The oldest winery in Loudoun County (and also one of the oldest in the state) has been growing grapes since 1984. The winery opened in 1987, and as owner/winemaker, Lew Parker has mentored many of today's Loudoun winemakers.
Willowcroft Winery sits high atop a ridge overlooking the Loudoun Valley. It's hard to believe this place is only 10 minutes south of bustling Leesburg. The main barn, which houses the owner's office, two tasting rooms, and a second floor sit down area and small events center, is the center of activity. The main tasting room was moved to a large room about two years ago, leaving the original tasting room to serve as a back up space. This winery is true Virginia; don't expect long lines for tasting ticket sales (a'la Tarara), or the dogs, kids, and family focus of Barrel Oak Winery. If not terribly busy, Lew will invite visitors on an impromptu tour of the property and the vineyards.
For years, Willowcroft was best known for its whites - offering dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, and sweet. Recently Willowcroft has dabbled in, and nearly perfected, bold reds: Petit Verdot, Cab Sauv, Merlot, and another Loudoun County Chambourcin. Back on the white side of the scale, Chardonnay has long been a Willowcroft staple. Both a bone dry, steel aged, very crisp chard, and a slightly oaked version, are offered. Both are equally good, although we do not recommend eating tuna sandwiches with the steel aged variety.
This short video, taken in 2010, takes you to Willowcroft and discusses Albariño, a Spanish white varietal that is starting to make waves in Virginia. Some wineries are offering Albariño instead of Viognier, which has a similar refreshing, citrus overtone. Make sure you visit the county's oldest winery this summer.