Iron Heart Winery

One of my favorite visits in all of the Blue Ridge AVA wineries I’ve visited. All wineries have a story behind them, but I’d say Iron Heart’s story is among the coolest. The name has a double meaning; it honors the site’s history as a steel mill, as well as the strength of character of the women who once owned the farm.

Their wine labels reflect this background. All of them depict the various ladies who work here or family & friends of the vineyard. It may well be the most feminist line of wine labels I’ve ever seen.

The winery is a bit out of the way. This area isn’t famous for its vineyards (although it could be – this corner of Virginia is choc-full of good places to visit) so you need a bit of motivation to make this trip. It is farm country almost all the way, with a smattering of reminders of SW Virginia’s industrial age.

I visited on a slow day so I had the place mostly to myself. The tasting room is very cozy, and is decorated with little farm tchotchkes on the wall.  My server was kind enough to guide me through the farm’s history as she poured.

Their vineyard has 10 acres of vines. While the focus is on hybrids, they have some Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc as well. While the winery has only been open since 2016, the vines were planted before that so they’ve had fruit for a while.

I was a little surprised that two Rieslings were available; a dry and a sweet. Fun fact – the high elevation here means this is one of the few places in Virginia that Riesling grows relatively well. But my favorites of the tasting were the dry Chardonnay and the smooth Cabernet Franc (which will go to mom in the future).

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