There were sunny skies well into harvest during the 2019 grape-growing season in Virginia, which was a welcome change from the historic rainfalls of 2018. But despite those biblical rains, three new wine labels in Loudoun County came to market: October One Vineyard, Bozzo Family Vineyards and Fleetwood Farm Winery. That tumultuous season didn’t slow them down. Here, a sampling of what this trio of new wineries is offering for its guests this winter.
Steve Bozzo is enjoying a busy semi-retirement from the legal world as the vineyard’s winemaker-manager-owner at Bozzo Family Vineyards on the slopes of Short Hill Mountain in Purcellville. Bozzo opened in 2018, a few months after its 2016 Bordeaux-style blend, 2nd Act, won a gold medal at the Virginia Governor’s Cup. Bozzo, a Leesburg resident who spent three decades in corporate law at Verizon and still practices part time, studied winemaking at Piedmont Virginia Community College. He bought the vineyard property with his wife, Maureen, in 2013. // 35226 Charles Town Pike, Purcellville
On the Horizon
Bozzo already has plans to expand the winery’s cozy tasting room and production facility, but is watching the Route 9 road project in nearby Hillsboro before moving forward with construction plans.
To Try: Bozzo Family Vineyards, 2018 2nd Act, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot blend. Will be released early 2020.
Tasting Notes: Cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot come together for this fruit-forward wine with a gentle finish.
When Jamie McClellan and Skip Edgemond’s last child was preparing to leave their Reston home for college, the two turned to a new challenge: opening the adults-only Fleetwood Farm Winery in 2018. Edgemond, who also owns Greenworks Landscaping in Chantilly, has decades of experience in horticulture and McClellan’s background is in design, but neither had worked in the wine industry professionally. Luckily, in Virginia, there are plenty of professionals who can help with that. The winery in 2019 marked the first harvest of its estate-grown Norton grape, and Slater Run winemaker Katell Griaud will use the fruit in a future port-style bottling. The Winery at Bull Run winemaker Ashton Lough also does custom crush work for Fleetwood, which offers several house bottles made with Virginia grapes and out-of-state fruit, in addition to a secondary tasting list featuring bottles from Bordeaux. // 23075 Evergreen Mills Road, Leesburg
On the Horizon
A designated event space is scheduled to open in 2020 so Fleetwood will no longer have to shut its tasting room early when weddings are scheduled.
To Try: Fleetwood Farms, 2018 Garden Rosé, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. Tasting Notes: This cabernet franc-forward Virginia rosé has notes of raspberry, black currant and plum with a peppered finish.
Bob Rupy has grown a lot of grapes in Virginia—starting with a decade-long tenure as co-owner and winemaker at Bluemont Vineyard. In 2013, he planted a sloping site near Bluemont that would lay the groundwork for October One Vineyard, named after his wedding anniversary with wife, Loree. The pair celebrated their silver anniversary in 2019, as October One launched a new wine club and won the Loudoun Wineries Association’s Chairman’s Grand Award for its 2018 viognier. Rupy plans to enter it in the Governor’s Cup for 2020.
On the Horizon
October One doesn’t have a tasting room, but it does offer online sales. In the winter months, look for events like bar takeovers at October One winemaker Nate Walsh’s winery in Purcellville. And from May to October, Rupy sells his single vineyard wines at Leesburg Farmers Market and Cascades Farmers Market in Sterling.
To Try: October One Vineyard, 2018 Viognier.
Tasting Notes: Acacia wood gives this Virginia classic added complexity.
This post originally appeared in our January 2020 issue. To subscribe to print, find our 2020 deals here. To have food and drink articles sent straight to your inbox, subscribe to our weekly e-newsletters.