Nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac River, Loudoun County, Virginia just keeps getting better. This fantastic east coast culinary destination and premier wine region, known as DC’s Wine Country, is just 25 miles from Washington, DC. Loudoun Wine Country is home to more than 40 wineries, waiting along winding roads and amidst horse farms and historic estates. These boutique wineries have inviting tasting rooms in everything from rustic barns to architectural wonders. You can look forward to intimate tastings, informative tours, imaginative food pairings, and engaging conversation with award-winning winemakers. And now, there are new breweries and cideries to visit, too. So pick up your palate and head to DC’s Wine (and beer and cider) Country!
Tasteful new tasting rooms
This year, four established Loudoun wineries are adding new state-of-the art facilities.
This very popular family-owned winery is opening an expansive new facility designed to accommodate a variety of tasting experiences, with rooms ranging from spacious to small and intimate. The main tasting room, open to patrons and groups smaller than eight, gives a nod to the owner Paul Breaux’s Louisiana roots with an intriguing design reminiscent of New Orleans’ French Quarter. A tower room with panoramic views of the vineyards is available for VIP events, and larger groups can meet in the original facility, connected by a set of French doors.
Chrysalis Vineyards has expanded to include a new Ag District, spanning 400 acres to familiarize visitors with Loudoun’s rich agricultural scene. Working with Locksley Estate Farmstead Cheese Company, Chrysalis has added a cheese production facility and a futuristic-style tasting room where visitors can connect digitally with tastings and information about the wines. Guests can also purchase beef, eggs, and other products right from the farm. It opened this summer, and the first cheese from the farm will be available in 2016.
Stone Tower Winery
This fall, Stone Tower Winery’s new stateof- the art facility features a new tasting room, meeting space, and a beautifully designed terrace overlooking the estate vineyards toward Bull Run Mountains. The winery is also introducing a menu of highend premium experiences, including seated tastings in the Barrel Chai and wine and cheese pairings.
Greenhill Winery & Vineyards
Located just outside the historic town of Middleburg, Greenhill Winery & Vineyards is a unique boutique winery in the heart of Loudoun County. The winery offers a variety of tours and tastings in their tasting room and manor house, complete with outdoor seating, lounge seating, bocce ball, and a picnic area, all while enjoying the breathtaking Virginia Wine Country.
A new ale trail
Pardon the pun, but Loudoun County’s craft beer scene is really hopping, with twelve craft breweries already open and more on the way. These breweries feature small batch handcrafted beer from brew masters who are passionate about their craft. They can be found across the county, in historic downtown centers, as well as farms where brewers grow their own hops. Soon, Loudoun will also be home to the mid-Atlantic’s first commercial-scale hops processing facility in Lucketts. All of Loudoun’s breweries are part of the new LoCo Virginia Ale Trail, which leads you to all of the craft breweries and pubs serving unique brews and featuring local favorites.
A new old favorite: cider
The other new player in the Loudoun beverage scene is hard cider—fermented apple juice with no sugar added. Recently, Mt Defiance Cidery and Distillery opened in historic Middleburg. The cidery produces classic and craft ciders that range from traditional farmhouse blends of dry cider to innovative, new concoctions infused with ginger, honey, and blueberries. Mt Defiance joins Corcoran Vineyards, which recently launched a cider line. Corcoran’s Knot Head is a blend of seven different apple varieties, all locally grown. The blend is partially aged in Bourbon barrels to give a taste reminiscent of a whiskey sour.
Loudoun County cuisine embraces more than food—it’s about the entire dining experience. Loudoun Destination Restaurants are selected as a result of a juried process after meeting specific criteria.They are described in detail online.
For a complete list of Loudon destination restaurants and more information about Loudoun, VA, visit visitloudoun.org