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Promoting wine tourism opportunities in the​​ Eastern United States

Stunning views from the picnic area.

Part of the tasting lineup.

Open to Public
Thu–Sun 11 to 5:30

Bottles on display in the tasting room.

Owner(s): Lew Parker
Winemaker: Lew Parker​

The old barn (circa 1870) that houses the tasting room is also quite charming. Unlike many venues with similar structures, the barn was not entirely gutted and remodeled to accommodate scores of weekend revelers. The structure contains a cozy little tasting room and a space for club members, but retains the historic character of a 19th-century barn.

Inside the tasting room, the staff is friendly and well trained. Mary, who poured my wine, is a wine-club member turned wine steward. So she is intimately familiar with the product and excited to share the wines. The tasting proceeded as part of an informed conversation about the wine. It is exactly the kind of experience I am always looking for and it was very well done.

There were fifteen wines on the menu, but visitors are asked to select seven. In her effort to support investigative journalism, Mary was good enough to let me taste a few more. So I came away with a real sense of the uniform quality of the Willowcroft wines. Of course I enjoyed some more than others, but they are all well crafted and there are offerings that will appeal to a range of palates.

The old barn was converted to a tasting space.

Among the whites, I particularly liked the dry-style Albariño, but the Riesling-Muscat Ottonel blend was off the charts. It is an aromatic, perfectly balanced wine filled with crisp apple notes. The Willowcroft rosé is another standout. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Manseng surprised me with its pronounced peach notes up front that are followed by the lightest hint of strawberry. It is unusual in a good way.

The reds were uniformly excellent. The Cabernet Franc had just a hint of green pepper and the Bordeaux blend is excellent, but the Petit Verdot is just over the top. My tasting notes include five stars and the word “Wow!” It offers complexity, structured tannins a long finish and a mouthful of big berry notes. It is worth visiting just for the Petit Verdot.

If you are looking for a winery with a weekend party atmosphere, there are others nearby. You will want to visit Willowcroft Farm Vineyards for the quality of the wine, explore its historic grounds and linger to admire the view. Lew Parker resisted the siren song of entertainment in favor of his vision of fine wine and maintains a winery truly worthy of our support and patronage. I strongly urge you to stop in and after you do, let me know what you think.

Willowcroft Farm Winery Profile

     Written by Brian Sep 21, 2016

Many of the original Virginia wineries have shuttered their doors, but a few are still going strong. Willowcroft Farm Vineyards was the first winery in Loudoun County and one of the oldest in the Commonwealth. Lew Parker purchased the equestrian property, where he also raised horses over the years, but planted grapes in 1978. Today he has nearly fifteen acres under vine and produces about 3000 cases of wine annually.

Willowcroft is not bent on hosting music events and selling large volumes of wine slushies. Lew remains adamant that fine wine is the primary focus. It is definitely not an entertainment venue… at least not in the traditional sense. I arrived to find a large number of visitors gathered on the property outside the tasting room. This is because, from its position on the ridgeline, Willowcroft offers a commanding and utterly breathtaking view of the valley below. The quality of the wine draws visitors and the panoramic overlook gives them a reason to linger with a picnic.

38906 Mount Gilead Road; Leesburg, Virginia 20175

phone: 703-777-8161