Anyone familiar with the Virginia wine industry, particularly the northern Virginia wine industry, will be familiar with the name Fabbioli. Doug Fabbioli is one of the Godfathers of Virginia wine, and opened his earth-friendly tasting room a few years ago off U.S. Highway 15, north of Leesburg. The views from his tasting room (vineyards mixed with typical Loudoun county McMansions) may not be as spectacular as Fox Meadow's, but the wine certainly is.
This is a red wine place. Virginia may be best known for its whites, but Doug Fabbioli is doing some great things with red - Cab Franc and Chambourcin, in particular. Despite his limited production, Total Wine sells several of his reds. But a trip to his small, but always hopping, tasting room is a treat. The pourers are chatty and provide history lessons to go with the wine tastings. Doug himself is usually onsite. Last fall, he dyed his beard blue on the afternoon we visited (Halloween weekend). He's an entertaining fellow, and his passion for the industry is infectious. In addition to growing grapes and making wine here, he consults with other nearby wineries (Notaviva, Sunset Hills and Hiddencroft), and writes a column for the free newspaper, The Old Town Crier.
He also has a few fruit wines that are extremely popular, especially for the chocolate lover crowd: A raspberry Merlot and a blackberry. Perhaps the most unusual in his collection is a pear wine which comes billed as an aperitif.
You get the feeling you are at a working winery at Fabbioli. No live bands, no dog parks....this is a winery through and through. He has a few picnic tables and a fire pit that works perfectly on cool evenings as well as fall and spring days. As for the more extreme months, this winery is better for tasting, buying a few bottles, and moving on to another Loudoun spot, due to the lack of indoor picnic areas.
Must tries: Chambourcin, Rosa Luna (a terrific dry rose), Tre Sorélle
(a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot) and the raspberry Merlot.