breweries

New, Noteworthy, and Need-to-visit: Hunt Country Wineries and Vineyards Off the Beaten Path

With the cool autumn air comes a desire to embrace the season and gather with friends and family at one of the many vineyards or wineries throughout the Virginia wine region. Luckily, no matter what vintage or grape varietals you prefer, there’s something for everyone in Hunt Country.

We’ve rounded up local wineries and vineyards that are ripe for the picking to consider adding to your fall bucket list or upcoming wine tour. 

Three Creeks Winery

18548 Harmony Church Road
Hamilton, VA 20158

For a hidden gem just minutes from Leesburg, wine devotees should not overlook Three Creeks Winery on Harmony Church Road. Owners P.J. and John Lawrence are known for their hospitality and love getting to know their patrons, making it feel like a truly intimate experience. 

The adult-only winery offers vineyard views with outdoor seating in a serene setting. Grab a glass and have a seat near one of the creeks or head into the barn for a tasting to enjoy European-style wines in French varietals grown in Virginia’s soil. 

The winery offers six reds and four whites as well as a rosé made with grapes from a selection of Virginia vineyards. Two of the reds include grapes from the state of Washington and Northern California. The 2019 Sur-Lie Viognier, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sur-Lie Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Melange Rouge all received silver medals at the 2022 Governor’s Cup competition.

Endhardt Vineyards. Courtesy of Endhardt Vineyards.

Endhardt Vineyards

19600 Lincoln Road
Purcellville, VA 20132

Endhardt Vineyards is situated on 46 acres of idyllic rolling hills with 11 acres of vines. Located a few miles outside the village of Lincoln near Purcellville, owner Johannes (known as “Hannes”) Endhardt, and his wife, Sarah, opened the winery in 2021. “We are focused on creating memorable, high-quality Virginia wines while providing an incredible atmosphere to connect with family and friends,” Hannes says.

Guests will enjoy the beautiful vista overlooking grape vines while sampling  their wine selection. Hannes recommends a stainless steel 2021 Chardonnay that is finished on some very light oak. Another popular choice is the 2019 Bordeaux blend that has 50 percent Merlot, 25 percent Cab Franc and 25 percent Petit Verdot resulting in “beautiful notes of red currant and dark cherry with a light pepper finish.”

Hope Flower Farm and Winery

40905 Stumptown Road
Waterford, VA 20197

Picture meandering around a flower field bursting with color as you enjoy a house-made wine or cider. You can make this experience come to life with a visit to Hope Flower Farm and Winery!

October marks the height of dahlia season at Hope Flower Farm in Waterford — the perfect occasion to snip flowers and sip one of the farm’s seasonal drinks. The “cut your own” flowers at Hope’s harvest fields make it a sought-out destination for picnics, photo shoots, and outdoor gatherings. Guests can walk around the farm and see the gardens, the animals, and enjoy being surrounded by the floral beauty.

The farm features flower-inspired wines from around the world including a seasonally driven fall wine selection. In addition to wines, the farm also makes ciders including the “Jack Cat,” which is a hard apple cider with hints of hops. The newest addition to the menu is the farm’s Strawberry Lavender drink.

Purchased by Holly and Evan Chapple in July 2015, this historic 25-acre estate was the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Holly’s successful floral and event business, Holly Heider Chapple Flowers.

Holly was able to expand from her home-based studio of 23 years to the rural retreat that now serves as a gathering place to teach and mentor fellow floral designers.

The estate, once a working dairy farm, is named in honor of the Hope family that farmed the land for over 60 years. The farm includes a stone Quaker house built in 1820, three barns, a guesthouse, and a smaller barn which serves as a studio. 

Already known as a playground for floral design, Hope Flower Farm is gaining a well deserved reputation as a social spot for a glass of vino in a field of flowers. 

Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery. Courtesy of Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery.

Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery

18301 Whitehall Estate Lane
Bluemont, VA 20135 

For a total crowd-pleaser, set your sights on Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery, located at Whitehall Estate. Towering 100-year-old trees offer shade and tranquility on this 50-acre countryside escape. Their slogan, “Come together and visit often,” accurately captures the ambiance of this Loudoun newcomer. In addition to pours of your choice, guests have the opportunity to sample a wide variety of dining options. 

The property, a combination of rustic charm and southern elegance, has been owned by David Weinschel and Doug Armstrong since 1993. Previously Whitehall Estate,  it served solely as a wedding and events venue until March when it was transformed into a brewery and winery. “Being a wedding venue for years, people would come out, they would enjoy this beautiful property and then we’d never see them again,” says Doug, who is enthusiastic about the new operation. They’ve been growing Cabernet Franc grapes on the property for 10 years, in preparation.

The name “Bluemont Station” is a nod to Bluemont’s rail line past. The line went right across the front of the property, connecting Washington, D.C’s social elite to a mountain “cool air” retreat. While visiting Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery, guests can check out a vintage 1926 train caboose that has been restored and is now a centerpiece of the facility and its brand.

Hope Flower Farm and Winery. Courtesy of Hope Flower Farm and Winery.

October One Vineyard

7 Loudoun Street SW
Leesburg, VA 20175

Recently added to the Leesburg scene is a wine tasting room called One October, or O1V. The owners, Bob and Loree Rupy, opened the shop in August after years of experience growing grapes and making wine at their vineyard. In 2013, they planted their first grapes for the brand on their 30-acre Bluemont property. At first, the Rupys sold locally at farmers markets and events before expanding to the Leesburg brick-and-mortar facility.

One October is open Wednesday through Sunday. O1V wines include a Viognier, Albariño, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. Guests can either enjoy a flight or a glass on the outside patio or inside for a modernized, aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.

Eagle Tree Farm Vineyards

15100 Harrison Hill Lane
Leesburg, VA 20176

Venture off Highway 15 and take the gravel road less traveled to Eagle Tree Farm Vineyards which occupies a beautiful slice of rural Virginia. The family-owned, chef-driven winery and full-service restaurant sells estate-grown and vinified wines for your enjoyment.  

Eagle Tree is known for blueberry picking in the spring, but to wine enthusiasts and foodies, the place is much more. The picturesque grounds feature an outdoor pavilion with a wood-fired oven for pizzas and a nature trail. The property is open during the weekend and weekday evenings and is also family friendly.
Lori McKeever and Head Chef, Jeff Judge, are co-owners of the restaurant and vineyard. The restaurant is open year-round.  With Chardonnay, Viognier, Cab Franc, Talon, and Tannat, there’s something for everyone in your party. ML

This article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue.

Three Bands You Need to See this Summer and Where

Three Bands You Need to See this Summer and Where

Written by Chelsea Moore

As live music makes its return, music lovers flock to local shows with excitement and maybe a little caution. Live music ushers the return of community and many of our favorite things — dancing under the stars, supporting local breweries and wineries, and turning strangers into friends at live shows. Catch these three local bands across the Northern Virginia area this summer. Trust us when we say: You won’t want to miss this.

THE CROOKED ANGELS

Husband and wife duo Amy and Jamie Potter started playing in different bands but decided to combine their musical talents and form The Crooked Angels six years ago. The band’s name is a nod to Emylou Harris and the late Gram Parsons, who created a band called The Fallen Angels.

“It was a cool 70s traditional country with some psychedelic elements,” Jamie said. “[The name ‘The Crooked Angels’ is] not a sinister thing, but I think everybody has real humanity that is good and bad, and we can explore that through music.”

Amy sings and plays guitar, and Jamie plays guitar and the keyboard. While they primarily play local shows, they have performed as far south as Charleston, South Carolina. Their genre spans country, bluegrass, and Americana.

“Music is a universal language,” Jamie said. “Beyond political and religious affiliations, it’s something that cuts across all demographics. You play to your strengths. [It’s] communication without some grand fundamental message. This is what I’m feeling and enjoying, and maybe you connect with that, maybe you don’t.”

Outside of the band, the two have unique and exciting careers. Jamie writes novels for young adults, with newly published “Thomas Creeper and the Gloomsbury Secret” through Regal House Publishing. He was recently interviewed on Good Morning America and ABC News. Amy is a master healer and practices reiki.

“Music is the joy,” Jamie said. “We have our gears going in different areas, and we come together and are in the community. It’s great to come out of the cloister and be in the world again.”

Where To Catch The Crooked Angels This Summer:

Live Music at Lost Barrel Brewing
Fri., July 9, 5-8 p.m.
36138 John Mosby Hwy, Middleburg, Va. Join Lost Barrel Brewing in Middleburg every Friday for live music from 5-8 p.m. Happy hour is from 4 – 6 p.m.

Live Music at Dirt Farm Brewing Fri., July 16, 4-7 p.m.
18701 Foggy Bottom Rd, Bluemont, Va. Meet us at Dirt Farm Brewing for beer and music.

Live Music at Slater Run Vineyard Fri., July 23, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. 1500 Crenshaw Rd, Upperville, Va. Join us at Slater Run Vineyard for wine and music.

Live Music at Slater Run Vineyard Fri., Aug. 27, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. 1500 Crenshaw Rd, Upperville, Va. Join us at Slater Run Vineyard for wine and music.

Learn more about The Crooked Angels and find details on upcoming shows by visiting facebook.com/thecrookedangels.

SHORT HILL MOUNTAIN BOYS

What began as a two-person fiddle and guitar duo has turned into the 5-person Short Hill Mountain Boys. The founders of the band live in Lovettsville and named the group after the Short Hill Mountain. Primarily a cover band, the group plays throwback covers people haven’t heard before.

“Most of our stuff has not been on pop charts ever,” John Bestwick, the band’s co-founder, said. “It’s fresh, new material that people will hear. It’s all fun music. It has a definite bluegrass background and roots. It’s got country, swing, jazz, folk, soul, and Mo-town music.”

The band is composed of John Bestwick, who plays guitar and is lead singer; Joe Hammett, who plays guitar, mandolin, and does vocals; Evan Bell, who plays bass; Erik Burnham, who plays the mandolin, harmonica, and does vocals; and Ben Walters on fiddle and vocals.

“We just love playing music together,” Bestwick said. “That’s the tie that binds us. That’s what I love most: the camaraderie and musicianship with some of my best friends.”

The band members all have full-time jobs, but the band is their creative outlet. “Music is a passion of ours, and we are always going to do this,” Bestwick said.

Where To Catch The Short Hill Mountain Boys This Summer:

Low Country Boil On The Mountain Sat., July 17 from 5-8 p.m.
South Mountain Creamery
8305 Bolivar Rd, Middletown, Md. Bring your friends and family and kick back to the sounds of Short Hill Mountain Boys, who will strum into the night with a blend of bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, classic country, and folk music. Tickets available at southmountaincreamery.com.

Live Music by Short Hill Mountain Boys at Flying Ace Farm
Flying Ace Farm, 40950 Flying Ace Ln, Lovettsville, Va.
Sun., July 18 from 2 – 5 p.m.
Join us for live music by Short Hill Mountain Boys.

Bluegrass on the Half Shell
Sat., Aug. 21
Henway Hard Cider,
18780 Foggy Bottom Rd, Bluemont, Va. Join us at Henway Hard Cider for a full day of local bluegrass bands that will have you flatfooting in no time! Tickets required.

Find the Short Hill Mountain Boys on Facebook, where they share upcoming shows.

SCYTHIAN

Scythian was founded over a decade ago when brothers Alexander and Danylo Fedoryka began singing in Old Town Alexandria as street performers. Since their humble beginnings, they have grown into a successful folk-rock band, performing across Ireland and the United States.

Alexander and Danylo are first-generation sons of Ukrainian immigrants. Scythian, named after Ukrainian nomads, has four band members: Alexander Fedoryka, who plays the fiddle, mandolin, bass, and does vocals; Danylo Fedoryka, who plays rhythm guitar, accordion, and does vocals; Johnny Rees on drums; and Ethan Dean who plays electric and upright bass and does vocals. Their music spans the Americana, bluegrass, country, folk, and world genres, finding its sweet spot in folk-rock.

During COVID, the band live-streamed shows every two weeks to a cumulative audience of over 600,000. To support the band, fans bought t-shirts and sent them money over Venmo. But now, as live music returns, they are eager for fans to come out in person.

For the first time since 2019, they are hosting Appaloosa, their annual music festival, on August 13-15 in Front Royal. The festival has hosted Grammy-award-winning artists and was voted the best music festival in D.C.

“The festival is super family-friendly, but still hip,” Danylo said. “We want people to come out, and we want people to believe in music again, and believe in community,” Danylo said.

Tickets vary in pricing, from general admission to VIP tickets that include luxury chalets for glamping at the festival. This year’s festival will be smaller than previous years, but with 15-20 artists performing, attendees are still in for a treat.

“We are keeping it very affordable because a lot of people don’t feel comfortable because of COVID,” Danylo said. “It’s going to be one of the most reasonably priced festivals out there.”

With ample outdoor space, the festival is the perfect way for people to “dip their toes in the water and get back into social environments” while still being socially distant, Danylo said.

“It’s not a guarantee that live music is going to come back unless people take risks,” he said. “If you ever get in a car accident, you have to get in the car as soon as possible, or it reaffirms that you’re scared. With music, we have to throw these festivals, or otherwise, people are going to get comfortable in their fear.”

He pointed out that before COVID, live music was at an all-time low. He credits the slowness with the ease of Netflix, which provides entertainment without needing to leave the house. But he believes live music is going to come back stronger.

“The type of appreciation people are going to have for live music is going to be a throwback, like the 60s again,” he said. “It’s an electric vibe. It’s kind of my suspicion that this will be our best year.” 

Where To Catch Scythian This Summer:

Music at Arrowbrook Centre Park
Sat., July 17 at 7:30 p.m. Arrowbrook Centre Park, 2351 Field Point Rd., Herndon, Va. Gather with your friends, family, and neighbors to dance till the sun goes down and picnic under the stars as you enjoy this free show.

Appaloosa Music Festival Fri., Aug. 13-15 at 3 p.m. Skyline Ranch Resort, 751 Mountain Rd., Front Royal, Va. Appaloosa will be a joyful weekend that will show the world that live music is not dead. We suggest getting your tickets early.

Learn more about Scythian by visiting scythianmusic.com, and get more details on the Appaloosa Music Festival by visiting appaloosafestival.com. ML

This article first appeared in the July 2021 Issue.