Where: 2747 Leeds Manor Rd, Markham, VA
Tasting Fee: $10 for a tasting of 8 wines
Don’t Miss The: Raptor Red, N.M. Rosé, Lasagna Lunches
Food: On Saturdays January through March, there’s a lasagna lunch! Make a reservation–I definitely will be there. There’s also a small selection of lighter fare.
I 100% own a shirt that reads “Keep Calm and Drink Naked.” I bought it at Naked Mountain Winery a couple years ago and still have no regrets. Luckily, my recent revisit keep those feelings strong–Naked Mountain is still a blast.
Located in Markham, VA, near Sky Meadows State Park (great hiking and part of the Appalachian Trail) and a few other more Virginia-famous wineries, Naked Mountain is a casual and dog-friendly stop. What they lack in pure mountain views, they more than make up for with plenty of rolling green hills and a really killer “Drink Naked” scene inside their huge tasting room. Additionally, they have a private barrel tasting room for their wine members…which they let me sneak into for some pictures.
As for the tasting, Naked Mountain has a few atypical wines in their arsenal. Have you ever had a Chardonnay/Riesling blend? You’ll have one here! How about a rosé that includes 15% Norton? Boom–they’ve got you covered. TWICE. Instead of the Bordeaux blends that are quite popular in this area, Naked Mountain creates blends with Chambourcin as its star grape. They’re around some of the most well-respected wineries in the area and wisely choose not to imitate them, but instead be wholly original.
Our tasting began with their 2017 Catamount Run White–a 1005 Seyval Blanch. It was full of fresh citrus tastes and is what I like to call a perfect summertime sipper. Following that, we moved onto their 2017 Aerie White, which is 75% Viognier and 25% Petite Manning. This had more of a floral kick to it, but still managed to retain the refreshing taste of citrus. Since we were there on a warm fall day, it was the perfect way to begin a tasting.
Our next wine was the 2017 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay. During this trip, I learned that Naked Mountain’s Chardonnays are kinda a big deal–they’ve been served to two presidents in the white house! If you’re an oaky Chardonnay kind of person, this is the one for you.
Naked Mountain also gave us two rosé wines. Each were the same year and same grapes–80% Traminette, 15% Norton, and 5% Chambourcin. Despite that, they were two very different wines. The first, their 2018 Make Me Blush, is full of berry flavors and perfect for fans of a good off-dry rosé. The second, the 2018 N.M Rosé, is a more full-bodied experience and has a bit of spice.
The reds on our tasting menu were all blends and we ended up with a bottle of 2017 Raptor Red. It’s 62% Petit Verdot, 26% Merlot, and 12% Cab Sauv. It’s super full-bodied, with a pepper finish. We bought it as a wine to sip around the campfire and it does not disappoint.
Because we came with a dog in tow, we appreciated all the lush green space surrounding the vineyard. We were able to get her some exercise and take in a bit of the mountain air ourselves. Look, I’m not saying bring your dog, buuuuuuuut… bring your dog.
With Sky Meadows State Park and plenty of hiking down the road, Naked Mountain is a natural next stop for getting your Virginia nature fix. Fancy a winter hike? Naked Mountain has got you covered!