Loudoun’s newest winery celebrates its grand opening Saturday. Surrounded by subdivisions in the fast-growing Aldie area, Old Farm Winery at Hartland still provides a glimpse of the county’s agricultural traditions.
While the winery is destined to become a popular neighborhood hangout for many of Loudoun’s newest residents, for owner Jon Hickox the connection to Loudoun’s farming legacy is important. The 35-acre property was once part of the 1,100-acre Lenah Farm that now is home to new suburban neighborhoods.
As a youth, Hickox worked on C.D. Smith’s cattle farm, one of many lining the Rt. 50 corridor before development started moving west from South Riding. He started his construction/remodeling company while a student at George Mason University. A decade ago, he combined those interests with the opening of the Winery at Bull Run in Fairfax County.
He credits Willowsford developer Mark Trostle with sharing a vision for the use of the large farm lot as the adjacent Hartland neighborhood moved to construction. “I believed that we could save this portion of the land, preserve the old farmhouse, and showcase this preservation effort alongside the entranceway and road frontage to this new community, serving as a wonderful amenity to both Hartland and the surrounding areas,” Hickox said.
Hickox envisions preserving the property as a family-run farm that is open to the public for hundreds of thousands of visitors to enjoy every year, sampling award-winning wine, learning about the farm’s history, and taking the distinctive natural beauty of the county’s farm landscape.
“The concept of a farm winery in a community is very new, which surprises me because I would have thought it would have caught on many years ago. It’s almost like the old golf course community model, but you replace the golf course with a farm winery,” he said.
Twelve acres of the farm have been newly planted with grapes—vidal blanc, petit manseng and Albarino. In all, Hickox has 90 acres in vines, producing 300 tons of grapes each year, with winemaker Ashton Lough producing 20,000 cases of wine that pour into 1.2 million glasses.
While looking forward to welcoming the visitors who will come for the wine, music, and views, Hickox’s continues to focus on the property’s late 19th century farmhouse and even older bank barn. By next spring, they’ll be venues for weddings and events—but only after a restoration that he hopes will help tell the story of Loudoun’s agricultural roots.
“I’m just as proud of those old structures as I am of the wine business as a whole,” he said. “It’s just so cool for people to see what this place used to look like in an area that is so full of transients. … They don’t know the Loudoun that I remember. It will be so neat for them to see these old structures in this setting.”
Old Farm Winery at Hartand is located at 23583 Fleetwood Road in Aldie. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Children are welcome. Pets and outside food and drinks are not permitted.
Learn more at oldfarmwineryhartland.com.