Distance from Baltimore: About 80 miles; about a 1 hour and 45 minute drive Why it's worth the gas: Wine Enthusiast magazine recently dubbed Virginia one of the 10 best wine travel destinations in the world for 2012, alongside Italy, France and California. Virginia's wine country includes more than a dozen regions. Fairly close to Maryland is Chrysalis Vineyards, which specializes in the native Virginia grape known as Norton, as well as some unusual varietals from France and Spain. The tasting room has patio seating for 40 and a picnic pavillion features grills so you can fire up a meal. Don't miss: In October, the vineyard hosts the Norton Wine & Bluegrass Festival, featuring lots of bands plus local foods (cheese, chutney, chocolate), hay rides, artisan crafts and jewelry, and, of course, vineyard tours and wine tastings. Information: 23876 Champe Ford Road, Middleburg, Va.; 540-687-8222; chrysaliswine.com. For more on all of Virginia's wineries and vineyard events, go to www.virginiawine.org.
Photo courtesy Chrysalis Vineyards, Baltimore Sun