I’ll start by saying that Virginia wines are good. Some are exceptional, some are less so. There are a handful of wineries that I have been to where every offering on the tasting menu was amazing. Stone Tower Winery is on another level. Not only are all of their wines first class examples of Virginia terroir and wine making, but the staff are friendly, the building is simply gorgeous, and the views will take your breath away!
I had the pleasure of visiting Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg, Virginia a few weeks ago with some new found friends. Stone Tower is owned by Mike and Kristi Huber, who also own Belfort Furniture. We were greeted by two of the friendliest people. Sarah, a manager, and Kristi Huber herself. Sarah, known for her fabulous hair bows, was asking about our Thanksgiving holiday while Kristi got us some glasses of their Wild Boar Blanc de Blancs. Unfortunately, Kristi had to run, as she was helping to prepare some croissant croutons for a salad on the menu. Kristi has a hand in everything at the winery, including preparing some of the food! Sarah wished us a great visit, and we walked around the building.
Stone Tower has two tasting rooms. The Harvest Barn is more casual, meant for families and pets. We were in the main tasting room, which is meant for people 21 years and older. This building is made out of stone, and overlooks a heart shaped pond and rolling hillside vineyards. The hardwood floors, leathered seating (all from Belfort!), grand chandeliers, and fireplaces are all simply stunning. There are three floors, making this tasting venue huge!
Stone Tower has two different labels: Estate and Wild Boar. Estate wines are made from grapes grown on the property, whereas Wild Boar wines are made at Stone Tower, but the grapes are from other locations. Each label has it’s own design and specify where the grapes are from to better inform the drinker. All wines are made on the property.
We were able to snag a section of the bar in the Wild Boar Hall with Kevin, Stone Tower’s Brand Ambassador. Kevin might have the kindest soul I have ever met, and I only knew him for an hour. While giving us the tasting, he would ask about our lives, make connections with us, give a wealth of information about the wine, and make sure that we were enjoying ourselves. He served others, but when he was with our group, he was really with our group, as if we were the only ones there. Kevin, thank you for this experience!
Typically, tastings are $15 for six wines, but we were lucky enough to sample almost everything off of the menu. I was so engrossed in conversation with my friends and Kevin that I totally forgot to write any notes! While every single wine was incredible (truly), there were some standouts:
- Wild Boar Rosé Cuvee: Perfect amount of bubbles to go along with a gorgeous bouquet of strawberry, pomegranate, and cherry blossoms. Sadly, they were all out of this to purchase, or I certainly would have gone home with a bottle!
- 2016 Wild Boar Petite-Manseng Viognier: Not overly sweet, this wine is perfect for any occasion with any food. It’s a medium bodied white with floral, citrus, and oak notes. The body and flavors allow it to be paired with all kinds of food or on it’s own.
- 2015 Wild Boar Sanglier Noble: A Bordeaux styled blend (can’t remember the proportions), full of cherry, chocolate, and spice, we got a bottle of this to pair with chocolate covered almonds and a charcuterie spread. This was heavenly!
- 2016 Estate Chardonnay: Spending some time in some French oak, this Chardonnay is not the buttery, oaky Chardonnay that many people do not like. Instead, the oak provides some body and creaminess to the wine. Lemon curd, peach, pear, and melon are beautifully balanced along with some nice minerality.
- 2014 Estate Wind Swept Hill and Estate Hogback Mountain: These are two different wines, which take on Left Bank and Right Bank Bordeaux Styles. The Wind Swept Hill is very Right Bank styled, consisting mostly of Merlot, along with some Cab and Petit Verdot. The Hogback Mountain is predominately Cabernet, which is typical of Left Bank Bordeaux wines. It has notes of black cherry, chocolate, and gravel. Wind Swept, which has a bite, is a bit softer and more approachable than the Hogback Mountain. If you like a gripping wine, Hogback is your wine. This one has blackberry and plum flavors, along with some pepper and dried floral elements.
If you haven’t yet, I would highly suggest visiting Stone Tower Winery. Everything is impressive, starting with the drive in, which consists of a paved driveway. While a minor detail, it is key when the driveway is a mile long down a windy road. Even if the tasting room is crowded (if you go on a weekend, it will be), the staff will go out of their way to make sure you are having a good time and you get a good spot for a tasting. After tasting, you have a variety of beautiful furniture and seating areas to choose from and relax with a bottle or some food. They have a marketplace available to purchase food and picnic goodies. For more information, visit their website, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. I cannot wait to visit again! If you go, let me know and I’ll join you 🙂