I am amazed by the number of vineyards in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, the quality of Virginia wines and the types of wineries that have come up in our area. The North Mountain Winery is in Maurertown and has a beautiful view of the valley. The building looks like a European farmhouse, inside they have several fireplaces and the venue is perfect for private affairs. I have purchased many of their bottles for friends; although I don’t usually care for sweet wines, I like their Tom’s Brook Red. Besides their regular tastings they host fun events such as the chili cook-off, solstice bonfire and kite flying. Their dogs greet you when you arrive and the owners Brad and Krista always welcome me with open arms. Their son John is happy to give you a tour of the cellar. www.northmountainvineyard.com In Stephens City we have the Valerie Hill Winery, and they also have a picturesque view. The haunted pictures did spook me, but it certainly makes it memorable. I have now had the opportunity to enjoy two of their special event wine pairing dinners in their historic mansion…I love their Stone Chimney Red. On all visits I have found the owners delightful and extremely knowledgeable about wines. We sat on chairs ideally placed for their sunset view of the vineyard and century old ruins. www.valeriehillwinery.com I recently visited the Cedar Creek Winery which is on the other side of Star Tannery. Besides their wines being award-winning, the owners spent so much time with us for a tour of the vineyard and explaining the wine making process. I was so impressed by this husband and wife team who seem to do most of the work themselves. They are very upfront about not offering food as they are all about just the wine, and do permit folks to bring in snacks and such. The setting is in the mountains, and although we boast the most beautiful view in Star Tannery, their view is pretty spectacular…especially when I visited in October. www.cedarcreekvineyard.com The James Charles Winery is the newest and located in Winchester, but only 25 minutes away. I was introduced to it after taking a wine grape production class, and Mr. & Mrs. Bogaty gave us a tour and tasting of the facility which also hosts weddings. The building and ambiance is probably the most modern of all that I’ve visited in the area, and they seem to have a large capacity for seating inside and outside, with food offerings. The appeal for neighboring millenials from Winchester is definitely there. Once again I go back to the character of the owners, also a husband and wife team who have obviously worked very hard to accomplish having their third winery. www.jamescharleswine.com Interestingly these four wineries are all quite different from each other and therefore the experiences to be had are not similar. Not all produce their wines on property, but all of them had a warm and inviting atmosphere and seemed to love what they do!