Road trip guide to Virginia Wine Country
In 1773, Thomas Jefferson planted sangiovese vines at Monticello, hopeful he could reproduce the European wines he loved on his own hilly terrain. While his efforts ultimately failed, today Virginia is home to more than 300 wineries, where both Old World and native varieties flourish.
Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison’s farm-to-table pioneer might not seem an obvious place to discover inexpensive vino: Its bottle selection over the years, while often affordable, has vacillated between intriguingly obscure and boringly accessible.
Hinton’s Wine Store
Former Falcons offensive lineman Chris Hinton owns the most comprehensive wine emporium in the northern suburbs, offering $10 Hess Select Chardonnay and $1,200 Château Latour alike.
Kevin Rathbun’s diminutive wine bar opened in 2005 and remains one of the city’s few casual post-work stopovers—a place to catch up with friends, predinner, over a glass of simple wine (from a list dominated by Spanish, French, and Italian varietals) while noshing on simple meats and cheeses.
Le Caveau Fine Wines
Eric Brown’s compact, tidy shop across from the Chamblee MARTA station opened last year and immediately became a darling of the city’s wine wonks. They stock some carefully chosen, often-single-vineyard California varietals, but they really put their heart into procuring obscure, Old World varietals.
Fans of Australian Shiraz2, South African Pinotage, or Argentinian Malbec will note their absence on Miller Union’s beverage roster: Co-owner Neal McCarthy, who compiles the restaurant’s list, avoids the Southern Hemisphere.
Perrine’s Wine Shop
In February Perrine Prieur scooted her store in the White Provision complex one spot closer to neighbor Yeah! Burger, grabbing more storage space while maintaining the cute-as-a-clothing-boutique atmosphere.
Italian-only wine lists are on the rise throughout the city (the affordable options at Buckhead’s just-opened STG Trattoria stand out), but none yet compete with the 200-bottle compendium at Riccardo Ullio’s fourteen-year-old jewel.
Ansley Wine Merchants
The cultivated clutter, the wacky handmade signs extolling staff favorites, the way the assortment always seems one step ahead of emerging wine regions and trends: What’s not to love about Ansley Wine?