Some of the region’s best wineries are right in our backyard. Just 25 miles from DC is Loudoun County, Virginia–home to 27 award-winning wineries and tasting rooms, more than any county in Virginia. Since I couldn’t try all 27 wineries in a day without being harshly judged, I visited 3. The first being Corcoran Vineyards in Waterford. It’s the only winery/brewery in Loudoun County, with a cozy tasting room that’s a 1750 restored log cabin. There’s even a picnic area by a beautiful pond.
Monks BBQ serves Southern barbecue on-site every weekend and best of all, their barbecue sauces are made with Corcoran offerings, including Apple Wine, Slainte Stout and my favorite, Chipotle Raspberry Merlot. Mandatory must-try: 2010 USB Port ($25) Aged in whiskey barrels, it is dark, sweet with black cherries and chocolate.
In Purcellville, Hillsborough Vineyards‘ sunny tasting room with expansive patio and koi ponds is a relaxing retreat from which to enjoy views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They offer a Wine Club deal that’s a steal, with a commitment of only one wine a month. I have more trouble committing to a long-distance carrier. Mandatory must-try: 2010 Moonstone Late Harvest Viognier ($22) Full-bodied yet light, sweet, perfect for dessert or rich cheeses.
Also in Purcellville, Sunset Hills Vineyard is housed in a historic Amish barn that is enormous, lofty yet warm. A charming stone pavilion overlooks breathtaking views of mountains and pastoral, old-world style farm grounds. A wrap-around bar inside the restored barn provides plenty of elbow room for sipping wine. Mandatory must-try: The 2010 Sunset White ($22) Clean, creamy and luscious, it’s great with spicy foods like Thai and Indian.
Be warned. There’s a lot of wine to taste, so grab a designated driver and make a day trip out of it. Or better yet, find accommodations and stay the weekend.
Photo courtesy of Sunset Hills Vineyard.
Mary was born and raised in New York City where her family owned restaurants. Instead of eating dirt on the playground, she ate duck blood, beef tripe and pork belly. She cut her teeth at The Mandarin Oriental and The Ritz-Carlton hotels, working with Barbra Streisand, Vanessa Williams, Michael Stipe, LeVar Burton, Jane Krakowski and others. Mary founded Girl Meets Food in 2009 as a cover for her debilitating addiction to fried chicken and was named Washington Post’s “Favorite Local Foodie.” After 13 years in hospitality, she started freelance writing for USA Today, The Washington Post, Eater, Washington City Paper, and more. Today, she provides digital marketing for hospitality clients as a content creator who’s contently creating content.