I have been to Barrel Oak twice now actually and I have had a delightful time on each visit. Barrel Oak Winery is in Delaplane, Virginia. The wine is okay and overpriced but that isn’t really why you go to a place like Barrel Oak. In the busy months, they are open until 9pm on the weekends. They are not trying to provide a premium winery experience. What they are trying to do is create an atmosphere that says “bring your kids, bring your pets, bring your grandma, bring anyone you know, grab a bottle or two or three and stay awhile.” It’s essentially a family and pet friendly bar.
Barrel Oak Winery is affectionately nicknamed BOW because the entire property including the Tasting Room is dog friendly. Which means if you are not a dog lover this isn’t the place for you. However, if you are lacking in the canine department (like I am), this is the perfect place to do some doggy loving on other people’s pets. People are much more friendly and open to letting you play with their pup when they’ve had a few glasses of wine.
The Tasting Room is HUGE with multiple bars inside and outside but you can be sure the place will be PACKED in good weather and in bad. The staff members are marvelous and fun. I find it interesting they employ pourers who are under 21. Their job is more about crowd control than wine education. Their tastings include wines from 2 out of 4 categories so it’s a pricey endeavor if you want to try them all.
I highly recommend just grabbing a bottle of the Bow House White or Red (depending on your preference) and sitting outside. It can be quite peaceful, the cars rushing past on the highway kind of sound like ocean waves if you don’t listen too closely. If you’re lucky, like we were, you can also watch the rich people of northern Virginia get their cars stuck in the mud while their children play dangerously close to the road. It’s entertaining to say the least, in that you can’t look away. Here is my slightly sexist snapchat of good Samaritans pushing said cars out of mud:
You don’t get to keep the glasses from your tasting but that didn’t stop my mom from collecting a case or two of them. Considering their logo is so adorable ( it’s a copper silhouette of a dog looking up at a tree), can you really blame her?