When we think of wine tasting, the word adventure usually doesn’t come to mind. Did you know that we often drive to wineries all the time? What if you could kayak to a winery with a great view? Virginia’s beautiful and quaint Eastern Shore can do it.
So what exactly is this kayak and wine adventure?
“Please remove the glass with the paddle.” is a guided kayak and wine tour organized by a company called Southeast Expeditions in partnership with Chatham Vineyards. Spend a beautiful day paddling on the Chesapeake Bay and let him sip a glass (or two) of the award-winning Church Creek wines at Chatham Vineyards and Winery along the way. How wonderful!
The tour begins on the banks of Nassawadox Creek in the remote village of Bayford, Virginia. After a mini paddling lesson, Church he travels south towards the creek to soak up the natural beauty of the surroundings and the eastern he observes the shore wildlife and hears interesting stories about the area..
Once you reach the shores of Chatham Vineyards, haul your kayak ashore and head to Chatham’s Tasting Room for delicious Church Creek wines and a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility.
After the wine tasting you can relax a bit with a glass of wine at the table overlooking the vineyards. A plate of local cheese and bread is also available. After all that paddling, it’s worth it. After you’ve finished your wine, hop back into your kayak and paddle back to where your journey began.
Tour prices are $89 per rower including guide, boat, equipment and Chatham Winery experience. Plus, get a complimentary bottle of wine for every two rowers. First-time kayakers are also welcome.
Wine and kayak tours are offered daily March through December.Click here for advance reservation southeast expedition is required. To book a “Paddle Your Glass Off” kayak and wine tour, or to learn a little more, visit their website. SoutheastExpeditions.com
How did Chatham’s vineyards and wineries begin?
Owned and operated by John Wenner and his wife Mills, Chatham has been a working farm for over four centuries. His second generation winemaker, John learned the art of viticulture from his parents who ran his Great Falls Vineyard in Great Falls, Virginia for over 30 years. Since 1999, over 20 acres of land have been planted with French vinifera varieties such as Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit He Verdot. This winery was built in his 2005 and now produces between 3,000 and 5,000 cases per year.
What is the history behind Chatham?
Chatham Vineyards’ land is on Church Creek, which was patented in 1640 and has served as a working farm for over four centuries. Drive to Chatham Winery, following a long dirt road surrounded by stunning vines. At the end of the road, you can’t help but notice a beautiful Federal-era brick house called Chatham, built in 1818 by a man named Major Scarborough Pitts. It is named after William Pitt, Earl of Chatham and friend of the American Revolutionary War. The property also includes a historic outbuilding, a barn and two of his recently renovated early 1900’s homes. His 1915 farmhouse, his one of the homes, 3 bedroom 2 Private bath for guests only. The perfect retreat for a relaxing and romantic East Coast getaway.
If you want to skip the adventure and head straight to a wine tasting visit….
Chatham Vineyards & Winery
9232 Chatham Rd, Machipongo, VA 23405
Open daily from 10am to 5pm (April to December)
Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (January to March)
Tasting fee: $5 per person