“I just want to drink wine and pet my dog”is my current motto, but I have to admit I stole it from the sign at Gauthier Vineyard in New Kent.My family recently celebrated my sister’s birthday on the outdoor terrace at the winery, with plenty of good wine and some excellent wood-fired pizza—all with appropriate social distancing of course! The nice folks even made the birthday girl a dessert pizza in lieu of a birthday cake!

This family-owned property is a working farm, a vineyard and winery, and an equestrian center that offers boarding, training, clinics and events. Located on Fair Winds Farm in historic New Kent County, the vineyard is about 35 miles from Richmond and about 15 miles from Williamsburg. In addition to pizza, roasted oysters and wings are often on the menu and your leashed pups are welcome to join you on the deck or stroll the scenic grounds. In the fall, grab a hot mulled wine and head for the fire pit to enjoy the foliage and the crisp cool air.

Try the Petit Verdot or Norton—the 2017 Estate Norton is their first estate-grown and estate- bottled wine—or if you like a slightly sweeter red, try the Sweet Beau, named for Gauthier Vineyard’s winery dog, Rochambeau. And for white wine lovers, you can’t go wrong with the Viognier—a signature wine throughout the state.

The winery is open from 4-8p.m. on Fridays and 11a.m.-6p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Photo credit: [Gauthier Vineyard Photo by Karen Diggs]