A large number of wines, distinctive bottle shapes and a lot of positive energy make Athena Vineyards a fun stop on Virginia’s Northern Neck.
Three women, all of whom are nurses, established the vineyards on the estate 2002. The winery was built three years later.
The tasting room sits on the banks of the Great Wicomico River. On the 15-acre property, Athena grows an ambitious 20 varieties of grapes.
Spicy woodland smells greet you as you walk up the winery path. A large wrap-around porch with white Adirondack chairs provides a nice perch if you decide to stay awhile.
Athena’s wines stand out in their distinctive bottles, such as the caravel-shaped Galleon Treasure Red, and the Sweet Notes Red guitar bottle. These make great holiday gifts.
The white wines include Seyval Blanc, Chardonnay and Vidal Blanc. Reds are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and blends using Chambourcin, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.
A couple of unusual choices include Safe Harbor, a fortified red made from Chambourcin, and Mellow Notes, a Vignoles-based blend fortified with brandy.
A Rose and Athena’s Sweet White, a late harvest dessert wine, are additional offerings.
Group tours of ten or more must call in advance. The space can also be reserved for weddings and private parties.
There is parking space for buses and RVs.
Families with children and visitors with pets are welcome.
The property has places to picnic.
Thanks to Nancy Bauer of Virginia Wine in My Pocket for writing the original draft.