National Wine Day – as if we need an excuse - is Tuesday, May 25 and where better to celebrate it than in DC’s Wine Country®? With that in mind, we created a wine-focused weekend escape where you get to visit some of our finest vineyards and enjoy superb food and stunning summer scenery en route.
We’ll drink to that.
Start at historic Fleetwood Farm Winery south of Leesburg, set in lush countryside with a manor house dating back to 1745. Enjoy glasses of summery 2018 Viognier or 2018 Vidal Blanc blend in the Tasting Room, Grand Terrace or on expansive lawns overlooking the vineyards.
Make your way to downtown Leesburg for a late, wine forward lunch on buzzy King Street. The Wine Kitchen lives up to its billing with superb flights of European and Virginia wines alongside farm-to-table small plates while Echelon Wine Bar up the street, sleek restaurant of the nearby Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek, has an extensive list of international, U.S. and Lost Creek wines as well as a decadent menu with delights such as short rib barbacoa and pork belly with soy ginger and toasted sesame.
A few miles north of Leesburg off Route 15 is the scenic Bleu Frog Vineyard of cordon bleu chef Jen Kernan and her Navy Seal (frogman) husband Joe. The 2019 Rose with its delicate fruit flavors and soft textures is the perfect summer afternoon tipple but we also love the bold 2019 Bullfrog Meritage. The owners also serve cider and offer weekly rotating ‘specialty’ drinks such as frosè and sangria.
Take scenic Stumptown Road toward historic Waterford and the newly opened Carriage House Wineworks, winner of the Gold at the 2021 Governor’s Cup for its Petit Verdot. Enjoy superb Cab Franc, Chambourcin, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot and other varietals on the picnic-friendly grounds of the estate or in the tasting room that pays tribute to Waterford’s history.
Or, end the day in the Blue Ridge foothills on the lush grounds of 360-acre Doukenie Winery outside Hillsboro. Sit on the deck or on Adirondack chairs around the estate’s lake and enjoy perfectly balanced Bordeaux blends as the sun goes down. Magic.
Tucked away on aptly named Tranquility Road just outside Purcellville, Otium Cellars is a boutique winery specializing in complex Austrian varietals such as Grüner Veltliner as well as classic Chardonnay, Merlot and Malbec. Enjoy a tour of the scenic grounds and make sure to take away a bottle of the 2015 Blaufränkisch Reserve, its ripe black cherry notes the result of being aged for 18 months in Hungarian Oak.
Nothing says you’re in the country quite like a picnic, but you don’t have to drag a hamper, cooler box and soggy sandwiches around with you all day. Loudoun-based Purely Picnics and Picnic & Pearls cater bespoke pop-up picnics for clients, arranging everything from setting up tables, blankets, throw pillows and cutlery to preparing gourmet meals, drinks, desserts, charcuterie and cheese plates. Best of all they take it all down for you afterwards. While in Purcellville we suggest the grounds of Franklin Park as your setting, but both companies have partnerships with local wineries and can set up your feast next to a tasting room.
A slate of new wineries and tasting rooms are set to open this summer in Loudoun, among them Three Creeks Winery and Firefly Cellars in Hamilton. Just opened a few miles west is the stylish wood-paneled tasting room of Williams Gap Vineyard, part of a 280-acre farm outside Round Hill. Enjoy a glass of medium bodied, fruit forward 2019 Merlot aged in French Oak and spectacular views of vineyards and Blue Ridge foothills.
Drive west on Route 7 into the Blue Ridge and pull over at popular Hill High Marketplace between Round Hill and Bluemont. Adjacent to the art gallery and outpost of Mom’s Apple Pie, which has its own international wine shop is Bogati Bodega, stylish tasting room of the Shenandoah Valley vineyard owned by the Bogaty family. A “Classic Tasting” allows you to sample all the wines including the 2019 JB Rosé (a hit in summer) and the bold Bordeaux-style blend with the blue name, Fat Ass Red. You’ll like its lively palate and tannic finish.
End your tour in the late evening sunshine of More Better Restaurant and Beer Garden at the other end of the marketplace. The Summer Sangria cocktail is made with white wine, peach schnapps, triple sec, lime, grapefruit and orange juice and goes well with the Crab Cake Platter.
Looking for the perfect place to stay during your wine weekend getaway? Check out our accommodations here: visitloudoun.org/stay/