How to bike and wine taste as a family in Middleburg, VA

A few years ago (pre-baby) we discovered an area in Virginia where the wineries were close enough together that we could easily bike from winery to winery. One winery even said there was a “bike and wine taste tour”.  We have been trying to find this area since we moved back and low and behold, this weekend we did!

Wine tasting - Adventure Family in Motion
Wine tasting – Adventure Family in Motion

It was about 50 degrees outside so we loaded the bikes in the UAV and  headed northwest to an area near Middleburg, VA. The hour and a half drive took us on the backroads passing an awesome craft brew shop called Crafted.  It shares a parking lot with the only diesel gas station in a 15 mile stretch so we were in luck by finding both of them. Crafted wasn’t open yet so we made a point to stop on our way home.

Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA

Just outside Middleburg lies the very small town of Aldie, VA.  The Aldie Mill Historic District had a nice quaint feel. Although, if you blinked you would totally miss the town.  While driving along, we noticed the all to familiar smell of  a smoker, bellowing out  the smell of the BBQ Master’s latest offerings at the Aldie Country Store.  Varun Parti is definitely a BBQ Master! We feasted on two massive plates of BBQ smoked ribs and 2 pints of mash potatoes and macaroni and cheese.  With an amazing lunch in our bellies we were sure to get a long ride in.

BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
HUGS - BBQ Master
HUGS – BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master

We first stopped at Chrysalis Vineyards which sits 1.5 miles off hwy 50 on a rutted single lane dirt road. We pulled into a picturesque setting with a pond, rolling hills and plenty of seating. There is a nice place for families to corral the kids while the parents can sip on a  glass of wine, play bean bag toss or have a picnic.

Chrysalis Wineyard
Chrysalis Vineyard
Chrysalis Wineyard
Chrysalis Vineyards

From Chrysalis Vineyards we drove a few miles down 50 to Greenhill Winery & Vineyard (although you could bike this portion, the road is a little rough at times).  Sitting directly off hwy 50 on a 1/4 mile long driveway, The Greenhill Winery and Vineyard was where we decided to start our cycling trip. While Donald unloaded the bikes I got us a nice glass of Syrah for sampling and pre-ride motivation.

Adventure Family In Motion
Adventure Family In Motion

This winery loop is a relatively easy 7 mile bike loop, with the primary difficulty being not tasting to many glasses of wine to continue on with the adventure.  You can start this loop by heading out of Greenhill Winery and turning left on US 50 for approximately 1/2 mile until you come to your first dirt road on the left named Parsons Road.  Parsons Road is a quiet dirt road with limited to no traffic, perfect for a mountain bike, hybrid or cyclocross bike.

Greenhilll
Greenhilll Winery

At the “T”in the road turn right on Halfway Road and start up a gradual hill. Before you know it, you will be at Boxwood Estate Winery and it is time to taste some more wine. Boxwood has a very modern layout with a wine cave, a picnic area and a circular tasting room.  Skylights and white paint fill the rooms with immense lighting and the wine cave is gorgeous.  Boxwood has great wine with a pristine layout.

Boxwood Winery Estates
Boxwood Estate Winery
Boxwood Winery Estates
Boxwood Estate Winery
Boxwood Winery Estates
Boxwood Estate Winery

After Boxwood, you jump back on US 50  and bike through the town of Middleburg. We had been here before years ago on a motorcycle and remembered the plethora of restaurants and cool shops in the downtown area.  This area is  a go to weekend stop for washingtonians. From antique stores to a conglomerate of restaurants and coffee shops, Middleburg is a great place to poke around on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Yepp Child Seat
Yepp Child Seat

When we got back to Greenhill we pulled the bikes up to a table at the edge of the field and shared a glass of red wine. The little lady of ours scooted around on her Strider in the field and stomped through the very small snow pile that was rapidly melting.  We ran in the field chasing puppies and tried to catch the horseback rider on the horizon.

Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA
Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA
Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA
Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA

After a day of biking,  we loaded up the UAV and started the drive home making sure to stop at Crafted on the way back. The quaint shop was loaded with tons of craft beers, wines and ciders. The owners and their cheerful dog greeted us with a friendly smile and a nice chat about ciders and the awesome assortment of beers available!  The owners have an extensive knowledge about the 100s of beers stocking the shelfs and are more than willing to explain the differences of them all.   After purchasing a good amount of cider and beer for future samplings, we were on our way home wrapping up another awesome adventure.

Relaxing after a fun day!
Relaxing after a fun day!

Nevada City, California Food, Friends and Great Weather

Recently we had the opportunity to return home to the Nevada City, California area for a visit.  While we truly wish a longer stay (permanent) would have been in the cards, it just is not at the moment.  We still have high hopes of living in this town in the near future and crave the eclectic area packed full of great food, lakes, mountain bike trails and cool festivals.

Nevada City
Nevada City

If living in Nevada City, CA is not something you are able to do, the next best thing would be to visit.  Hopefully our whirlwind trip pictured below will help you see the high points, but this doesn’t even start to capture the super cool stores and amazing outdoor activities surrounding this area.

Nevada City
Nevada City
Nevada City
Nevada City

This trip was really focused on spending time with friends, however in our free time, the below restaurants and locations are a must!

Nevada City
Nevada City

Breakfast started a small New Orleans themed place call Ike’s Quarter Café.  Ike’s prides themselves on local ingredients and a variety of gluten free, vegan and healthy food options.  Numerous different types of locally baked bread, waffles and creations are available.  Ike’s is CASH only, has outdoor seating and allows “dog parking” just outside the entrance.  Get the Gasserhouser and thank me later!

Ikes Cafe
Ikes Cafe
Ikes Cafe
Ikes Cafe
Ikes Cafe
Ikes Cafe
Ikes Cafe
Ikes Cafe
Ikes Cafe
Ikes Cafe

The craft beer scene is alive and well in Nevada CityJernigan’s Tap House & Grill has brought the “tap house” and burger joint theme to town and are doing a great job supplying a HUGE selection of craft beer.  Go to Jernigan’s, select a few different beers to try in a tester flight and have a giant burger; makes me smile just thinking about it.

Jernigan’s Grill & Tap House
Jernigan’s Grill & Tap House

The afternoon was spent shopping and sipping on coffee from Cafe’ Mekka. We walked the streets poking in shops, window shopping and people watching. The weather was spectacular for mid January. We stopped at Pioneer Park and let the little lady run laps around the spacious park.

Nevada City
Pioneer Park, Nevada City
Nevada City
Pioneer Park, Nevada City
Cafe Mekka
Cafe Mekka
Cafe Mekka
Cafe Mekka
Cafe Mekka
Cafe Mekka
Cafe Mekka
Cafe Mekka
Nevada City
Nevada City
Cafe Mekka
Cafe Mekka
Nevada City
Pioneer Park, Nevada City
Nevada City
Nevada City

The evening called for PIZZA in with friends.  North Ridge Restaurant has great food as a whole, but they make pizzas that are to die for!  North Ridge is a great family place with a huge variety of food and some nice beers on tap.

The following day we had lunch at Lefty’s which sits on a super quaint creek and has the BEST outdoor seating in the town.  The “SOP” burger is where it’s at, paired with one of the multiple craft beer options available, you can’t go wrong at Lefty’s.

Finally not a restaurant, but definitely a must visit location is Ol’ Republic Brewery.  When Ol’ Republic came to town we were ecstatic.  Nevada City needed a quality place to hang out and have a locally made beer in a family friendly environment.  Ol’ Republic does not serve food, however they allow you (and encourage you to) bring food in from one of the many local dinning establishments close by.

Nevada City is a town with loads of character; a real must see of Northern California.  We have traveled all over the world and Nevada City, California is on the top of my list as one of the most versatile towns with great food, shopping, beer and incredible outdoor fun.  Go check it out!  

Adventure Family In Motion