In honor of Virginia Wine Month, we’re taking a look at some of the first wineries to open in Loudoun and seeing where they are today.
Founded in 1984, Willowcroft Farm Vineyards was the first winery to open in Loudoun and one of the few wineries open in Virginia at the time. Owner and winemaker Lew Parker is considered the pioneer of Loudoun winemaking and today is still viewed as an expert and somewhat of a patriarch to a now very large winemaking family. Willowcroft boasts an extensive library of wines and some unique varietals to the area including Albariño, Riesling, and a Riesling-Muscat-Ottonel. Willowcroft also hosts many popular events throughout the year that focus on various wine regions like Spain or Italy, wine and food pairings like their fondue and wine events, and educational events such as their annual home winemaking seminar.
The second winery to open in Loudoun, Loudoun Valley Vineyards (1986) was purchased in 2008 by winemaker Bree Ann Moore and her husband Cameron who have been working hard to make the place their own. The couple has plans to replant the vineyard and hope to break ground on a new tasting room this spring. On weekends, Loudoun Valley Vineyards is also home to a restaurant called Farmer’s Table, featuring locally sourced foods to pair with Loudoun Valley’s wines. Proud parents of two young children, The Moores have also begun making the winery more family friendly with the creation of their kids club and monthly (late March-October) family friendly events that benefit a charity selected by their son.
As you enter Middleburg from the east, it’s hard not to notice Swedenburg Estate Vineyard’s (1987) property with its sweeping south-facing view of the Piedmont landscape stretching out to meet Bull Run Mountain. Swedenburg is currently running under the guidance of Curtis Vincent, general manager and winemaker, who recently updated the tasting room to include a larger tasting bar. Being a former chef, Curtis also brings a sense of mis en place and efficiency to the tasting room operations. All of the current vintages except for one have been made by Curtis and include an Alsatian style Riesling, Seyval, and a Pinot Noir.