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Aug
29

DC’s Wine Country®

Winery 32, House Lake. Photo by Aboud Dweck, All Rights Reserved.

Nineteen eighty-four marks the birth of DC’s Wine Country®. Lew Parker of Willowcroft Farm Vineyards established the original Loudoun winery, planting the first grapes in 1981 on the slopes of his farm that, in the 1800s, were successfully planted with orchards. Loudoun’s fertile soil and temperate climate proved fruitful for other winemakers who followed. Today, Loudoun features 40 award-winning wineries and tasting rooms, the most of any county in Virginia, along with two distilleries including Catoctin Creek Distillery, which is the first in Loudoun since prohibition, 23 craft breweries, and three cideries. Located just 25 miles outside our nation’s capital, Loudoun is known as DC’s
Wine Country®.

In Loudoun, visitors can explore boutique wineries sprinkled throughout the countryside; learn about winemaking from area vintners; talk with vineyard owners about the history of the land and its structures and experience Virginia varietals, surprising blends, and dessert wines. Wine tasting in Loudoun is designed to be a welcoming and relaxing experience. During tastings, visitors are educated about the wines they sip and are encouraged to take their own personal notes; the Loudoun winemaking community believes that wine tasting is as personal as winemaking.

Loudoun’s wineries are grouped into six driving “clusters.” The ride to each is an experience in itself, along winding roads and up mountains, past horse farms and historic estates, and beside miles of stacked stone fences. Loudoun offers a variety of scenic wine tours – by bicycle, limousine, bus or sedan charter. Each cluster also features unique culinary experiences, including Loudoun’s own fresh destination restaurants. Visitors can enhance their trip by spending the night at an area inn, bed and breakfast, or resort, and splitting winery visits over two or more days.

 

Wine Clusters

Loudoun Heights Cluster

  • 868 Estate Vineyards
  • Breaux Vineyards
  • Cardamon Family
  • Vineyards
  • Doukénie Winery
  • Hillsborough Vineyards
  • Maggie Malick
    Wine Caves
  • Two Twisted Posts Winery

Waterford Cluster

  • 8 Chains North
  • Corcoran Vineyards
  • Crushed Cellars
  • Hiddencroft Vineyards
  • Sunset Hills Vineyard
  • Village Winery
  • Terra Nebulo Vineyards
  • The Wine Reserve
    at Waterford

Potomac Cluster

  • Carroll Vineyards
  • Fabbioli Cellars
  • Hidden Brook Winery
  • Lost Creek Vineyard
    &  Winery
  • Tarara Winery
  • Creek’s Edge Winery
  • Winery32

Mosby Cluster

  • Boxwood Estate Winery
  • Cana Vineyards & Winery
  • Chrysalis Vineyards
  • Greenhill Winery
    & Vineyard
  • 50 West Winery
    & Vineyard
  • Quattro Goomba’s Winery

Harmony Cluster

  • The Barns at Hamilton
  • Station Vineyards
  • Casanel Vineyards
  • Dry Mill Vineyard
    & Winery
  • Hunter’s Run Wine Barn
  • Stone Tower Winery
  • Willowcroft Farm Vineyards
  • Zephaniah Farm Vineyard

Snickers Gap Cluster

  • Bluemont Vineyards
  • Bogati Bodega & Vineyard
  • North Gate Vineyards
  • Otium Cellars

For location information, visit www.visitloudoun.org.

Aug
29

LoCo Ale Trail

Old Dominion Brewing Company began the craft brew scene in Loudoun in 1989. The company gave its start to many of the local brewers who are producing quality beers today. Two of those brewers, Matt Hagerman and Favio Garcia, opened Lost Rhino Brewing Company in 2011. The brewery paved the way for the brewing industry growth in the county, and while Lost Rhino continues to expand its distribution and tasting room experiences, additional breweries now offer a variety of beer tastes and experiences across Loudoun County, aka LoCo.

Loudoun pairs a modern and urban eastern corridor  with a wide-open rural countryside of farms and pastures along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west. Loudoun’s breweries match their local surroundings, as Beltway Brewing, Old Ox, and Ocelot to the east, offer large tasting rooms and refreshing beers close to Washington DC. Further west, Dirt Farm Brewing, Old 690, and Quattro Goomba’s Brewery offer farm brewery experiences with the chance to see firsthand where the beer’s ingredients are grown.

The agricultural side of beer production is an integral part to the story of Loudoun’s breweries. In 2015 Black Hops Farm became the mid-Atlantic’s largest hops processing facility. Virginia is home to compatible climate, soil, and landscape that make it ideal for growing hops, and Black Hops Farm will help expand supply not only to breweries in Loudoun, but up and down the East Coast. Co-located at Black Hops Farm is Vanish, a farm brewery with a BBQ menu, as well as Pilot Malt House, creating a total beer experience
for visitors.

The LoCo Ale Trail is divided into itineraries that allow beer enthusiasts to enjoy the breweries in a multitude of ways. The Farm Breweries itinerary guides travelers along the county beer industry’s agricultural center through scenic tasting rooms where the ingredients are grown onsite. The Brews by Bike itinerary steers those looking for a more urban tasting room experience through the breweries located along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

 

Open Breweries

Adroit Theory Brewing
404 Browning Court
Purcellville VA
703-722-3144
www.adroit-theory.com

Belly Love
Brewing Company
725 E. Main Street
Purcellville, VA 20132
540-441-3159
www.bellylovebrewing.com

Beltway Brewing Company
22620 Davis Drive
Sterling, VA 20164
571-989-2739
www.beltwaybrewco.com

Barnhouse Brewery
43271 Spinks Ferry Road
Leesburg, VA 20176
703-675-8480
barnhousebrewery.com

Black Hoof
Brewing Company
11 South King St.
Leesburg, VA 20175
(571) 707-8014

blackhoofbrewing.com

Black Walnut Brewing
210 S King Street
Leesburg, VA 20175
703-771-9474
blackwalnutbrewery.com

Corcoran Brewing
Company
205 East Hirst Road
Purcellville, VA 20132
540-441-3102
corcoranbrewing.com

Crooked Run Brewing
205 Harrison Street SE
Leesburg, VA 20175
703-609-9241
crookedrunbrewing.com

Crooked Run Central
22455 Davis Dr #120
Sterling, VA 20164
703-609-9241
crookedrunbrewing.com

Dirt Farm Brewing
18701 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont, VA 20135
540-454-0366
dirtfarmbrewing.com

Dog Money
Restaurant & Brewery
50 Catoctin Circle NE
Leesburg, VA 20176
703-687-3852
dogmoneyllc.com

Jack’s Run Brewing
Company
108 N. 21st Street
Purcellville, VA 20132
540-441-3382
jacksrunbrewing.com

Lost Rhino
Brewing Company
21730 Red Rum Road
Ashburn, VA 20147
571-291-2083
lostrhino.com

Lost Rhino Retreat
22885 Brambleton Plaza
Ashburn, VA 20148
703-327-0311
lostrhinoretreat.com

Loudoun Brewing
Company
310 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
703-350-8553
loudounbrewing.com

Ocelot Brewing Company
23600 Overland Dr #180, Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 474-3050
ocelotbrewing.com

Old 690 Brewing Company
15670 Ashbury Church Road
Purcellville, VA 20132
540-668-7023
old690.com

Old Ox Brewery
44652 Guilford Drive
Ashburn, VA 20147
703-729-8375
oldoxbrewery.com

Quattro Goomba’s Brewery
22860 James Monroe Hwy
Aldie, VA 20105
703-327-6052
goombabrewery.com

Solace Brewing Company
42615 Trade W Dr #100, Sterling, VA 20166
solacebrewing.com

Sweetwater Tavern
45980 Waterview Plaza
Sterling, VA 20166
571-434-6500
greatamericanrestaurants.com

Twinpanzee
101-D Executive Drive
Sterling, VA 20166
twinpanzee.com

Vanish
42264 Leelynn Farm Ln
Leesburg, VA 20176
vanishbeer.com

Aug
29

Dine, Drink, Discover Loudoun!

Loudoun County Grapes. Photo by Loi Mai © 2012 Loi Mai.

Just outside Washington, DC lies Loudoun, Virginia where horses wander the countryside, sharing the rural landscape with vineyards, farms and historic estates. With its unpaved roads and charming downtowns filled with historic architecture, it’s a place that reminds visitors of a simpler time and one that has served as an idyllic country escape for Washington notables. Nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac River, Loudoun also features a robust outdoor scene where visitors can enjoy the landscape by doing everything from a hike on the Appalachian Trail to a zipline adventure above the treetops. Come discover this beautiful county less than an hour from the nation’s capital.

Drink

With 40 wineries and tasting rooms, Loudoun is a premier East Coast wine region, leading the way in Virginia. Known as “DC’s Wine Country” due to its proximity to Washington D.C., Loudoun’s boutique wineries house tasting rooms in everything from rustic barns and intimate cellars to architecturally stunning facilities. While here, sample wines that include Virginia varietals like Viognier and Norton, taste grapes off the vine, tour barrel caves, indulge in food pairings and enjoy conversation with award-winning winemakers.While Virginians have been producing wine for over 400 years, the craft beer scene is now also making waves. In Loudoun, try one of 23 breweries that are creating more than 200 unique brews at any given time. Home to the LoCo Ale Trail, experience tasting rooms on farms where brewers are growing hops, cherries and other products to go into their beer or play corn hole and chat with a brewmaster at an urban brewery minutes from Dulles International Airport. Here, get a behind –the- scenes look into the industry by booking a guided tour of the Mid-Atlantic’s first commercial-scale hops processing facility at Black Hops Farm or bike to breweries along the W&OD Trail.

Prefer spirits over beer and wine? Loudoun has you covered with a handful of distilleries, cideries and even a meadery!

Dine

Loudoun prides itself on unique dining experiences where you can dine under the stars in a glass atrium on a farm or in a circa 1905 restored mill. Visit a trendy café that was once a shoe shop or enjoy lunch in a turn-of-the century national bank building. Here, the food is as exceptional as the settings. Chefs focus on fresh cuisine where ingredients are sourced from Loudoun’s farms and transformed into culinary masterpieces. Many of Loudoun’s chefs have received regional and national accolades including Chef Tarver King from the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, who won Chef of the Year at the 2017 Rammy Awards, and The Conche’s Chef Santosh Tiptur-a world-renowned pastry chef who has appeared on various culinary competition programs on the Food Network.

Discover

Besides a robust culinary, wine and beer scene, Loudoun offers a wealth of other attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Stay in one of two resorts or a Bed & Breakfast to take advantage of everything Loudoun has to offer.  History lovers can tour the former home of Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis at Morven Park or enjoy a tea at Oatlands Historic House & Gardens- a National Historic Landmark. Those looking for adventure can try everything from white water rafting  and indoor skydiving to zipline courses and numerous hiking trails along the mountains and river. Take time to explore the historic towns of Leesburg and Middleburg, where an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants line the streets, or delve into Loudoun’s rich horse and hunt history at the National Sporting Library & Museum.

For more detailed information on where you can “Dine, Drink, and Discover Loudoun,” visit visitloudoun.org.

You find the offerings in Loudoun are endless. Come create your perfect weekend escape in Virginia’s beautiful countryside and share your experience on social media with #LoveLoudoun.

Aug
29

Silver Line Ridership Is Lower Than Predicted

A recent Washington Post article (July 29th) highlighted the fact that initial ridership projections for the three year old Silver Line are almost twice what today’s ridership numbers are showing.  There are obvious reasons why the numbers are low, the least of which is that overall METRO ridership is down 12%, but also all of the service disruptions and the SafeTrack initiative probably have impacted ridership pretty dramatically.

However, supporters and planners in the region still feel that the Silver Line will be a boon to the corridor, attracting new businesses and promoting the transit oriented development that is seen in places like the Rosslyn – Ballston corridor.  The Dulles Corridor, for all intents and purpose, is simply a growing “child.”

And as pointed out in the Post article, development is occurring – rapidly.  The article notes that since 2014 (when the Silver Line opened), 11 new buildings have been or are under construction and more than 2 million more square feet of development are in the immediate pipeline.  As the national and international economies continue to improve, these numbers will possibly expand even more.

Eventually a tipping point will be achieved, where the balance between residential and commercial space is achieved, making the Silver Line the preferred mode of transportation. The network of bus, bike and pedestrian facilities will connect the nearby communities and employment centers seamlessly into the METRO line. The opening of Phase II, with connections to Dulles International Airport and communities in Loudoun, will also spur more usage.  Supporters in Fairfax and Loudoun still see this corridor as one of the most attractive places for business and residential growth in the entire country, and feel the Silver Line will provide the catalyst for that future.

Aug
29

Dulles Matters: Construction Ramping Up at Reagan National

By Rob Yingling

Big changes are on the way at Reagan National. The airport is working to transform the passenger experience by eliminating outdoor boarding of aircraft and freeing up movement inside the gate areas. The two main components of the project, called Project Journey, have been carefully planned to minimize impacts on passengers during construction.

One visible sign of progress is the ongoing demolition of the Airports Authority’s former headquarters building on the site where a 14-gate commuter aircraft concourse will be built. Construction will take place behind fencing and not affect aircraft or vehicle movement.

The other, more impactful element will involve construction of new security checkpoints next to Terminal B/C and above the Arrivals-level roadway. When work begins, some roadway lanes will close so crews can build foundations for the structures and place support beams. Regular users of Reagan National are encouraged to sign up for project updates at flyreagan.com. The new facilities are expected to open by 2021.