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Explore DC’s Wine Country

April 24, 2015 Destination North America No Comments Print Print Email Email


Nineteen eighty-four marks the birth of DC’s Wine Country®. Lew Parker of Willowcroft Farm Vineyards established the original Loudoun winery, planting the first grapes in 1981 on the slopes of his farm that, in the 1800s, were successfully planted with orchards.


Loudoun’s fertile soil and temperate climate proved fruitful for other winemakers who followed. Today, Loudoun features 40 award-winning wineries and tasting rooms, the most of any county in Virginia, along with an organic distillery, Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, and ten craft breweries. Located just 25 miles outside our nation’s capital, Loudoun is known as DC’s Wine Country®.

In Loudoun, visitors can explore boutique wineries sprinkled throughout the countryside; learn about winemaking from area vintners; talk with vineyard owners about the history of the land and its structures and experience Virginia varietals, surprising blends, and dessert wines. Wine tasting in Loudoun is designed to be a welcoming and relaxing experience. During tastings, visitors are educated about the wines they sip and are encouraged to take their own personal notes; the Loudoun winemaking community believes that wine tasting is as personal as winemaking.

Loudoun’s wineries are grouped into six driving “clusters.” The ride to each is an experience in itself, along winding roads and up mountains, past horse farms and historic estates, and beside miles of stacked stone fences. Loudoun offers a variety of scenic wine tours – by bicycle, limousine, bus or sedan charter. Each cluster also features unique culinary experiences, including Loudoun’s own fresh destination restaurants. Visitors can enhance their trip by spending the night at an area inn, bed and breakfast, or resort, and splitting winery visits over two or more days.

Loudoun Heights Cluster

868 Estate Vineyards

Breaux Vineyards

Cardamon Family

Doukénie Winery

Hillsborough Vineyards

Maggie Malick Wine Caves

Notaviva Vineyards

Two Twisted Posts Winery

Waterford Cluster

8 Chains North

Catoctin Creek Winery

Corcoran Vineyards

Crushed Cellars

Hiddencroft Vineyards

Loudoun Valley Vineyards

Sunset Hills Vineyard

Village Winery

Potomac Cluster

Carroll Vineyards

Fabbioli Cellars

Hidden Brook Winery

Lost Creek Vineyard &

Tarara Winery

Creek’s Edge Winery


Mosby Cluster

Boxwood Estate Winery

Cana Vineyards & Winery
of Middleburg

Chrysalis Vineyards

Greenhill Winery &

Leaves of Grass Vineyards

Quattro Goomba’s Winery

Harmony Cluster

The Barns at Hamilton
Station Vineyards

Casanel Vineyards

Dry Mill Vineyard &

Hunter’s Run Wine Barn

StoneTower Winery

Willowcroft Farm

Zephaniah Farm Vineyard

Snickers Gap Cluster

Bluemont Vineyards

Bogati Bodega & Vineyard

North Gate Vineyards

Otium Cellars

Popular Loudoun Varieties

  • Chardonnay: A medium- to full-bodied dry white wine with fruit characters of citrus, apples, pear, or tropical. When barrel aged, characters of vanilla, butterscotch, and toasted oak can come out.
  • 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 medium- to full-bodied tannic, dry wine with complex flavors that emerge 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 it is surprisingly light in the palate. This is the red wine for white wine drinkers.
  • 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 plum.
  • Norton: A native Virginia grape that is dark in color and its fruity flavors may include plum and tart cherries.
  • Viognier: Condrieu in the NorthernRhoneValley is the home of the Viognier grape. Neglected there until recently, Viognier has found a home in the Old Dominion, Loudoun especially. The county’s soils, climate, sunlight, and growing season create excellent conditions for this grape. Viognier comes as a welcome surprise to many Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon drinkers.
  • Blends: The art of the winemaker is often shown in a blend of different grapes just as a chef would use different spices.

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