Belle Mount Vineyards
K. L. Sullivan
Summary: Belle Mount Vineyards is located in the scenic and historic area of Northern Neck in Virginia. Currently the tasting room is on the lower level of a two-story cedar building with a large banquet hall on the first floor. Whether you are looking for a quiet outdoor camping experience or fresh water fishing, consider stopping by the winery tasting room.
Located in Warsaw in the Northern Neck area of Virginia, Belle Mount Vineyards offers a winery nestled in the countryside. Traffic was light as we drove to Belle Mount Vineyards within Heritage Park, a resort camping area. The property was originally a 1707 plantation – a land grant from King George to Dr. Joseph Belfield.
Ray Petrie moved here in the early 1990’s. Heritage Park Resort offers a perfect location for those who are looking for a quiet getaway. Located in a wooded area complete with wildlife trails, freshwater fishing and picnic grounds, the property has amenities including five cabins with heating and air conditioning. Also on the property is a facility available for events including weddings, receptions and proms. With seating for 200, this is a location to consider for your next big event. The event room overlooks vineyards and the Menokin Bay.
Ray and his wife, Catherine, wanted to add something extra that would complement the functions at the facility. After careful consideration, they chose to plant vineyards and start a winery. Today the vineyards with Cat Point Creek in the background, offer photo opportunities especially nice for those special events like weddings. This is the 5th year for the winery and it is growing significantly. Ray is in the process of considering how he will enlarge his winemaking area.
We learned from our discussion with Ray that his passion for wine began while living in California and how that led him to learn about fine wine. From the beginnings of winemaking to winemaking today, Ray expressed his fascination with the chemistry of winemaking. He believes that the vitis vinifera grapes are naturally able to produce fine wine.
Ray noted that in learning and working with the wine industry that “people in the industry are happy to share with you. It’s an exciting industry to be in.” Last year Belle Mount Vineyards attended and poured at 21 festivals in Virginia.
This region of Virginia has a last spring frost date around the middle of April. The surrounding waters help to moderate the temperature. Currently the eight acres of vineyards consist of Chambourcin, Vidal, Reliance, Traminette and Norton.
We tasted several wines that Ray produces. Cabernet Franc offered an aroma and taste of dark berries and earthiness. The finish was crisp and fruity. Norton had perfume nuances with some grapy and earthiness aroma and taste. The finish was crisp. Workbook Red, a Chambourcin wine, offered black cherry nuances. The taste was sweet with black cherry.
Chesapeake Light was a blend of Traminette and some Reliance. With a floral aroma, the taste was smooth with rose petals. The finish was at first sweet but then dried. Sweet Breeze, a blend of Vidal and Traminette had a golden color. The aroma was floral with rose nuances. The taste was of roses. The finish was crisp and sweet, ending dry.
If you are on your way to Williamsburg or visiting historic sites in Virginia’s Northern Neck, enjoy a quiet drive in the countryside to Belle Mount Vineyards. Relax with a glass of wine overlooking vineyards and the Menokin Bay section of Cat Point Creek. If you are interested in camping, or have an RV this is a perfect site for you. There are five fully equipped cottages for rent as well as waterfront camping areas for tents.
Belle Mount Vineyards
2570 Newland Road
GPS: N37° 59.933’ W76° 49.027’
Visit these Virginia wineries and wine tour groups that partner with Wine Trail Traveler.