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Northern Virginia Wineries and Vineyards
Just outside the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital, there are nearly a hundred Northern Virginia vineyards and wineries tucked between small towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While award-winning wine is currently being produced across the Old Dominion, Northern Virginia is one of the two most productive and well-known wine regions in the state (the other being Central Virginia). Northern Virginia wine country is only about an hour from Washington, D.C. – and yet for visitors, it feels like another world. Whether looking for respite from the city or simply craving a crisp glass of wine with a view, Northern Virginia wineries and vineyards have something for everyone.
Northern Virginia’s vineyards and wineries comprise three different wine trails, each with its own unique characteristics and distinctive wines. The region’s proximity to Washington, D.C. means tourists to the nation’s capital (and locals alike!) flock to these nearby wine trails for much-needed respite from the city. With so many wine trails in close proximity, it’s easy to visit a handful of different wineries in a weekend – and as a result, business is booming! In the past decade, wine production throughout the Commonwealth has grown exponentially, and as Virginia wines continue to gain the recognition they’ve long deserved, there are no signs of slowing down.
For those looking to buy a vineyard or winery, being part of a wine trail makes it easier for new, eager visitors to find your location.
Northern Virginia Wine Trails
- Loudoun Wine Trail: The Loudoun Wine Trail is so large that it is further broken down into four clusters of boutique, award-winning wineries. Loudoun’s wineries are known for producing balanced traditional varietals and well-regarded dessert wines.
- Fauquier Wine Trail: Visitors to Fauquier Wine Trail’s vineyards and wineries find that the scenery of Virginia’s horse country pairs perfectly with a refreshing local wine.
- Rappahannock Wine Trail: Slightly farther from Washington, D.C. than the other two wine trails, wineries on the Rappahannock Wine Trail tend to be more casual and eclectic than those on the other wine trails.
The benefits of buying a Northern Virginia vineyard or winery extend far beyond the proximity to D.C. Northern Virginia’s unique terroir is arguably one of the best in Virginia. Northern Virginia is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a very old mountain range that has eroded over eons. The result of this erosion has been a rich granite and sandstone soil that drains well – the ideal environment for healthy wine grapes. For new vineyard owners in particular, moderate winters and longer growing season alone may be reason enough to choose Northern Virginia.
Northern Virginia AVA
Northern Virginia also includes one American Viticulture Area (AVA), a designated wine grape-growing region. Middleburg AVA comprises thirty wineries located in both Loudoun and Fauquier counties. Wines from grapes grown in this AVA are unique and noteworthy because of a particular environmental feature: the area is cooled by mountain winds cutting through Ashby Gap, a wind gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the AVA.
Of course, Northern Virginia offers more than excellent soil – with their stunning bucolic landscapes, even rural and secluded vineyards and wineries boast a steady stream of visitors. This has made Northern Virginia vineyards and wineries popular venues for weddings and weekend escapes for residents of the capital. What’s more, the local community is very supportive of local wineries and vineyards – every year, local groups organize a number of wine-related events that draw tourists into wine country, supporting local industry year after year. And since many wine trails publicize their wineries, most North Virginia wineries and vineyards are never short on customers.