Without a doubt, Breaux Vineyards is in my top three wineries that I have visited in Virginia. The grounds, the customer service, and most importantly, the wines, are spectacular—but, best of all, it’s dog friendly.
Starting with the entrance as you drive in, vines upon vines of future wines engulf you as you drive up. There are 404 acres that belong to Breaux, 105 of which are vineyards. At the end of the driveway is a grand tasting house, perfect for events, tours and tastings. The style and décor of Breaux is Cajun themed — from the New Orleans styled arches to the Crawfish on the wine bottle labels.
The attention to detail does not end with the décor. Their wines are freakin’ good. That’s right…freakin’ good. One of those freakin’ good wines that make you wonder if you should buy a bottle of everything because you live so far away and want to savor the wine again…that kind of freakin’ good. On top of that, their staff is personable and knowledgeable and taught me so much not only about their vineyards, but about Virginia wines in general.
For $10, the wine tasting at Breaux consists of six wines plus a “Ligniappe” which means “a small gift given to a customer from a merchant” in Creole. Ken, our taster for the day, greeted us with such a welcoming smile. He spoke to us with such expression and detail that we could tell he was passionate about the wines he was pouring, which included:
Ken started us off with the Ligniappe, which was a taste of their Vidal Blanc. This was like a dry Reisling, with oodles of white blossoms, green apple, and peach.
Made of 100% Seyval Blanc, this was a grape that is new to me. There was a lot of honeysuckle and gardenia aromas, with citrus and green apple on the palate.
Named after one of the Breaux’s daughters, Madeleine’s Chardonnay is a chardonnay for those people who don’t like chardonnay.
The grapes spend 90% of its fermenting time in a steel barrel and 10% in oak. This gives it more of a crisp body, rather than a buttery one. Asian pear, lemongrass, and pineapple made this quite a unique wine.
Using a blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, and Malbec, this was a much spicier and earthier Rosé that I was expecting, but in such a good way. The color was that of a transparent neon salmon. Does that even make sense? On the nose, I smelled mandarin and pineapple. On the palate, these flavors came out along with some pepper, which surprised me. Being a girl who loves me a strong glass of red wine, I rather enjoyed these qualities in a Rosé.
Marquis De Lafayette
Made from 100% Cab Franc, this wine was another reason why Virginia Cab Franc is slowly becoming my favorite grape. I love how major blue and blackberry notes ooze out of the smell, but cocoa, tobacco, and leather hit you on the palate.
Ken noticed that there was some of their Virginia Governor’s Cup Gold Winning 2012 Meritage open, and being the kind guy that he is, gave us some to taste, even though it wasn’t on the tasting menu. No wonder this wine won Gold!
This Meritage (pronounced like “heritage”), is a blend of 40% Merlot, 40% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot, 9% Cab Franc, and 1% Cab Sav. There was a gorgeous Amber tint to the blend, making the color along quite remarkable. Black currant, wet bark, and oaky spice created a rather tannic yet smooth wine.
This is the grape that is used to make fancy-pants Barolos and Barbarescos. Nebbiolo can only grow at altitudes 800 feet or above sea level. Breaux has a vineyard at the top of a hill that is 1,200 feet above sea level, giving it the perfect conditions to make this hard-to-find-in-the-USA grape. This wine was out of this world. I’m not kidding…Out. Of. This. World. Plum, leather, baking spice, red cherries, violets, chocolate…it’s got everything!
If taking a road trip to Breaux, Virginia offers a large selection of small roads with beautiful views. These roads provide the perfect opportunity for a leisurely drive away from the hectic pace of city life. Be sure to take advantage of the array of historic sites and delicious eateries while traveling from Maryland or DC. Along the way, you won’t want to miss the gorgeous Snickersville Turnpike beginning in Aldie. The Snickersville Turnpike is a quiet, two-lane road brimming with history. George Washington traveled along the Snickersville Turnpike as a surveyor. By 1786, the road was the first operating turnpike in America.
Further on, the road travels over the historic Hibbs Bridge which was built during the early 1800s. Along the turnpike, you can see a variety of residences from early stone and log construction homes to post-Depression cottages. Once you leave the Snickersville Turnpike in Bluemont, it’s just a 20-minute drive to Breaux Vineyards.
Once you’ve arrived, there is plenty to enjoy. Relax in the courtyard or on the front lawn, overlooking the vineyards and mountains. Picnics are allowed, but Breaux also has a menu that includes truffles, ready-made sandwiches, Paninis, cheese plates, and more. Children, two- and four-legged alike, are welcome, and with a huge amount of land (404 acres, remember?), it’s the perfect place to play a game of fetch!
Breaux Vineyards, 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville, Virginia, 540.668.6299; breauxvineyards.com
visit citydog baltimore
Visit CityDog Baltimore for more content about living in the city you love with the four-legged love of your life!
about the author
Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, 12-year-old boxer Thya and Mexican foster failure Pancho, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.