A few weeks ago, I found my new favorite winery near The National Conference Center. Barrel Oak Winery in (Delaplane) Middleburg, Virginia has become my pride and joy, not literally but I do tell everyone about this great spot I found. Constantly insisting that they must make a trip to Barrel Oak, no one is mistaken that this vineyard is A+++ in my book.
Sorry for revealing my rating too soon.
Barrel Oak Winery makes some of the best wine I’ve had in DC’s Wine Country. The owners of the winery are dog lovers and bring Middleburg’s claim to fame for being dog-friendly to another level. Of course, if you’re training at The National Conference Center you most likely won’t have your dog with you, but it’s still worth admiring their approach as a family/dog-friendly winery. The gentlemen pouring our wine gave each of us a tasting sheet and a pencil, which I used to score the wine on a smiley-face system.
There were many wines at Barrel Oak Winery that I loved and there weren’t many that received a poor rating. No wine glass was left feeling neglected by our tasting group. This translates to purchasing a few bottles to take home, including the Barrel Chardonnay and Peanuts Petit Cuvée. The oddest part about those purchases is that I usually don’t like Chardonnays but we all LOVED the Chardonnay at Barrel Oak.
The Petit Cuvée label has an image of the owner’s rescue dog, Peanut – just more evidence that this is a laid-back place and not “uppity” about their wine. Barrel Oak allows you to pack picnics and enjoy them outdoors on their patio with live music. Or, you can choose to purchase food at one of their partnered vendors. On this particular day, there was wood-fire oven pizza made in front of you and a vendor grilling up a mix of entrees like quesadillas and BBQ sandwiches. Everyone helping us was so nice and to top it off, I’ve even won a contest they were hosting their that day.
Our vote: A+++ There wasn’t a single thing I would change about Barrel Oak. The owners have thought about every possible way to brand this winery and make it feel like a place you’d want to come back to every weekend to hang out, rather than “make a trip to…” I suggest you head to Barrel Oak winery while you’re here. Call The National Conference Center’s transportation manager to help you make the travel arrangements (703) 729-8000.
Barrel Oak Winery; 3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane, Virginia. www.barreloak.com. (540) 364-6402
For other vineyards and wineries near The National Conference Center, visit DC’s Wine Country for a full list of wonderful locations with wine and views.