The holidays have passed, the New Year has arrived, and if you haven’t already begun your resolutions, here’s an easy one for you. Visit a new winery and brewery! It’s a great way to get out and try something new in the New Year.  And Loudoun’s winery count is projected to reach 40 by the end of 2013. Every time I check Twitter, there’s a new brewery tweeting from Loudoun, ever increasing the number of breweries.  If you want to stay in the know, you better check out these new businesses now! Your calendar is about to get very full!

Here are the two newest places to experience DC’s Wine Country:

Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg

Scenes from Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg

If you’ve driven down Route 50 near Middleburg recently, it’s hard not to notice Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg. The fifth winery to open in the Mosby Cluster of DC’s Wine Country, Cana’s large red barn-like winery sits atop a hill overlooking the slopes of the Bull Run Mountains, near Chrysalis Vineyards. Proximity is not the only thing that Chrysalis and Cana have in common as Chrysalis’ winemaker Allan Kinne is the man behind the wines at Cana Vineyards as well. The Bell Family are the owners of Cana and have opened an impressive winery that makes the most of its scenic location. With a two-tiered deck featuring a raised gazebo, a patio facing the west (check out that winter sunset in the photo above), and windows from floor to ceiling facing the south and west, the views can’t be missed. The winery itself is as attractive as the scenery, featuring a grand mahogany staircase leading from the tasting bar into additional seating areas and private event space. Current wine offerings include Riesling, Viognier, Traminette, Rosé, Cabernet Franc, and Le Mariage, a Bordeaux style blend.

Mad Horse Brew Pub

Mad Horse Brew Pub

Loudoun’s northernmost town, Lovettsville was founded by German settlers and they’d be proud to see the first brewery opening in their town. Mad Horse Brew Pub draws inspiration from its surroundings, combining Loudoun’s horse country theme with some traditional German features. The horse theme is evident throughout the space, from the name, to the horseshoe taps, and in much of the décor. The brew pub offers five year-round signature brews with special appearances from seasonal brews and limited releases.   A pub style menu features Fish & Chips, Bratwurst, and those giant Bavarian pretzels (pictured above) inspired by the Beer Gardens of Munich.  When you add in Mad Horse’s ample seating and large flat screen TV, you have the makings of a perfect place to watch the football playoffs this season.