As I slowly made my way along Hamilton Station Road in Western Loudoun, I kept my eyes peeled for the sign indicating I’ve arrived at The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards. The gravel driveway slopes up to a small parking lot with several buildings in view. Although the exterior is unassuming, a newly lain path beckoned me back to an old barn and it quickly became apparent to me that this is indeed where the tasting room is housed.
Upon entering the barn, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor as I stood in awe of the 100 year old restored space that now houses the 33rd winery/tasting room to open in DC’s Wine Country. Friends and co-owners Andrew & Maryann Fialdini and Craig & Kim Garten put a lot of “sweat equity” into the restoration of the barn and property and they’re off to a good start. Their efforts have paid off in the form of an elegant yet rustic tasting room with ample seating and space to handle the crowds that are sure to be headed their way. I took some time to explore the space, which the owners were happy to show off. The tables throughout the main tasting room are all made from wood that was removed from the barn during restoration. The old milking parlor below the tasting room is now a cool reprieve from summer's heat and opens out onto the patio.
Once I explored the space, I headed back to the tasting room bar to continue experiencing the pleasant surprises that The Barns keeps delivering. The Fialdinis and Gartens have retained award-winning Virginia winemaker Michael Shaps to produce their wines so there’s been no learning curve in the winemaking department. Petit Verdot and Viognier were planted on the Hamilton property in May. Their current 2011 vintage was produced from fruit sourced around Virginia and includes a Chardonnay, Viognier, Rosé, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and a Meritage. A thousand cases were produced for 2011 and the owners hope to see that number double for the 2012 vintage.
An attractive tasting room, wines from an established winemaker, and four friends that are passionate and eager to see their dream become a reality. The Barns at Hamilton Station has all the components in place to earn a spot on your next tour of DC’s Wine Country!