The Route 9 Wine Trail in Loudoun County makes for a perfect Saturday getaway—-several wineries, small to large, intimate to commercialized, dot the highway that leads from Route 7 (west of Leesburg) to Charles Town, WV. One of the oldest spots in the county is the aptly named Loudoun Valley Vineyards, which is a stone’s throw away from Route 9, but seems like a world away as soon as you drive down the road leading to their tasting room.
The Loudoun Valley surrounds the vineyards and tasting room. Yes, McMansions do appear in your field of vision (it is Loudoun County after all), but there is physical, aural and visual “space” here. The vineyards slope on foothills surrounding the tasting room. The tasting room itself is a modest affair: A one-story building with a wrap-around porch with views of trees and hills in all directions.
The tasting bar is no-nonsense and most likely, the owners will handle the tastings for you—-Bree Ann and Cameron Moore are probably the youngest winery owners in the state, but Bree Ann cut her cloth making wine in Sonoma County, CA, and that experience has paid off. Their wines are served in several Northern Virginia restaurants, particularly Vinifera in the Westin Hotel in Reston (I mean, a-hem, Reston Heights). Vinifera even has half bottles (quite rare in the Commonwealth, especially in restaurants) of Loudoun Valley wine.
Of the wines, most of the Virginia usual suspects are here, and then some....Cab Franc, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, and Pinot Noir (the "and then some" of the bunch). Plenty of other wineries in the county offer these varietals, but Loudoun County's are unique - there is no other word for them. Familiar, yet different. In a good way.
As the owners are young, expect a younger crowd as patrons. And expect live music nearly every weekend (a Nirvana cover band played one weekend last summer). But as long as tables are available outside, you can escape the Seattle vibe. As for the winter, Loudoun Valley has “soup weekends,” and the small tasting building retains heat nicely. The wines are stellar, the location is cozy—Loudoun Valley Vineyards should not be overlooked on your next Route 9 winery jaunt.