The Winery At Bull Run: wine tasting & review

My most recent Tuesday morning field trip was to The Winery at Bull Run in Centreville, Virginia — the closest winery to Washington, DC.

I’ve tasted wine at loads of Virginia wineries over the years.  I’m gradually revisiting favorites, not so favorites, and new wineries so I can share the experience.  

There are over 300 wineries in Virginia. Visiting all of them is starting to sound like Mission Impossible.  But I’ll do my best. 

One of my girlfriends had a friend visiting, and they wanted to visit a winery. They asked me to recommend one, and invited me to tag along.   

I’ve driven past The Winery at Bull Run a zillion times, but I’ve never stopped. Shame on me.  It’s a stunning setting.

winery at bull run

One of the things I like most about The Winery at Bull Run is that it’s literally on top of history.  

It’s right next to the Manassas National Battlefield Park.  If you dust off your Civil War history, then you’ll remember the Battle of Bull Run as the Picnic Battle.

People actually brought picnics and parasols . . . and watched the battle unfold as spectator sport.  Can you imagine if they’d had the option to picnic with wine?

There were so many Civil War artifacts that were found during construction of the winery.

If stones could speak:  the original farmhouse, Hillwood Mansion, was there for the Battle of Bull Run, and the skeleton of the house still stands.  It’s fabulous.

The Winery At Bull Run opened its doors in October of 2012.  

It has two vineyards on-site, totaling over 8 acres of Norton vines.

There is also a 115-acre property in Rappahannock County, where there are currently 8 different varietals growing across 42 acres of vines

The varietals growing include Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Chambourcin, Traminette, Merlot, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winery At Bull Run Wine Tasting

Venturing inside the winery . . . the tasting bar is spacious and inviting.  And it’s Tuesday morning, so it’s also deserted.  Yay!

You really should take a historical tour of the property. You’ll get a tasting with your tour.

Historical tours begin at $36. 

Taste six award-winning wines and learn about the vineyards, winemaking processes and rich history. Tastings begin at $18.

Winery At Bull Run Petit Manseng

Aged in stainless steel.  Bone dry.  Sucking on a cotton ball dry.  Stone fruit and spice notes.  I enjoyed it — but it’s crying out for some lemony seafood to provide balance. 

Winery At Bull Run Lilly’s Viognier 

Virginia is for Viognier!  You can’t go wrong with Virginia Viognier.  This one is aged in 1/3 Acadia and 2/3 neutral oak.  Coconut and butter notes.  

Less tropical than a typical Virginia Viognier, but nicely done.  

Winery At Bull Run Chardonnay

Aged in French and neutral oak barrels.  Veggie notes.  Lots of butter and toast on the finish.  I went through a “no oak” phase a while ago, but I’m gradually swinging back toward oak.  

Aging wine in oak is like dressing in layers.  It adds interest and complexity. Very enjoyable wine.  

Winery At Bull Run Delaney

A white blend of Vidal Blanc, Petit Manseng, Viognier and Rkatsiteli (which, btw, is insanely fun to say).  

Aged in stainless steel.  This is their best selling wine.  The Viognier lends a little tropical note to the wine.  It’s slightly off-dry, easy to drink.  Not terribly complex. 

Winery At Bull Run Rosé

Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon using the Saginee method.  Aged in stainless steel.  The residual sugar content is 0.5%.  And while it’s a perfectly pleasant Rosé, I would like it more if it had 0.5% less residual sugar.  

The Winery At Bull Run Merlot

Aged in French and American oak.  Loads of black pepper obscures cherry notes.  This is one of those wines you’d like to yell at, “CHILL OUT!”.  Right now, it’s just young and thin.  

Would like to see what this does after some years in the bottle. 

Winery At Bull Run Fort

I do love a good fortified wine . . . and this one is yummy.  Not yummy enough to dethrone my beloved Seven from King Family Vineyards, but yummy.  

My wine mantra is, Wine is good if you like it.  And wouldn’t you know it, we each chose a different wine as our favorite.  So we got three different glasses of vino and headed outside to face Tuesday morning winery problems . . . where to sit.

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