What is it about wineries having crappy roads? It’s like they don’t want people to visit. Or maybe they just want to discourage the party buses (I can’t blame them for that one). The road to Arterra Wines is not pretty, but the winery itself definitely is. Perched at the top of a very steep hill* is a lovely rustic-looking cabin filled with pottery created by Sandy, who owns Arterra with her husband, Jason. Speaking of Jason, if you think his wines taste familiar, that’s because you might have had them at Chateau O’Brien, where Jason used to be the winemaker.
Arterra has been open for three years, and their grapes are also in their third season. They have eight acres onsite, but their main growing area is in Philomont, Virginia, and some grapes are sourced from out-of-state. Jason lets his grapes ripen into late October to let the natural sugars build up, and he harvests everything by taste. All wines are fermented with native yeast for terroir and depth that they feel can’t be achieved any other way.
Arterra is just a generally lovely place. Their wines are still young, but we see a lot of potential – thanks to Chateau O’Brien, we know what Jason’s more mature wines are like. If you have a car that can handle it, hit up Arterra after a light snowfall, buy a bottle, and enjoy that amazing view (that I failed to take pictures of – oops).
*If you have trouble with stairs, you can call the tasting room (the number is on a sign at the foot of the stairs), and they’ll help you out. Except the cell signal is terrible, so you might want to call ahead to let them know you’re coming.
Rating: Green (We’ll totally come back!)
Tasting: $10 for 4 / $15 for 6
Price: Average to high ($29 – $49)
Kid Friendly: Yes.
Time Since Lacy Last Ate: ~3 hours
Strangers Invited to Dinner: 0, but Michael did remark on how he still enjoyed the Petit Verdot after burping a little bit of it up, so there’s that.