Virginia Wine Tour

Virginia Wine Tour

Labor Day weekend we continued the Williams family reunion at Brad’s aunt and uncle’s house in Ashburn, VA. During our time there they took us to visit a handful of vineyards in the Northern Virgina region.  I did a little research following our visit and learned that the region’s wineries are known for producing fine examples of every wine Virginia offers, including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Mandolin, Merlot, Norton, Petit Verdot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval, Vidal Blanc, Traminette and Zinfandel as well as many fruit wines.  I had no idea!

Loudoun Valley Vineyards

Our first stop was the Loudoun Valley Vineyards in Waterford, VA.  As we drove in we were a bit confused because, as you can see above, the grape vines looked as though they were dying.  While sampling their wines we learned that the vineyard had recently been purchased by Winemaker Bree Ann Moore and that the previous owner had stopped caring for the plants which explained the reason they looked so sickly.  Some of these vines were over 70 years old and they will all need to be pulled up and fresh vines planted.

Seperating the Grapes

Due to the sickly vines, the vineyard purchases grapes from the surrounding area to make their wines. We happened to stop in at a great time because we got to see a little bit of the wine-making process.  Fresh grapes had just came in and they were loading them into a machine that separates the stems from the grapes.

Regardless of where the grapes were coming from, we enjoyed the white wines Loudoun Valley Vineyards had to offer.  We came home with a bottle of 2008 Pinto Grigio and 2008 Viognier.

Breaux Vineyards

Our next stop is a Williams’ family favorite, Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, VA.  The Breaux wines have won national and international awards including “Best of Class” at the L.A. County Fair Wine Competitionfor our 2001 Merlot. This place was awesome! There are over 85 acres of vineyard on the 404 acre estate.  Every wine we tasted was delicious (Brad and I bought four bottles) and the views were absolutely amazing!  Brad’s aunt and uncle know Breaux very well and have attended special wine and food pairings and many other events the vineyard holds.  My favorite part was being able to walk right up to and photograph the beautiful grapes growing on the property. I wonder how difficult it is to grow your own grapes?

Grapevines at Breaux Vineyards

The last stop on our tour was Hillsborough Vineyards in Purcellville, VA.  This was the most scenic and beautiful of the vineyards we went to.  From the moment you step out of the car you see endless mountains and acres of grapevines.  They also had a beautiful patio area where you could have a picnic right next to the grapevines and a koi pond.

Hillsborough Vineyards

While Hillsborough was absolutely beautiful we weren’t blown away by the wine or the service.  We all felt as though we were being rushed through the tasting and didn’t really have a chance to decide on which wines we liked.

Overall, the all vineyards we visited were wonderful and each had its own special features.  When you hear about popular wines that are produced in the US, you generally only hear about Napa Valley and Sonoma, California, but Virginia definitely has something to offer.  We cannot wait to go back and try some more!

More pictures from our trip to Virgina are available here.

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