OCTOBER is Virginia Wine Month and it is rapidly coming to a close. Hopefully you have had a chance to learn more about Virginia wine by visiting a winery or two. If not, you still have time this coming weekend! 

Many of us are very familiar with the wineries in the Central Virginia area.  According to the “2016 Virginia Winery Guide” there are 65 wineries to explore within about an hour's drive of Charlottesville.

This year we decided to learn more about the Northern Virginia winemaking region (88 wineries). On Saturday, Oct.15, my husband and I made the 2½ hour drive to attend “Epicurience Virginia” in the heart of Loudoun County.

The past three years, Epicurience was held on the grounds of Morven Park in Leesburg. The 2016 location was "The Barn at One Loudoun” in Ashburn, adjacent to an urban inspired mixed-use community with residential living and retail and dining opportunities. .http://www.oneloudoun.com/tag/the-barn-at-one-loudoun/

The education tent featured winemakers, sommeliers, and local food producers and covered a range of topics on Virginia wine including geographic terroir, varietals, culinary pairings, and more. Four seminars ran mid-afternoon and our good friend Matt Brown of King Family Vineyards, was on the panel of two of them.

The wineries attending the event were: 8 Chains North Winery, Bluemont Vineyard, Breaux Vineyards, Horton Vineyards, Maggie Malick Wine Caves, North Gate Vineyard, Stone Tower Winery, Sunset Hills Vineyard, Tarara Winery, The Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek, and Zephaniah Farm Vineyard.

My favorites of the wines that I tasted were:

8 Chains North in Waterford, 8chainsnorth.com
2015 Lovo Vino – A blend of 30% Viognier, 30% Albarino, 20% Traminette and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Light-bodied and fresh with tropical fruit notes and bright acidity. Aged in stainless steel. Pairs perfectly with cheeses, salads, or crab cakes.

North Gate Vineyards in Purcellville, www.northgatevineyard.com
2015 Rkatsiteli – Possibly the oldest vinifera grape on the planet. Its accepted origin is in Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains bordering Armenia and Turkey. Crisp and bright! Great with oysters on the half shell.

Fabbioli Winesin Leesburg, http://fabbioliwines.com/
2012 Cabernet Franc Reserve - Aromas of cherry, cinnamon, and floral notes with flavors of fresh pomegranate, red fruit, black cherry and herbs. The wine has received the following accolades: Gold Medal at the 2016 Virginia Governor's Cup and Governor's Cup Case, Silver Medal at the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition, Silver Medal at the 2015 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition and Silver Medal at the 2015 Loudoun Wine Awards. Additionally, Doug Fabbioli was recently named “Winemaker of the Year” at the second annual Loudoun Wine Awards.

Honey Grail in Leesburg, http://honeygrail.com/index.php/honey
Boudica’s Uprising - Honey mead is mankind's oldest alcoholic beverage. This is a naturally carbonated sparkling semi-sweet mead made with all-natural 100% True Source Certified Grade-A honey. It contains no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The US Federal Government considers mead a wine.

Enjoy the fall weather with friends and family at a Virginia winery!