Guest post by Micaela Williamson
I have always been a “localvore.” Growing up in New York, my parents liked to support the local small businesses. When I found myself uprooted to Northern Virginia, my husband and I carried on the tradition by purchasing produce at area farmers markets and discovering fun shops. We were also pleased to learn that Virginia has a world-class wine region and enjoyed outings to wineries such as Lost Creek, Tarara, and Gray Ghost. But now, like so many others in their mid-thirties, weekends are filled with kid-friendly family activities, and visiting wineries isn’t high on my little boys’ to-do-lists.
Because of my loyalty to my region (and love of wine,) I have started seeking out Virginia wines that I can procure right here in my neighborhood. If I can’t go to the winery, I will bring the winery to me! The largest selection of Virginia wines that I have found has been at Total Wine, with Northern Virginia locations in Alexandria, Chantilly, Fairfax, Manassas, McLean, Springfield, and Sterling. Even though there is a warehouse feel, Total Wine truly does carry the best wines at the lowest prices. For a more intimate shopping experience, I enjoy the Oakton Wine Shop and the Olde Dominion Wine Shoppe in Occoquan. This month, the Oakton Wine Shop is offering a 15% discount on all Virginia wines, and the Olde Dominion Wine Shoppe boasts a selection of wines from over 60 Virginia wineries.
All is not lost. We were able to visit one Virginia winery this year as an added bonus to a family day. After spending the day strawberry picking, tractor riding, and petting farm animals at Great Country Farms, we were pleased to find out that admission included a free wine tasting at Bluemont Vineyard (located just across the street.) The scenery is breathtaking, and my little ones were so tired out from the farm that they happily ate some snacks and played quietly while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed tasting and buying some new wines. We can’t wait to go again!
Micaela Williamson has lived in Northern Virginia for nearly a decade and runs the area’s leading children’s site, supernovamommy. She also writes family feature articles for Northern Virginia Magazine and stays active with her two young sons. Micaela wants to “raise her glass” to parenthood, family, and friends.