This is my final post about my weekend trip to D.C. Wine Country. I’ve already told you that while my friend Susan and I were snowed in for one day of the trip we discovered Santa Julia Organic Malbec. We also had a great dinner at The Wine Kitchen, a restaurant that is very supportive of local producers.

Despite getting snowed in, we did manage to visit two of the many small, local wineries that D.C. Wine Country, which is actually located in Loudon County, Virginia, has to offer. The region is broken up into several wine trails, and we had hoped to hit two of them. In the end, we only got to two wineries. Susan and I really enjoyed the two we hit, and if they are any indication of the quality of the rest of the wineries, I’m looking forward to going back some time to discover more.

These are the two we got to visit.

Fabbioli Cellars: What a great little winery. They use sustainable practices in their grape growing by using natural pesticides and reusing leftovers from their harvest for compost. They also have a solar deer fence. They source most of what their own land doesn’t provide as locally as possible.

I was particularly impressed with their 2008 Tre Sorelle, a full-bodied red, and their Aperitif Pear Wine, which is something like a port. The wine originated when an Asian pear tree was discovered on the property. I brought home a bottle of the pear wine that I’m looking forward to serving with cheese — particularly stinky cheese.

Tarara Winery: I can only imagine how beautiful the property at this winery is when everything is in bloom or the trees turn colors. There is a lot of land associated with this winery along with a pretty lake. We were told that the grapes are grown as naturally as possible. I walked away with a bottle of their Long-Bomb — a big bold red blend.

I found it interesting that at both wineries, I didn’t bring up the subject of organic certification, but someone from each of the wineries did bring up that they weren’t certified — almost in an apologetic way. I did ask about their sustainability practices because I was curious. Organic certification is good, but many of our country’s great small wineries can’t afford to do everything required for the certification even when they are doing so many things right.

I hate to think that people go into the tasting rooms of these wineries with an organicer-than-thou attitude. Sure, most wineries charge a small fee for their tastings, but when I’m in the tasting room of one of them, I feel like a guest and that I should behave like one.

Okay, off my soapbox.

If you’re within in a few-hours drive of Loudon County in Virginia, and you’re looking for somewhere to spend a weekend getaway, I’d recommend D.C. Wine Country for its wineries.

Related on MNN: 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

D.C. Wine Country
Wine trails abound outside of our nation’s capital.