Two miles east of town is the Chrysalis Vineyard, a 412-acre-and-growing vineyard dedicated to producing both old- and new-world varieties of wine and hoping to revive interest in the fabled Norton, a grape native to Virginia. The owner maintains she'd rather grow the world's best Norton than the 400th best cabernet. Wine tastings here emphasize the educational experience, as volunteers present each wine in detail to tasters. The entire experience takes about 45 minutes.
Afterward, buy a bottle of wine and snag a picnic table near the tasting tents. Grills are available on a first come, first served basis. Chrysalis is also host to a number of music festivals throughout the year, including a jazz festival in May and the Norton Wine & Bluegrass Festival the first weekend in October.
May 9, 2010
I'm sure this a great place to visit -unless you have kids, which I do. Chrysalis has a "kid zoo" where they force you to keep your children while on the property. Also, you cannot taste wines at your own pace, you are forced to sit through their 45 minute presentation. So, for my wife and I to each taste a few wines - it would have taken over 1.5 hours! (One has to man the kid zoo, while the other sits through wine tasting death march). I inquired
about the reasoning behind this policy and the manager said "if you are tasting wine, you are not doing a good job watching your kids." Well, thank you and goodbye, I asked for my money back and was obliged. Beautiful property, never got to try the wines, but will certainly never go back! Swedenburg is the nearest winery to this place, they have cab sauv that floored me. Avoids Chrysalis!