Where: 16031 Hillsboro Rd, Purcellville, VA
Tasting Fee: $20 for a curated tasting complete with a curated selection of cheeses
Don’t Miss The: Petit Manseng, Mezcla, Sauvignon Blanc
Food: Light fair and charcuterie are available for your dining pleasure
At first glance, $20 for a wine tasting seems pretty steep. So before that scares you away, let me just tell you how Walsh Family Wine is absolutely worth it. In fact, from what they provide with their tasting, I would even tell you that it’s an excellent value. Our tasting room associate, Peter, is sadly off now working a New Zealand harvest, but from our experience, the staff are incredible about speaking to the (delicious) wines. Additionally, you get some delicious local cheeses to compliment your tasting.
But I have to say… After 90+ wineries, the best part of Walsh Family Wine is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. This winery is fun. Don’t get me wrong–the wines are great and clearly made with a high level of expertise. When you walk into the winery though, there are a few very cool touches. Hanging from a ceiling fan is a small disco ball. A clever sign is placed by the bathroom. Instagram-ready wallpaper and furnishings can be found throughout the space. If your order a bottle, (you really should) you’ll see the label divided into notes by founders Nate and Sarah Walsh. Nate gives you the science and Sarah gives you the style.
Now it’s time to talk about the wine. Look… I wasn’t a true Petit Manseng believer until I tried Walsh’s take. I’ve had it before and liked it just fine, but now I truly get it. After all, Nate Walsh’s first job in the industry was working for Horton Vineyards, the same people who created last year’s Governor’s Cup winning Petit Manseng.
Another winner was their Mezcla. I’m very upset with myself for not buying a bottle to go, but hey–it’s an excuse to go back. It’s a fun, sparkling red wine that is super drinkable and may become your new favorite thing this summer. Also worth a big mention is their Sauvignon Blanc–the closest I’ve had to a good New Zealand style. It had big acid and flavor, but that’s to be expected, since Nate Walsh also worked harvest in New Zealand. I also enjoyed that Walsh has embraced the Kiwi and eco-friendly tradition of screw-tops on some of their wines.
Unfortunately, we had to cut our last trip short, but damn… did we fall in love with the place while there. Will I be back? Absolutely. Walsh Family Wines is going to the top of my lists to recommend to pretty much anyone. I see many trips in my (and your) future.