Drink local, think regional.
Stare at a winery map of Virginia long enough to let your focus blur, then in your mind’s eye superimpose the state’s topography. Notice how the dots signifying Virginia’s 220 wineries coalesce loosely around two geographical features, the largest group running along either side of the Blue Ridge Mountains — though mostly to the east, an area known as the Piedmont plateau — with a smaller number of wineries hugging the Chesapeake Bay.
Add a Maryland map above that, and you’ll also see two major groups of wineries: along the Catoctin Mountain range and the rolling hills of central Maryland’s Piedmont, and in the coastal plain of southern Maryland around the Chesapeake Bay. If by chance you have a Pennsylvania winery map on hand, you’ll notice a smattering of vineyards in the lower Susquehanna region, from Gettysburg to Harrisburg and York, cradled by the mountains as they curve north and east toward the Lehigh Valley. The two groupings, mountain and bay, join at the northern end of the Chesapeake and stretch into the coastal plains of Delaware and southern New Jersey, as though Earth were doing a half-moon pose to the east.