Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery Profile
Written by Brian—Aug 17, 2015
If you are looking for a winery that offers tastings in a grand style, you need to check out Blue Valley Vineyard. The palatial tasting room and winery complex seemed to be years in the making, but the Zissios family is finally open for business and it was worth the wait. You are certain to be impressed by the level of detail. Oh, and as an added bonus, the views are among the best in Fauquier County. If nothing else, you need to drive out there for the jaw-dropping vistas.
When I arrived there were three busses in the parking lot. This is seldom a good sign. So I braced myself and went inside expecting to encounter a crowd at the tasting bar. There were customers at the tasting bars and on the patio, but I am still not sure where they hid all the people. The traffic was well dispersed, I was able to immediately belly up to the bar and I was well attended to by a very enthusiastic wait staff. This level of efficiency is all the more remarkable, when you consider that the tasting room opened only three months earlier. I have visited tasting rooms more than a year after launch, where they are still ironing out the kinks. Just sayin’… Kudos to Blue Valley.
Now, there is one caveat. Despite having twenty acres under vine, the fruit is still too young to produce wine. In order to open, the Zissios family imported juice from the west coast. The 2015 harvest will produce the first estate wine. So we will see some Blue Valley whites next year and the reds will follow. The California juice provided material for a dress rehearsal and I am happy to pronounce that it was a success. The four rosés, three whites and four reds were all well-made and infinitely drinkable. There is no question that the winery can produce great wine, so I’m very anxious to see what they do with their own fruit.
After I sampled the last wine, the tasting-room manager disappeared into an adjoining room and came back with Stergio Zissios in tow. He is engaging, extremely enthusiastic and operates with a kind of energy that makes it easy to see why things run so smoothly. Stergio answered all of my questions while shepherding me through the tasting rooms. Then he led me downstairs into the winery and tasting room. The stonework in the basement gives the space a castle-like feel. It is a cavernous space that contains an enormous barrel room and a 25,000 case capacity winery. The most impressive aspect, however, is a dining space that is meant for weddings and other special events. It is beautifully apportioned and tastefully decorated, while retaining that same rustic, castle-like vibe.
Future plans include expanding grape acreage from twenty to forty five on the property. Stergio also speculated that more land might be leased. This may be necessary. The goal is to gradually increase production to 25,000 cases. It will be interesting to see, if achievement of that goal leads to expansion of production capacity. Additional landscaping and infrastructure improvements are also in the offing. So we will will see Blue Valley continue to evolve in the coming years.
When all is said and one, Blue Valley will potentially be one of the largest wineries in Northern Virginia. There is a plethora of activity and exciting developments on the property. So after all that I have told you, if you are not convinced to visit, then I am not sure what else I can tell you. On the other hand, should you happen to stop in, please let me know what you think.