The Island Manor of Chincoteague

Chatham Vineyards – Virginia’s Only Eastern Shore Winery

October 18th, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Chatham Winery Wine and BrineChatham Vineyards, located in Machipongo, VA, is Virginia’s only eastern shore winery. Visit the vineyard’s historic, nearly 400 year-old farm for tastings, stunning water views, and offerings in its bottle shop.

While there’s more than enough to keep you happily entertained on Chincoteague, the Delmarva peninsula is home to a few other attractions. Should you find yourself feeling the urge to do some off-island exploring, we’ll be happy to give you some ideas.

One of the first that comes to mind is Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo, the only winery on Virginia’s eastern shore. Though the vineyard is an hour south of our Chincoteague inn, the drive is pleasant and well worth the effort.

Virginia’s Wine Story

Wine has been being produced in Virginia since the very first settlers landed here but it took until the late 1970s for an industry to develop. In fact, much of the wine world used to dismiss the Virginia viticulture as a waste of effort.

Luckily, an eclectic handful of stubborn, Virginia vintners refused to be dissuaded. As usual, the studied perseverance paid off. What started out as a mere handful of wineries in the 1970’s grew to nearly 50 by the mid-1990s. That number then proceeded to double in less than a decade.

Now Virginia is home to almost 300 wineries, many of them award winning. We’re proud to have one of our very own right here on the peninsula.

Visiting Chatham Vineyards

Chatham Winery grapes on the vineChatham Vineyards is located on the grounds of a historic farm at in Machipongo, VA.

The farmland, overlooking Church Creek, dates back to 1640. The property includes a Federal-period brick house built in 1818, as well as some historic outbuildings and barns. The house was built by Major Scarborough Pitt and named after William Pitt, who was the Earl of Chatham.

The winery, which opened in 1999, is operated Jon Wehner and his wife, Mills. Jon, a second-generation winegrower, learned the trade from his parents, who operated Great Falls Vineyard in Great Falls, VA for more than 30 years.

Chatham Vineyards has more than 20 acres of high-density, European-style vineyards. Grapes grown here include Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot.

The winery commands beautiful views overlooking the water, which pairs nicely with their wines. Stop in for a taste or two and peruse the offerings in their bottle shop.

Chatham Winery wine barrelsChatham Vineyards also hosts a number of special events throughout the year, such as their current Eastern Shore Wine & Brine offering.

Wine & Brine is your opportunity to enjoy wine paired with fresh Eastern Shore oysters. Choose from 5 local oyster varieties and enjoy a salty wine-paired treat. The winery has oyster knives and gloves for sale or you can bring your oysters and back to Island Manor House.

Visit the winery website for hours and more details. You can also visit the winery on Facebook.

Getting There

Chatham Vineyards is located at 9232 Chatham Road, Machipongo, VA 23405. While this is a little over an hour away from our Chincoteage bed and breakfast, it is a clear and easy route.

  • Take Chincoteague Road (Virginia State Route 175) off the island to US-13 S in Temperanceville, VA.
  • Take a left and head south on US-13 S for around 32 miles to Bayside Road.
  • Follow Bayside Road for about 9 miles to Chatham Road.

Enjoy a pleasant drive down the peninsula, take in the wine and views, have a picnic lunch, then it’s home again, jiggety jig, to your comfy digs at Island Manor House.

Let us know what it is you’d like to do during your Chincoteague getaway. We’ll be more than happy to do what we can to make it happen.

See you soon!