Virginians committing to the Texas wine industry – Bluemont opens a satellite tasting room with Texas wines, beer, and cider
It was 2018 when my husband and I traveled to Washington D.C. for a little vacation. We found a driving service to take us wine tasting. Our trip was sort of last minute, so we relied on the driver to choose where we’d go wine tasting. The wine region closest to the capital is Loudoun County as it’s only about a one-hour drive.
We stopped at four wineries, and our favorite of the day was Bluemont Vineyard. The tasting room was situated in a remodeled farmhouse down a long driveway at the top of a hill with spanning views. As it ended up, we were served by Hailey Zurschmeide, daughter of the winery’s founding family. We learned a bit about the family’s story, including a large farm, orchards, and a farmstand. The vineyard was planted and the Bluemont label was established in 2007. Today they grow ten varieties and make about 10,000 cases of wine each year. We enjoyed the wines and took home some Viognier.
Fast forward a bit, and I reconnected with Hailey in 2022 when I discovered Bluemont Vineyard & Vineyard purchased the property that used to house Woodrose Winery on Highway 290 outside of Fredericksburg. I reached out to find out their plans.
As Bluemont founders Bob and Kate were thinking of retirement, they longed for a bit warmer than the winters in Virginia. One of their sons lives in Austin and the family would visit Texas and spend a little time in the Hill Country.
In Virginia, the farm had grown. In addition to fruits, flowers, and wine, they started to dabble in beer and cider. Plus, private events and weddings kept everyone busy. The idea of a second location in a warmer climate started to take shape. By 2020, the family set their eyes on the Lone Star State as an ideal place to expand their vision and create something new, but within their farming roots.
They settled on the 24.5 acres that used to be Woodrose Winery. The vineyard had been neglected while the property was vacant, and the winery production facility would need a little work. The original tasting room would need renovation, and the event space could benefit from some sprucing up. But the commercial kitchen would make it easy to offer the farm-focused food pairing experiences they envisioned, and the oak grove adds to the estate’s beauty. So, the family purchased the property in late 2021, rolled up their sleeves, and got to work to create a satellite location for Bluemont Vineyard.
From the moment they decided to make a stance in Texas, they started working with a local winemaker to create Texas wines guided by their winemaker in Virginia, Scott Spellbring. Most of the work on the property is being done by the family and some of their Virginia staff. The buildings have been repainted, a new deck spans the front and back of the small building, and there’s room for growth. The larger event space will be the usual spot for a tasting of wines or beer. The smaller building has a cute wall mural, perfect for photo opportunities. This space will ultimately house a market and seating for folks who want to relax with a glass.
The tasting room celebrated the ribbon cutting and grand opening in April. The traditional wine tasting includes five Texas wines. Be sure to ask about the unique wine they call Spontaneous Overflow – I don’t want to spoil the fun, but have you ever had a white Mourvèdre? A beer flight can be ordered and currently includes a golden ale and two IPAs. Food pairing options are available and often change to follow the seasons and keep things fresh.
Additional fun options include a mimosa flight and a do-it-yourself Sangria mixology. Brunch is available on the weekends, and baked brie is a fun snack to add to your glass of wine. Cider is in the works and should be on the menu this summer.
Plans are underway to replant the 16-acre vineyard and update the winemaking facility. The family and their winemaker are excited to work with new grape varieties and create wines that are different from what they can grow in the cooler climate of Virginia. They plan to grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables and expand the food offerings in the tasting room.
The whole family has an entrepreneurial spirit. Chances are you’ll meet at least one family member when you stop by Bluemont Vineyard & Brwery. And if you ever travel for wine tasting in Virginia, make plans to visit their farm and taste some great Virginia wines. The Fredericksburg tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday, but the hours may expand in the future. Check out the current offerings of Bluemont Vineyard – Texas wines and keep an eye on things as they grow in the Lone Star State.