We visited Potomac Point Winery for a book club meeting about a year ago, and we all loved it. Instant sellers of the winery that appealed to the group:
- The wine tastings were cheap and offered variety
- The winery was super-dog friendly (you can even bring your furry pals into the tasting room!)
- The food was delicious
Potomac Point sits on the back-roads of Stafford, Virginia near Quantico. After going through some sharp turns and up a couple steep hills, the winery emerges, and it is beautiful. The vines surround the winery creating a beautiful landscape, which also contribute to the popularity of the venue for special events. The building itself reminds me of a villa escape. Parking was a breeze when we arrived, making the initial experience overall pleasant and instantly relaxing.
Walking in, we were greeted by a nice staff member and a tasting room filled with fun gifts to take home. These ranged from wine-time gift items, trinkets for bridal showers, and fun items for the pets. There were two different tastings offered: the classic tasting for $5 and the premier tasting for $10. The premier tasting included the take-home wine glass as well. Olive oils were spread throughout the room for a different, additional tasting experience. The tastings were a good deal, and the wine prices were average, if not better, for the surrounding area and nearby wineries (ranging from $14.99 for their table white to $42.99 for their signature reserve Bordeaux).
After the tasting, we wandered into the lounge to order food and sip on some wine. The furniture here was unique and offered a comfortable space for book talks. The food was delicious. (I had a pasta I have been craving since) It is worth noting the restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The winery itself is also closed on Tuesdays.
If you take the trip to Potomac Point and are new to the Stafford area, I highly recommend planning a full-day’s trip and visiting the National Museum of the Marine Corps (only a few miles from Potomac Point). I have been to this museum a few times, and each time I discover something new. To begin, the architecture of the building itself is a story of its own. The building’s design replicates the nearby Iwo Jima Memorial. Inside the building, the museum was designed to be a full experience. For example, entering the World War I exhibit, visitors are greeted with a video setting the tone for the time period. They then enter a wooded space and the thundering sounds of gun fire, placing them onto the battlefield. The floors of the museum are thoughtfully designed to replicate the uneven surfaces soldiers would have traveled on. Sound effects help to bring visitors into the exhibit and connect with the museum’s artifacts and stories. One of the times I was there, I also had the opportunity to explore the new 9/11 exhibit. This exhibit brought tears to my eyes as I was filled with emotion. In the exhibit, visitors were allowed to touch broken pieces of the Pentagon from the attacks. This experience brought back memories for me of where I was when I heard the news of the attacks, what it meant to me then, and reflections of how I changed over the years since.
Further south down Route 1 from the winery and museum, another fun trip to incorporate to learn more about the history of Stafford County is to visit Marlborough Point. This site contains a lot of history from both Native Americans and colonial settlers. In fact, the site is known to be the location of Pocahontas’ kidnapping in the early 17th century. On the roads to Marlborough Point, visitors can also stop at the recently opened Civil War Park of Stafford to explore the history of the Union troop encampments there as well.
If there is more time or visitors are coming up from the South, further down Route 1 from Marlborough Point near 17, visitors can also take a turn to go to the boyhood home of George Washington at Ferry Farm. I love Ferry Farm… the area is beautiful and historic, the place itself is rich in history, and less than a decade ago the original foundations of Washington’s home were discovered. It was an exciting time at Ferry Farm as archeological discoveries were made revealing the history of the property. When I was an undergraduate at George Mason University, I volunteered at Ferry Farm in the archeology lab once a week about a year after the discovery of the home’s foundations. This experience was life-changing for me as I helped to scrub away the mud on artifacts found on site. I highly recommend a trip to Ferry Farm to explore the history of not only our first president, but the events that took place before and after his family’s occupation of the lands.
Now, I must note that I find the history of Stafford County even more fascinating because I grew up there. I lived in Stafford most of my life, and I immersed myself in its history whenever I could. (One can even say this is why I chose to pursue a BA and MA in history, focusing on early American history) With the history, it was another plus when it was announced a winery would be opening in the county. Two of my favorite things in my hometown: history and wine. That is hard to beat! If you do make it to Stafford to explore the winery and history, please share your stories and your favorite parts – I would love to hear.