Generous Pour

Photos courtesy of Nicewonder Farm

Standout selections from Nicewonder’s new wine program.

If you’re in the market for a solid glass of wine and the ideal place for sipping, a trip to Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards in Bristol might just be the perfect prescription. 

The resort, nestled in the Blue Ridge among 450 pristine and picturesque acres, includes a luxury hotel, charming cedar yurts, an exceptional culinary program, and a hearty selection of their own wines.

Winemaker and vineyard manager Kevin Sutherland has been growing grapes in Virginia since 1998 and joined Nicewonder in 2019. He generously shared some of the best bottles to get now and in the coming months, which came from some of their most fruitful crops in the past few years. 

Nicewonder planted their vineyard and winery in 2013, with the first harvest coming in 2016. Since then, the vineyard has expanded from six acres to 13, which produced about 2,000 cases a year in the first few harvests. Production increased in 2022 and 2023—to 6,000 and 4,000 cases respectively. Nicewonder exclusively serves and sells their wines on the property. 

“People continually ask for the Petit Verdot since we sold out of our 2020 selection,” says Sutherland. “We plant a little over two acres of Petit Verdot and this 2022 crop will be the first to come off the vineyard since the 2020 crop. We’re looking forward to that.”

The red blends are also a crowd favorite, made from the Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc grape varietals. 

Nicewonder’s restaurant, Hickory, with celebrated Chef Travis Milton at the helm, is an unbeatable spot to enjoy the property’s wines. If you’re in the mood for a glass of white, Heaven’s Corner—a blend of 60 percent Chardonnay and 40 percent Cabernet—is perfect to pair with Chef Milton’s squash ravioli house pasta or his pan-seared scallops entrée.  

If you’re new to wines, Nicewonder has one of the most approachable and straightforward education programs around. You can book it at their tasting room, which is down the road a pace from their accommodations. The resort can organize van transportation if you think you might have more than you should—which you probably will.  

Some upcoming wines to remember to request in the future include The Virginian, a bold red blend; and The Temptation, a white blend.

“We’re excited. It’s very good harvest and ’23 is super good quality,” says Sutherland. “But that won’t be released until 2025—it’s delicious right now in the barrel.”

And that’s a vintage you can look forward to. 

This article originally appeared in the June 2024 issue. 

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