To me, there is no better way to spend an afternoon than relaxing on the patio of a Loudoun winery with a glass in hand while catching up with friends. The breathtaking views of the rolling countryside offer the perfect backdrop as we talk about the milestones in their  lives, what’s happening at work and reminisce about the past.

Because we enjoy eating as much as drinking our Virginia vino, food is a must-have addition to any of our afternoons away. In Loudoun, while many wineries offer cheese and light snacks, several also offer full lunch options, partnering with local restaurants or operating a kitchen on site.

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Winery 32

At Winery 32, Michael Moosher is not only one of the owners but also the chef, preparing an ever-changing menu for the tasting room on weekends. The owner of a catering business, Michael creates a menu that satisfies carnivores, vegetarians and gluten free visitors alike. Menus are posted on the winery’s website on Thursday and feature items like pulled pork and vegetarian quesadillas.

Support two Loudoun businesses at Creek’s Edge Winery, featuring menu items from nearby Market Table Bistro. One of Loudoun’s Destination Restaurants, Market Table Bistro creates fresh, gourmet bites using ingredients from local growers. Enjoy on the deck overlooking the beautiful farmland and vineyards or by the fireplace inside if it’s a cooler summer night.

JG Hillsborough Vineyards group on patio

Hillsborough Vineyards

Known for having some of the best sweeping views of the countryside, Hillsborough Vineyards offers made-to-order dishes on the weekends. Based on the owners’ Turkish heritage, the menu is Mediterranean and French inspired and designed to complement the wines. Some highlights include the stuffed grape leaves or the Turkish cigars, which are phyllo pastries stuffed with a delicious herbed feta cheese.

If you are craving Italian, look no further than Quattro Goomba, which has an onsite pizza shop.  The Sicilian-style pizza features handmade dough that is light and airy, and finishes with a crisp crust.  Served by the slice, the pizza is topped with homemade fresh crushed tomato sauce and a blend of mozzarella, provolone and romano cheeses.

Grandale Restaurant at 868 Estate Vineyards

Grandale Restaurant at 868 Estate Vineyards

Loudoun also features a winery that has a restaurant on site! Look for the rustic wagon outside Grandale Restaurant, which is located adjacent to 868 Estate Vineyards. The restaurant offers elegant country dining with food fresh from the onsite farm.  Sit on the back patio for a bite then walk over to 868’s tasting room for some Virginia vino, or enjoy a choice of Loudoun wines with your meal.

No dining experience is complete without dessert-at least in my mind- so before heading home, stop at one of the wineries that feature sweet treats like 8 Chains North. Do a chocolate and wine pairing with truffles from local chocolatier Abby Rose Confections.

These are just some ideas to get you started on planning a winery lunch date with friends. For more, visit our website. Don’t forget to share photos of your adventures and tag @VisitLoudoun and  #LoCoVa!