Spring is almost here, leaves are turning green and vines are starting to bud. Luckily, you don’t have to wait six months for the new fruit to ripen before sampling some of the good stuff. In celebration of warmer weather (and the 40th Anniversary of the Loudoun wine industry), here we suggest five great wine experiences to enjoy this spring.




We all love a sun-filled tasting room, but a lot of winemaking is about oak barrels and cool, dark subterranean cellars. Mark your calendars for the third Annual Loudoun Barrel Tasting experience (Saturday, March 16), where visitors can join winemakers for intimate tours of the cellars of some of Loudoun’s leading wineries and enjoy tastings of yet-to-be released vintages straight from the barrel. Thirteen wineries will take part this year from Carriage House Wineworks in Waterford down to Greenhill Vineyards in Middleburg and Two Twisted Posts out west. Highlights are set to include samples of the 2022 Tannat/Bordeaux varieties at Fabbioli Cellars; sneak sips of Doukenie’s 2023 Barrel Select Chardonnay, and tastings from French Oak barrels of several vintages at The Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek hosted by winemaker-owner Todd Henkle. Register for tickets here.



Painting and Petit Manseng, anyone? On April 6, Purcellville’s Kalero Vineyard partners with award-winning local artist Hope Hanes to teach a class on painting with pastels. In the spirit of the season, the goal will be to paint a spring scene with a blooming peach tree in soft pastel. Hanes will teach basic pastel techniques to help you bring the countryside scene to life, while the ticket comes with a glass of wine to help get the creative juices flowing. A word to the wise: wear casual clothes since making art (while drinking wine) can be messy.



Wine doesn’t only pair well with good food; it goes down well with a great book. Literary fans should make their way to Firefly Cellars in Paeonian Springs on April 23 for an afternoon of wine and the written word. Hosted in the cozy Cabin building, staff from Leesburg’s Birch Tree Books will highlight six book, paired with six Firefly wines. A ticket entitles you to the book-and-wine pairing, appetizers and a $10 credit toward a book purchase. (Birch Tree will also bring other books to buy). Splurge on a bottle of Firefly’s popular Bordeaux blend Twilight. After all, there’s nothing like a good red to go with a good read.



Nothing says spring quite like a glass of rosé. On April 27, make your way to Cana Vineyards & Winery, Middleburg for the eighth annual Budbreak Festival, a celebration of spring, flowers, wine and budding vines. There will be live music, food trucks and a local craft market but the highlight of the day is the unveiling by winemaker Melanie Natoli of her latest three pink vintages: 2022 Rosé of Merlot, 2022 Rosé of Cabernet Franc and 2022 Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon. On top of self-guided tastings, Natoli will curate a comparative “Rosé Around the World” tasting where you can learn how the best rosé wine is made while sampling a special selection of international varieties. Cana’s event will be just one of several around the county for Taste of Rosé weekend. Stay tuned for additional details on other participating wineries.



Aside from award-winning wines, 868 Estate Vineyards in far western Loudoun is widely renowned for its music events. Visit the acclaimed winery on Sunday, May 26 for the Fourth Annual NoVA MusicFest at 868 – seven hours of live music from local, regional, and international musicians to raise money for Cancer Can Rock. Featured artists include Laura Cashman, The Honey Larks, One Hot Mess and the Jason Masi Band. On top of 868 Estate wines there will be BBQ from Big Kyle BBQ, local craft beer from Lost Rhino and multiple arts and craft vendors all helping raise money for a good cause. Pre-sale tickets cost $25; day of tickets cost $30.