We experienced an atypical winter buried under snow and an unusually short spring, and are now in the middle of a sweltering summer. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being housebound, and am eager to get outside in spite of the temperatures. Fortunately, Loudoun has long been considered a summer escape for urban residents due to its shaded countryside and cooler temperatures along the Blue Ridge Mountains. So we’ve put together a list of some of our most elevated wineries – places with some altitude, cooler temperatures, refreshing summer wines, and light fare menus to help you get outside and find that elusive summer breeze.
Bluemont Vineyards You can’t use the words elevation and winery in the same sentence without also including Bluemont Vineyards. Nestled on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Bluemont’s tasting room deck is situated 951 feet above sea level, allowing you to rise above the heat and take in some of the most magnificent views of Loudoun’s countryside. In terms of lighter wines, Bluemont offers a Vidal Blanc (considered by many to be a perfect summer wine because of its slight sweetness); an off-dry Rosé blended from Tinta Cao, Nebbiolo, Albariño and Viognier; and their popular “The Peach,” a 50/50 blend of Vidal Blanc and peach wine. Bluemont is co-owned by their neighbors, Great Country Farms, and looking down onto the farm below with the peaches ripe in the orchards makes The Peach my favorite of Bluemont’s wines to sip on during this time of year.
Hillsborough Vineyards Located along Route 9 heading into the western part of Loudoun, Hillsborough Vineyards rises over the valley in a spectacularly elegant way. Their terrace is truly an oasis - beautifully landscaped with vine covered trellises, bubbling fountains, and luscious plants complimented by the view of the Loudoun Valley’s rolling hills. Sip on one of their chilled, crisp, and dry wines like Carnelian, a blend of Roussanne and Chardonnay, or their Serefina, a Rosé blended from Viognier and Tannat.
Willowcroft Farm Vineyard Gravel roads shaded by a canopy of trees take you up the side of Mt. Gilead to Willowcroft Farm Vineyards, Loudoun’s first winery. The property sits atop the Catoctin Ridge and the winery is housed in a historic, rustic red barn, just as it was 25 years ago. Their current wine offerings include several refreshing summer wines - a Cold Steel Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, Albariño, Riesling, and Traminette. There’s truly something for most everyone’s palate. Take your favorite and head outside to a picnic table looking out toward the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.
A glass of cold white wine, views of gorgeous countryside, and a change in altitude. I think I feel that breeze already. Cheers!