Goochland County is a beautiful rural area just outside of Richmond. It is home to wineries, breweries and fun excursions like wild food forays, an annual sunflower maze and the Rassawek Vineyard festivals (events you have to see to believe!).
As always, we like to start our foodie adventures at farmers markets. Farmers markets are where we get the best recommendations for what to do next. When in Goochland, head straight to either Manakin Market or the Goochland Farmers Market. Both are run by RVAgriculture, a non-profit creating vibrant market venues for local farmers and artisans. We asked Lisa Dearden, Executive Director of RVAg, for her recommended excursions. We've included that list below.
Open Saturdays in 2022 from 9am - Noon, May through October
68 Broad Street Road, Manakin Sabot, VA 23103
Just outside of Short Pump, this outdoor seasonal farmers market runs from 9 to noon every Saturday for 26 weeks from May-Oct. This market provides you one-stop shopping for staples like local produce, eggs, meat, bread and coffee! They also offer all the specialty goods you love like baked treats, jams, chocolates, soaps, flowers, plants and fine artisan crafts.
Soak up the welcoming community vibe with live music, food trucks, and programs (COVID dependent) like children’s activities and Chef at the Market demos.
Goochland Farmers Market
Located in a park-like rural setting of lovely Goochland Courthouse on Tuesdays from 4-6:30, there are lots of reasons to linger at this market! Enjoy live music, food trucks, and friendly vendors and neighbors.
Food and Farm Excursions
Haashrooms - Group Wild Mushroom and Wild Food Forays
Haashrooms is a 65 acre mushroom farm in Goochland, Virginia offering Wild Mushroom Hunts. Learn to locate and identify wild mushrooms and wild edible plants with Steve Haas. Group hunts are conducted on Sundays beginning in April at HaaShrooms Mushroom Farm in Goochland County throughout the year and are open to the public. These hunts are extremely popular and fill quickly! Private hunts are also available.
Alvis Farms - Sunflower Festival & Maze
A working dairy farm growing kids, cows, crops and family memories for over 50 years! Visit their website for upcoming events and farm tours. Enjoy their Sunflower Festival and Sunflower Maze!
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
A majority woman-owned and operated, water-conscious, biologically friendly farm brewery and agritourism event venue carefully crafting beers and growing hops, barley, and other adjuncts. They operate on a beautiful working farm in the heart of Virginia.
Courthouse Creek Cidery
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the farm tasting through their delicious, natural cider paired with small, prepared bites. Guests may take a seat inside the tasting room, out on the covered deck, or amongst the trees in the orchard! Live music and other events. The farm is pet and family-friendly. Come meet Noodles the Donkey, the sheep, chickens, and ducks!
Founded in 1978, Grayhaven is one of the oldest commercial vineyards in Virginia and holds the 22nd Farm Winery License issued in a state that now boasts over 300 wineries. The winery is known for its innovative estate wines, imported South African wines, unique cultural events, friendly staff and the ever-popular offerings from its Artisan Farm Kitchen.
Discover a hidden treasure in Central Virginia! Rassawek is a property steeped in local lore where old buildings and materials from the region—otherwise slated for demolition—are salvaged from the wrecking ball and are relocated, repurposed and rebuilt. Enjoy seasonal events – Spring Jubilee, Autumn Festival, Wine & Wreath, outdoor concerts and special dinners. Spend the night in a restored train car!
At Byrd Cellars they pay careful attention to ensure that both their products and their practices help to create a sustainable environment for generations to come. The winery produces a robust selection of 17 fine wines that are affordably priced. Three generations of the family work in the vineyards and winery.
Elk Island Winery
Elk Island Winery is named for the 1300 acre island in the James River, originally part of Thomas Jefferson’s Elk Hill farm. A visit to the winery reflects the fact that agriculture is a way of life and wine is about emotion, dreams and capturing those feelings inside a glass. All of their grapes are from Virginia and 90% of them are grown in Goochland.
Hardywood Creek Craft Brewery
This isn’t a farm brewery but they do source their ingredients from local farms!
Hardywood beer is inspired by Virginia’s diverse climate, agriculture, and community. They take great pride in supporting local growers, brewing with more Virginia ingredients than any other brewery and highlighting the eclectic variety of flavors that only Virginia-grown products can provide. Through their Virginia Roots Series and other small-batch beers, they have brewed with Virginia-sourced hops, malted barley, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, pumpkins, peaches, honey, ginger, locally roasted coffee beans, herbs, and spices.
Bird hunting at Orapax is a return to a simpler time—a time with clean air, rolling hills and tranquil ponds. The land, open to the public, stretches over 700 acres of storybook-style rural beauty just 30 minutes outside of Richmond, VA. Imagine a hunt with gorgeous views, a peaceful setting, and a staff that ensures you don’t have to worry about anything besides your aim, all without the need of a membership.
(Photos courtesy of RVAgriculture)