How many wineries do we have now in Loudoun County? 35? 40?
When it comes to wine, there's always room for one more.
Greenhill Winery and Vineyards in Middleburg popped the cork on its operation Aug. 30, opening daily from noon until sunset through September, at which point hours will shift from noon until 7 p.m. until March.
In its inaugural year, the winery is offering four Virginia wines: a Bordeaux blend labeled Philosophy; a vidal blanc; a soft and lovely syrah; and a rare Virginia Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, composed 100 percent of chardonnay.
All of Greenhill's labels – though not estate-grown in the first year – come from Virginia grapes, holding to the winery's “experience the authentic” tagline.
Husband-wife duo Sébastien Marquet and Isabelle Truchon, owners of Burgundy Style Consulting, spearheaded the creation of the 128-acre Greenhill compound, just east of downtown Middleburg on the former Swedenburg Winery property, along with proprietor David Greenhill.
The new operation boasts 11 acres of vines, a tasting room and a mesmerizing old stone manor. The historic structure will function as an exclusive tasting room for Greenhill Wine Club members.
Marquet, also the chief winemaker at Doukenie Winery in Purcellville and the new Vineyards and Winery at Lost Creek in Leesburg, is a French implant who began making wine in the renowned Burgundy region as a teenager. His philosophy, he says, is to “adapt [his] knowledge and experience to the unique terroir [he's] presented with.”
“I am a traditionalist, taking Old World techniques, and refining them for the New World palate. To me, making wine is both a science and an art, a communion with nature. It’s a lifestyle,” Marquet notes on the Greenhill website.
Greenhill's on-site vineyards fall within the recently-established Middleburg American Viticultural Area (AVA) concentrated in Loudoun County. The Middleburg AVA's gneiss and granite soil is among the best in Virginia wine country.
Greenhill's operators plan to plant five new acres of vines in 2014, adding the Virginia-popular viognier varietal to their wine list.
Truchon will serve as the general manager, Marquet the winemaker, and the worldly entrepreneur Greenhill, who purchased the property in spring, will act in essence as CEO for the winery and vineyard.
“Our goal is to produce the finest wines possible, joining the ranks of other Virginia wineries to ‘bottle shock’ California – and the rest of the world – with our quality and artful passion for winemaking,” Greenhill said.
Read past Wine Wednesdays here:
-"Blaufrankisch: Only at Otium" -- Aug. 7
-"A fine birthday wine; Diggin’ into vin at Doukenie" -- July 3
-"Boxin’ it up at Village; D.C. Wine Country destination race" -- June 5