Escape with a Glass of Wine and a Sunset…
When traversing the Route 29 corridor, there are no shortages of small signs sporting images of grapes with arrows pointing to the nearest vineyard. However, in Culpeper County, there may be fewer of those than other areas. More recently, we followed one of those few signs with the fortune of happening upon the small, casual winery known as Mountain Run.
History of Mountain Run Winery
Started less than three years ago, the winery is situated on a twenty-five-acre farm, with three acres under vine, owned by veteran David Foster and his wife, Kayti. Since 2015, with the help of other local winemakers, the Fosters have been producing a number of reds and whites. While the digs appear modest, the history of the property is embedded in the tasting rooms.
Previously a 1960’s corn crib, the main tasting room, with its slatted walls, allow glimmers of light to shine through while tasting and learning about Mountain Run’s varietals. Taking the stairs upwards in the barn-style structure reveals a heated room for both tasting and relaxing.
Kayti handles the event planning, advertising, website, staffing, payroll, and accounting; David is the caretaker of the vineyard and maintenance while also typically running the tasting room on weekends.
In addition to the acreage on the property, the Fosters employ other means to grow their grapes.
“Right now we have three acres under vine here at the property, and we lease vineyard acreage at four different Virginia vineyards as well to make up the difference in our grape tonnage needs,” says Kayti.
Wine, Cider, and Mead
In addition to producing around a dozen reds, whites, and a rose’, the couple also makes mead and cider, which are available on most visits.
“We try to keep cider in stock most weekends – and definitely work to have it during the fall and winter, as that is the season for apples,” says Kayti.
To make their cider the Fosters get apples from local orchards in Sperryville, Virginia. Typically they source from Thornton River Orchard, though they also use Roy’s orchard at times. After procuring the apples, they crush them and make them into cider.
“Our ciders here are always on the dryer side of the spectrum. The most typical offering is our cider where David will use hops in the processing as well as a bit of oak aging. That is probably our most popular. However, we keep a rotating tap and cycle between that hopped cider, cinnamon cider, ginger cider, and pear cider as we are able to get them made. Pear cider is a bit rarer on our menu since pears are harder to get in this area than apples.”
Mead, a far less common product in the area, is particularly popular during the weekends that the winery hosts LARP events. Made from honey from Rixeyville Virginia, it is more of a seasonal offering.
“We are still building up our production capacity for the meads, and so it will not always be in the tasting room,’ says Kayti.
Now Enjoy a Glass of Wine and a Sunset…..
With a comfortable barn-based tasting room and casual seating around the grounds, from loungy wicker seats to tables for two shaded by trees, the winery creates an ambiance of comfort and calm. However, one of its greatest draws is its year-round after-sunset closing time. Whether it’s summertime with a close-to-nine sunset, or a cooler month with a sunset that fits more into a happy hour timeline, the winery remains open until the sun is down, a draw for locals and out of town visitors alike.
Visitors may like to visit the nearby Skyline Wine Trail