A few Fridays ago, we decided to weather mother nature's consistent down pour and head out to Loudoun County to pay Willowcroft Vineyards a visit. Willowcroft Vineyards is located in Leesburg , VA and sits atop Mount Gilead , offering spectacular views of the Loudoun Valley and surrounding countryside. As a matter of fact, autumn along with her vivid and picturesque colors of red, orange, gold, and brown were just beginning to set in; I bet you she is a wonderful palette of fall colors right now.
Willowcroft’s winery is located in an aged, yet charming red horse barn. The dimly lit tasting room also shares the same rustic and enchanting allure. It is certainly the perfect place to sample some of Lew Parker’s single varietal and blended wines. Lew Parker, along with wife Amy Parker, owns and operates the winery and vineyard. Willowcroft wines are estate bottled and have long appealed to Northern Virginian wine lovers.
Indoor seating area
We were warmly greeted by Marketing Director, Kelly Peck, who would guide us through our wine tasting. At Willowcroft, guests taste 6 wines from the tasting sheet. There are usually between 10 to 12 wines listed on the tasting sheet and guests can select which wines they prefer tasting based on availability.
Dezel at tasting bar
Kelly made us feel very comfortable telling us all about the winery and current offerings. The following wines were to be poured: Chardonnay Reserve 2004, Vidal 2005, Riesling – Muscat Ottonel blend 2005, Traminette 2005, Fitzrada’s Reward (Cab Franc/Sauvignon, Merlot blend) 2003, Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 and for the sweet ending, the Claire Vidal Blanc 2005. All wines poured exhibited good varietal character, and we enjoyed Kelly’s descriptions of each wine and recommended food pairings.
Wines to note during our tasting were the Chardonnay Reserve 2004, which displayed nice tree fruit on the palate with toasted notes. Done in a fuller and oaky style, this wine would pair well with grilled chicken or fish and white cream sauce dishes. Following the Chardonnay, we enjoyed the Traminette 2005, a white wine hybrid grape produced from Gewurztraminer and Seyval Blanc. This wine displayed pleasant aromas and an abundant of fruit on the palate with mild sweetness. This wine would do quite well on its own or accompaniment to light hors d’oeuvres. Moving onto the reds, the 2003 Fitzrada’s Reward, named after a horse that once graced Willowcroft's grounds, is a light styled red blend. This wine can be served at room temperature or slightly chilled and displays berry fruit flavors on the palate, and much to Kelly’s recommendation, would pair nicely with a tasty New York style pizza. The next satisfying red selection was Willowcroft’s award winning Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, which is blended with 10% Petit Verdot and 13% Chambourcin. The Cabernet displayed a nice dark color with dark berry and cherry flavors on the palate. Supple tannins and a solid structure makes this wine the perfect match to red meat and hearty red sauce dishes.
Outdoor picnic area at Willowcroft
As with our first visit, we had an enjoyable time at Willowcroft Vineyards and also secured our final sticker to complete our Loudoun Wine Trail 2006 booklet. Kelly informed us of several upcoming special events hosted at the winery, so be sure to check out and bookmark their web site. Next Saturday, October 29th Willowcroft is hosting a Cabernet Franc tasting that sounds like a great opportunity to taste, have fun, and learn about the ancient Bordeaux grape variety that does quite well here in Virginia.
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards
In closing, I recommend readers pay a visit to the Parker’s wonderful farm winery and enjoy some of their fine wines for yourself. When you do visit please let them know you read about them on Virginia Vine Spot.