By Renss Greene

The Loudoun Wineries & Winegrowers Association on Wednesday announced the gold and silver medal winners from among a record number of submissions for the seventh annual Loudoun Wine Awards.

This year there were 139 wines entered into the competition, marking the most wines ever submitted. All are made with 100% Virginia fruit, at are required to be made with at least 75% fruit from Loudoun County. This year, judges handed out 15 gold and 112 silver medals. Gold medals this year went to wines from 8 Chains North, 868 Estate Vineyards, Bluemont Vineyard, Cana Vineyards & Winery of Middleburg, Carriage House Wineworks, Doukenie Winery, Maggie Malick Wine Caves, Three Creeks Winery and Williams Gap Vineyard.

Competition Director and Chief Judge Neal Wavra, owner of Field & Main Restaurant, said in the years he has been judging the competition he has seen Loudoun’s wineries both improve in  quality and expand in variety of their offerings, with new categories now being judged that a few years ago weren’t offered.

“This is probably something that’s been underway for a while, but we’re just starting to see the—pun intended—fruits of their labor,” he said.

Judges taste Loudoun wines at Echelon Wine Bar in Leesburg on Monday, Sept. 12, sampling a record-setting 139 entries.

And he said where Loudoun excels is in crafting an elegant style of wine, such as the Viogniers, Albariños, Cabernet Francs and Bordeaux-style blends. He said those are distinguish Loudoun as “something specifically special.”

At Field & Main, he said, those styles both pair well with a wide variety of plates and meet the demand for local food and drink with a sense of place.

“People who travel out to us are traveling to taste farm food, to taste a food of place. And they’re not only interested in food of place, they’re interested in drink of place, and these wines certainly fall into place,” he said.

The biggest awards of the year are still be to announced. The medal-winning  wines will  be  poured  at  the Grand  Tasting  Reception at Lansdowne Resort and Spa on Friday, Oct. 14, before the ceremony where the wineries association will announce the best-in-show Grand Award, best-in-class by varietal category, and Loudoun County’s Winemaker  of the Year, Winegrower of the Year and Wine Ambassador of the Year.

Loudoun Wineries & Winegrowers Association Event Chair Sarah Walsh said she has also seen the county’s wine offerings continue to grow.

“We do have some new wineries, so there is small amount of that playing into it, but also the younger wineries now have a bigger breadth of wine available that they feel comfortable putting forward,” she said. “So I think it is an increase in wine quality.”

Judges taste Loudoun wines at Echelon Wine Bar in Leesburg on Monday, Sept. 12, sampling a record-setting 139 entries.

As Loudoun’s winemakers refine their craft and expand their capabilities, they are supported by a local industry that Walsh said stands out among winegrowing regions for being community-oriented.

“They’re truly your neighbors,” she said. That was also the case at Walsh and her husband Nate’s Walsh Family Wine, which they founded in 2014. They started growing grapes on the four-acre Bethany Ridge vineyard near Waterford while still working day jobs, then expanding to lease another 20 acres at Twin Notch Farm. They spent several years borrowing space at Sunset Hills, where Nate Walsh was the longtime winemaker, and other vineyards. 

And in 2019, they bought the former North Gate Vineyard, now Walsh Family Wine—where they share their vineyard space with other winegrowers.

“Our goal with that space has always been to be really involved in the community, and for everyone to feel like that’s a place that they can come and feel at home, and welcome, and inspired,” she said.

As hospitality businesses continue to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, Walsh said Loudoun’s winery business in some cases saw its profile as DC’s wine country grow even more over the past two years.

“If you were a winery who was less event-focused, but you had space for people to come and spread out, you had more people coming,” she said. “Because you have all this traffic, and people around the beltway and around DC where, during COVID, they were looking for places to go where they could be outside, spread out and meet their friends.”

And she said many hands help make the annual wine awards happen.

“The impact of the awards and the gala is so good for our industry and the community that it brings together,” she said. “I just am so grateful for all the people that come together to make this awards ceremony happen for the community.”

Loudoun Wine Award Dinner tickets are $125 per person and include the grand tasting reception, the awards ceremony and dinner. Get tickets at 2022loudounwineawards.eventbrite.com.

Loudoun Wine Awards Competition Results

Winery Wine Name / Vintage
8 Chains North  Furnace Mountain Red 2019 
868 Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2021
868 Estate Vineyards Viognier 2020
Bluemont Vineyard 2021 Albariño 
Cana Vineyards & Winery of Middleburg Albariño 2021
Cana Vineyards & Winery of Middleburg Chardonnay 2020
Carriage House Wineworks Cabernet Franc 2020
Carriage House Wineworks Petit Verdot 2020
Doukenie Winery Zeus 2019 
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Albariño Reserva 2021 
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Mag’s Leap 2020
Three Creeks Winery Melange Rouge 2020
Williams Gap Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2021
Williams Gap Vineyard Mountain Valley 2020
Williams Gap Vineyard Petit Manseng 2020

SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Winery Wine Name / Vintage
50 West Albariño 2021
8 Chains North  Loco Vino White 2021
8 Chains North  Merlot 2019 
8 Chains North  Sauvignon Blanc 2021
868 Estate Vineyards Meritage 2020
Bluemont Vineyard “Blush” Sparkling Rose
Bluemont Vineyard 2019 Ascent
Bluemont Vineyard 2021 Sauvignon Blanc 
Bluemont Vineyard Piquette Blanc 2021
Boxwood Estate Winery Sauvignon Gris 2021
Bozzo Family Vineyards 2nd Act 2020
Bozzo Family Vineyards Erin Viognier 2020
Bozzo Family Vineyards Forte Ruth 2020
Bozzo Family Vineyards RayCwiert Cabernet Franc 2020
Cana Vineyards & Winery of Middleburg Le Meritage 2019
Cana Vineyards & Winery of Middleburg Petit Manseng 2021
Cana Vineyards & Winery of Middleburg Petit Verdot 2019
Cana Vineyards & Winery of Middleburg Rhapsody in White 2021
Carriage House Wineworks 2019 Red Barouche Red Blend
Carriage House Wineworks Tannat 2019 
Doukenie Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
Doukenie Winery Mandolin 2020
Doukenie Winery Petit Verdot 2019
Doukenie Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Doukenie Winery Syrah Tannat 2021
Doukenie Winery Vintner’s Reserve, 2019
Doukenie Winery Viognier 2020
Endhardt Vineyards Fervor Red 2019
Fabbioli Cellars Cabernet Franc 2021
Fabbioli Cellars Cabernet Franc Reserve 2019
Fabbioli Cellars Something White 2021
Fabbioli Cellars Tré Sorelle 2018
Forever Farm and Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2021
Forever Farm and Vineyard Norton 2021
Greenhill Vineyards 2021 Chardonnay Reserve
Greenhill Vineyards 2021 Chenin Blanc
Hillsborough Vineyards Opal 2021
Hillsborough Vineyards Petit Verdot 2020 
Iron Will  Bright Side 2020
Iron Will  Jakes Blend 2020
Iron Will  Primera Edicion 2020 
Iron Will  Silver Lining 2020
Lost Creek Winery Allure 2019
Lost Creek Winery Chardonnay 2021
Lost Creek Winery Chardonnay Barrel Select 2021
Lost Creek Winery Genesis 2019
Lost Creek Winery Serenity 2021
Lost Creek Winery Trinity 2019
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Albariño 2020
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Albariño 2021 
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Captain’s Cuvee, 2020, 
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Fortissimo 2019
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Fortissimo 2020 
Maggie Malick Wine Caves It’s So Big! 2020
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Kaleidoscope 2019
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Kaleidoscope 2020
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Merlot 2020
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Petit Manseng 2021
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Petit Verdot 2020
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Sauvignon Blanc,2021
Maggie Malick Wine Caves TnT 2019
Maggie Malick Wine Caves TnT 2020
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Unoaked Chardonnay 2021
Maggie Malick Wine Caves Viognier 2021
October One Vineyard Albariño 2021
October One Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2020
October One Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
October One Vineyard Merlot 2019
October One Vineyard Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
October One Vineyard Viognier 2021
Sunset Hills Cabernet Franc Sunset Red 2021
Sunset Hills Rose of Cabernet Franc 2021
The Barns at Hamilton Station Cabernet Franc 2019
The Barns at Hamilton Station Chardonnay 2019
The Barns at Hamilton Station Malbec 2019
The Barns at Hamilton Station Petit Verdot 2019
The Wine Reserve at Waterford First Harvest Petit Manseng 2020
The Wine Reserve at Waterford Lost Somewhere Petit Verdot 2019 
The Wine Reserve at Waterford White Blend 2019
Three Creeks Winery Cabernet Franc 2020
Three Creeks Winery Petit Manseng 2021
Three Creeks Winery Viognier 2021
Two Twisted Posts Winery Cabernet Franc 2020
Two Twisted Posts Winery Chardonnay 2020
Two Twisted Posts Winery Merlot 2020
Two Twisted Posts Winery Thomas Great 2017
Two Twisted Posts Winery Thomas Great 2019
Two Twisted Posts Winery Vidal Blanc 2021
Two Twisted Posts Winery Viognier 2020
Walsh Family Wine Bethany Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2021
Walsh Family Wine Chardonnay 2019
Walsh Family Wine Russ Mountain Merlot 2019 
Walsh Family Wine Tannat 2019 
Walsh Family Wine Viognier 2020
Williams Gap Vineyard Fieldstone 2019 
Williams Gap Vineyard Round Hill Red 2020
Williams Gap Vineyard Vidal Blanc 2020
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards Albariño Reserve 2021
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards Assemblage Select, 2020
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards Chardonnay Cold Steel 2021
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards Petit Verdot 2020
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards Rose of Sharon 2021
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards Seyval Blanc 2021
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Adeline 2019
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2017
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Chambourcin 2017 
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Friendship 2019
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Late Harvest Petit Manseng 2020
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Possibilities 2019
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Rose NV 
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Three Captains 2017
Zephaniah Farm Vineyard Three Captains 2018