken or seafood meal - or just drink it sans food like some of us do!

But for us the Tinto wine stole the day. As their website states, this is the red wine for non-red drinkers, and I can personally vouch for that. The only wines I tend to enjoy are light and sweet like muscadine. However, Tinto is neither light or sweet, but the minimization of tannins and the overall drinkability of this Norton, Cabernet Franc, and Chambourcin blend made me an immediate fan.

Don't take my word for it, though. Stop by and taste it for yourself!

Part of the #252by2022 challenge.

All photos are the property of Brittany James and are used with permission. Unauthorized use of these photos is strictly prohibited.

Linking up for the #WeekendWanderlust!


  1. Wine tasting is a thing I didn't know that existed!! We have many vineyards in Greece (especially in Northern Greece and Crete) and I've gone wine tasting only in Santorini (and that was because my husband has a friend who works at a winery)! I'm not the biggest fan of wine (especially red one), but Santorini produces a very nice and sweet wine called Vinsanto which I absolutely love!

    1. Wine tasting is very popular in the United States! It's free at some vineyards, but most charge a very small fee. You get a small sample of each type of wine so that you're able to see what you might like. I didn't start liking wine until a few years ago, and visiting wineries and wine festivals is what helped grow my taste for it.

      We were just in Santorini last month, but unfortunately I did not get to try any of the wine as I would not have been able to finish a whole glass since I'm pregnant. It just means I have something to do the next time we return!

  2. Katrina,
    Here in Southern California, there are a lot of laid back tasting rooms and vineyards. I think it is because of the proximity to Los Angeles and San Diego. A lot of places are moving towards the family friendly concept (big places). Now, I have heard different things about Napa and Sonoma. Will have to check how things work in there.

  3. I have family in Virginia and will have to check that out next time we visit! And the Blue Ridge mountains are some of my favorites ever!

  4. We made a fall trip to Virginia last year and enjoyed visiting a coupla vineyards. We plan on making it a yearly trip and I will definitely add it to our visitng list.

  5. How cool - this vineyard looks lovely! Ain't Virginia great?!

  6. Their red wine sounds like one I'd like to try! I tend to go for the lighter and more fruitier wines :) Thanks so much for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust!


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