Loudoun Popular Varietals

Taste the Variety

You’re likely familiar with several popular varieties of grapes and wine. And when you visit Loudoun County’s wineries and vineyards in Northern Virginia, you’re sure to find them all. From sparkling to port, crisp whites to big reds, classic Bordeaux varietals to lesser known native grapes like Norton, Loudoun’s wineries offer a wine for most every palate. 

Some of our popular varieties include the following:

Chardonnay: A medium- to full-bodied dry white wine with fruit characters of citrus, apples, pear, or tropical fruits. When barrel-aged, characters of vanilla, butterscotch, and toasted oak are present.

Cabernet Franc: A medium-bodied red wine known for its spiciness and herbal characters. Flavors can include black pepper, cinnamon, currants, mint, and leather.

Cabernet Sauvignon: A tannic, medium- to full- bodied, tannic, dry red wine with complex flavors that present as currants, green olives, herbs, and bell peppers – with a hint of mint and leather.

Chambourcin: This French-American hybrid grape can give its wine a dark color but is surprisingly light tasting. In fact, this wine makes many white-wine drinkers converts to red.

Merlot: A medium- to full-bodied dry wine with strong flavors in the front and a soft finish. Flavors can include black cherries, anise, blueberry and, and plum.

Norton: A native Virginia grape that is dark in color. Its fruity flavors may include plum and tart cherries.

Viognier: Condrieu, in the Northern Rhone Valley, is the home of the Viognier grape. Neglected there until recently, Viognier has found a happy home in the Old Dominion – especially Loudoun County.

Blends: The true art of winemaking often is best tasted in the winemaker’s blends. As you’re tasting in Loudoun, ask about the grapes used when making these wines.