Eight years ago, when Mississippi transplant Nancy Deliso became co-owner of much-loved west Loudoun winery 868 Estate Vineyards and its restaurant Grandale, she noticed something about many of her female customers. “They loved wine and wanted to learn more, but they were hesitant about ordering anything other than Chardonnay or selecting what food to pair the wine with.”
So Deliso, who’s background is in marketing, and whose winery just won the prestigious 2020 Governor’s Cup for the best wine in Virginia, started The Vine, a themed social gathering at which up to 35 women meet at Grandale each month for a relaxing four-course dinner and pairing. “My goal was to provide women with a place to go out with girlfriends and enjoy great food and wine,” says Deliso. “We’ve now done 70 events and they’re as popular as ever.”
March is Women’s History Month, and 2020 is the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, so to celebrate you can join the women of The Vine at 868 Estate on Thursday, 26th March for glasses of elegant Burgundy and a four-course French dinner, the theme being Moulin Rouge.
But this is by no means the only female forward event in Loudoun this month.
On Sunday, March 1st (and every Saturday and Sunday for the rest of March), Morven Park hosts a Women’s History Month Tour (1pm-2pm) of the historic Davis mansion, focusing on the women’s suffrage movement and how Loudoun residents were impacted after women got the right to vote.
Saturday March 7th (8.30am-2pm), is the sixth annual Power Up Women's Conference for Women and Teens at the River Creek Club in Leesburg. Inspiring female keynote speakers will discuss everything from financial management and careers, to wellness and relationships, all to “ignite the power in you.”
On Saturday, March 14th, meanwhile the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center hold Women in Aviation and Space Family Day – a celebration of women’s contributions to space, aviation and STEM fields. In between stories about pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart, kids can test their skills in flight simulators or join a Girl Scout troop in a “build your own flyer” design challenge.
Of course, the best way to commemorate any occasion is with a good drink, so why not celebrate the suffragettes over a glass of whiskey, wine or beer from one of Loudoun’s female drink makers? Start with a classic Sazerac at Becky Harris’s Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville, before moving on to a summery rosé from award winning winemaker Corry Craighill at Sunset Hills. If beer’s your thing, raise a glass of Juicy Lucy pale ale at Solace Brewery in Dulles, where brewer Sasha Kingry holds court.
Happy Women’s History Month!