With vibrant fall hues sweeping across the mountainsides, October is a month that typically sees a lot of tourist traffic heading for the Front Royal area. But October brings with it another reason to head to Front Royal, too. It’s Virginia Wine Month! There’s few better places to enjoy Virginia Wines that the Front Royal area! We’re marking the month with five fun facts about Virginia Wine, followed by five suggestions for places to enjoy Virginia Wine in and around Front Royal.
Five Fun Facts About Virginia Wine
2. Wine Production in Virginia Failed Many Times
You’d never guess it from the many flourishing wineries in Virginia these days, but early attempts to produce Virginia wine were fairly unsuccessful. European colonists found native Virginia grapes unpalatable. However European vines did not flourish in the Virginia climate.
3. Thomas Jefferson Failed to Grow Virginia Wine
4. The Virginia Wine Industry Didn’t Really Take off Until Recently
Historical events also made difficulties for the Virginia wine industry. The Civil War, Prohibition, and then the Great Depression each in turn contributed to pushing wine production aside for many years. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Virginia saw a real rebirth in wine production. Italian Gabriele Rausse finally managed to successfully cultivate European grapes in Virginia. His great achievements won him the title: Father of the Modern Virginia Wine Industry
5. Front Royal is Near the Heart of the Booming Virginia Wine Industry
Once Virginia wines finally took off, there wasn’t much looking back! The Virginia Wine industry has grown rapidly since. Just six Virginia wineries in 1980 increased to 107 by 2005. Now there are over 280 wineries in the state of Virginia. With its fast-draining mountain soils, the Front Royal area has become the ideal home for many of them. Plan a trip to Front Royal to explore all that Virginia Wine has to offer.
Five Places to Enjoy Virginia Wine in the Front Royal Area
With wineries out in the country, and wine shops right in town, you can enjoy wine either in a stunning rural setting or on the quaint main street of Front Royal, Virginia. There are many options for the wine drinker in the Front Royal area, but here are five picks to get you started.
October is a fantastic month to enjoy Virginia Wines in the Front Royal area. The welcome coolness in the air, the stunning fall colors, and the delicious wines all combine to make it the perfect wine-drinking haven. Plan your trip today for a wine-tasting adventure you won’t forget!
A Wine Lovers Itinerary!
Here's a sample itinerary just for Wine Lovers looking for a mid-week or weekend getaway along the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail - perfect for your visit!
Summary: Savor Virginia wines and soak up mountain vistas in the unmatched setting of Front Royal’s rustic vineyards.
Location: Front Royal, VA.
Settle into lodging late afternoon/evening
Relax at the hotel in the morning or enjoy Saturday morning Zumba at Jig 'n' Jive or Explore Art and Clay
Pick up a picnic at Blue Wing Frog
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon picnic at Glen Manor Vineyards
Dinner at Osteria 510 if you’re still hungry
Get a coffee and see Murals downtown. Walk down Chester Street and pop into the Virginia Beer Museum (opens at noon)
Visit the beautiful Chester Gap Cellars winery
Dinner at The Element, a local favorite
Ideas to extend the stay ...
Visit one of the area's great Meaderies
Hike, camp or rent a cabin at Shenandoah National Park
Whatever your plans, there's so much to DISCOVER in Front Royal!
With scenic mountain wineries, a fast-growing craft brewery scene, and restaurants sourcing delicious food from local farms all around, rural Virginia is a foodie’s dream destination. This year, Discover Front Royal is joining with the Virginia Tourism Corporation to highlight all the fantastic epicurean experiences you can enjoy in the Front Royal area.
A wide range of wineries, breweries, and unique eateries await you in this scenic town of the Shenandoah Valley. Read on to find out how you can eat and drink what you love in Front Royal, Virginia. You’ll find a quick rundown of some recommended eats and drinks, as well as a section on the best ways to merge your edible experience with the Front Royal area’s fabulous outdoor attractions.
Eat – Front Royal’s Foodie Scene
Front Royal is full of fabulous restaurants, and foodies will find plenty to explore. For today’s post, we’re featuring several local eateries that we’ve specially selected for their diversity. No matter your taste or budget, you should be able to find a fit on this list.
For a classic fine dining experience in Front Royal, don’t look any further than Element, where you’ll find gourmet cuisine and an atmosphere to match.
Italian food lovers should head to Osteria 510. It’s a farm to table Italian dream come true! Or if you’re in search of something a little more exotic, Try Thai, on Front Royal’s historic main street might just fit the bill. Here you’ll find gourmet Thai food and sushi.
You’ll see the smokers working away in the parking lot when you pull up at Pavemint Taphouse. Delicious smoked food in a trendy renovated gas station, along with brewed-on-site craft beers. It’s a fun, one-stop shop for lovers of gourmet food and craft beer.
Wine lovers in search of a bite to eat, make your way to ViNoVa. A wine bar serving gourmet tapas, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy perfectly paired wine and eats.
Drink – Front Royal’s Wine, Beer, Mead, and Coffee
Of course a foodie’s adventure doesn’t stop with eating. If you’re looking for an gourmet weekend, you’ll want to plan out some delicious drinks too. In Front Royal, you’ll find a wide range of great sipping! Start the day with a perfect coffee from Happy Creek, Daily Grind, or DL Campus Coffee. Move on to wine, craft beer, or even a glass of mead.
Front Royal’s wineries are the perfect combination of delicious Virginia wine, stunning countryside, and that unbeatable winery feel. For fields and rolling hills, visit Rappahannock Cellars, or for a mountainside experience try Fox Meadow Winery. See a full list of Front Royal’s wineries here.
Beer lovers will find plenty to love among the craft breweries of the Front Royal area. If you’re looking to get out in the countryside, head to Backroom Brewery. For an in town brewery experience, check out the Front Royal Brewing Company.
Finally, if you’re looking to try something new and unusual, don’t overlook Front Royal’s meaderies. Mead is an ancient alcoholic beverage that’s making a comeback. If you’re curious to try out honey wine in Front Royal, visit Saga Meadery or Honey and Hops Brew Works for a tasting you won’t forget.
Love – Where Food Meets the Front Royal Outdoors
While you’re in Front Royal, don’t forget to plan an outing where you can satisfy your love for food while immersing yourself in the great outdoors of the Front Royal area.
A great way to enjoying eating and the outdoors is to visit a local pick-your-own fruit farm. Valley View Farm is a great destination where you can eat, drink, and love all at once! Start at the pick your-own-orchard and enjoy in-season fruit. Then head on over to the farmers market, where you can buy organic vegetables and local farm produce. End your visit with some wine or hard cider tasting in the farm tasting room. Other pick-your-own options in the Front Royal area include Stribling Orchard, Hollin Farms, and Hartland Orchard.
Another way to enjoy Front Royal’s food and outdoor attractions is to bring some Front Royal food with you on an outdoor adventure. Blue Wing Frog will pack a gourmet picnic lunch for you. Or try Manor Line Market for locally sourced take-out or eat-in food.
If you’re planning a visit to Front Royal, plan on some fabulous food while you’re here! With a wide range of restaurants, Virginia wine and beer, and food for every outdoor adventure, Front Royal is the destination your taste buds are rooting for! It’s time to Eat. Drink. Love. in Front Royal, Virginia.
There’s something about sipping on a glass of wine that brings a sense of relaxation and refinement . . . no matter where you are! Now imagine that glass of wine and but add the following ingredients: mountain vistas, orderly lines of rustic grapevines, the warm breezes of summer, a picnic table in the shade. Have you just imagined a wine lover’s paradise? You’ve imagined Front Royal, Virginia!
If you’re a lover of Virginia wines, head to the Front Royal area! You’ll find a great selection of stunning rural wineries, all within ninety minutes of the Washington D.C. area. And don’t forget to try out Front Royal’s meaderies if you want to mix it up with a little honey wine. Read on to plan your wine tasting trip to Front Royal today! If Virginia is for Lovers, then Front Royal is for Wine Lovers!
Our Featured Front Royal Wineries
It’s the high elevations and fast-draining mountain soils of the Front Royal area that make it ideally suited for growing grapes . . . and producing wine. With these outstanding conditions, it’s no surprise that the Front Royal area is the home of many wonderful wineries. There’s plenty of potential for long afternoons of wine-sipping relaxation. For today’s post, though, we’re narrowing it down to two recommendations for your Front Royal winery trip.
First up is Chester Gap Cellars, recently featured on ABC 7’s Road Trippin’ series. Just a ten minute drive from downtown Front Royal, the gorgeous mountain views of this rural vineyard/winery could hardly be more convenient. Visit to enjoy the high quality wines that you’ll only find in a small-scale enterprise. You can complement your wine with a purchase from their selection of meats, cheeses, crackers, and artisan breads. Outside food is welcome, so feel free to pack your own picnic too.
For a winery with an irreplaceable historical feel, check out Glen Manor Vineyards. This officially designated “century farm,” has been in the same family for five generations and over 100 years. Here, you can experience a glass of fine Virginia wine on a historic estate that includes over 200 acres of pastures and woodlands. You won’t find food available here, but pack your own picnic hamper, and you can match up the wine with your favorite complementary foods. Visits are by reservation only, so contact the winery in advance to avoid disappointment.
Front Royal’s Mead – Because Honey Wine is Wine Too
If you’re planning a wine-tasting trip to Front Royal, and want to change things up a bit, consider making at least one visit to a Front Royal meadery. The most simple definition of mead is “honey wine,” and this ancient form of wine has been making a big comeback in recent years. With two different meaderies right in town, Front Royal is a great place to enjoy mead as well as wine! Visit Honey and Hops Brew Works or Saga Meadery to discover this unique and delicious beverage. You may well find yourself adding “honey wine” to your list of favorites.
Lodging to Pair with a Front Royal Wine
If you want to make a weekend (or more!) of your Front Royal winery ramble, you’ll easily find comfortable accommodation in our welcoming small town. If you’re looking for a traditional hotel experience, there’s a wide choice of chain hotels such as Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, or Townplace Suites. Or if you’re coming with a larger group, consider booking a house where you can all stay together. Franklin Manor is a vacation cabin near Front Royal that offers the perfect combination of luxury, rustic charm, and convenient proximity to town. It’s a great choice for a group getaway.
Don’t wait to discover the wineries of the Front Royal area! You’ll find they pair perfectly with mountain views, Virginia charm, and the unmatched charm of a small mountain town. Begin your journey to Shenandoah Valley's Wine Trail here!
Discover Front Royal