On Saturday we took some friends out to Loudoun County for a day of fun and wine tasting. This would be our friends' initial visit to Loudoun wineries, and the weather couldn't have been better for a day of wine hopping. We also took the opportunity to collect stickers from two wineries for our 2006 Loudoun Wine Trail book as well our Passport to Virginia Wineries 2006 book; our goal is to get as many stickers as we can this year, which means visiting many more wineries.
Our first stop landed us at Village Winery in Waterford. Kent Marrs, the owner and winemaker, greeted us with a warm hello and provided us a brief history of the winery. This is Loudoun’s newest winery, having opened last fall. We tasted their Merlot, Merlot/Cab blend, Cabernet Franc, Elderberry, and Apple wine all from their 2004 vintage. The Elderberry was an interesting wine, a North American fruit, producing rich and fruity, full bodied red wine. Kent is very optimistic about their 2005 vintage, and we look forward to coming back with a picnic basket and trying it. Everyone had a good time here, and Kent was very informative and friendly.
Our second stop took us to Waterford Winery , located in Waterford, which is not too far from Village Winery. We visited Waterford last year, and I really enjoyed their Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc. We tasted their Viognier, Barrel Select Chardonnay, Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, and their newly released 2005 Seyval Blanc. The Seyval Blanc was refreshing and sweet, but not overly sweet (4% residual sugar), with bright citrus flavors. This wine would serve its purpose on a picnic or as a nice patio sipper. Additionally, we were treated to a preview of their unreleased Malbec. This will be a new addition to their reds, and was delicious, with dark fruit flavors and ripe tannins. Just as we were finishing our tasting, a Reston bus showed up with about 10 people, I left with a bottle of Seyval and Cab Franc and let the new comers assume their tasting positions. We were now two stickers closer to fulfilling our goal.
It was getting close to lunchtime and we had packed a picnic basket with smoked turkey sandwiches, various cheeses, crackers, tapenade, fig spread, and fresh fruit. We, nay me, decided on Hillsborough Vineyards for lunch, as I knew our friends would love the ambience there. We purchased a bottle of their 2004 Opal, a refreshing Viognier and Chardonnay blend, slightly oaked to enjoy there. The weather was nice and we enjoyed our lunch, wine, friendly conversation and beautiful Loudoun Valley views.
It was nearing time to return to reality (home), but no one felt like leaving just yet. One more stop ! We decided to stop by Windham Winery since it wasn't too late and it was on our way home. After our friends completed their tasting, they made the suggestion that we go sit by the pond and all enjoy a bottle of Hope's Raspberry Merlot. An hour later we were sipping and talking while out by the pond and the weather was still as nice as it was when we began this sojourn through Loudoun wine country.
Below is a picture of Niki and our friends at Windham; I think they will be visiting more Virginia wineries.
Outdoors @ Windham