A Visit to Clifton, Va.’s Winery
I was home this past weekend for Thanksgiving, having traveled the whole 20 miles from D.C. to Northern Virginia. Even though I live and work so close to my hometown, it’s always nice to be back home with family and friends. A few years into our professional careers, most friends from high school have left the area, and Thanksgiving is one of the few times we all manage to be home at the same time.
Friday after Turkey Day is traditionally reserved for Black Friday shopping, but we took a different route this year. Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn, standing in endless lines, putting our bodies at risk of losing limbs and spending money, we all decided to meet up at the local winery for a relaxing afternoon of sipping wine and catching up.
Tucked away behind curving back roads and towering trees, Paradise Springs Winery, 13219 Yates Ford Road, Clifton, is a hidden gem. The décor and furnishings of the main tasting room evoke the rustic, woodsy feel you’d expect from a winery. Inviting leather lounge furniture, barrels and wood tables are scattered throughout the main floor.
Our group chose the cozy, covered patio deck as our hangout spot. With a fireplace and heat lamps, it was the perfect backdrop for a late November gathering. They have a robust lineup of varietals including four white wines and seven red wines. I split a bottle of the mélange, a popular red wine blend, with a friend and the rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out with old friends.
Whether you’re looking for an impromptu get-together or a more structured outing, Paradise Springs has it all. Stake out a section of tables like my group did, or call ahead and make reservations for a tasting or tour. Group tastings will set you back $15 per person and includes an entire flight of wines, a private space and a personal wine educator.
If you want the full experience, sign up for their signature tour which is offered on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and includes a stroll through the vineyard, a look at the tank room, production area and barrel room as well as a complete tasting of their entire flight of wines poured throughout the tour. Tours cost $25 per person. Prepackaged food such as cheeses, meats, soup and crackers may be purchased in the tasting room or you can bring your own picnic. My first time at the neighborhood winery was a great experience and I’ll definitely be planning a second trip come springtime.