A few months ago, two of our good friends were getting married up in the beautiful Afton, Virginia. One of my best friends, Sam (a fellow wine and cider lover), and I decided it was the perfect excuse to take a day off from work and leisurely make our way up the mountains and check out the best places that Afton had to offer along the way. We some how managed to curate the most perfect afternoon, despite the crazy fog and cold weather. Afton has so many wonderful wineries, breweries and restaurants, but I wanted to share with you our top picks from that afternoon.
Sam and I first started off the afternoon by stopping by Blue Ridge Pig. Honestly, this place doesn’t look like much. It’s attached to an abandoned gas station and car wash and can easily be overlooked. I don’t think I would have ever stopped here if someone hadn’t recommended it to my dad about eight years ago during a visit to Wintergreen Resort. But let me tell you, their Turkey Croissants are one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. Make sure to order it with everything on it. The dill sauce on the sandwich mixes perfectly with the smoked turkey, cheese, lettuce, and tomato. I have now become a huge advocate for this little restaurant and have forced almost everyone I know to try this croissant (no one has been disappointed yet). So naturally, we had to start our day here. Tip: they only accept cash or check, so come prepared!
This area has some of the best and most beautiful wineries. Sam and I both love Veritas Vineyards (and would highly recommend!). But since our friends were getting married there the next day, we knew we had to try something different. Right up the road, is a little tiny tasting room that belongs to Flying Fox Winery. It was just so adorable, so we decided to try it out. They do a tasting for $5 and let you try about seven or eight wines (depends if something is sold out or not). They even let you keep the little stemless tasting glass as a souvenir. If you’re going to grab a glass of wine and hang out for awhile, I’d recommend getting a glass of their Rose or their Viognier.
After Flying Fox, we stopped by Bold Rock Cider. We both love their ciders, but had never been able to visit their tasting room. They offer free tastings of most of their ciders, except for their Vat. No. 1 and Vintage Dry ciders. You’re also able to join a guided tour of the facility. Sam and I each bought a small glass of their Vintage Dry cider, a cider that resembled more of a champagne, and headed outside to enjoy the beautiful scenery. They have a large patio area with multiple tables and chairs that overlook a small stream and large, rolling hills. It’s definitely not a bad place to spend an afternoon. During the spring and summer months, Bold Rock features live music and other fun events, such as a kite festival.
Last but not least, we ended our journey at Wild Wolf Brewing. Wild Wolf Brewing Company is a brewery, tasting room, and restaurant all wrapped into one. They have a giant property and have a lot of great seating outside. My favorite is their Blonde Hunny, but they have so many seasonal beers they switch out as well. I definitely recommend ordering a flight so that you can try out a few different beers. If you have some time or are looking for something to eat, make sure to order their seasonal risotto or the puled pork nachos. Wild Wolf uses locally sourced ingredients and get all of their meats within a 30 mile radius.
This is just a small sampling of the wonderful places along Nelson 151. This area is beautiful and you really should devote a weekend to trying all the different wineries or breweries. If you ever need a place to stay, there are cute bed and breakfasts near by, and Wintergreen Resort is right up the road. Happy traveling!