Paradise Springs Winery

I am not really a wine person.  It is atypical for me to have an “adult beverage” and if I do have wine, it has to be white, sweet, and with lots of ice.

Yes, ice. Because I’m classy, people.  I even know that the new term is “Cardbordeaux” and not “Wine in a bag in a box”.

And only one glass, because after that, I get giggly.

However, I do love the idea of wine.  I’m always impressed by people who know lots about wine, that know the vintages and can identify whether a particular variety was aged in oak or steel, those who can tell the difference between the 1949 and 1950 blend of a particular beverage. I especially like the idea of vineyards.  Sitting around with friends enjoying a snack and a glass of wine by the fire with live indie music in the background sounds pretty amazing right?

That’s because it is!!

We headed out this past Sunday with another couple for a double date to Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, VA, which was absolutely lovely.  If you’re following Apple Maps, which we were, don’t let them fool you into turning on the last left- just keep going straight, you can’t miss it. Google users, you’ll be just fine.

The vineyard itself is on a plot of land that’s been handed down in a family since the time of Lord Fairfax and George Washington, which is really neat!  There’s an historic cabin on site, as well as the main tasting room, which is also gorgeous.  Tastings at Paradise Springs include samples from their entire line for $10.  You can add a souvenir etched glass for $2 more.  Private tastings for groups are $15 per person, and happen in a dedicated location with your own “wine educator”.  They also host special events, which you can check out on their website.

Our group opted to take part in the “Paradise Springs Experience” which is $25 and includes a tour of the cabin, production areas, barrel room, and a tasting.  Our wine educator/guide was Richard, who was absolutely delightful.  He was very knowledgable not only about wine, but art and history as well, and we very much enjoyed our tour with him.

Children are allowed to join you at the winery, per the website, but let’s be nice to ourselves and everyone else and snag a sitter, shall we? Nobody wants to ignore their vino and conversation so that they can run after the munchkins.  Children are not permitted on the “Paradise Springs Experience” tour, though.

On our tour, Richard talked us through all of the Paradise Springs wines.  I learned that a more yellow color on a white wine indicates oak barrels were used (score! I’m educated now!), and was able to clearly tell the difference between a 2010 and a 2011!

Are you amazed by my new levels of awesome? I know, I am, too.

After our tour, we enjoyed some snacks that we brought with us.  Food is available on-site, as well, but patrons are welcome to bring their own, if they prefer.  Only Paradise Springs Wines are allowed, of course, and they also have non-alcoholic drinks available for purchase.

I think the only thing that we did wrong on this visit was underestimate the time we would spend.  I told Grandma that we’d be back for the kids around 4:00.  We left at 1:30, and we rolled back up to her house at 6.  Our tour took about an hour and a half, and we all had a great time just sitting and chatting in the beautiful and relaxed environment.  There was a fire going on the outdoor patio, as well as indoor seating, and we just really had a fantastic time.  They even had the football game on, which meant that my friend and I could gossip uninhibited by eye rolls from our respective husbands.

It was a lovely, relaxing afternoon!

Paradise Springs Winery
*Great for an adults-only afternoon/evening
*Open daily
*Tastings for only $10!
*Leave yourself lots of time!
*Bring food or buy it there
*Bring your ID
* Plan to buy a bottle of your favorite wine to take home!

Downside:
*If you’re holding your empty glass AND a camera phone, don’t turn the camera phone or you’ll get red wine on your shirt and your friends will make fun of you mercilessly.  Or, maybe that’s just my friends.

Plan Ahead:
*Someone’s gotta drive home, so be sure that you plan accordingly by bringing a designated driver.  If you need to, call a cab.  Clifton Roads are windy and have lots of deer, so don’t risk it.
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Disclaimer: Don’t be an idiot and drink and drive.  That’s just not cool.  Also, I was not compensated in any way for this review, in fact, they didn’t even know I was there.  We had a great time, though, and think you would, too. If you think you have a problem with alcohol, please get help. I’ve never written about anything alcohol-related before, I don’t think, so if I’m over-disclaimering, I apologize.