Just when you think you've arrived at western Loudoun's Bluemont Vineyard, you come face-to-face with thelast, jaw-dropping stretch: a long gravel road, winding high up the hill. In the distance is the comely cottage winery, so high you could catch a little vertigo just getting there.
Never heard of it? Former AOL employee Bob Rupy and farmer Mark Zurschmeide opened Bluemont in 2007. The wines produced generally are on the dry side, and with names like the Cow (a Vidal Blanc) and the Goat (a Viognier), they reflect the pastoral setting. Nearly everyone who comes through grabs a glass of wine, a loaf of the house-baked bread, a chunk of cheese or salami and finds a seat out on the deck, where the views are spectacular.
Be sure to pack binoculars, the tasting attendant will tell you, because on a good day, you can see the Washington Monument. Dog owners: Leashed pets aren't just welcome at Bluemont, they're part of the landscape. The winery's two dogs, Jack and Becca, are there much of the time. Picnicking, however, is not allowed. -- Lavanya Ramanathan (June 2010)