Z-Oneology: Getting Away with The Getaway Driver

Welcoming barnside mural at the Winery at Bull Run (Photo by Kelly MacConomy)

Plan Your Escape

By Kelly MacConomy

Ben Hur had his chariot. Cinderella had her pumpkin. Wells Fargo had its stagecoach. Bonnie and Clyde stole their 1934 Ford Deluxe. Now Alexandrians have their Getaway Driver.

Want to experience a designated-driver-free tour of the nearby Virginia wine country? Let The Getaway Driver take you there in style, comfort and safety. Drinking while not driving is absolutely the way to go in this 21st century livery of choice.

Adam Stampfel, The Getaway Driver. (Photo courtesy of Adam Stampfel)

Founded in 2018 by Adam Stampfel, a former Fairfax County police officer, The Getaway Driver pairs a love of fine wine, craft beer and spirits with the expansive historical attractions found throughout Alexandria and the Virginia countryside. With 300 wineries alone, a Virginia Z~Oenological excursion can be daunting. Plus, the Old Dominion offers over 200 breweries and 20 distilleries, with more popping up every year. So why not leave the planning, as well as the driving, to a professional?

Did you know that Virginia is the birthplace of American Spirits? The first whiskey distilled in the New World was produced here in 1620. A century later, George Washington ran a profitable business from the Grist Mill Distillery at Mount Vernon, selling his rye whisky in Alexandria.

Let The Getaway Driver be your carriage to Mount Vernon’s Distillery for tours and tastings or to attend the immensely popular spring and fall Mount Vernon Wine Festival and Sunset Tour. The General and Martha Washington are always on hand to greet guests to the Mansion House.

Lady Washington and the General imbibing on the Piazza at the Mount Vernon Spring Wine Festival and Sunset Tour. (Photo Kelly MacConomy)

History abounds in Port City. Why not book The Getaway Driver to chauffeur you and your companions to the Lee Fendall House annual Bourbon Tasting fundraiser, then off to after-speakeasy soirée ports of call?

The Winery at Bull Run is an ideal stop on The Getaway Driver wine trail, the perfect combination of historical site and agritourism. The winery is situated adjacent to Manassas National Battlefield Park on the rise where voyeurs from Washington, D.C. travelled with picnic fare and the assorted finery of civilized society to view light entertainment that was supposed to be a skirmish, but became a savage battle. Hardly appropriate as theatre, the Battle of Bull Run saw almost five thousand casualties.

Ryan, a Getaway Guest at The Winery at Bull Run. (Photo courtesy of Getaway Driver, LLC)

Digging and maintaining the vines and winery grounds still turns up evidence of both the macabre picnicking and the bloody Blue and Gray conflict, relics that are on display in the winery’s main tasting room. Reverence for the sacred ground, preserved as part battlefield, part conservation land and part working vineyard-winery, makes The Winery at Bull Run an inviting destination for The Getaway Driver.

The Vint Hill Craft Winery and Old Busthead Brewing Company, just off Route 66 West in Vint Hill, are situated on the grounds of the Cold War Museum. During World War II, the Vint Hill site was used to monitor the Axis Powers. US soldiers and civilians fluent in foreign languages were engaged in surveillance and decoding intercepted enemy messages, a covert activity that continued into the Cold War Years.

Vint Hill Craft Winery At the Cold War Museum. (Courtesy Photo)

Other imbibing destinations along the well-travelled spirit trails include Loudoun Brewing Company, Wag and Brew, Adventure Brewing Co. and Great Country Farms across from scenic, panoramic Bluemont Vineyards, with more to come soon.

But there is much to choose from in this part of our state. Daily tours are available departing from Old Town and may be booked pre-planned or custom tailored, catering to individual interests and tastes. The motto at The Getaway Driver is: Try us! You’ll love us! Getting there is half the fun. The Getaway Driver website: thegetawaydriverlllc.com or call 703-380-6787.

Kelly MacConomy

Kelly MacConomy is the Arts Editor for The Zebra Press.

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