Richmond, VA wine scene

I’ve accepted a job in Richmond, VA and am throwing my suits into my car and driving out there today.

I tried to search the board, but didn’t find much on the local wine scene. Anyone have any reccs for wine stores, tasting groups, restaurants, and any of the other usual things? Also, I suppose, wineries that are fairly close?

I’ll be spending my weekdays there and flying home to Chicago most weekends, at least for now.



The retail scene is a bit dominated by the big box stores, but there might be some small up and come stores depending where you are living. Locals may be able to chime in.

Board member (maybe still?) Gary York has a great Italian place called Enoteca Songo, very strong wine selection. Lots of good local places to explore, but most of the top end restaurants are downtown.

The best wineries in VA are along the mountains clustered around Charlottesville, Warrenton and Leesburg. The beer scene in Richmond is outstanding, with several great new breweries over the last few years and a couple world class beer bars. But if you prefer wine Charlottesville is only an hour away from the Short Pump end of town. I know of at LEAST one good wine store here too. :slight_smile:

DC only an hour and a half away… :slight_smile:
Richmond is a pretty city with some great restaurants and an exploding scene. Focus is still largely on cocktails. Secco Wine Bar has a great list. Wine Loft was considered good for a while but their entire list I can get at my local Safeway. You’ll find good places. And Cville with some nice wineries is about an hour.

As Matt stated, Richmond is definitely best known for its booming craft beer scene. That said, my favorite local wine shop is J. Emerson on Grove Avenue. Elwood Thompson (local organic grocer) has a good, albeit small, selection as well.

Good to know Emerson is still there. Very solid.

Nice cheese selection at J. Emerson as well, good shop.

My favorite shop in Richmond is Barrel Thief - selection isn’t huge but they pick some nice things from the Rosenthal Dressner and KLWM portfolios. I’ll drive up from Raleigh occasionally to pick up a mixed case of things I can’t get here. Good guys too.

I’s afraid I can’t help with the wine scene, but you’ll love RVA. The place has grown so much since I left in the 80s.

You might want to start a parallel thread in the Travel forum for restaurant and other recommendations.

Yep, folks above pretty much nailed it. Emerson and Barrel Thief, only a few blocks away from each other, are by far the best retail wine shops. The best food/wine list, that are both very reasonably priced, is Gary York’s place Enoteca on the north side of town. It is predominately a beer town, which is surprising given how big the restaurant scene has become. The western part of the state is definitely where you want to go for winery visits. Lots of nice ones around C’ville. I was born and raised in Richmond, so if you need other advice, please feel free to PM me. Oh, one other note, most restaurants do offer corkage which is a life saver for the absurd markups and weak wine lists.

Watch the traffic: almost had an *$$hole hit me from behind once.

Whatever happened to Gary? I remember he used to get uprighteously angry on some threads about Italian wine and now I haven’t seen a post from him a quite awhile. Used to miss him in the debates.

…and God forbid it rains or snows. The good news for Craig is Richmond traffic will be like heaven compared to Chicago.

Markus, Gary is very active on the Vinous board, which is much more focused on Italian wines than WB.

Traffic, or lack thereof, if the thing I am most excited about…

Thanks everyone. Very helpful.

Not to do with food or wine, but Richmond has some examples of its own very distinctive, vernacular architecture with a look I haven’t seen elsewhere.

I don’t live in Richmond,but I do try and stop by Gary’s restaurant anytime I’m in town. Good food and well priced and selected wine list. And Gary is not nearly as angry in person :wink: it’s definitely worth checking out.

Been down here for 30 yrs now after leaving NYC. Terrific town. Excellent restaurant scene. THE BEST is L’Opossum but so many others. Enoteca Sogno is good but best Italian is at Mamma Zu’s and Edo’s both owned by same guy. Dutch & Co., The Roosevelt, Shagbark, Acacia all wonderful.
Wine scene not much to brag about with Emerson’s easily having the best and most interesting selection. They do tastings as well. I get a lot of wine delivered thanks to my buddy Ray O.
Excellent butcher= Belmont Butchery Best Fish store= Yellow Umbrella South of the James Farmers Market loaded with fresh stuff from local farms. James Beard Award nominee for bakery = Sub Rosa
Many wineries out by Charlottesville, gorgeous country! Only hour away from RVA. Michael Shaps, Pollak, King Family among the best. Some cool places to eat out there as well.
Finally, you’re 2 hrs from DC and 2 hrs from the beach. They don’t call it Central Virginia for nothing! Enjoy!

Oops, almost forgot… Peter Chang’s for great Chinese

Dutch & Company not only has great food but a cool corkage policy that shows they get it. Bring a bottle of wine that is 10 years or older and corkage is waived. As a result I’m a regular. :slight_smile:

+1 on Sub Rosa. A bakery DC would be proud to have. Superb