Loudoun winemakers team up to create a collaborative red blend

The Loudoun Heights Agritourism Council created a collaborative red blend that went on sale Feb. 12.

A group of Loudoun County winemakers have teamed up to create a red wine blend called the 2019 Valle Tranquilo, and bottles went on sale Feb. 12.

Nancy Deliso, co-owner of 868 Estates Vineyards, said the concept began in 2019 when the wineries along the Loudoun Heights wine trail in northwestern Loudoun were planning for the one-year construction period of Route 9 in Hillsboro.

They decided to form a business group called the Loudoun Heights Agritourism Council to help market themselves and provide a unified message, Deliso said.

One of the projects included creating a collaborative wine blend to sell, and they plan to use a portion of the proceeds for future collaborative projects.

The wine blend was made using merlot grapes grown at Breaux Vineyards, petit verdot from Two Twisted Posts, cabernet franc from 868 Estates and tannat from Hillsborough Vineyards.

“It’s a great project. Everyone who had single varietal wine in barrels donated a barrel to the blend,” Deliso said.

The group met at Hillsborough Vineyards where winemaker Kerem Baki led the blending and bottling process. Stephen Mackey, owner of Notaviva Craft Fermentations, designed the wine label.

“What really excites me about this wine is that it represents a coming together of the vineyards in our area. We’ve always been friends, but this is the first time that we have worked together as artistic collaborators,” said Baki.

Deliso describes the full-bodied wine as a “bold red blend.”

“This brought everyone together — it was a good way to stay connected. We already have barrels set aside for a 2020 vintage,” Deliso said.

Ninety-six cases of wine (1,152 bottles) were made, and they are now on sale at the participating wineries.

“It will be fun to collect the whole series as they are released,” Deliso said.

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