Creeks Edge Winery Profile
Written by Brian—Mar 9, 2015
A plethora of new Virginia wineries has opened in the last couple years. By far, the area of quickest growth is in Northern Virginia on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge. In April of 2014, Creeks Edge opened in northeastern Loudoun County. It is one of the latest additions to a grouping of wineries known as the Potomac Cluster, because they are pressed up agains the river along the Maryland border.
I stopped by on a reasonably nice winter afternoon to have a look around and taste the wines. The tasting room facility easily ranks among the nicest in that part of the Commonwealth. It’s a large timber-frame building with an elevated deck and a silo on one side, that was built to accommodate a stairwell that leads from the tasting room to the winery and barrel room. Inside, there are high, cathedral ceilings with exposed support beams and ceiling joists. A long tasting bar sits just inside the door and seating takes up the remainder of the large guest area. When I arrived, a fire was burning in the fireplace and there was live music playing in the far corner.
I was far from the only visitor. A fairly large crowd had gathered at Creeks Edge on that afternoon. The staff was working hard to keep up with the demand for wine. Owner Ted Durden had stopped in to supervise a work crew in the barrel room and was pressed into service behind the tasting bar. This turned out to be my good fortune, because Ted poured my wine, filled in some of the details about he winery and gave me a quick tour of the facilities.
I was able to taste six of the current offerings. Five were from the 2011 vintage, which was fine for the Pinot Gris, Vidal Blanc and Chardonnay. All were well crafted, balanced whites. The Chambourcin and Merlot were a little weak, which is to be expected for reds from that vintage. There was, however, an absolutely spectacular wine on the menu. The 2009 Merlot was a truly great wine with big berry notes, a lot of complexity, structured tannins and a long finish. If this is any indication of what can be produced at Creeks Edge, I predict great things.
Creeks Edge currently has twelve acres under vine and 2014 will be the first vintage from estate fruit. They were pouring vintages that went back to 2009, but the fruit was purchased elsewhere in Loudoun County. Now get this. There are plans to add ten acres per year over the next five years. That is ambitious, but in the face of the current grape shortage, it is a necessary step for a serious new winery. In order to insure quality fruit and the desired varietals, Ted is making the investment. Kudos to him. This will allow the winery to control the quality of the fruit and position them to produce world-class wine in the coming years.
After the tasting Ted took me on a quick tour of the winery. I also go to meet the work crew that was putting some final touches on the barrel room. They are all high school students, who have been with Ted since he was their youth-league football coach. So he has been mentoring them for years and they are now apprenticing with him in construction trades. The majority of the very impressive tasting room was built by this same crew. It actually makes the facilities seem all the more impressive.
The entire experience was first rate. The staff was professional and well trained. The tasting room is just amazing and then, of course, there’s the wine, music and a fireplace, but that’s not all. There is also food service at Creeks Edge. The menu includes mostly light fare, but there was soup for that cold winter day and they feature a daily special, if you are in need of something more substantive.
I have to say that I came away a fan of Creeks Edge. If I lived closer, I would likely become a frequent customer. This is one that should be on your watch list. I predict that Creeks Edge will be turning out some great wines. In the mean time, try to stop in. When you do, let me know what you think.