8 Chains North

A few weeks ago we made our way out to the Purcellville/Leesburg area for a wine pick-up at the Barns at Hamilton Station and opted to swing by 8 Chains North Winery for a tasting.  We hadn’t been there in a few years and have been hearing some great things about their current wines, plus it was a gorgeous and sunny day and we were right down the road.

8 Chains North is located directly off of route 9, making it an easy destination to get too.  Another bonus?  They are dog friendly inside and even have a little fenced in dog park on their property (how cute is that?!).  After looking around the grounds and snapping some photos, we proceeded into the tasting room.  The tasting room has undergone an expansion since the last time we were there (a few years back) but it still looks pretty similar to the eye.  They have a nicely sized bar and a decent amount of seating indoors with a large fireplace and some artsy decor.  They often feature live performances on the weekends, and their patio would make for a great place to enjoy a nice afternoon.

As we approached the tasting bar we were immediately greeted by a very friendly employee who grabbed us a spot at the bar and struck up a nice conversation with us.  She talked about the expansion the winery had a few years ago by adding the event space, and gave us the run down on their wine maker and current varietals.

While 8 Chains North does offer a chocolate pairing with their wines (hard to turn down, but somehow we managed), we opted for the standard wine tasting.  The tasting consisted of 5 wines for $8, 2 whites and 3 reds.  One of the reds on the menu is a guest wine from Spain but the 4 others are made on property.  Another interesting and appreciated quality of the winery is that they are acknowledging where their grapes are sourced from and have even created the “8 Chains North West” label for wines sourced from the West Coast.  We appreciate the transparency this provides to customers and find that it’s a nice experience to get to sample varietals that grow better in the west.  The wines we sampled were:

  • 2012 LoCo Vino:  A blend of Vidal Blanc, Traminette, and Sauvignon Blanc from their Waterford Vineyard.  This white was fermented in stainless steel and has a light and crisp tropical fruit finish.
  • 2013 Chardonnay: Using grapes from Trump Vineyard (Charlottesville), this Chardonnay was fermented in neutral French oak for 7 months.  Honeysuckle and a light buttery finish linger on this drier Chardonnay.
  • 2013 Herencia Altes Garnatxa: The tasting menu’s current guest wine from Spain’s Terra Alta region.  Made of 100% Garnatxa Negra, this crimson colored red provides lots of red fruits on the palate with slight tannins and spice.  Very enjoyable.
  • 2013 8 Chains North West Syrah: Sourced from Washington State, the Syrah is classic in it’s jammy qualities but also provides minerality on the finish.
  • 2013 8 Chains North West Tempranillo: Another western sourced wine, this wine was aged in French and American oak for 9 months.  The Tempranillo is a beautiful deep red wine, yet medium-bodied with notes of spice and subtle tannins.  We went home with a bottle of this.
Overall, we found the wine to be well-balanced and enjoyed the variety that was offered.  8 Chains North is a great place to visit for a taste of some atypical Virginia wine (although in the last few trips we’ve had we have seen more and more Syrah being made in good ole VA!).  We will certainly be back to enjoy the tasting room and patio, the dog park with our pups, and the well-crafted wine.  Next time we’re in for the chocolate and wine pairing tasting!
If you stop by 8 Chains North make sure to tell them the Virginia Winos sent you!

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