Spend the day swirling beautiful wine that matches the Instagrammable views.
1st stop: Bluemont Vineyard
Bluemont Vineyard, perched nearly 1,000 feet above sea level along a ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, has capitalized on its views since it opened in 2007. Additions through the years include a sprawling front patio, where you can enjoy a glass of wine and see 45 miles to Tysons on a clear day, says GM Hailey Zurschmeide. Guests can go even higher with a Kubota tractor tour ending in the winery’s top block vineyard at 1,300 feet. These tours—which in the fall will focus on the release of the winery’s new batch of reds—are capped at four people and bring guests down the mountainside. There’s also a seated, two-hour tasting of six wines, from its smoky petit verdot from the winery’s Signature series to its off-dry, chambourcin-driven rosé, known as The Donkey. Bluemont’s tasting room is open later than others in the region, closing most days at 7 p.m., so you have time to sip and enjoy the early fall sunset.
You don’t have to go far for lunch. Bluemont offers a Chef’s Table with a four-course food-and-wine pairing ($65) with seasonal produce from Great Country Farms, down the hill and also owned by the Zurschmeide family. The menu features cheese boards, local salads, entrees like braised short rib with roasted cipollini onions and pan-roasted chicken, and desserts of seasonal fruits paired with Bluemont’s top glasses, including the winery’s Norton port-style wine and sparkling.
Next stop: 23 minutes; 12.6 miles
Bring home the bottle
Bluemont Vineyard Albarino 2018 ($34)
Notes: “A Spanish Varietal with dry, bright acidity and no residual sugar. Crisp green apple gives way to notes of lemongrass on the mid palate. This wine was fermented in stainless steel for a crisp clean finish.”
Grape: 100% albarino
2nd stop: Hillsborough Vineyards & Brewery
Zip over to Route 9 into verdant and rustic Hillsboro and head up the steep drive at Hillsborough Vineyards. Winemaker Kerem Baki, a graduate of Virginia Tech’s enology program, and his brother, brewer Tolga Baki, work side by side. The 16-year-old vineyard added the brewery operation late last year and Tolga is now producing six beers on tap. Grab an Adirondack chair on the lawn or gaze out the windows of the tasting room for a panoramic view across the gardens into the valley. Hillsborough is home to one of the nation’s largest plantings of the fer servadou grape, which is used in both the soft, lightly oaked Bloodstone and bolder Ruby, where the grape is blended with tannat and petit verdot.
Next stop: 11 minutes; 6.2 miles
Bring home the bottle
Hillsborough Vineyards Opal 2016 ($24)
Taste: “A perfect white wine for the red-wine drinker, full-bodied with citrus and tropical notes.”
Grape: 100% petit manseng
3rd stop: Dinner at West End Wine Bar & Pub
The West End Wine Bar & Pub in Purcellville is set in a 100-year-old former inn and features plenty of woodwork, stone fireplaces, exposed brick and stone archways with views of the restaurant’s gardens, adjacent to the Loudoun Golf & Country Club. Go meaty with the burger, ground in-house and served with duck-fat fries, or any of the seafood options including scallop gratin, lump crab cakes and coconut curry shrimp.
Next stop: 12 minutes; 6.5 miles
4th stop: Relaxing with, or without, a glass of wine at AltaTerra Farm Bed & Breakfast
Enjoy 180-degree views of the Blue Ridge from your private flagstone patio at AltaTerra Farm Bed & Breakfast, adjacent to Hillsborough Vineyard. The B&B overlooks a valley with stables, farms and plenty of grapes, and has a roomy front porch, fire pits and plenty of other outdoor spaces for relaxing and taking Instagram snaps. Enjoy freshly baked croissants, local eggs and late-season produce from the on-site garden at breakfast. Take a glass of wine over to the small pond and waterfall on the north side of the grounds. And maybe, put down the screens to enjoy the view.
Hillsboro offers plenty of rustic charm, including the Old Stone School, now the town’s community center and hub … Fieldstone Farm, an antique-filled, Quaker-built stone manor house from the 1700s, is another beautiful option for an overnight stay.
Bluemont Vineyard: 18755 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont
Hillsborough Vineyards & Brewery: 36716 Charles Town Pike, Hillsboro
West End Wine Bar & Pub: 36855 W. Main St., Purcellville
AltaTerra Farm Bed & Breakfast: 36562 Charles Town Pike, Hillsboro