Beautiful seasons call for a road trip, and wine is an attractive lure. Let us virtually escort you around Virginia’s Blue Ridge to take in our views, tour our wineries and vineyards, and sip our finest vintages. This guide can help you plan a romantic fall weekend getaway that features the wineries of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains in beautiful fall colors. We have much in store - let’s go!
A Weekend on the Blue Ridge Parkway
“America’s Favorite Drive” courses above the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, snaking along ridges and sharing glimpses of the area below. The overlooks are always worth a stop, especially on a crisp, clear, blue sky day.
A point of interest that should be on your list is Mabry Mill, one of the most photographed sites on the Blue Ridge Parkway. You’ll find the Mill, restaurant, and historic interpretations at milepost 176. Plan to capture this beauty during fall!
Next, venture north to Chateau Morrisette, one of Virginia’s oldest and most well-known wineries. Meet the dogs and then take a few home. You know, the award-winning wines known as “The Black Dog” red blend, “Our Dog Blue” Riesling blend, and “Frosty Dog” ice wine? They’re each crowd favorites and have amassed dozens of medals between them. If you skipped dining at Mabry Mill, the restaurant at Chateau Morrisette is definitely in order. The menu is fresh and local, and the atmosphere is rustically elegant. As the temperature drops, fireside dining is a romantic option. Care to take something to go? Request the quiche to go (it pairs perfectly with Our Dog Blue) and then…
On to Rocky Knob! At milepost 169 you’ll find the Rocky Knob Visitor Center and parking area. The Picnic Loop Trail is one mile long and does, indeed, include a picnic area as well as restrooms. Don’t miss the two overlooks across the road for easy glances down and out. If it’s serious hiking you’re looking for, consider the hike up to Rocky Knob itself, elevation 3,572 feet. It’s a narrow hike up, but it’s not far from the parking area. (TRAIL MAP)
An ideal destination for the evening is the town of Floyd, an artsy area where musicians and creative types thrive, and one of the South’s Best Small Towns, according to Southern Living. If you’re fortunate enough to be making this trip on a Friday night, then you’re just in time for the Friday Night Jamboree at the Floyd Country Store. Rest well at the Virginia Green certified Hotel Floyd.
Hop back on the Parkway and drive north with Roanoke as your first destination. The area boasts a variety of local shops that are perfect for the wine-connoisseur. Pick up a great bottle of wine, gifts, or a tasty treat from Wine Gourmet, Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar, Eli’s Provisions, Chocolatepaper, or our go-to kitchen store, Ladles and Linens.
In the afternoon, pick up the Parkway again and travel north to see the Peaks of Otter and taste a few fruit wines at Peaks of Otter Winery. Conclude your day with a quick stint on the Wine Trail of Botetourt County. Good wine and a great night’s rest at Fincastle Vineyard Bed and Breakfast wrap the day up nicely.
Sunday calls for a back-track to Roanoke for brunch at Rockfish Food & Wine, followed by a Blue Ridge Winery Tour. At noon, your chauffeured excursion departs from Barrel Chest Wine & Beer, a great place to check out the local wine and craft beer selections. The tour includes a tasting and tour at two local wineries, as well as a “Wine Making 101” session. Bring your own drinks and food, or add on a lunch option.
Too much wine time and not enough shopping? Spread this suggested weekend over two trips to Virginia's Blue Ridge! Additional wine themed lodging opportunities include Elmo’s Rest at Peaks of Otter and Beliveau Estate in Blacksburg. If you’re looking for more wine inspiration, check out our full list of wineries and vineyards.
This getaway was submitted by Virginia's Blue Ridge.