Navigating through “La Route des Grands Crus”, is like nothing I have ever seen before and never does it cease to amaze me. Bright and luscious are the green myriad of countless vineyard blocks against the clear cerulean blue sky. At a closer look, while frolicking through the blocks, I admire the intricate leaf shapes of the coveted Pinot Noir. I notice the soil, rocky, and silty, and I pick up the little stone, and feel its roughness, and bring it to my nose so I can smell its “minerality” before slipping it into my pocket. The trunks of the vine, with their paper-delicate layers of bark pieces, as if pasted on, flaying almost in the wind, are the same tones that make up most of my work; grays, charcoal, umber, cream — feels like home.
Georgia O’Keeffe once said,
“Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time…”
Her words resonate in me like never before. The importance of observation, and awareness not only in art, but in my life. I am old enough to look back and to be nostalgic about how I lived in a non-digital world. It was slower, perhaps more meaningful, and real. In today’s fast paced one, I feel bombarded by information, social media posts, or the pressure of keeping up with the “pack” in what seems to be a global pastime of branding oneself, or posting about ones life, and family. It’s exhausting.
When in France, it’s different. Burgundy is perfect for being present. Its rural, beautiful, and the food and wine is gastronomically yummy. The people are salt of the earth; they are real, without pretense or airs—refreshing. Sébastien and I go to Burgundy, every other year with clients and friends and we see the land Sébastien calls home from a native’s perspective. We visit incredible cellars, boutique wineries, old chateaux, notable museums, 12th century structures and relics, including Christiane and Jacques’s (Sebastien’s parents) incredible chapel, which is attached to their home in the Hamlet of Les Celliers.
We exercise “joie de vivre” like the locals, and taste great wine. Through it all, I draw and sketch what I see, and perceive. The visual images keep me from forgetting memorable moments, and they always spark a feeling of nostalgia when I review them months and years later. And occasionally, I’ll take the time to touch the little stone, feel its roughness, and bring it to my nose so I can smell its “minerality” as I leaf through the pages of my sketchbook…alas, I am in Burgundy again.
Isabelle Truchon, this post's author, is a Realtor with Hunt Country Sotheby's International Realty and a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) who, together with her husband and noted Virginia winemaker, Sébastien Marquet, take wine enthusiasts from Virginia to France on a regular basis to explore and discover the great wine-making regions.
In addition to the two vineyard and winery properties we have for sale (see Notaviva Winery and our "landmark Loudoun winery"), two further properties came to the market with fellow brokers recently, namely North Gate and Dry Mill, the former in Purcellville and the latter in Leesburg.
With a healthy range of wine oriented businesses currently on offer in this fertile and accessible county, now may be an excellent time to seriously consider investing in a local industry where what you put into the ground is rewarded with the oldest and most revered of drinks, drawing aficionados (and therefore customers) from near and far.
In summary, wine properties available in Loudoun are:
Let us know if you would like more information on any of these wonderful properties.
We were pleased to have been quoted in an interesting article today in the preeminent local Loudoun newspaper, Loudoun Now which can be reached HERE. The article centers on vineyard and winery sales activity in Loudoun County, Virginia, and the type of buyer for these properties.
The State of Virginia now boasts in excess of 250 winery/vineyards, with its wines continually improving and some already being excellent. Tasting rooms and wine club memberships have become big business, as well as a great attraction for those wanting a fun and oenologically educational day out in a different part of the state. But what kind of tasting experience do you get for your money, and what's the cost? The answer is, they're all quite different.
On a recent trip to the excellent wine country around Charlottesville, I visited a few well known label wineries but was disappointed at the commercial atmosphere, and the speed at which we were hurried through our tastings. Prices were in the $7 range for three whites and three reds.
In northern Virginia however, at Greenhill Winery & Vineyards just east of Middleburg, tastings cost more at $14 however the experience is, well just that, an experience. It begins with a pour of Blancs de Blancs, a 100% Chardonnay sparkling white followed by either three more whites and two reds or two additional whites and three reds. Tastings are seated and there is no rush. Delightful food plates of charcuterie and cheeses with warm baguettes are available to complement the wines.
Then there is RDV Vineyards in Delaplane, a wonderful property with just two wines on offer and a tasting fee of $50 per person which does include a charcuterie board.
So it's really horses for courses - do you want a quick try out of the wines and maybe a glass or bottle after, or chillax with slower paced yet attentive samplings accompanied by appetizers and scintillating conversation? Notably, Greenhill and RDV are 21 and over only properties focusing on a specific market and clientele, whereas many others allow children and infants which will further contribute to decision making.
What are your thoughts on the matter?
In considering a move into what may be a lifelong goal of owning and operating a vineyard and/or winery, the choices are, essentially, either acquiring a going concern or starting from scratch.
When the right existing business proves to be elusive, finding a lot with ideal 'terroir' - that environmental combination of soil, geology, climate and topographical character - may bring numerous benefits to a buyer with long term and solid aspirations in the local wine industry.
Searching out and finding the dream locale is in itself rewarding, added to which the future wine property will not inherit any prior negatives but indeed could and should bring with it the subtle anticipation of fresh new things to come.
Clearly, acquiring a great parcel on which to plant and build allows the investor to make his or her stamp on the new venture, whether that be just the vineyard size and varietal of grape or also the design and scope of the future winery and tasting room.
Take the 31.4 acres of delightful Loudoun County land which is currently on offer by a private owner on Lincoln Road near the town of Purcellville. At $549,000, the buyer will be the proud owner of a lovely south-east facing slope with a healthy proportion of the parcel already cleared and ready for vineyard and winery preparation. Access for future winery goers venturing out from Washington DC or points west will find this property easy to get to, and not at the far reaches of a cluster, but in fact right at the center of the Middleburg AVA (American Viticultural Area) which was approved by the US TTB in April 2012 - see map.
Let us know if you would like a tour of this wonderful parcel of land in the heart of Loudoun County, and we will gladly set it up.
Rockwood Manor in the delightful town of Hamilton, Virginia, lies in the heart of Loudoun County's wine country. The property comprises a restored 1854 Quaker house on 147 acres of pristine equestrian land with a historic bank barn, ice house and pool.
Rockwood would make a wonderful vineyard and winery with event hosting. Some hops are already grown on site and little if any clearing would be required to plant an initial vineyard. The property recently came up for sale through Hunt Country Sotheby's International Realty, priced at $2.99M.
Hamilton is a ten minute drive from the county seat of Leesburg, and well positioned for winery goers trecking out from Washington and the surrounding area.
Contact Windy Harris for more details here or call Windy on (703) 443-1757.
Our delightful winery and vineyard listing, Notaviva, located in serene Western Loudoun County, is now priced very competitively at $1,995,000. The tasting room which is also a home was built in 2008 and featured on HGTV's Dream Home series. It is a stunning timber frame property, with the tasting room on the main level, seating also on the upper mezzanine and living area on the lower level. Contact Janeen Marconi or Peter Leonard-Morgan for more details and to schedule a visit.
Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty, located in the historic Loudoun County capital of Leesburg, is focusing on an important segment of real estate, wineries and vineyards, an area which has seen significant growth over the past 30 years.
With two lovely properties currently for sale, Notaviva in the serene countryside of Western Loudoun and another landmark winery and vineyard on 359 acres just a few miles to the east of Notaviva, HCSIR sees this as an important new opportunity during the coming years.
With more than 45 dedicated wineries and vineyards in Loudoun County alone, this represents nearly 20% of the 250 in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
To tackle this burgeoning sector of the business, HCSIR has recently affiliated with Isabelle Truchon and Peter Leonard-Morgan, Isabelle originally hailing from Canada and Peter from England.
Isabelle is a CSW or Certified Specialist of Wine as well as a renowned artist with a love of equine art. Peter spent his formative years in the Ferrari and Lamborghini sales business in London and Italy followed by 20 years selling Gulfstream jets before embarking as a Realtor.
Hunt Country SIR
We are Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty, a Northern Virginia based residential real estate broker located in the historic capital of Loudoun County, Leesburg