This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
It is a new year and the vines are dormant. In regions across the West Coast, much-needed rain is falling. But on the East Coast, the vines are buried under snow. As I see friends post photos of being in the snow, I am reminded about my visit this time last year to Loudoun County in Northern Virginia where I went to explore the wines.
There are approximately 250 wineries in Virginia. Loudoun County is considered the wine region of Washington, D.C. Located one hour outside of the nation’s capital, Loudoun is home to more than 40 wineries. The first vines were planted in 1981 and the region has exploded since. Loudoun County is divided into five distinct geographic sections – northern, western, southern, central and eastern.
For my exploration of Loudoun County, my home base was in Middleburg in Southern Loudoun at the Salamander Resort and Spa. In the middle of horse country, this luxury retreat sits on 340 acres and includes 168 rooms, a 23,000-square-foot spa, equestrian center, culinary garden, cooking studio and restaurants.