Promoting wine tourism opportunities in the Eastern United States
Open to Public
Fri-Sun 12 to 5:30
The tastings are conducted in the living room of the old c.1830 manor house. Tables are laid out and guests are invited to sit, while Bill and Bonnie work the floor and pour the wines. It is very relaxed and the owners take time to talk about the history of the farm, tell a few family stories and discuss the qualities of each wine. It is a fairly singular experience that makes their guests feel welcome and completely at home. I am not sure how it could be improved.
Zephaniah is a relatively small boutique operation. The Hatch family is making about 1200 cases per year from the 9.6 acres of estate-grown fruit. Each of the wines is extraordinary and I can say with absolute candor, that there is not a single wine that is not well crafted and worthy of praise. Nevertheless, I will point out a couple of my favorites.
Right out the gate, the Steamship White got my attention and remained my favorite of the whites. It is a blend of Chardonel, Cabernet Franc, Petit Manseng and Vidal Blanc. The Cab Franc adds a bit of complexity to this perfectly balanced wine. Of course I am always a sucker for a good Cabernet Franc and the Zephaniah example won silver in both the 2014 and 2015 Governor’s Cup. It is no wonder, given the structured tannins and fruit. It also lacked the green pepper of many Cab Francs. It was my top pick and I am surprised it failed to achieve gold.
The property lends itself to exploring. The Hatch family encourages visitors to picnic on the lawn or linger out back in one of the many chairs situated around the grounds. I wandered over to check out the new event hall that is being constructed next door. I can tell you, that it will be a beautiful space that will only compliment an already special venue. I am excited to return and see it in its final form.
If you have not previously visited, I strongly urge you to make the drive. Zephaniah is only open on the weekends and closes during the winter, because the roads can be a bit treacherous. Regardless, it is a place that really needs to be seen in fair weather, when you can plan to spend some time and explore. Get on over there and let me know what you think.
A few bottles bearing the Zephania label.
Tastings are in an old c. 1830 manor house..
19381 Dunlop Mill Road; Leesburg, Virginia 20175
The foyer leads to the tasting room.
An eclectic array of seating in the yard.
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Profile
Written by Brian May 25, 2015
Just the day before stopping in at Zephaniah Farm Vineyard, I had visited my 199th Virginia winery. So I was hoping to cap the 200 milestone with something special. There have been many along the way that might have qualified, but Zephaniah really fit the bill. The visit was something of a personal celebration, but that should not detract from the winery itself. It is a wonderful venue in a beautiful old home and the wines are all spectacular.
In addition to being a working farm, this is the definition of a family vineyard. The name, “Zephaniah,” is borrowed from the owner's grandfather, who ran the Monticello Steamboat Company in San Francisco. On the day of my visit, both Bill Hatch and Bonnie Archer were working the tasting room and at least one of their daughters was helping out. It is the family that manages the vineyard and makes the wine. All of the blends are determined by family council. They seriously sit down together, taste the various blends and vote. How egalitarian is that? In any case, it seems to work.
Owner(s): Bill Hatch and Bonnie Archer
Winemaker: Bill Hatch