I took a trip out to Northern Virginia wine country today – the beautiful Loudoun County countryside – to sample the offerings. Located about 20 minutes from Ashburn, and situated in between Leesburg and Aldie, the Zephaniah Farm Vineyard is a true gem!
The tasting room is actually the vineyard owners’ actual residence. Bonnie, our “tasting room” server / homeowner / vineyard owner, told me about the property’s history, which was fascinating to a history buff! The home, built in the 1820’s, remained with the original family until 1949 until purchased by Bonnie’s husband’s family, with whom it has been ever since. The home, however, is completely open to visitors, to include living room with wood burning stove, original 1820-era library, etc. And, best yet, the whole home is open to sit and relax, and enjoy the history while sipping on wine samples!
The first wine on the list was the Chardonnay Sur Lie ’12. A 7-month aged wine, it took it’s light oak tones from the 500 liter Hungarian barrels – it was a wonderful Chardonnay! Second up was the Rose’ ’12, which surprised me in the flavorful body that I don’t normally notice in a Rose’; there was a slight oak flavor but it finished very smooth – it somehow had a perfect balance of both sweet and dry! Third and fourth in line were the Cabernet Franc ’10 and Three Captains Red ’10, neither of which I found to be remarkably memorable, however I almost never find a Cab Franc that I don’t enjoy! Fifth wine to taste was the Chambourcin ’12 – another of my favorite wine styles – and this one did not disappoint! With hints of blackberry and dark cherry, it finished with a refreshing acidic flavor.
The shining star of the event, however, was saved for last! The Spiced Wine – spices warmed with Zephaniah’s Steamship ’11 red wine – was absolutely stunning. It was so strikingly smooth, and the spices which included cinnamon clove, allspice and dried orange peel, it absolutely begs to be sipped on a cold snowy day while at home under warm blankets! Bonnie was quick to give the recipe, and at $3 for the bag of spices, which makes 4 bottles of spiced wine, I couldn’t resist!
Zephaniah is a winery not to miss – it’s classic old Loudoun County, the property’s story is a must-hear told from the actual winery and property owners, and it’s the uniqueness of being invited into their home to sample their well-crafted wines is an especially intimate setting that you won’t find at other wineries!