With about 40 wineries you may or may not know that Loudoun County is Wine Country, and we boast some of the highest rated wineries in the country. In just a short drive and you can stumble upon many of the great wineries around us. Whatever you are looking for, no matter your taste, there something for everyone. With a plethora of wineries in the 20-mile radius (give or take), it can get a little overwhelming. That is why our favorite go-to place for anything Loudoun is our friends over at Visit Loudoun who have made it easy to start or build on your wine tours!
Here are a couple of wineries to visit this fall!
The Baki family bought the property in 2001 with the hopes of creating a vineyard and winery with the help of their son, Kerem, who at the time was studying Enology in the Graduate program at Virginia Tech. The family began their dream by planting each vine by hand in 2003 and started serving their first wines out of tasting room that same year. Bora’s other son, Tolga, assisted in the business development and marketing of the vineyard while ‘Momma Baki,’ Zeynep, established the beautiful aesthetics you see today in the tasting room and gardens.
The vineyards at Willowcroft date back to the early part of the modern viticulture era of Virginia. They were planted at a time when advisors from the Virginia Extension Service still considered growing European varieties to be very risky business indeed. The first vines were planted in 1980, Those first vines died and were replanted the following year. The second planting survived. Many of those vines grow to this day, and you can see them in the home vineyard. This early planting was of Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Seyval. In those days, little was known about how to grow grapes in Virginia. It was all trial and error.
Today Willowcroft farms 12-1/2 acres containing 12 different varieties of vines in five different locations atop the Catoctin Ridge, an ideal location which has a long history of horticulture dating from the 1800s. With elevations from 600 to 750 feet, the vines have excellent protection from late spring frosts. This location also gives us warm summer days but cool nights, perfect conditions to grow outstanding fruit. All of our vineyards are dry farmed, no irrigation.
For nearly forty years, home for our family has centered on a large farm on Hogback Mountain, just south of Leesburg, VA. We’ve always been in love with this land: its green hillsides, pastoral beauty, and hidden treasures like the old stone walls in its forests. When a neighboring cattle farm went up for sale in 2005, we bought the land with the intention of preserving its agricultural beauty and creating a quiet haven where we would grow old, surrounded by our family and our favorite countryside. As we looked out toward the mountains and dreamed about the future, we couldn’t shake the feeling that these rolling hills were meant to become vineyards. That feeling led us to embark on many years of extensive research with top-notch viticulturists, soil specialists, and geologists, which established that the land held the potential for producing top quality grapes. Several vintages of great wines have proved our somewhat whimsical notion to be a reality; we have a fantastic site for growing premium grapes here in Loudoun County.
Driving through the picturesque landscaped Northern Virginia wine country would leave quite an impression on anyone. Visiting a cluster of boutique wineries, complete with their friendly winemakers and staff, the beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lush vineyards, and that sense of a simple, earthy lifestyle, is a feeling that made David Greenhill want to return again and again. Nearly a decade later, an irresistible opportunity presented itself; an exquisite property in the charming town of Middleburg, in the heart of the Northern Virginia landscape, a most serene and lovely place became available on the market. What’s more, the 128-acre property featuring Little River which runs along the south-east property line, a natural pond, and a historical stone house circa 1762, also included 11 acres of breathtaking vineyards. Passionate about the blossoming and “still pure” Virginia Wine Country, he fell in love with this property and acquired the estate in May 2013.
Mr. Greenhill attended the United States Air Force Academy, earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a masters in Philosophy and Theology from Yale University. An entrepreneur, he is a partner in a satellite communications company providing services to business aviation, military, and government aircraft worldwide. Originally from North Carolina, David Greenhill has called Virginia home for close to 20 years.
Farming runs deep in the Zurschmeide family, instilled in us by our patriarch, Bob Zurschmeide who grew up farming in Indiana and still says the money he saved to put himself through college was covered in peach fuzz. He is the inspiration that makes us unique among Virginia Wineries.
The family moved to Loudoun County in the early 1970s and started a small homestead farm in Lincoln, VA, and leased up to 400 acres across the county to grow sweet corn, mums, pumpkins and vegetables for the original family Farm Market, Fruit of the Vine, in Leesburg, VA.
Each winery is so unique in their own way and has so much to offer, so why not take a drive and find your way to one of these fantastic wineries, trust US you won’t regret it!
Visit Loudoun is the official destination marketing organization for Loudoun, Virginia: DC’s Wine Country and its seven incorporated towns.