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Visiting SummerWind Vineyard in Smithfield, Virginia

Alex is a Virginia Beach local that enjoys the wondrous natural beauty of Virginia and sampling local food and drink.

The walk up to the winery is pretty long. It really looks like the building was a house at one point in time.

The walk up to the winery is pretty long. It really looks like the building was a house at one point in time.

Virginia Is for Lovers

The chances are pretty high that you have never heard of the SummerWind vineyard before. Why? Because it is located in a small town that isn't really popular with tourists. This means that the vast majority of the people you'll find here are locals. Which is pretty cool.

Where Is It?

Located just outside of Smithfield, yes, that Smithfield where all the hams are made, and along the scenic James River, this little vineyard is nestled in prime real estate. Driving to the winery feels like you have gotten lost in a neighborhood as you drive down long country roads. In fact, when you get to the turn for the vineyard, it looks as if you are arriving at someone's house!

The Layout

This is a fairly small winery. There is not a lot of parking, and nearly all of it is on the grass. There are not a lot of seating options inside. There is, however, a lot of variety for seating outside though still not a lot of space. I will say some very cozy-looking seats near the fire pit were calling my name—especially if I was visiting during the first chill of fall.

The outside sitting area kind of has an eclectic feel to it. There are fire pits, picnic table seats, lawn chairs, and bistro lighting. Nothing matches. And I kind of really dig that; it adds a homey feel to it. It really feels that you are at a country winery. The inside seating consists of pretty basic tables. I did love that the floor was bricks and the walls were all windows, making it feel like I was in a fancy cafe.

The Wine

Now, onto the most important part, the wine!

For being a small winery, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of wines they had for sampling. They seemed very heavy on the reds, which I loved. However, there were two rosés and a few whites on the menu. You can buy wine by the bottle or glass, and the prices for the glass weren't too bad. Most of the wines were about $30 per bottle, which I do feel is a little pricey but not too bad for a nice dinner at home.

Overall I enjoyed the wines. There were a few that were on the sweeter side that I didn't really care for, but they were all drinkable.

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They do offer wine flights where you can try five different wines. We got two of them so we could try all the wines, except the two rosés since we know we don't like those. I'm not sure if this is a normal occurrence or if they were just being nice to us, but we had some very heavy pours of wine. The menu said they would be two-ounce pours, which would amount to about two glasses of wine if you drank all five on your own. However, our sampling glasses were very full, and all four of us who went together felt they had given us more than they said in every glass.

This is one of the wine flights. The glasses are on top of a number and then they have the information for that wine on the piece of paper. Do you see how full those glasses are?!

This is one of the wine flights. The glasses are on top of a number and then they have the information for that wine on the piece of paper. Do you see how full those glasses are?!

The Food

Yes, that's right—I said food! This winery also serves food. Now, I will say this is not the place to dine for picky eaters. But, I was very happy with the quality and portion sizes. I like charcuterie, I really do. But, I don't know what half the things are on the board or how to eat them without looking uncultured.

Nic and I had the hummus platter, which had some surprise salad. I say that as it was a few thick slices of cucumbers, and the hummus was on a bed of arugula. I have no idea if you are supposed to eat the arugula, but I did, and it was great. Our friends got one of the charcuterie boards, and it looked amazing. It was absolutely worthy of an Instagram.

They do also have some flatbreads that appeared to be individual portions. Honestly, there are quite a few things I would like to try next time I go. The idea of a few friends sharing a board, a nice afternoon, and a few glasses of wine sounds like a lovely time.

This was the Little Italy charcuterie board. The display was so beautiful! I tried to convince them to take the flower pot holding the olives, but the wait staff took the empty board away too quickly, I guess its happened before.

This was the Little Italy charcuterie board. The display was so beautiful! I tried to convince them to take the flower pot holding the olives, but the wait staff took the empty board away too quickly, I guess its happened before.

The hummus was fantastic. You can tell they made it in house. The rustic bread paired so well. I felt very fancy drinking my wine and dining on this tasty platter.

The hummus was fantastic. You can tell they made it in house. The rustic bread paired so well. I felt very fancy drinking my wine and dining on this tasty platter.

In Review

So, in all, would I go back again? Yes! I liked the feel, the wine, and the food. However, this place is pretty far from pretty much everything. If you are coming from Virginia Beach, it is at least an hour and a half drive. Also, if I'm being honest, there isn't much else out there.

However, if you enjoy wine and are looking for somewhere less crowded than the bigger known wineries (I'm looking at you, Williamsburg Winery), this is a great spot. To be honest, if you were staying at Virginia Beach and were planning a day trip to the Williamsburg Winery, this is likely just as far, but as I mentioned, there isn't a lot out there. Now, if you were coming out to spend a few hours and then go to dinner in Norfolk or maybe Decoy's in Suffolk, then this could be well worth the drive.

We'll most likely only come out here once or twice a year if the weather is really nice. If we lived closer, we'd most likely go more frequently!

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