Photo by Isabelle Carbonell/Courtesy of Windridge Vineyards

Editors' Pick

Best Place for an Afternoon Date

Windridge Vineyards

Opened in Darnestown in July 2019, family-owned Windridge Vineyards is quickly becoming a popular spot for romantic day trips. On nice days, choose from the many outdoor seating options on the 43-acre property, including generously spaced Adirondack chairs and picnic tables. All overlook the vineyards, a wildlife sanctuary next door and Sugarloaf Mountain in the distance. In the winter, the owners—brothers Jeremy, Robert, Theodore and Thompson Butz, and their aunt and uncle, Mary and Robert Truland—enclose two of their outdoor spaces to keep guests warm.

Be sure to check out the tasting room, which opened this past fall and features pendant light fixtures and midcentury modern furniture. You can peer through the wall of windows behind the bar for a view of the underground facility where the wine is made. Windridge observes local guidelines for indoor and outdoor service; at press time they were limiting parties to six or less.

On Saturdays, Windridge hosts guided tours of the property that conclude with a socially distanced wine tasting. But if you can’t snag a reservation, you can still try several of the Montgomery County-made wines by ordering the red or white flight—each comes with three half-glasses for under $20. Don’t miss the Seneca—the full-bodied red is a wintertime favorite.

Windridge allows patrons to bring their own food, but charcuterie, cheese and other snacks are available for purchase, and food trucks are frequently on-site. Another perk: Dogs are welcome, too.

Windridge Vineyards, 15700 Darnestown Road, Darnestown, 301-750-9463, windridge.wine