Lost Creek Winery and Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in “Washington D.C.’s Wine Country” (that would be Loudoun County). And it has the distinction of being one of the Commonwealth’s wineries that opened the blogmaster’s eyes (and taste buds) to the truly unique world of Virginia wine. This is a good winery to get acquainted with the state’s wine scene, and wine as a whole, for the wine beginner. Most wines, even the ones billed as “drier,” are on the sweet side. Most folks start their love affair with wine by favoring the sweeter ones, and develop tastes for drier selections after a few months or years of experience. But there is also a sub-set of winery fans who love sweeter options over the dry ones, particularly in the warmer months, when the wines can be served ice cold.
The winery is perched on a bluff near the Potomac River, a stone’s throw away from Tarara, an extremely popular (and more commercial) Virginia winery. You drive by the vineyards on the way up the hill, and arrive in a quiet spot overlooking the vineyards. Several outdoor seating options exist under an overhang and in the gardens. The tasting room itself is nothing spectacular but functional, with a gas fireplace to help in heating the room. Lost Creek offers numerous cheese and cracker options, along with warm baguettes, to go along with their vintages.
The emphasis on sweet wines is a bit jarring to the blogmasters, as we’ve spent the past year delving into the world of bone-dry, steel-tank aged whites and hearty reds. But for the casual wine fan, the Lost Creek varietals (and prices) should work just fine. On the white end of the spectrum, their blend called Spring Time (Vidal, Viognier, Chardonnay and Muscat) and their rosé (interestingly enough, their driest wine, with .5% residual sugar) were our favorites, and for the reds, their blend (50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon) was smooth and definitely fruit-forward. They also offer a “Christmas Blend” (limited supplies and apparently only part of the year), which has a hint of clove and can be served chilled or mulled. It’s an intriguing blend of white and red varietals (Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay).
We enjoy the down-to-earth friendliness of the family that owns Lost Creek and the spot next door, Hidden Brook Winery, is owned by the son and daughter-in-law of the owners of Lost Creek (keeping it all in the family). Housed in an appealing log cabin, Hidden Brook also favors the sweeter options—these wineries know what their target market is. If we could suggest one thing to the winemakers--Try crafting a bone dry red, similar to Doug Fabiolli’s options (his winery is right down the road from Lost Creek and Hidden Brook).
Lost Creek is highly recommended as a safe start to exploring the diverse and wonderful world of Virginia wine.