“Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures. ”
Michael Broadbent

Are you wishing you could get out and share a glass of wine with friends and family after being home for so long? Here in Northern Virginia, everything is slowly coming back to life on a Phase-1 schedule as we continue to follow safety guidelines. If you’re not a local, you may not be aware that less than an hour from Washington, DC, more than three dozen award-winning wineries in Loudoun County have incredible views of the Blue Ridge mountains. And the good news is that they are now reopening!

One of the nicest ways to unwind on the weekend is to take the scenic drive west from the town of Leesburg out to see the wineries. The winding roads are dotted with fruit stands and historic small towns. The vineyards offer locally grown and produced wines in a peaceful outdoor setting. This is the first of two posts giving you the latest updates on what you need to know about the COVID-19 policies regarding face masks, social distancing and more when visiting these wineries in Loudoun County.

Loudoun County Wineries

Wineries in Northern Virginia

Although I’ve lived here for most of my life, I was still surprised to learn that Virginia has over 200 wineries. According to the digital media company VinePair, “Virginia, now the fifth-largest wine producer in the U.S., has the added bonus of offering travelers a cultural and historical backdrop with which to learn about what they’re drinking—many Virginia Vineyards boast rich ties to American history as well as exceptional wines to offer.”  

It now ranks just behind New York for the most number of wineries on the East coast. And you’ll enjoy many of these Loudoun County wineries with food – you can BYO in most cases. For those of you who aren’t residents, what could be more fun than a road trip to Northern Virginia to begin enjoying the best Loudoun County wineries?

Ciders and wine at a Loudoun County vineyard

What Type of Wine Does Loudoun County Produce?

Loudoun County wineries produce some of the best varietal wines in the country because of the unique natural environment (terroir) created by the local climate, soil and location near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Virginia has four distinct seasons that help it produce wines with deep, rich flavors.

I had to do a bit of research to find out what makes my favorite local wines special. According to Wine Enthusiast, a variety of grapes unique to Virginia such as the Norton, the Petit Manseng, the Petit Verdot, and the Viognier are combined to create award-winning choices. Popular Virginia wines include Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Chambourcin.

What is the Loudoun County Wine Trail?

Visit Loudoun, the official Convention and Tourism Center of Loudoun County is located in the heart of Leesburg, Virginia. To help visitors find their way to the 40 wineries, they created the Loudoun Wine Trail Guide which provides a wonderful map of the area with each of the vineyards noted along with helpful details.

Visit Loudoun can also help with hotel and B&B reservations as well as provide detailed information regarding the Loudoun County Wine Trail, area attractions, recreation, special events and directions.

Where are the Loudoun County Wineries?

Over 30 minutes west of Washington, DC, Loudoun County, known for its beautiful natural scenery, heritage, and annual equestrian events such as the Virginia Gold Cup races, is also a shining example of agritourism. With rolling hills and lush fields, Loudoun County produces the diverse crops needed for the many wineries, cideries and breweries. A great starting point to meet up with friends or grab a bite to eat is the town of Leesburg because the wineries are fanned out in a number of directions from there.

What Are the Rules for Visiting Loudoun County Wineries During Phase I Reopening?

Nancy Bauer, author of the book Virginia Wine Travel Journal, did a very exhaustive search of all the wineries in Virginia. According to her post, during Phase 1 reopening you should expect:

  • No inside seating. Restrooms will be available, however.
  • Many wineries are not taking cash.
  • Many wineries that previously welcomed children and/or pets are temporarily not accepting them; double check the website.
  • Face masks are required inside all winery buildings and when dealing with staff; many wineries require them whenever you are away from your table or picnic space.
  • Outside alcohol is never permitted in a Virginia winery.

What Are the Six Clusters of Loudoun County Vineyards?

To make it easier for visitors, VisitLoudoun organized the 40 wineries into groups based on the nearest town. The three closest to Leesburg (less than 15 minutes) are: the Waterford Cluster, the Harmony Cluster, and the Potomac Cluster. The three groups that are closer to the Blue Ridge Mountains (and more than 20 minutes away) are: the Loudoun Heights Cluster, the Mosby Cluster, and the Snicker’s Gap Cluster.

Fabiola Cellars LoCo

The Harmony Cluster

The first of the six clusters has a name that is a throwback to the past. It refers to the closest town of Hamilton which used to be called Harmony. In this cluster, some of the vineyards have vistas that look out at the top of the Catoctin Mountain.

The Barns at Hamilton Station are a family owned and operated winery housed on a refurbished dairy farm.
16804 Hamilton Station Rd, Hamilton, VA 20158
COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • OPEN – face masks are REQUIRED
  • NO reservations needed; seating is first come, first serve
  • Wine available by the bottle only
  • BYO blankets and chairs
  • Food available or BYO

Casanel Vineyards is a family estate winery since 2006.
17956 Canby Rd, Leesburg, VA 20175
COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • OPEN – face masks are REQUIRED
  • Reservations ARE required
  • No one under 21 at this time
  • Max 10 people per group
  • Wine available by the bottle only
  • Curbside pickup and free local delivery available

Dry Mill Vineyards and Winery is snuggled into nine rolling acres just one mile outside historic Leesburg in a stable and barn that was once home to the horses and dogs of the Loudoun Hunt Club.
18195 Dry Mill Rd, Leesburg, VA 20175
COVID-19 Guidelines

  • OPEN – face masks are REQUIRED inside the building
  • Reservations are NOT required
  • No one under 21 at this time
  • Max 6 people per group
  • Wine available by the bottle only
  • BYO blankets and chairs, no pop-up tents
  • BYO food, small coolers only
  • Curbside pickup, bottles and slushies to-go available

Hunter’s Run Wine Bar is the place where Virginia wines and Irish culture combine.
40325 Charles Town Pike, Hamilton, VA 20158
STATUS:

  • NOT OPEN yet, target date in mid-June
  • Pickup for online orders only, free local delivery

Stone Tower Winery is a premium vineyard and winery.
19925 Hogback Mountain Rd, Leesburg, VA 20175
COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • OPEN – Members (or those wishing to join) ONLY
  • Reservations required
  • No one under 21
  • Max 6 people per group
  • Wine available by the bottle only
  • 2.5-hour timeslots for visits
  • Pizza and food available
  • Curbside pickup available

Willowcroft Farm Vineyards is home to award-winning wines and boasts breathless panoramic views of Loudoun Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
38906 Mt Gilead Road, Leesburg, VA, 20175 (updated directions)
COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • OPEN – face masks are REQUIRED inside the building
  • Reservations required
  • Priority reservations for Wine Club Members
  • No one under 21
  • BYO picnic allowed but you must take your trash with you

Zephaniah Farm Vineyards creates wines handcrafted with skill and passion on a third-generation working farm.
19381 Dunlop Mill Rd, Leesburg, VA 20175
COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • OPEN – face masks are REQUIRED
  • No one under 21
  • Max 6 people per group
  • Wine available by the bottle only
  • BYO picnic allowed but you must take your trash with you
  • Vineyard side pickup available
  • Free local delivery of 3 or more bottles

winery views in LoCo

The Waterford Cluster

The second cluster is named after the historic town of Waterford, founded in 1733 by the Quakers. It still has a one room schoolhouse and is designated a National Historic Landmark village. The rolling hills nearby are home to both small and large vineyards.

8 Chains North is a family owned, boutique winery, vineyard and wedding venue and a dog-friendly place to enjoy handcrafted wines.
38593 Daymont Ln, Waterford, VA 20197
COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • OPEN – face masks are REQUIRED when inside buildings to use restrooms or when ordering from staff but recommended when outside
  • Reservations are REQUIRED
  • 2.5 hour timeslots for visits
  • Max 8 people per group
  • Wine is available by bottle or glass
  • BYO picnic allowed
  • Dogs allowed on leash only

Corcoran Vineyards and Cider has been producing award winning wines since 2002 and is now offering handcrafted hard cider.
14635 Corky’s Farm Ln, Waterford, VA 20197
COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • OPEN – face masks are RECOMMENDED
  • Outside seating only
  • Patio is first come, first served
  • Reservation required for lawn picnic tables

Crushed Cellars is a family-owned and operated winery in Purcellville.
37938 Charles Town Pike, Purcellville, VA 20132
COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • NOT open yet
  • Pick-up and local delivery only
  • Wine and cheese bundle deals, case specials, fresh eggs, jams, organic beef and chicken available for order online.
Hiddencroft Vineyards is an authentic Virginia winery where 97% of the wines are produced from their estate grown grapes.
12202 Axline Rd, Lovettsville, VA 20180
COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • OPEN – face masks are REQUIRED
  • Seating has been reduced by 50% to 70 patrons total
  • Groups of 10 people max (includes those under 21)
  • No reservation required
  • No cash
  • BYO picnic, chairs and and blankets allowed
  • No tents or umbrellas

Sunset Hills Vineyard focuses on exceptional wine, conservation and sustainability and proudly serves guests in its 145 year old restored barn.
38295 Fremont Overlook Lane, Purcellville, Virginia 20132
COVID-19 Guidelines:

  • OPEN – face masks are REQUIRED
  • NO reservations needed
  • No cash
  • Groups of 6 people max.
  • BYO picnic allowed
  • Kids and pet welcome but must stay with adults

Terra Nebula is a family owned business situated with beautiful views east and west of the Catoctin and the Short Hill Mountains.
39892 Old Wheatland Rd, Waterford, VA 2019S
STATUS:

  • NOT OPEN yet

Village Winery and Vineyards opened in 2005 and has expanded its lineup of fine wines with new products including elderberry, honey and aronia.
40405 Browns Ln, Waterford, VA 20197
COVID-19 GUIDELINES:

  • Open for purchases only on the weekends
  • Online orders can be scheduled for curbside pickup
    Fabiola cellars winery

    The Potomac Cluster

    The third and final cluster of Loudoun County wineries is found north of Leesburg along Route 15 and the Potomac River. Take your time driving along Route 15. It’s a two-way road filled with markers for historic military events and a collection of roadside stands and antique shops as well.

    Creeks Edge Winery is actually located along the Catoctin Creek and features a tasting room inside an Amish structure.
    41255 Annas Ln, Lovettsville, VA 20180
    COVID-19 Guidelines:

    • OPEN – face masks are REQUIRED when inside building to use bathrooms or when ordering from staff, but NOT required when outside
    • Reservations ARE required and a $5 fee will be assessed but credited to your final bill
    • 2-hour timeslots for visits
    • Max 8 people per group
    • No one under 21
    • No pets, children or infants
    • Wine sold by the bottle only

    Fabbioli Cellars is a small, family owned vineyard and winery.
    15669 Limestone School Rd, Leesburg, VA 20176
    COVID-19 Guidelines:

    • OPEN – facemasks are REQUIRED
    • Reservations highly recommended
    • Minimum purchase requirement
    • Max 8 people per group
    • No one under 21 at this time

    Hidden Brook Winery is uniquely housed in a hand-built log cabin; it’s also one of the original 10 wineries in Loudoun County.
    43301 Spinks Ferry Rd, Leesburg, VA 20176
    COVID-19 Guidelines:

    • Open
    • Facemasks are REQUIRED when inside building to use bathrooms or when ordering from staff, but NOT required when outside
    • Wine sold by the bottle only
    • BYO picnic allowed but you must take your trash with you

    The Vineyards and Winery at Lost Creek is a 50-acre boutique winery.
    43285 Spinks Ferry Rd, Leesburg, VA 20176
    COVID-19 Guidelines:
    o Open – facemasks are REQUIRED
    o Prepaid reservations ARE required
    o No one under 21 at this time
    o 2-hour timeslots for visits
    o Max 6 people per group
    o No pets

    Tarara Winery is known for its wine and its summer concert series at the 475-acre farm along the banks of the Potomac River.
    13648 Tarara Ln, Leesburg, VA 20176
    STATUS:

    • NOT OPEN yet
    • Curbside pickup for online orders only

    Winery 32 was named for the 32 peach trees that line the driveway as well as the 32 acres of vineyard land.
    15066 Limestone School Rd, Leesburg, VA 20176
    COVID-19 Guidelines:

    • OPEN
    • Facemasks are REQUIRED when inside building to use bathrooms or when ordering from staff, but NOT required when outside
    • Reservations required for groups of 5 or more people
    • Two bottle minimum purchase
    • 2.5 hour timeslots for visits
    • Max 10 people per group
    • No one under 21
    • No pets

    Conclusion

    After months of being at home, I’m thrilled we can finally go places again while observing safety guidelines. If you want to enjoy a day outside with a glass of wine and friends at any one of these Loudoun County wineries, bookmark this post and download the Wine Trail map. Don’t forget – there’s three more clusters of wineries to read about in my next blog post. Stay tuned.

    Which cluster of wineries seem most interesting to you? Have you ever been to one of the Loudoun County vineyards? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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