PHOTOS: Glass House Winery

Glass House Winery is located minutes from Charlottesville and features a tropical conservatory, private lake and mountain views that set it apart from most wineries in Virginia.

10 photos
Sarah Pixley
"Unique" doesn't even begin describe Glass House Winery in Free Union, Virginia -- how could it, with a tropical conservatory, private lake and on-site confectionery?
Sarah Pixley
While the wine's important, it's hard not to be dazzled by all the extras you'll find at Glass House. Michelle Sanders said the inspiration for their tropical conservatory came from their time living off the coast of Honduras, which they did for three and a half years.
Sarah Pixley
"My husband was a huge plant lover," she said. "When we moved back to the States, he said he was going to build the coolest greenhouse you've even seen. We now grow papaya, mango and banana trees in our greenhouse. Customers love it."
Sarah Pixley
Another unique extension of the winery is the bed & breakfast, located within walking distance of the winery.
Sarah PIxley
It was named a Top 10 Vineyard Inn of 2014 by; the Caribbean aesthetic that flows through the B&B is a good indicator of why. The open, simple decor and outdoor pool make you feel like you're on a tropical island, or at least a tropical resort.
Sarah Pixley
The open layout of the Glass House B&B.
Sarah Pixley
Now, as for the wine: Glass House Winery offers four whites, a rose and seven reds. They produce about 3,000 cases per year. "The wines we make vary from year to year a little bit, as mother nature isn't so reliable, but we try to remain as consistent as we can," said Michelle Sanders.
Sarah Pixley
"We were surprised at all the helpful advice we received from fellow wine makers," Michelle Sanders said. "Our competitors wanted us to succeed and make good wine. They said, 'If you're going to be a winery, you're going to be a good one. Otherwise you'll make us all look bad.'
Sarah Pixley
The Glass House Winery is located at 5898 Free Union Road in Free Union, Virginia, about 2.5 hours from downtown D.C. Visitors are also encouraged to bring their own picnic and pets.
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The tasting room is open Thursdays from noon to 5:30 p.m.; Fridays from noon to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from noon to 5:30 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5:30 p.m. Wine tasting are $8 per person.
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