Written by Lia Hobel | Photos courtesy of Barrel Oak Winery & Brewery
Nestled in the heart of Virginia’s wine country, Barrel Oak Winery & Brewery in Delaplane is a must-visit this fall. With its many accolades, it is a destination for wine enthusiasts and beer lovers alike.
As you step onto the expansive grounds, you are immediately captivated by the picturesque countryside that surrounds you. The rolling hills and vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a truly breathtaking backdrop for your wine tasting experience.
“We have something for everybody here,” says Alexandria Chambers, the business operations manager for Barrel Oak. The winery offers a robust selection of award-winning wines that are handcrafted with passion and care. Whether you prefer vibrant and crisp whites or rich and velvety reds, Barrel Oak has something to satisfy every wine lover’s palate. During tasting sessions, knowledgeable staff guide you through the various wines, sharing insights on each wine’s unique characteristics and making the experience even more enriching. Chambers says visitors receive “a very customized tasting experience that’s all about meeting the customer’s needs and preferences.”
Since planting their first vine in 2006, Barrel Oak Winery & Brewery has operated as a family-owned establishment that has taken great pride in crafting exceptional wines. In 2022, Kavelle and Ken Bajaj purchased the business. Chambers, who joined the Barrel Oak team over the summer, encourages those who’ve been to the winery in the past to come experience the winery under its new ownership and staff. Barrel Oak has also brought on a new winemaker, Jeremy Ligon, previously the winemaker at Creek’s Edge Winery in Lovettsville. He’s a Virginia native devoted to world-class Virginia wines. His track record is spectacular with Best in Class, Double Golds, and Gold and Silver awards for wines produced.
For those who prefer beer, there is the brewery on the grounds operated by Jon Bowman, who has been head brewer for the last few years. Barrel Oak is always finding creative ways to appeal to visitors seasonally. In time for football season, the brewery launched a “Washington Commanders-themed beer” to celebrate a new era for the DMV football team.
The food menu continues to evolve, too. In addition to the main menu, there are special features such as wood-fired pizzas. The pizzas are offered year-round, four days a week from Thursday through Sunday. This is in partnership with Knead Wine, a retail wine shop with take-out pizza located on Washington Street in Middleburg.
Barrel Oak is loved by locals and out-of-towners for its scenic setting, which is also pet friendly. As Chambers says, “It’s an atmosphere where you can come and do your tasting and then settle in for the afternoon, whether you’re coming in with your family, friends, or your dog.” The spacious outdoor patio provides the perfect spot to relax and soak in the stunning views while enjoying a glass of wine and bites. Inside, the rustic yet elegant tasting room welcomes guests with its cozy fireplace and warm atmosphere. You can unwind by the fire, taking in the soothing ambiance, no matter the season.
Barrel Oak also goes the extra mile to ensure that visitors of all ages have a memorable experience. Families can bring a picnic and leisurely enjoy the winery’s sprawling lawn. For those seeking a deeper understanding of winemaking, Barrel Oak offers informative tours and tastings. These behind-the-scenes experiences provide an immersive adventure, allowing guests to learn about the winemaking process firsthand.
Beyond its wine offerings, Barrel Oak fosters a sense of community and celebration. The winery hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including live music performances and fundraisers. These events bring together wine enthusiasts from all walks of life, creating a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere that is both welcoming and enjoyable.
With its superb wines, picturesque setting, and welcoming staff, a visit to Barrel Oak Winery & Brewery is an experience that will leave you longing to return time and time again. Bring your friends and loved ones for a day of exploration, wine tasting, and appreciation of the beauty this Hunt Country gem has to offer. ML
Barrel Oak Winery & Brewery
3623 Grove Lane
Delaplane, Virginia 20144
Published in the October 2023 issue of Middleburg Life.