Favorite Virginia Wineries – Part 2

All about the Reds

For the most part, I am a white wine drinker. So when a red impresses me, it is a noteworthy experience. Ox-Eye Vineyards holds the distinction of offering me the first red wine I ever liked. Their Lemberger is a full-bodied red but the tannins are soft enough that I love it, especially with a steaks on the grill. As an added bonus, they make their Shy Ox Rose and Ruby Ox Port style fortified wine from the same Blaufränkisch grape. I enjoy Shy Ox in the summer and the port is especially lovely in front the fire in the winter.

A Virginia Sunset

They have a picturesque Tasting Room in downtown Historic Staunton. There is a cozy nook on the first floor with comfy chairs for chatting with friends or reading a good book while enjoying a glass of wine. Upstairs, there is a large room with tables and chairs accented by an art gallery featuring local artists. But my favorite spot to unwind with a glass of vino is the back patio which offers lovely breezes and plenty of cover. I’ve even been known to have a birthday gathering or two there.

Ox-Eye Tasting Room patio

This past summer, my daughter and I both hit milestone ages. We decided to take a mini wine tour to celebrate. When we visited Keswick Vineyards, we were surprised to discover we liked all the red wines they had to offer. They impressed me so much that the very next day I took my husband and some friends back so they could try them too, even though the winery is an hour away. Everyone enjoyed the tasting so much that we also purchased a bottle of their Les Vents d’Anges Rives Red, which is a blend, and savored it in one of their comfy outdoor seating areas.

Keswick Porch

They offer a unique experience called a Consensus Blending Party each year. This is a competition that allows hundreds of guests divided into small teams to compete for the best red wine blend. Whichever one wins is bottled under the Consensus label and there is a photo book to commemorate the day. Someday, I hope to participate!

Keswick outdoor seating area

If you love reds, or are trying to find some that you will like, I recommend you visiting Ox-Eye and Keswick Vineyards!