Destination Bedford has recently released a new initiative encompassing our local Bedford Wine Trail. It's called Bottled in Bedford, and you can watch the beautiful cinematic trailer here:
Bottled in Bedford connects all of the area's wineries, breweries, cideries, and meadery into one fabulous collective craft beverage experience. The owners are passionate about their work and excel at providing welcoming spaces in which they share their goods with the community.
As any good journalist would, I took it upon myself to complete the wine trail before this story ran, and thought I'd share some of my personal notes on each destination. I know what you're thinking: it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. Most are dog friendly (this is specifically noted on the BiB website), so more often than not, our pups tagged along with us for the experience.
This venue has such a young, fun vibe. Lots of live music, trivia nights, and bingo are on offer throughout the week. They stay open late (until 10/11pm) which can be hard to find around here, so tuck that away for future reference. Award winning beer. My favorite was the Rapture X celebrating their 10th Anniversary.
This building is right next door to the Ale Works and opened in 2022. They have an innovative bottling method and a selection that should tempt a variety of interests. Grapes are sourced elsewhere, but their apples are local. My favorite pour was the Dessert Port. I'm a big aged tawny port lover, and while this is not that, it has a light, easy drinkability and the finish is as smooth as vanilla ice cream and pipe tobacco.
This is as much a food destination as it is a brewery. You'll find a large, industrial style dining area that can easily seat large groups. I really enjoy their BBQ, and pro-tip: they have Happy Hour Wednesday-Friday from 4-7pm where you'll get $2 off all draft beer.
This was a recent discovery for us, and we were so pleasantly surprised with the quality of their wines! We left with bottles of the oaked Chardonnay, Classic Rose, and Syrah. *Note: It is very rare for us to agree on three favorites at one winery. They have a sweet, intimate log cabin sitting room for rainy days, but their main sitting area (and where events take place) is out on the fenced lawn behind the cabins, under a canopy of century-old trees. It's a magical place.
This is a regular stop for us. We love the Luedtke family and the vision they have for this winery. They offer beer, wine, and cider, so everyone in your party should be able to find something they enjoy. A unique offering they have is a flight of wines paired with local chocolate truffles. Always a decadent treat! Our favorite is their Traminette - served icy cold on a warm afternoon. You'll find live music and food trucks are weekend staples here.
We visited the Graham Ordinary just as they were testing their wings last year. I love the cozy feel of the rustic tasting room perched on the side of a mountain with a stunning prospect from the deck. We enjoyed a wonderful education on mead by the owner/mead-maker and tasted the day's selections. This ancient beverage is definitely one to try just to say you've experienced it! Pro tip: this is the perfect stop along the way when you're visiting the Peaks of Otter.
This winery is a long-time lake staple, and through the warmer months they host a wonderful Sunset Saturday Concert Series. I remember, years ago, their Cab Franc being a memorable stand-out - even before Virginia wines started growing in overall refinement and recognition.
Pro tip: Take a picnic with you to be able to enjoy the peaceful setting of LeoGrande's grounds. I don't hear many people talk about this winery, but the first time we visited, it was an absolute revelation! The style and varietals the winemaker uses here are very unique for this area. Be prepared for a tasting that will expand the boundaries of what you know of Virginia wine. We loved the old world style, and passion for tradition that shines through every bottle.
You visit the Peaks of Otter Winery for the experience! If you are a sweet wine lover, or you have friends and family visiting who love fruit wines, this is the place to go. You'll even have the opportunity to “Kiss the Devil” while you're there! POW holds the titles of “First Winery in Bedford County” and “First Fruit Winery in Virginia”. They know their niche, and they do it well. The setting at the base of the Blue Ridge Parkway and scenic drive to get there are not to be missed.
The veranda at Ramulose is a lovely spot to settle in and enjoy a bottle with friends overlooking the vineyard this time of year - especially around sunset. In addition to their wine selection, they also offer sweet, fruity wine sippers and some light bites. The indoor venue is perfect for hosting birthday parties, showers, meetings, catered dinners, etc.. While I'm not usually a fruit wine kind of person, I do enjoy a glass of their semi-sweet Blackwater which is a perfect afternoon porch-sipper or after-dinner treat in the autumn.
We've known the owner, Jenn, since the inception of Seven Doors, and it's been fun to watch her vision come to life! The venue is incredibly warm and welcoming, and their wine offerings have always been organic and biodynamic as they follow their calling as stewards of the earth. Seven Doors is also available to rent as a wedding and event venue.
Exploring Bottled in Bedford is just one way to get out and discover new parts of our neighboring counties in the off-season. The scenic drives alone will make it worth your while! To find out more visit the BiB homepage HERE.
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