District Fray’s September edition is out in less than two weeks, but we’ve decided to give you a sneak preview of one of the local wineries featured in the Drink Issue’s Local Wine Trail. Greenhill Winery and Vineyards is located in the idyllic town of Middleburg, Virginia, surrounded by lush farmlands and beautiful historic homes. Though the winery is about an hour outside the District, it is well worth the drive for anyone interested in wine.
The day I visited Greenhill got off to a rough start as it was pouring quite heavily around the time of my departure. After driving through the rain and navigating through some weekend traffic, I drove up the long driveway leading to the cute, barn-style tasting room and the skies cleared, illuminating the beautiful grounds surrounding me. I parked my car, secured my mask and walked into the tasting room where I was met by Jed Gray, general manager of Greenhill Winery.
Gray led me to the upstairs portion of the tasting room, explaining that while the area was usually for members only, the winery had made the decision to open the space to all guests to ensure proper social distancing could take place. The tasting room was able to reopen in mid June, with a slight adjustment to how tastings are enjoyed for the ensured safety of employees and guests.
“We try to keep the experience as authentic as possible,” Gray tells me as we sit down at a table overlooking part of the vineyard. “We’ve supplemented the normal tasting aspect of pouring wine for guests with mini-wine bottles that allow people to get their glass of wine in a safe manner. It’s been a good option for people to still experience our wines.”
After tasting a few delicious reds and whites – I’ll tell you my favorite on the Local Wine Trail – Gray gave me the full tour of Greenhill. It was clear how dedicated to the winery and wine making he is by the way he spoke about his work. Though Virginia may not have Napa Valley standing in the world of wine, California native Gray knows that Greenhill’s wine can stand up to the best of them.
“One of the things that attracted me to my current position at Greenhill as general manager is the dedication to Virginia fruit,” Gray says. “There are a lot of wineries in the region that will source fruit from outside the state, or even outside of the country, to create a product. But we are dedicated to using only Virginia fruit, so on any given year we are attempting to make the best wine possible from Virginia fruit. We want to share a true Virginia wine with everybody.”
As quite the grape nerd myself, I was ecstatic to be able to roam the grounds with Gray and visit each plot of the vineyard. Luckily Gray had a golf cart, as trekking the 120 acre property on foot would have been quite the task. Greenhill’s vines don’t cover all 120 acres, though. Greenhill is also a working farm, selling their own honey and farm raised beef. Picnickers can enjoy seeing horses graze nearby as they sip on their wine, and if you’re lucky enough to get a golf cart tour like I was you may even spot Greenhill’s beautiful white cattle nuzzling their calves.
By the end of my trip to Greenhill, I knew I had to visit again. Not only did I enjoy the wine and the sights, but I felt a true connection during my visit. Whether you’re a wine lover like me and want to know all of the ins and outs of the wine making process, or you just want to escape from the city and sip on some high quality wine, Greenhill will make you feel so at home you’ll want to go back again and again.
Be sure to read about the other local wineries featured in the September issue’s Local Wine Trail. Learn more about Greenhill Winery and Vineyards at www.experiencegreenhill.com, or follow them on Instagram and Twitter @greenhillwine.