Carroll Vineyards in Leesburg is a bit of a one-off. The tasting room is located in Leesburg Vintners, a wine shop on the main road of the downtown shopping/dining area. Their vines are in their fifth year, but you can’t visit the vineyard itself – the only way you can taste their wines is by going to the wine shop. The shop has been around for 29 years, and if you’ve been interested and invested in wine for that long, I guess it makes sense that you get the itch to grow your own grapes.
There are some pros and cons to having your tasting room inside your store. The pro is that visitors have something to do while they’re waiting for the shop staff (in our case, it was the owner) to finish up with customers. The con is that the staff isn’t focused solely on tastings and sales of that vineyard’s wines like they are in most tasting rooms, so you might have to wait for them to answer extensive questions about what to serve at a dinner party or what gift to buy for a person who likes Wine X before they can make their way over to the bar.
Currently, Carroll Vineyards ONLY grows Chambourcin, and the current vintage is the first time they’ve been able to use their own grapes. They source the grapes for their other wines from Maryland, California, and Washington. (I suspect they get some from Virginia, too, but I don’t think Mike specifically mentioned that to us.) What we liked about Carroll Vineyards is that they were very honest about their wines. They know that they’re making Virginia wines, and they know that some of their vintages have been better than others. Sadly, what we didn’t like about Carroll Vineyards was their wines. They were indeed Very Virginia. But, the nice thing about being in a wine shop and chatting with the owner is that we got a recommendation for an inexpensive French sparkling wine, and we’re always down for bubbles.
Rating: Yellow (It was fine.)
Tasting: $5 for 4
Price: Low to average ($12 to $30)
Kid Friendly: Ish. Since it’s a store, I’m sure kids are welcome to come in, but the bar area is a little cramped.
Highlights: The shop itself. They had a good selection of international, domestic, and local wines to choose from.
Time Since Lacy Last Ate: ~6.5 hours
Strangers Invited to Dinner: 0