Loudoun County: Virginia’s Emerging Wine Country
Loudoun County Virginia takes in a lot. History, horses and wine are among the significant attractions that can be found gracing this area just to the West of Washington DC. Wineries are expanding the visitor experience as they grow their presence.
June 16, 2013
It was my first trip here and I could tell it was different. As I left Dulles Airport I was headed for Leesburg in Loudoun County the drive was short but as I was on my way the differences were small but noticeable, the topography open and rolling unlike the Sierras where I live and the names and places had a historical ring, the Potomac River, Battlefield Parkway. Very historical indeed.
When I think about Loudoun County three things come to mind; its horse country, its civil war history an it's emerging wine region. Emerging is really in the eye of the beholder, emerging on compared to other regions with more vineyards and acres planted but already a key piece of the eastern regional tourism experience. In fact Visit Loudoun the areas tourism promotion organization uses the tagline "Washington D.C.'s wine country" and the area has indeed become the recipient of significant weekend visitation from the D.C. which seemingly has adopted Loudoun as its own.
One thing you realize when you get to Loudoun County is the age and history of different place. Many of the communities are hundreds of years old. The area is home to a number heritage areas and civil war battlefields. Loudoun also is at the heart of “The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area” a 175-mile corridor between Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. Then there is White's Ferry which is the last cable operated ferry on the east coast shuttling people and cars between Virginia and Maryland and has been in business since 1786. Imagine those that crossed in on horseback as you sit back and relax in your car.
As I mentioned Loudon County is an emerging wine destination with about 30 wineries and its old style small scale, easy access where you can meet the winemaker, and get to know them, it’s like many wine areas used to be, really friendly.
Loudouns most popular varietals include Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Norton, Chambourcin, and importantly, blends. A little something for everybody. “Visit Loudoun” tourism office is planning on launching an annual major wine and food event to celebrate the region.
Not knowing what to expect I really enjoyed my stay in Loudoun County, the history, the topography, and the food and wine it's really a nice package.