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Days of wine and tulips at DuCard Vineyards

What’s the best way to sip wine at DuCard Vineyards during April? With tulips, says owner Scott Elliff.

New this spring at the Madison County winery is a wide planting of Dutch tulips just in front of a view of Shenandoah National Park, offering visitors a backdrop for taking photos, picking bouquets or simply sipping wine and relaxing. With between 10,000 and 20,000 bulbs in play, the color combinations change every day.

“When it first came up, it was just the yellow ones,” Elliff told The Daily Progress. “Now it’s interspersed with orange all over the place and some red and white.”

Elliff said the idea grew from a conversation with a friend who hails from Holland. Naturally, the conversation turned to the world-renowned Dutch tulip and what they could add to the landscape.

“We researched it,” Elliff said. “We imported [the bulbs] from one of the big suppliers there and planted them last fall.”

Picking some blooms to take home is winery-approved, and children can pick bouquets while parents sip wine.

“Not the other way around,” Elliff said with a chuckle.

Elliff said the tulips’ color show should last for about two weeks, and there are a variety of activities and musical performances for visitors to catch while at DuCard.

Grillin’ & Chillin’ will perform from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and Music in the Mountains with the Bennie Dodd Band follows from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, the Easter Bunny will be on hand for family-friendly festivities that will include live music by Nicholas Darden and a 1 p.m. Easter egg hunt.

Reservations are recommended.

The next weekend, there still should be color for Friday Night Out with the Davis Bradley Duo from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 14, Music in the Mountains with Ron Gentry from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 15, the Chocolate & Wine Pairing at 2 p.m. on April 16 with Lindt master chocolatier Ann Czaja and the Irish flair of Music in the Mountains with An Lar from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 16.

The Chocolate & Wine Pairing event is $69 per person, and reservations are required.

“It’s a lot like wine: art and science,” Elliff said of the chocolate-crafting process. “And a lot can go wrong.”

A calendar of events is available at


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