There are a huge number of wineries around the Shenandoah Valley area, each with its own individual libations. There is one in particular that stands out in its uniqueness, not only because it produces “other than grape” wines, but also because it offers authentic honeyed mead (yes, like the Vikings of old used to drink!).
Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery is perched in a lovely area of Nellysford, Virginia about twenty-five minutes from the Iris Inn. Their “true to the fruit” wines include everything from a very dry blueberry wine to the heavy, dark chocolate elderberry wine. Are you a lover of strawberries? Try the Sweet Vixen. Do you delight in fresh, juicy peaches? Indulge in the Virginia Peach Wine.
As far as the meads go, there is of course, the Voyage, an authentic honeyed mead, but there are many other options as well. There’s the Rockfish River Cyser, an apple mead “once served at Anglo-Saxon feasts,” or the Lavender Metheglin, a spiced mead with a Welsh-inspired name that means “healing drink.” The Hunter’s Moon tastes of pumpkin pie in a glass, while the Dragon’s Blood is a rich, sweet and tart pomegranate drink. Then, if you’re feeling especially brave, there is always the Dragon’s Breath that will most certainly make you feel as you can breathe fire. It’s created from honey and hickory smoked hot peppers (and may have possibly been forged in the fires of Mt. Doom).
Hill Top is opening their doors for a weekend Holiday Open House on October 21-22, 2013. Join them for wine and food pairings, and browse their gift shop. Who knows? You may even finish up your holiday shopping at Hill Top.