Loudoun County

Market Salamander Table Setting BeverageLoudoun County is best known for being Virginia’s wine and horse country.  So here’s a trip where you can enjoy both!  October is Virginia Wine month and visiting a few Virginia wineries on a warm day in October can be an unexpected pleasure.   Virginia Wine Country in Loudoun County has more than 40 award-winning wineries and wine tasting rooms just 25 miles outside of Washington, DC.  The tour begins with a horseback riding experience at the Salamander Resort and ends up in two of the finest wineries of Loudoun County, Chrysalis Vineyards and Stone Tower Winery.

PicMonkey Collage salamander resortStop 1 – Horseback riding at Salamander Resort

Salamander’s EquestrianProgram is full of experiences for every rider level.  Riding lessons range from first-time riders to those more experienced in horsemanship.  Riding lessons, lessons in grooming, braiding and tacking, and even “horse whispering” communication sessions will satisfy your interest in and curiosity about horses.  For the first-time rider, we recommend one-hour Riding Lessons with instructions given by experienced staff.  For those who already know how to ride, you might try the evening Sunset Group Trail Ride or learn how to play polo with Polo lessons.  Equestrian programs are available through October and reservations must be made 24 hours in advance.  Look at their events calendar to find all the area horse events throughout the year!

PicMonkey Collage market salamanderStop 2 –Market Salamander

Located right in downtown Middleburg, Market Salamander  is just a stones-throw away from the Salamander Resort.  Here you will enjoy a meal in the ambiance of an Italian country home, complete with sky-blue painted ceilings, cobblestone floors and patio seating.  Resident chef, Megan Aregaard prepares gourmet soups, salads and sandwiches and other yummy meals, while Pastry Chef Jason Reaves makes cookies, cakes and delightful confectioneries to satisfy any sweet tooth!  You will also find specialty meats, cheeses, wines and desserts for sale in the market.  You can buy your lunch there to eat there or order a picnic lunch to take with you to the wineries.  Picnic lunches must be ordered in advance from their menu of Tailgates and Picnics To Go.

PicMonkey Collage chrysalisStop 3 – Chrysalis Vineyards

Just outside the village of Middleburg, Chrysalis Vineyards is a 70-acre estate with beautiful views of the Virginia countryside and the Blue Ridge Mountains! This eco-friendly vineyard has a mission to bring back the native Norton grape to Virginia. Chrysalis takes pride in being in the Ag District Center of Loudoun County that promotes the “Eat and Drink Local” movement and uses sustainable-friendly agricultural practices.  This is the place for the environmentally aware and socially conscious wine lover.

Chrysalis Vineyards is the perfect place for a picnic with its abundant seating on the lawn, large patio and covered pavilions.  They offer a fine selection of local cheeses, warm bread, pates, and chutneys on their weekend Charcuterie menu, as well as a cold food catering menu and wine list with a large selection of Norton red wines.  Wine tastings and tours are available every day from 10 am – 5 pm.  For group tastings larger than 10 people, you will have to plan in advance.

PicMonkey Collage stone towerStop 4 – Stone Tower Winery

Stone Tower Winery has 55-acres of vineyards on the magnificent rolling hills of Hog Back Mountain just outside of Leesburg, Virginia.  Stone Tower grows red and white grapes of domestic and French varieties, and specializes in offering educational tours on the techniques used in the artisanal wine-making process.  Along with their tasting room inside the winery, specialty tours and educational seminars are featured each season that focus on introducing you to different types of varietals and wines.  There is lots of fun to be had on their vineyards tour where you can see the vineyards up close and personal while riding in a golf cart!  Just as fun are their wine and cheese tours which take you inside the wineries barrel and production rooms.  For a more personal experience, take the Winemaker’s Experience tour where you can discuss wines with local wine expert, Tom Crowe.  Check their events calendar to learn about their latest seasonal tour before you plan your visit. Tour groups over eight people must make a reservation.

The tasting room is open on Thursday – Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.  Tasting fees are $15 for six wine tastings.  Cheese and crackers, charcuterie, chocolate, and other snack foods are available and bringing your own picnic food is welcome, too.


Other Attractions


Photo Credits

Salamander Resort Collage: Salamander Resort & Spa

Market Salamander Collage: Market Salamander


Interested in taking your own experiential tour to Loudoun County, VA without worrying about driving? We have vehicles ranging in size from sedans to motorcoaches and can accommodate any size group. Booking your vehicle is as easy as 1-2-3!

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