June 1, 2017
Forget Napa. You can make a grape escape in less than an hour drive from the nation’s capital. Loudoun County, Virginia, also known as DC Wine Country, is home to 40 wineries and counting. With so many wineries to choose from, where do you begin?
Explore a Wine Cluster
There are six wine clusters in Loudoun County. Think of these wine clusters as mini wine trails that you can explore. The wineries are grouped by proximity to one another.
Most of the clusters include up to eight wineries, which is more than you could (or should) visit in a day. The Snickers Gap Cluster is the smallest cluster with five wineries and therefore perhaps the most doable in a day.
It’s best to limit your tour to just three or four wineries in a day. Alternatively, you could spread out your tour over a weekend, enjoying an overnight (and some spa time) at Lansdowne, Salamander or another resort in the region.
Let Someone Else Do the Driving
You could elect a designated driver but if you’ve got a big group, you might do better hiring a tour company. Not only do you get a driver to shuttle your girls from winery to winery — all of you getting to enjoy the tastings — you can let someone else do the planning.
DiVine Tours offers private tours customized to your group. Tours include tasting fees and a gourmet lunch plus behind-the-scenes access and photographs to commemorate the day.
Cork & Keg offers tours for groups up to 12. Tours include three to five venues; cheese, crackers, and fruit — the perfect accompaniment to wine — and photographs. Cork & Keg also tours the LoCo Ale trail, if you prefer suds instead or want to mix and match the experience; Loudoun County has a growing craft beer and distillery scene, too.