Grapevine & Vintner Profile, Wining & Dining

Meet NOVA’s Newest Wineries: 2023 Edition

By Matthew Fitzsimmons

With over 300 wineries in the state, one might think the Virginia wine scene has become oversaturated. Yet year after year the industry welcomes new members, continuing what seems to be a never-ending expansion.

Northern Virginia has been especially lucky in this regard, as nearly a dozen wineries have opened here since 2022. Here are a few that stand out.

Capstone Vineyards (Linden)

If there was a contest for great neighborhoods to open a winery, Capstone Vineyards would be in the finalist round. With Crimson Lane Vineyards literally next door and Linden Vineyards down the road, this town has become something of a wine lovers mecca.

These wineries all recognized a crucial fact; this area is great for winegrowing. New owner Theo Smith put it this way; “With dirt like this, making wine is easy. All I have to do is not screw it up.”

Capstone technically opened in February 2019, but the original owners downplayed the tasting room experience to better focus on running the vineyard. In late 2022 Theo took the reins, opening the tasting room in April the following year.

Capstone currently serves 4 wines; two 2016-vintage red blends, a sparkling he made from Monticello fruit, and a Chenin-Chardonnay blend. Look for Theo to expand his sparking program in the future.

Crimson Lane Vineyards (Linden)

Few Virginia wineries were as hotly anticipated as Crimson Lane, which opened in March 2023. Even in this short time, Crimson earned a reputation as having one of Virginia’s most upscale, adults-only tasting room experiences.

Owners Tom and Deanna Horrify purchased the property in 2014 and started planting the following year. While many wineries are in a rush to open, Crimson chose to wait for not only the tasting room to be ready but their vines to mature. For years their social media followers tracked (perhaps impatiently) the construction of the tasting room on the upper reaches of its 1400-foot slope.

While the building provides great views of the surrounding hills, the site’s main purpose is to provide frost protection for their 24-acres of vines. The largest of their three vineyards is appropriately nicknamed “Higher Power”, not only for its elevation but also proximity to St. Dominic’s Monastery.

Visitors have several options, including the tasting bar, an indoor or outdoor table, or a private room with a view.

Droumavalla Farm (Leesburg)

Droumvalla Farm lives up to its billing as a ‘multi-venue estate’, hosting a winery, distillery, and event center on the same 160-acre property.

While the winery uses the former Winery 32 tasting room, return visitors would be surprised by all the changes that have taken place. Not only has the building received a facelift, elsewhere on the property a barn was extensively renovated so it could host large events. Starting July, Droumavalla will also produce small batch whisky.

Winemaker Dawn Stein helps care for the farm’s 7.5 acres of vines. While she’s not opposed to making Bordeaux-style blends, she prefers to make 100% varietal wines. “I’m a varietal girl, so long as the fruit is coming in the way I want them’ she explained. “Maybe it’s a purist view, but I want the fruit to shine through”.

Good Spirit Farm (Round Hill)

Owners Mike and Luanne Gutermuth ‘how I started a winery’ story has a familiar ring to it. Both visited local wineries as patrons before deciding, ‘we can do this too’. As retirement neared, those discussions became more serious.

The Gutermuths looked at several wineries on the market before deciding to start from scratch, turning a former residential home off Snickersville Turnpike into a tasting room.

Most of the 7.5-acre vineyard was planted in 2021, so it will be a while before they have their own estate wine. Instead, they are serving a combination of wines from both Virginia and around the world. All of them emulate styles the Gutermuths plan on producing from their (still baby) vineyard.

Fortunately, the future looks bright. Not only is their Airbnb now open for business, Nate Walsh of nearby Walsh Family Wine is their winemaker.

October One Wine Tasting Room (Leesburg)

For years October One Vineyard has been pouring at the Leesburg and Cascade farmer’s markets. But shoppers looking for their ‘painted stripe’ logo can now find October One wines at their new Leesburg tasting room, which opened in July 2022.

For years October One expanded its clientele without a physical space, calling themselves a ‘winery without walls’. The lack of a physical space wasn’t a detriment to quality wine, as twice in the past four years they won the top prize in the Loudoun Wine Awards.

But the new tasting room allows them to host events, such as their albariño and oyster pairing. This combo is famously delicious, as the wine’s salinity pairs well with the oyster’s umami flavors.

October One also prides itself as being an ambassador for the Virginia wine industry. Visitors can sample vertical flights consisting of an October One wine alongside bottles from elsewhere in the state, especially wineries from the farther reaches of the state.

Author: Matthew Fitzsimmons is a blogger who has visited nearly every winery in Virginia – most of them twice. Track his progress at

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