Loudoun County boasts some of the best wine in the nation. Major media outlets are raving about Virginia wines, and lots of experts think Loudoun just may be the next Napa Valley. Our vineyards and wineries produce award-winning wine in truly beautiful settings – something that shouldn’t be missed during this season of spectacular fall foliage.
Fall Day Trip Tips
Loudoun’s wineries are set in the county’s lovely rural countryside, just a short drive from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. A fall day trip is the perfect outing with friends, out-of-town guests, or that special someone. From cozy and charming to stunning and grand, each winery presents customers with something unique and special. Many wineries even invite some of Loudoun’s best musicians to play acoustic concerts on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. What could be better on a fall afternoon than a glass of handcrafted wine with some great tunes and conversation?
The Loudoun Wine Awards recently recognized several top Loudoun wineries within a few miles of downtown Leesburg. With the leaves turning and back roads to explore, there is no better way to spend your “staycation” in the D.C. area.
Here are our recommendations for your Loudoun wine-tasting excursion:
Sunset Hills Vineyard: Discover the Viognier Grape
This award-winning winery is set in a gorgeously-restored bank barn, nestled among the rolling hills just west of Leesburg. It is a favorite with locals and visitors alike. Young winemaker Nate Walsh is a rising star in the U.S. wine industry; Sunset Hills regularly offers special meet-the-winemaker seminars and in-depth educational experiences in addition to regular tastings. Their viognier, a fabulously fruity white wine, is quickly becoming the white wine of Virginia, and is regularly on the top of Loudoun and Virginia wine lists.
Zephaniah Farm Vineyards: Welcoming Visitors with Hospitality
Located just south of Leesburg, Zephaniah Farm Vineyards offers visitors a gorgeous setting and a warm, friendly reception from owners Bill Hatch and Bonnie Archer. The tasting room is located right inside the family’s 19th century farmhouse, where visitors can taste wine while chatting with the owners about their passion for viticulture and winemaking.
Zephaniah’s commitment to engaging visitors is so strong that Bonnie Archer was named Loudoun’s Wine Ambassador of the year. It’s not all about their hospitality, though. Zephaniah is famous for its top-quality wines, with an award-winning cabernet sauvignon rounding out their offering.
Fabbioli Cellars: Loudoun Winemaking Pioneers
Just a short drive from downtown Leesburg, Fabbioli Cellars is the perfect place to end your day. Doug Fabbioli is a pioneer on the local winemaking scene and one of Loudoun’s best-known winemakers. Doug worked as a consultant to wineries across Loudoun for years before establishing his own winery just north of Leesburg. Doug was recently named Loudoun Winemaker of the Year and is highly regarded for the quality of his wines and the friendliness and knowledge of his tasting room staff. Fabbioli’s Cabernet Franc (made from a red grape that is perfectly suited for Virginia’s climate) and Tre Sorelle Bordeaux-style blend recently won top honors at the Loudoun Wine Awards.
Tie Up Your Tour with an Exceptional Dinner
After a long day of winery tours, you’ll be ready for a great meal – complete with wine pairings, of course. Lightfoot is one of Loudoun’s most highly-rated (and wine-lover approved) restaurants. Located in the heart of downtown Leesburg, Lightfoot Restaurant offers a top-notch international wine list that includes the best wines from around the region. Lightfoot has been a longtime supporter of Loudoun wines, and as quality gets better and better, the local offerings on our wine list have expanded. Our sommelier and service staff are happy to pair your meals with phenomenal wines. If you wish to splurge on our special chef’s table prix fixe dinner, you’ll not only get wine pairings, but you will also get an up-close and personal look at Chef Ingrid’s incomparable culinary skills.
The Perfect Fall Adventure, Lightfoot Style
There really is nothing quite like fall in Virginia. The air is crisp and the scenery is delightful as our fall foliage reaches its peak. Our local wineries are buzzing with activity, excitement, and fun. It’s the perfect time of year to embark on your winery adventure. We’ll see you when you “wine-down” for dinner. Cheers!