My last free Friday has come and gone, and what a lovely Friday it was. I’ve been trying to do special things in my time off that I can’t do with my kiddo. Virginia has a surprising number of vineyards and wineries, so I booked myself on a tasting tour of Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg.
The tour started at 11am, and it started off well with a tasting of their Wild Boar Blanc de Noir, which is a white sparkling wine made from black grapes. I sat on a comfy couch in the tasting room sipping my sparkling wine and waited for the rest of our tour group to arrive. Their tasting room was lovely with a rustic barnyard feel to it and an amazing view over the valley.
There were five of us total, and once we were all accounted for, we boarded a long golf cart with four rows of seats, with our glasses in hand, and set out with our guide to tour the vineyard. The tour description said there would be some walking involved, so I imagined we’d be wandering through the grape vines, but we never did…only whizzed past them in the golf cart.
Instead, we stopped at the highest spot on the property and took in the views while our guide gave us a history of the winery and talked a bit about the wines they produce. We sampled our second bottle, which was their 2020 Estate Chardonnay.
I’m not really a fan of chardonnay and think it tastes a bit dull and soapy. But this one was quite nice, fresh and fruity, and almost reminded me of a pinot grigio. Our guide explained that the lack of butter and oak flavors, which apparently is what I don’t like, is due to the fact that the wine had been aged in stainless steel containers instead of oak barrels. I will have to remember that from now on!
From there we moved on to the processing warehouse where they do a lot of the actual pressing. Our guide pointed out that they have one of the most expensive chardonnay presses in the world…it’s made by Coquard Presses in France and retails for a couple hundred thousand dollars. At this point we tasted the 2019 Kristi Chardonnay, which was a more traditional chardonnay that I don’t like.
Our next stop was another processing space below the tasting room that also had rows of barrels. Here our guide chatted about the different types of barrels and how to read the markings on each one. Once inside we tried something a little different, their 2020 Estate Rosé, which was made from red Bordeaux grapes and aged in old French oak barrels. It was a dry rosé and quite tasty.
That was pretty much the end of our tour of the property, and we proceeded to a private dining room just off the tasting room and were able to order lunch. They had some lovely sandwiches on the menu, but I eat a lot of sandwiches at home, so I ordered a Prosciutto and Artichoke Wood-Fired Pizza, which was preceded be a nice salad and followed by a Pumpkin Tiramisu. It was all super good, but the prosciutto was a bit tough after being cooked again in the oven.
While we were dining, we sampled three red wines: a 2013 Wind Swept Hill, a 2013 Hogback Mountain, and a 2013 Petit Verdot. My palate is clearly not refined enough as they pretty much all tasted the same to me. And we finished our list off with a 2016 Wild Boar Cellars Port.
The people in our tour group were lovely. One couple had a membership and actually treated myself and the other couple to a bottle of wine of our choosing, which was so amazingly kind and generous. I picked up a bottle of our first chardonnay that was light and crisp and enjoyed it just yesterday.
The price of the tour after fees and taxes came to $155, and it included the tour itself, the food, and eight wine samples. The whole thing lasted about three hours, which I thought was an excellent amount of time. I would highly recommend the tour if you’re ever in the area and do plan to take my son back some weekend to enjoy the family restaurant. Cheers!