Hey friends—Laura here! I was born and raised in Western Goochland County. Hadensville to be exact, so when I heard that my neck of the woods was home to a winery just as good as the ones you find in neighboring Charlottesville (AKA Virginia’s wine country) I had to check it out. I’m talking about Elk Island Winery located off of River Road West (Route 6) in Goochland, VA.
If you saw my We Love It Wednesday on our social media pages recently (@susanmorristeamrealestate on IG and The Susan Morris Team at Keller Williams Midlothian on Facebook, in case you want to follow!) you may have seen me gushing about this winery already. But I wanted to elaborate a little and get as many of you out there to support this fantastic local businesses as possible. It’s so good!
If you decide to head out for a visit, be sure to also make time for their neighboring vineyard Byrd Cellars, too, because they are literally a hop, skip and jump apart which works beautifully since there’s not much else out their way. A day of drinking great Virginia wine and taking in some gorgeous country views never made anyone feel like they were missing out on something.
Getting back to it. The drive into the property at Elk Island is so beautiful with grape vines all around, and then there’s the unexpected. Let me start by saying that a lot of wineries have conditioned us to believe that great wine has to be presented in a top of the line tasting room. Elk Island sees things a little differently, and it’s one of the reasons I love it there so much. Their tasting space is a simple little brick rancher that immediately creates a feeling of HOME. It’s a place where novice wine drinkers won’t feel overwhelmed or out of place, but even the experienced wine lover will appreciate its charm. It creates an atmosphere where the wine is the showstopper…and let me tell you it is. Not only do their wines stand out as some of my favorites in VA, but with Elk Island you also get their wonderful and welcoming staff that invite guests in with a smile and warm welcome.
Daniel was the perfect host and we immediately struck up a conversation like we’d known each other for years. He explained how their tastings work, which is that you can choose any six of their wines to try for $6 and the fee is waived if you end up purchasing a bottle. This is my favorite style of a tasting because we all have wines we don’t really like and it gave everyone in my group a chance to skip over any they don’t care for. For example, my Mom only drinks sweet whites and could completely disregard any reds or dry varieties on the list. It also makes the process of tasting so much less overwhelming to the taste buds. When you’re trying 15 wines at a tasting, they can start to run together and it feels rushed. Six was a great number because we had time to really taste them and form an opinion before moving on to the next.
They have 16 wines available right now, as well as their Ginger Green Tea Sangria–a crowd favorite and must try for summer. Bonus- you can find the recipe for this on their website, which I’ll link below, to make it at home!
Now, I’m a red wine drinker most of the time, so my favorites were the 2017 Petit Verdot (which is the bottle I ended up purchasing) and the Towpath, which is a Virginia style Bordeaux blend. Others I really liked were the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and their Rosé. Now, keep in mind that I only tried six of the sixteen so I’ll be back to try the rest later!
After the tasting, I bought a glass of the Sangria to enjoy outside on their screened porch. They also have a large deck with seating, but it was a really hot day so we opted for the fans and the shade. At the end of the visit we had another chat with Daniel and his wife Crista and bought our bottles to take home, but we are already planning our next trip out to see them.
Elk Island Winery is such a hidden gem and one of my new favorite local spots to relax and really unwind with friends and exceptional Virginia wine.
To learn more about this local winery and their story, go to elkislandwinery.com and be sure to plan a visit soon! Their tasting room is open on weekends from noon-6pm and other times by appointment.