2020 Savor Virginia's Best Readers' Choice Awards

The Top Wineries, Craft Beer, Spirits And More. The Results Are In For Our Annual Reader’s Choice Awards.

Thank you to all of the lovers of a good cocktail, beautiful spot to picnic, place for farm-to-table fare and so much more. We asked you, readers, to come forward and share your opinions on the best wines, craft beers and spirits in Virginia along with the places that serve them and the people that create them. We needed your vote, and you definitely answered our call for expert advice.

Thousands of readers participated in our first annual Savor Virginia’s Readers’ Choice contest that included an initial round of nominations and a second round of voting for our finalists. Our contest winners are those that received the most votes overall for the entire duration of the contest, including nominations.

So, if you are looking for a new place for a weekend getaway, a recommendation for a stand-out Cabernet Franc or the top spot for beer plus live music, look no further. All of our well-crafted results are below. 

 

CIDER AND CIDERIES

 

Best Cidery for Flavored Cider

Gold: Winchester Ciderworks

Silver: Bold Rock Barrel Barn

Bronze: Sly Clyde Ciderworks

 

Best Cidery for Traditional Cider

Gold: Winchester Ciderworks

Silver: Bold Rock Hard Cider

Bronze: Albemarle CiderWorks

 

Best Cider Maker

Gold: Stephen Schuurman, Winchester Ciderworks

Silver: Ian Niblock, Bold Rock Hard Cider

Bronze: Brent Miles, Sly Clyde Ciderworks

 

Best Cidery Overall

Gold: Winchester Ciderworks

Silver: Bold Rock Hard Cider

Bronze: Sly Clyde Ciderworks

 

BEER AND BREWERIES

 

Best Brewery for Ale

Gold: The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery

Silver: Old Bust Head Brewing Company

Bronze: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery—Richmond

 

Best Brewery for Amber

Gold: Old Bust Head Brewing Company

Silver: The Virginia Beer Company

Bronze: Buggs Island Brewing

 

Best Brewery for IPA

Gold: Montross Brewery

Silver: Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Bronze: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery—Richmond

 

Best Brewery for Lager 

Gold: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery—Richmond

Silver: Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Bronze: Alewerks Brewing Company

 

Best Brewery for Saison 

Gold: The Virginia Beer Company

Silver: Smartmouth Brewing Co.

Bronze: O’Connor Brewing Company

 

Best Brewery for Seasonal Beer

Gold: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery—Richmond

Silver: Old Bust Head Brewing Company

Bronze: Alewerks Brewing Company

 

Best Brewery for Sour

Gold:  Coelacanth Brewing Company

Silver: Oozlefinch Craft Brewery

Bronze: Old Bust Head Brewing Company

 

Best Brewery for Stout 

Gold: Wasserhund Brewing Co.

Silver: Blue Mountain Barrel House

Bronze: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery—Richmond

 

Best Craft Beer Overall 

Gold: The Virginia Beer Company

Silver: Old Bust Head Brewing Company

Bronze: Blue Mountain Barrel House

 

Best Beer Label 

Gold: Montross Brewery

Silver: Starr Hill Brewery

Bronze: Wild Wolf Brewing Company

 

Best Brewery for Families 

Gold: Blue Mountain Brewery

Silver: Back Bay Farmhouse Brewing Co.

Bronze: 2 Silos Brewing Co.

 

Best Brewery for Food Truck Offerings

Gold: The Virginia Beer Company

Silver: O’Connor Brewing Company

Bronze: Billsburg Brewery

 

Best Brewery for Live Music

Gold: The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery

Silver: 2 Silos Brewing Co.

Bronze: Wild Wolf Brewing Company

 

Best Brewery for Special Events

Gold: The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery

Silver: 2 Silos Brewing Co.

Bronze: O’ Connor Brewing Company

 

Best Brewery for Tours 

Gold: Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Silver: Blue Mountain Brewery

Bronze: Port City Brewing

 

Best Brewery Restaurant

Gold: The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery

Silver: Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Bronze: Wasserhund Brewing Co.

 

Best Brewery Tasting Room

Gold: Montross Brewery

Silver: Maker’s Craft Brewery

Bronze: Dirt Farm Brewing

 

Best Craft Brewery Overall

Gold: The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery

Silver: Montross Brewery

Bronze: The Virginia Beer Company

 

 

DISTILLERIES AND SPIRITS 

 

Best Distiller

Gold: George “Papi Zwetkow,” MurLarkey Distilled Spirits

Silver: Todd Emr, Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co.  

Bronze: Mark Rangos, Blue Sky Distillery

 

Best Distillery for Tours

Gold: MurLarkey Distilled Spirits

Silver: Blue Sky Distillery

Bronze: A. Smith Bowman Distillery

 

Best Distillery Overall

Gold: MurLarkey Distilled Spirits

Silver: Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co.  

Bronze: Blue Sky Distillery

 

Best Distillery Tasting Room 

Gold: Blue Sky Distillery

Silver: Silverback Distillery

Bronze: Virginia Distillery Company

 

Best Mead

Gold: Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery

Silver: Silver Hand Meadery

Bronze: Haley’s Honey Meadery

 

Best Distillery for Bourbon

Gold: A. Smith Bowman Distillery

Silver: KO Distilling

Bronze: Ragged Branch Distillery

 

Best Distillery for Classic Moonshine 

Gold: MurLarkey Distilled Spirits

Silver: Belle Isle Moonshine

Bronze: Belmont Farm Distillery

 

Best Distillery for Flavored Moonshine

Gold: Belle Isle Moonshine

Silver: Belmont Farm Distillery

Bronze: Five Mile Mountain Distillery

 

Best Distillery for Gin

Gold: Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co.  

Silver: KO Distilling

Bronze: Silverback Distillery

 

Best Distillery for Rum 

Gold: Blue Sky Distillery

Silver: A. Smith Bowman Distillery

Bronze: Vitae Spirits

 

Best Distillery for Vodka

Gold: MurLarkey Distilled Spirits

Silver: A. Smith Bowman Distillery

Bronze: Dida’s Distillery

 

Best Distillery for Whiskey

Gold: Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co.  

Silver: Copper Fox Distillery

Bronze: KO Distilling

 

Best Spirits Overall

Gold: Caiseal Beer & Spirits Co.  

Silver: KO Distilling

Bronze: Dida’s Distillery

 

 

TRAVEL AND TOURISM

 

Best Bed and Breakfast

Gold: Clifton Inn, Charlottesville

Silver: The Inn at Montross, Montross

Bronze: Skyline Vineyard Inn, Washington

 

Best Beer Festival

Gold: Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest

Silver: Microfestivus Craft Beer Fest, Roanoke

Bronze: Blacksburg Brew Do

 

Best Cheese Shop 

Gold: The Cheese Shop, Williamsburg

Silver: Wegmans

Bronze: Feast, Charlottesville

 

Best City for Touring Breweries

Gold: Richmond

Silver: Charlottesville

Bronze: Hampton

 

Best City for Touring Distilleries

Gold: Charlottesville

Silver: Richmond

Bronze: Williamsburg

 

Best City for Touring Wineries

Gold: Charlottesville

Silver: Leesburg

Bronze: Northern Neck

 

Best Farm to Table Restaurant 

Gold: Harvest, Virginia Beach

Silver: The Farmhouse at Veritas, Afton

Bronze: 1608 Crafthouse, Virginia Beach

 

Best Resort/Inn

Gold: Tides Inn, Irvington

Silver: Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs

Bronze: Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg

 

Best Restaurant Craft Beer List

Gold: Mekong Restaurant, Richmond

Silver: Charlottesville Draft Taproom

Bronze: The Water Dog, Lynchburg

 

Best Restaurant Wine List

Gold: The Inn at Little Washington, Washington

Silver: Opus 9 Steakhouse, Williamsburg

Bronze: The Downtown Grille, Charlottesville

 

Best Restaurant/Bar for Cocktails Made With Virginia Spirits

Gold: The Confident Rabbit, Fredericksburg

Silver: Amber Ox Public House, Williamsburg

Bronze: Becca Restaurant and Garden

 

Best Spirits Festival

Gold: Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow

Silver: Smithfield Bacon, Bourbon & Beach Music Fest

Bronze: Belle Grove Plantation Spirits Festival, King George

 

Best Tour or Limo Company 

Gold: Brew Ridge Tours

Silver: Cville Hop On Tours

Bronze: Wine Pro Tours

 

Best Virginia Beer Trail

Gold: The Nelson 151

Silver: Williamsburg Tasting Trail

Bronze: Virginia’s Blue Ridge Cheers Trail

 

Best Virginia Farmers Market

Gold: Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market, Glen Allen

Silver: Virginia Beach Farmers Market

Bronze: Smithfield Farmers Market

 

Best Virginia Made Product

Gold: A. Smith Bowman Distillery Bourbons

Silver: Whitley’s Peanut Factory Peanuts

Bronze: Silverback Distillery Blackback Honey Rye Whiskey

 

Best Virginia Wine Trail 

Gold: Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail

Silver: Monticello Wine Trail

Bronze: Loudoun Wine Trail

 

Best Virginia Weekend Getaway Spot (City/Town)

Gold: Charlottesville

Silver: Williamsburg

Bronze: Cape Charles

 

Best Wine and Beer Shop 

Gold: Bon Vivant Wine & Brew, Smithfield

Silver: Vintage Cellar, Blacksburg

Bronze: The Cheese Shop, Williamsburg

 

Best Wine Festival

Gold: Stratford Hall Wine & Oyster Festival, Stratford

Silver: Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest

Bronze: Vintage Virginia Wine & Food Festival, Centreville

 

 

WINE AND WINERIES

 

Best Winery for Cabernet Franc

Gold: Barboursville Vineyards

Silver: Rappahannock Cellars

Bronze: Glen Manor Vineyards

 

Best Winery for Cabernet Sauvignon 

Gold: Gray Ghost Vineyards

Silver: Keswick Vineyards

Bronze: Casanel Vineyards

 

Best Winery for Chardonnay

Gold: Ingleside Vineyards

Silver: The Williamsburg Winery

Bronze: Early Mountain Vineyards

 

Best Winery for Dessert Wine 

Gold: Barboursville Vineyards

Silver: Horton Vineyards

Bronze: Rappahannock Cellars

 

Best Winery for Meritage

Gold: Jefferson Vineyards

Silver: Rappahannock Cellars

Bronze: King Family Vineyards

 

Best Winery for Merlot 

Gold: Rosemont of Virginia

Silver: Barboursville Vineyards

Bronze: Gray Ghost Vineyards

 

Best Winery for Norton

Gold: Horton Vineyards

Silver: Chrysalis Vineyards

Bronze: The Winery at Bull Run

 

Best Winery for Petit Verdot 

Gold: The Williamsburg Winery

Silver: Veritas Vineyard

Bronze: Pearmund Cellars

 

Best Winery for Rose 

Gold: Rosemont of Virginia

Silver: Early Mountain Vineyards

Bronze: The Williamsburg Winery

 

Best Winery for Sparkling Wine

Gold: Trump Winery

Silver: Rappahannock Cellars

Bronze: Three Fox Vineyards

 

Best Winery for Viognier 

Gold: Little Washington Winery

Silver: Rappahannock Cellars

Bronze: Three Fox Vineyards

 

Best Bottle Artwork

Gold: Blenheim Vineyards

Silver: SummerWind Vineyard

Bronze: Veritas Vineyard

 

Best Virginia Wine Overall

Gold: Ingleside Vineyards

Silver: Little Washington Winery

Bronze: Rosemont of Virginia

 

Best Winery Overall

Gold: Little Washington Winery

Silver: Ingleside Vineyards

Bronze: Rosemont of Virginia

 

Best Wine Dog

Gold: Barrel Oak Winery

Silver: Chateau Morrisette Winery

Bronze: Three Fox Vineyards

 

Best Virginia Wine Maker

Gold: Carl Henrickson, Little Washington Winery

Silver: Mark Misch, Ingleside Vineyards

Bronze: Luca Paschina, Barboursville Vineyards

 

Best Winery for Picnics

Gold: Three Fox Vineyards

Silver: King Family Vineyards

Bronze: Veritas Vineyards

 

Best Winery for Tours 

Gold: Barboursville Vineyards

Silver: The Williamsburg Winery

Bronze: Gray Ghost Vineyards

 

Best Winery for Weddings

Gold: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

Silver: Rosemont of Virginia

Bronze: Early Mountain Vineyards

 

Best Winery With A View

Gold: Three Fox Vineyards

Silver: Bluemont Vineyard

Bronze: Afton Mountain Vineyards

 

Best Winery Tasting Room 

Gold: Ingleside Vineyards

Silver: Little Washington Winery

Bronze: Early Mountain Vineyards

Written By

Melissa Stewart

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