In the far northern corner of Virginia, just a few miles from both Maryland and West Virginia, resides one of Virginia’s most glorious winemaking regions. Loudoun County boasts dozens of wonderful wineries. And if they were laid across the rolling hills like some spectacular constellation, Breaux Vineyards could arguably be its Polaris. As grand as it is delightful, Breaux understands not only winemaking, but the overall wine experience.
Located in one of Virginia’s most densely populated wine regions–most Northern Virginia wine tours will bring you here–the experience will begin before you ever leave your vehicle. Twisting up the landscape toward the main facility, you get a sense of what made Paul Breaux select this land for his vines.
Breaux’s property expands 407 acres with 104 dedicated to growing 17 varietals. The land and terrain are as spectacular as the main facility. And with this much open land, there is enough space for everyone. You could practically isolate yourself, the makings for a spectacular day with your special love.
But before you head for the hills or the shade of a towering tree, you must try the tasting–and explore the details of this elaborate building.
Breaux’s expansive facility has a genuine Tuscan design (with a touch of New Orleans’ French Quarter–they’ve even got a jar of beads behind the counter). The main tasting bar, curved and long, could easily accommodate 20 people at once.
Of course, it is not that jar of beads that will capture your interest. The vinos are why we came, right?
Our server, David, was outstanding. He took his time with the tasting, gave me the full details of each wine as well as insights regarding Breaux’s approach. Better yet, David is a retired career chef, having created masterpieces at (among others) one of D.C.’s finest dining establishments. My journey into understanding every dimension of wine is constantly evolving, and having a server with an educated palate is a treat. The man knows his notes!
The $10 tasting covered the following six wines:
Whites: 2014 Viognier, 2014 Madeleine’s Chardonnay, 2015 Chere Marie (100% Vidal Blanc);
Rosés: 2015 Rosé (88% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Malbec);
Reds: Equation (non-vintage blend: 40% Malbec, 40% Merlot, even quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, and Petit Verdot), 2012 Meritage (40% Merlot, 40% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon).
While a wonderful tasting overall, these few genuinely stood out:
The Viognier, a staple for most Virginia wineries due to how well the varietal takes to the soil and climate, provided more distinction than many I’ve tried. Loads of sweet citrus on the nose followed by pineapple and cream on the palate, with a subtle honey finish. A crisp refresher that would satisfy your wine desires on any summer day. In fact, it was 100 degrees on the day I visited Breaux–you’re always looking for ways to stay cool in this region! I got a bottle to go.
The Viognier was followed by the 2014 Madeleine’s Chardonnay, proving to break the mold with a unique crisp style all its own, with notable honeysuckle on the nose and pear on the palate. Light, easy, and well-balanced.
The Rosé was so delightful I not only got a bottle to go, but a glass for touring the facility and grounds. It seems this has been the summer of rosés and my husband and I have been sampling our fair share. So for yet another to rise to the top of the list is a statement. Breaux’s merlot-driven Rosé delivered strawberries, maraschino cherries, and a touch of sweet oranges from aroma to palate, with a floral finish.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Breaux has been winning awards for years. Oodles of them. And as an estate winery (all wines are made from grapes grown at this exact location), they manage to bottle over 10,000 cases of well-crafted wine per year, making them one of the largest wine producers in the state.
After the tasting, I had the pleasure of meeting General Manager Chris Blosser as well as Hospitality and Events Manager Reagan Morris.
Chris gave me a tour of the winery and production area, additional tasting areas, as well as the gathering rooms for special events and the Cellar Club Grand Oak Room. The rooms they’ve carved into the building and the designs they’ve implemented make the visit all the more welcoming.
Over one hundred thousand bottles a year come out of this facility, yet they manage to maintain it meticulously. With 50,000 gallons of capacity and barrels composed of American oak, French oak, and Hungarian oak, Breaux is producing consistent, delightful wines year after year. Chris filled us in on the details of running such a massive operation, and cultivating and harvesting no less than 17 varietals. Seventeen?! Yep: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Nebbiolo, Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, Semillon, Muscat Canelli, Muscat Orange, and Muscat Giallo. Chris also mentioned Breaux is now exporting to the United Kingdom.
Above the main tasting area is a large gathering room with a view so breathtaking you might beg them to turn it into a private condo.
The lower level of the main facility has a fantastic tasting area for club members. Seriously, were winters not made for a space like this? And to add to the coolness, there is the adjoining Jefferson Room used for the Virginia School of Wine.
After the tour, Reagan took me over to the Acadia, designed specifically for weddings and related events. Existing as a completely separate building, your party can have its own facility. And a gorgeous one it is. It even comes equipped with a private, cozy bridal room!
Below the ballroom is the Cork & Key, a nice little hideaway designed in the manner of a British pub and equipped with its own restrooms so your private gathering can remain exclusive.
But as awesome as Breaux’s interior spaces are, you’ll spend at least a little time outside. Sitting at the foot of Short Hill Mountain with distant views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can let the scenery envelop you and your friends while enjoying a bottle.
Off the side of the main facility is a large covered area known as the Orleans Porch, overlooking a field of Sauvignon Blanc vines. With ceiling fans to keep you cool and views across soft rolling hills, you can find a nice hideaway from the 100-degree heat (or rain, or snow–this is Virginia, after all). Underneath, a large patio area provides views out to the same landscape.
Breaux really has it all. Just a short ride from Leesburg, you can find yourself enjoying some of the finest wines Virginia has to offer. And while it might be the perfect place to ask for someone’s hand in marriage, it’s even better for tying the knot a year later. But let’s be honest, the first romance you’ll have is with Breaux’s wines. Go ahead, say it. You’re dying to. I love you, Breaux!
Breaux Vineyards, located at 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville, Virginia.
Want to tour another winery with me? Check out my full list of winery and vineyard visits!