Greenhill Winery Review
Foremost boutique destination winery in Loudoun County, Virginia
Greenhill Winery and Vineyards is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous Virginia wineries that I have visited. It is in the middle of a county known for it hillsides, views, land, and horses. There are 128 acres, 11 belonging to vineyards, and the other 117 belonging to land for Polo Fields, tasting house/area, and a Farm Store. Yes, the surrounding areas are beautiful, but the winery itself is also stunning. They recently renovated the building in January 2016 to include both rustic and modern aesthetics. It is quite impressive!
My friend, Laura Beth, and I visited Greenhill back in May of 2017. We arrived there around 3:00 pm on a Saturday. It was busy, but not so crowded that we couldn't enjoy ourselves. We were wowed as soon as we arrived.
When you enter the Greenhill tasting room, you are greeted by a hostess. The room is set up like a restaurant. There is a tasting bar on your left, but you can also have a tasting at any of the seats, couches, or plush armchairs. Laura Beth and I chose to sit at a table near the window so that we could enjoy the view. Unfortunately, we had a cold front that day, so we didn't sit on the enormous patio outside, but it would be wonderful to do so on a warmer day.
Rigel, our taster, came by almost as soon as we sat down, ready to start us off on our first sample. What I liked about this tasting experience was that you could enjoy the samples as long as you wish. Rigel would come by only when he saw that your glasses were empty, tell you a little about the wine, and then leave to let you enjoy both the wine and your company. I never felt rushed to finish my sample, as Greenhill wants you to savor your tasting and have a relaxing experience.
We were able to sample six wines for $14. This is one of the more expensive vineyards that I have visited, but you are paying for some excellent quality. There weren't any tasting menus that I could write on, so, unfortunately, I wasn't able to take notes. The wines that we tasted were:
- 2015 Blanc de Blancs (Sparkling). This sparkling wine was actually a gift in the Oscar's "Swag Bag" in 2017! I was surprised how velvety and refreshing this wine went down. There was lots of green apple and citrus. If I were to drink this wine with food, I see something equally as velvety and refreshing, like sushi! Though, this would be the perfect apéritif or celebratory drink to have on its own.
- 2015 Viognier (2017 Virginia Governor’s Cup Silver Medal). When I think of Viognier, I usually think of honeysuckle and white-blossomed flowers of some kind. While I had those same notes in the wine, I also tasted some baking spices like nutmeg, which was an interesting element to this wine. It gave it some more depth to the wine but took away from some of the crisp feelings that I enjoy when drinking Viogniers.
- 2015 Chardonnay Reserve (2017 Virginia Governor’s Cup Silver Medal). I very much enjoyed this Chardonnay, which was fermented in stainless steel rather than oak. I have noticed that many Virginia wineries have been fermenting their chardonnays in stainless steel due to an increase in customers who don't enjoy some of the buttery and oaky flavors in Chardonnay. This one was rather crisp, with flavors of jasmine, apricot, and pear. Shrimp cocktail or a salad with nuts and a creamier dressing would be an exceptional pairing.
- 2014 Eternity. Chocolate covered cherries. That is what this wine reminded me of. No, it wasn't sweet, but I got a nose and palate full of cherry and cocoa. It was rather light, so it could be paired with many poultry dishes, like a chicken gyro or ground turkey tacos.
- 2014 Mythology (2017 Virginia Governor’s Cup Silver Medal). I wasn't sure of the blend of this wine, but due to the plummy and earthy flavor, I am imagining that Merlot was involved. It had some body to it and a medium amount of tannins, which would pair well with lamb chops or barbecue brisket.
- 2014 Philosophy (2017 Virginia Governor’s Cup Silver Medal). This wine was my personal favorite. With more of an oaky tannic structure, it also had a much fuller body. While there was a bite to it, it still went down smooth(ish). If you like a wine with more bite, you could drink it on its own (like Laura Beth and me), but if you need food to wash it down, any kind of heavier meal would go well. Think tomato sauces, stews, or soups.
Enjoy a picnic on the grounds
At Greenhill Winery, you can bring your own picnics, but if you don't, hit the Farm store for some yummy goodies or order from their menu at the table. At the farm store, you can find meats, cheeses, bread, jams, etc…, similar to their menu in the tasting room. Just recently, the winery became an adult-only venue in order to keep the upscale appearance and ambiance, so be forewarned of that.
When to go
Greenhill Winery left quite an impression on Laura Beth and me. The beauty and quality of the land, buildings, and wine are a notch above several others that I have been to. Greenhill Winery & Vineyards is open DAILY (yes, daily!) from noon until sunset. This is one of the very few wineries that are open daily, so that's good to keep in mind if you need to take a "mental health day" during the week.
For more information, visit their website, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook page. Let me know if you go and what you thought!
This review first appeared on Sarah's GrapePairings Blog
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