Hiking and wine tasting. They just go together, right? Bedford County knows.
First, Bedford County had the Bedford Wine Trail. Then, this trail was expanded and re-branded as the 11-stop Bottled in Bedford Craft Beverage Trail.
The trail has moved beyond wine too, adding on breweries, cideries and a meadery. As a bonus, all are close to some of the best hiking trails in Virginia.
Bottled in Bedford Craft Beverage Trail
When you’re ready to get in a top area hike, like Sharp Top or Harkening Hill, then settle in at a tasting room or outdoor patio, I’ve got you covered.
To get you started, I’ve put together some hike and wine pairings that I think you’ll find both bold and adventurous.
#1: Graham Ordinary + Harkening Hill
Graham Ordinary is a meadery, making delicious mead from locally-sourced and fermented honey. There are even some honey bee hives on-site.
There’s more than mead here, though. Graham Ordinary is also a lodge with two King Suites. Outside, there are two camp sites for tents and small RVs.
The Mead Hall at Graham Ordinary is open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It’s the perfect stop after hiking to the top of Harkening Hill.
The hike to the summit of Harkening Hill, one of Bedford’s three Peaks of Otter, is tucked away, unassuming and remarkable, just like Graham Ordinary.
As a bonus, Graham Ordinary is an easy five-minute drive from the trailhead for Harkening Hill at the visitor center on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
#2: Fables & Feathers + Turtle Island Trail
Fables & Feathers Winery in Goodview was named for the passions of two of the winery’s owners, namely storytelling and birds.
This small family-owned winery has an indoor tasting room and an outdoor patio with gorgeous views across rows of vineyards.
It’s the perfect place to settle in with a glass of wine after hiking at Smith Mountain Lake State Park. A favorite trail is the Turtle Island Trail.
The trailhead for the 1.4-mile Turtle Island Trail is an easy 30-minute drive from the winery. The easy-going hike leads out to a small island on the lake.
This is a good pairing because, well, both are named for small animals. The winery is open Thursday-Monday in winter, but is open every day in summer.
#3: Peaks of Otter Winery + Johnson Farm Trail
The Peaks of Otter Winery is open every afternoon, so it’s a must to stop by for a glass or a flight of eight refreshing wines made with fruits grown on-site.
This location is also home to Elmo’s Rest, a three-bedroom vacation rental, and Johnson’s Orchard, a popular 200-acre U-pick apple farm.
Peaks of Ottery Winery even has a LOVE sculpture on-site, so it’s a must to swing by for a photo. With a glass of wine, of course.
Naturally, given the Johnson’s Orchard connection, you’ll want to hike the 2.1-mile Johnson Farm Trail, an easy hike to a historic farm and apple house.
After the hike, it’s an easy 20-minute drive to equally scenic Peaks of Otter Winery. Another good hike would be the aptly-named Apple Orchard Falls.
#4: Burnbrae Vineyards + Fallingwater Cascades
Burnbrae Vineyards is a quiet, wooded vineyard in Forest. It’s the kind of place where you just want to laze away the day on their scenic outdoor patio.
Thankfully, there are fire pits on cool days, but there is also limited indoor seating where you can settle in with a flight of reds and whites.
For a hiking trail, look to an easy hike like the 1.2-mile out-and-back hike to Fallingwater Cascades, a small waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This hike is a 40-minute drive from Burnbrae Vineyards, but it’s a lovely drive that includes a short section of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This refreshing waterfall hike is a perfect match with wines like the easy-drinking Traminette and the light, bright BBV Blanc.
#5: Ramulose Ridge Vineyards + Chestnut Ridge Trail
Ramulose Ridge Vineyards is less than 15 minutes by car from Smith Mountain Lake State Park, which is home to more than 15 miles of hiking trails.
Naturally, sampling wines is one of the best things to do at Smith Mountain Lake, especially in the fall when the summer crowds have gone home.
Plan to hike at the state park either before or after a visit to Ramulose Ridge Vineyards, which boasts a large indoor tasting room and sizeable shaded patio.
A good hike is the Chestnut Ridge Trail, an easy 1.7-mile hike that affords lake views nearly the entire hike. Enjoy views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, too.
At this time, Ramulose Ridge is open Thursday-Sunday afternoon. It’s got plenty of calming, beautiful views, just like the Chestnut Ridge Trail.
#6: Beale’s + Ridgway-Deming Walking Trail
Beale’s is a fantastic in-town brewery with an outdoor patio and a full menu of sandwiches, burgers and BBQ. Also, pulled pork nachos. Highly recommend.
From Beale’s it’s a five-minute drive to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, making Beale’s a perfect stop before or after you visit the memorial.
While at the National D-Day Memorial, you’ll want to walk the brand-new paved nature trail called the Ridgway-Deming Walking Trail.
The trail is short and sweet – just 0.3 miles – but it’s an enjoyable wooded walk and there are plans to extend the trail to the east side of the memorial.
At Beale’s, look for live music, plenty of beers on tap, and the occasional in-person “MasterClass” taught by Pitmaster Matt.
#7: Apocalypse + Sharp Top
Apocalypse has two buildings that are next door to each other. The one on the right is a cidery and winery, while the beer bar is in the building on the left.
Both buildings have indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, but the Ale Works has a disc golf putting area and a live music stage.
It’s a 30-minute drive to the start of the Sharp Top hike. Sharp Top is one of the three Peaks of Otter hikes. It’s also a bucket list hike for many hikers.
Honestly, if the apocalypse is forthcoming, you’ll want to check off the Sharp Top hike. You’ll also want a pint of the Screamsicle at Apocalypse Ale Works.
The Screamsicle is their take on what a Creamsicle orange and vanilla ice cream bar would taste like as a beer. Let me tell you, the answer is “amazing.”
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Destination Bedford. However, all views and opinions expressed here are my own.