Tarara Winery is a benchmark for Virginia Wine. We realized early that we don’t want to only be great for Virginia Wine, we want to be great for all wine. We want to focus on producing and showing wine that is second to none anywhere in the world. What we do is simple, yet somewhat cutting edge. We do not want to confine ourselves to traditional rules. We aim to make eclectic blends that are truly representative of where and who we are. We make wine from grapes that agree with the site. Our wines deserve to be the focus of what we do, but they also belong in the hands of anyone who wants great wine. Our team at Tarara Winery consists of the most enthusiastic wine aficionados you will find anywhere. We make wine we love, and we want it to be shown the way it was intended from grape to bottle. Simply put, today we operate because we love wine!
Located in the heart of Leesburg, Virginia
- We specialize in single vineyard blends.
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Average Bottle Price
With Jordan’s determination to be the best at his passion, he has achieved many successes. After managing the same fine dining establishment where he was once a bus boy, he decided to focus solely on the wine aspect of Food and Wine. It is with that focus his accolades started to come. While still a student of Enology and Viticulture at Niagara College of Canada, Jordan placed first in Canada at the Inter-Rhone Sommelier Challenge in 2004. Months later, he finished third in the world in the International Challenge in Avignon, France. Upon graduation the accolades kept coming, as Jordan was recognized as one of “Canada’s Up and Coming Winemakers” by Wine Access Magazine in 2005, awarded the Premier Award for the top Recent Graduate from all Ontario college programs in 2008, and included in the Top 30 Under 30 in all hospitality in Ontario through the Ontario Hostelry Institute in 2006.
In Jordan’s then-still-short career, he was also able to be a part of making some of Canada’s most celebrated wines in his time there, including the Wine Access Canadian Wine Award for “Top Chardonnay in Canada” and the Ontario Wine Award for “Top Pinot Noir in Ontario.”
In 2007, Jordan came to Loudoun with his wife to start a life of new challenges and rewards, as well as a family of their own. Since being at Tarara Winery in Loudoun County, Jordan’s success has continued to climb. He was named in the Top 30 Under 30 professionals through Loudoun Business in 2010, featured in Wine Enthusiast’s 2013 40 Under 40 Tastemakers Issue, he made 3 of the first 7 Virginia wines ever to be rated 90 points by Wine Enthusiast, and helped Tarara Winery receive Partner of the Year with Visit Loudoun. Most recently, Jordan was awarded Top 100 Influential Winemakers in the USA with “Into Wine”.
Jordan continuously focuses on bettering himself and helping the industry around him. He was part of the technical committee to develop the Sustainable Winegrowing Charter for Ontario. Since arriving in Loudoun, he has sat on the Board of the Virginia Wineries Association and Virginia Wine Council. He was chair of the Technical Committee and Commonwealth Quality Alliance committees for the VWA. He now sits as a Board member for Visit Loudoun. Jordan looks forward to being a part of the thriving DC’s Wine Country for years to come.
In 1987, Whitie planted the first block of Chardonnay in the Nevaeh Vineyard. Over the next three years he continued to plant Viognier and more Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot on the Road and Pond blocks. While many vines have prospered and others have failed, Tarara still holds some of the oldest Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc planted in Virginia. Today these vines have started to really shine with their more developed roots and wisdom from over 25 vintages in some cases. Combined with these vines and the beauty of land that Tarara rests on, Whitie knew he would make Tarara a destination for people around the country. His dedication and pioneering spirit would help lead Virginia wine into the minds and palates of many.
His passion, desire and focus were contagious. He set out and put together an incredible team to help him guide Tarara into what it is today through hard work and, of course, a lot of fun. He empowered the team that leads Tarara today to make it world class, and that is what we have done. Our past is what has led us to where we are today.
Margaret met Whitie in the summer of 1949 and her life was never the same. Wow what a journey! Keeping up with Whitie was a challenge but she was his equal in many ways. They were married in June of 1951 and made their home in Bethesda, Maryland. Whitie and Margaret had five children. Whitie dedicated himself to the commercial construction industry and after building together a successful company, Glen Construction, Whitie and Margaret retired to Loudoun County Virginia on the 475 acre property on the Potomac River that is now known as Tarara.
Margaret ran the winery retail operation for many years and during that time opened and ran the Bed & Breakfast that was also a part of the Tarara business. Margaret served on the original board for the Loudoun County Tourism Council that later became Visit Loudoun, the marketing arm for Loudoun County. She later would receive the Judy Patterson award from the County for her work. Margaret loved it all!
Today, Margaret enjoys all the friends and family that continue to be a part of Tarara Winery. You will see her around the property every day. Margaret with be celebrating her 85th birthday in October.
Growing up outside of Charlottesville in a rural farming community, Tim’s earliest jobs included summers on an organic farm and vineyard working for a small Viognier grower, foreshadowing a career and lifestyle that has taken shape decades later.
After graduation from Bridgewater College, his first job was in Charlottesville’s oldest wine shop where his eyes were first opened to the enormities of the wine world. A few years later he moved up the supply chain to work for a wholesale distributor which offered even more opportunities to evaluate some of the most relevant and important wines of the world. With yearly visits to different parts of the globe to see firsthand how great wine is produced, a kernel was sowed. Shortly after this revelation, Tim quit his job to search for what he had been unknowingly preparing for his entire life.
Employed by Jefferson Vineyards, Tim learned the rhythms of a winemaker’s calendar and the techniques necessary to operate a cellar. Great wine was made and an understanding was gained. After three harvests in Charlottesville, Tim left this position for his current one at Tarara Winery. Continuing his pursuit of excellence, wisdom, and humility in the seemingly simple task of turning grapes to wine, you’ll most often find him near the cellar.
Keeping with the locally sourced theme, Tarara found Kevin Goolsby roaming around Leesburg. He said he was born and raised here. Furthermore, he claims to have graduated from the local high school, Loudoun County.
After further questioning of this big goofy fellow we discovered a few things. Kevin has three siblings, Meghan, Ryan, and Darren. They are all grown up but remain local as well. His parents live in Hamilton and they love wine.
Kevin has a biology degree from Longwood University where he highlights his skills as a bird watcher in Ornithology class. Throughout high school and college, he worked at various landscaping companies and farms learning Spanish along the way. While farming at Lost Corner Farms, he realized the love he had of plants and farming. Afterwards, he helped 8 Chains North open their tasting room, working with Ben Renshaw, and realized that wine was fun and interesting.
Since 2011, Kevin has been helping Jordan and Tim make the delicious wine here at Tarara, helps manage the estate vineyard Nevaeh, and also our off-site vineyard in south Purcellville, Tranquility. He did an overseas vintage in 2013 at GisVin in Gisborne, New Zealand learning how the Kiwis do it.
He seems to enjoy a plethora of music types from bluegrass to rock to jam bands and EDM. He has a beautiful girlfriend Whitney, a sweet black lab puppy named Harvey, a cat named Gizzy, and a tortoise named Senor Lente. He is very friendly and if you get a chance do yourself a favor and talk to him, he will seem aloof but he is probably just listening to the birds.
Bryan was born in a far-away land called Albuquerque and grew up in the wide open expanse of Oklahoma City and Norman. After heading East, he cut his wine teeth as a buyer in a Wine Retail Store. It was around this time that he was first introduced to the wonderful world of Tarara and its wines.
Having tasted many a Viognier in his time as a wine retail store buyer, Bryan was struck by the incredible varietal correctness of Tarara’s Viognier. After learning that the wine was made from wholly estate grown fruit, he was sold and it was then that his eyes were opened to the quality of juice being harvested from Tarara’s vineyards.
After leaving the Wine Retail business, Bryan took a 180 degree foray into the publishing world, where he quickly found that he missed the daily interactions with other wine lovers. Fortunately, Bryan was able to scratch that itch and initially come on board with Tarara pouring wine part-time on the weekends in what was known as his “fun job”, which ultimately funded sushi dinners with his beautiful girlfriend (now his beautiful wife!).
Five years later, Bryan was able to make his “fun job” his “real job” and come on board with Tarara full-time as Retail Manager and resident rock n’ roll enthusiast. When not roaming the property, discussing all things wine, and enjoying the company of Tarara’s guests, you can probably find Bryan riding roller coasters, rockin’ out at concerts, or walking on the beach with his lovely wife Karen.
Kim was born and raised a Yankee (you may still hear evidence of her Boston accent), moved to Atlanta where she stayed for 13 years before moving to Leesburg (which she considers to be the best place she's ever lived!) with her family in the summer of 2005.
She joined the Tarara team in January 2006, starting part time in the events department. Since Fall of 2010, Kim has managed the Vine Club and Concerts. She works during the week, but once concert season kicks in you’ll find her at Tarara on Saturday nights.
Kim lives in Leesburg with her husband (who you may see from time to time at the concerts) and has two sons who are adults out on their own.
When not at Tarara, Kim enjoys tennis, Pilates, and long walks or drives through the beautiful Virginia countryside. Her favorite times involve her family and the kitchen where they all meet to cook together. And of course wine is always a part of that tradition.
Kim's wine preferences change with the season, what she's eating, or just her mood. On a hot summer day she may be drinking a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or another one of Jordan’s white blends. And she still loves the big bold reds! And as they say “Life is too short not to enjoy great wine”.
Margie is the Financial Manager at Tarara and you might say she has been around for a while. Margie came to be involved with Tarara 31 years ago while working with Whitie Hubert and his son Steve in their construction and real estate development business. When given an opportunity to do something slightly out of the ordinary, she jumped at the chance to work with Margaret & Whitie as they built Tarara from the ground up. Margie now handles the financial side of making Tarara work, but you might see her at any time around the property enjoying the concerts and helping out wherever needed.
Margie originally hails from Maryland and returned to make her home there after spending five years in Southern California enjoying the sun, sand, and no humidity. She enjoys traveling with her husband, Robin, and spends as much time as possible with her three grown children (one of which is expecting the first Grandchild with his wife). Bring on the wine for a celebration of life.
Practices & Techniques
The reds tend to have long cold soaks and maximum maceration times to assist in the greatest extraction of ripe fruit. On average, the wine remains on its skins just over 30 days. Some very astringent varieties, such as Tannat may see a shorter vatting depending on the vintage. The fermentations are generally allowed to go where they want temperature-wise, and seldom exceed 75 degrees F. The cap is managed through a very gentle method called pulse air. This is simply using air bubbles to keep the skins incorporated in the wine for extraction. With several small lots we will also ferment in small, one-ton fermenters and manage the cap with punch-downs by hand. This is all done 2-3 times per day during fermentation. The wine is pressed to barrel using predominately Virginia Oak from Tonnellerie Magrenan where it will sit for roughly 18 months, being racked and blended the spring following fermentation. We are experimenting more and more each year with lees stirring on our reds. The final assemblage is done after about 18 months, and allowed to settle 1 month more before being racked and bottled. Red wines are only fined or filtered if absolutely necessary (which is almost never). Our philosophy for our reds is that we want them to be complex and balanced in their youth, but also be long lived. On average, we are finding most of our reds show best with about 8-12 years of age.
Our whites are split between being whole cluster pressed or having 1-5 days cold skin soaks, just being crushed before pressing. This is done to get multiple lots to assist in blending for complexity, and because some varieties react differently to varying levels of skin influence and oxygen. About half of the white wines are made for early release while fresh, and fermented in stainless steel with minimal batonage. These wines are made to be fresh, bright and transparent. The other half, which consists of our Single Vineyards and Chardonnay, are classic winemaking with barrel fermentations and aging for generally around 10 months in predominately Jupilles Forest oak from France. We perform batonage on the barrels bi-weekly through the elevage and the wines generally go through malo-lactic fermentation except in extremely hot vintages. After the 10 month elevage, they are assembled for the first time. Almost all of our white wines are filtered for clarity. Our philosophy with our white wines is to show delicacy, complexity and also density. We love mouthfeel. While some of the Single Vineyards and Chardonnays can benefit from 8-10 years aging, we tend to drink the white wines in their youthful vibrancy.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
The Nevaeh Vineyard is so incredibly unique it is unlikely anyone will have quite the same terroir as what we have. The main factors that make Nevaeh what it is are the varying soils and exposures, being close to and on the East side of the Catoctin Foothills, and our influence from the Potomac River and Shadow Lake. The different soils and exposures help us be successful with several varieties that are suited for varying levels of sunlight and heat, as well as how they work in different soils - whether it is our limestone-rich clay of the Hill, sandier soils of the Pond, or the harder red clay of the Road blocks. Most of our weather incidences come to us from the West. The Catoctin Hills will block some of those storms and create a mini rain shadow that we sit in, resulting in a vineyard that gets less rain than almost anyone around us. Shadow Lake and the Potomac have a great moderating effect on our vineyard. Because the river is so fast flowing and the lake is so deep, they seldom freeze which helps moderate the temperature in the winter so we have less of an issue for frost or winter damage.
The valley the Potomac runs through is also quite breezy and where we sit is an area called the Lost Corner which almost always has a breeze. There are two inlets of this valley that separate our Hill and Pond block where these winds come together and create a mini cyclone-type feel, creating constant stir flow on our vines keeping them healthier and also a little cooler in the summer. This allows us to let the fruit hang a while longer in order to get optimum ripeness of flavors, color, and tannins. All plantings prior to 2013 were planted with an East/West orientation leaving us with a South side and North side to the vine. We have to treat our vineyard differently due to this orientation, as it is not the norm in the wine industry, but we have been finding it can also give us a great advantage for complexity. With multiple passes through each block, we will pick the different sides of the vines at different times, which give some variance in the character of the grapes and allows us to have more to work with in creating the wines we feel best describe the site. Our newer plantings have been done with a more high-density approach to help create vine to vine competition, forcing the roots deeper and in turn, bringing more character to the wine. All of the vines are trained to a Double Guyot, which is a cane pruned Vertical Shoot Positioning, with our fruiting wire at 30 inches about ground. The low fruiting wire helps with radiation from the ground below the fruit, helping to cool the fruit in the hot days, and warm it in the cool nights. It also allows more canopy upwards to generate better sugar ripening. The VSP system and cane pruning are also used because it creates a cleaner, more manageable canopy and better balanced yield, resulting in better quality fruit and a more sustainable approach with less need of chemicals. Each shoot (roughly 16 per vine) is allowed only one cluster of grapes keeping our tonnage at between 2-3 tons per acre in most cases. This is well below the average goal and is done in order to grow for better concentration.
Tranquility Vineyard is a seven acre vineyard planted in 1999 by its owners: Al and Mary Taylor. Set in the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont, the vineyard sits at about 510 feet above sea level. The original planting included 4 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by one acre of Tannat in 2005. The final planting was about 1 and 3/4 acres more Tannat in 2013. The soils are primarily comprised of "Pennsylvania Silt Loam", are very nutritionally rich, and very rocky as well. The majority of the rows run in a North/South direction, with just one acre that runs East/West. Much like Nevaeh, the vines are all trained to a Vertical Shoot Positioning, but are spur pruned instead of cane. The fall of the land is outstanding for both air and water drainage, making it a great location for a vineyard. The grapes have never been irrigated and thus have very deep roots, making them more drought resistant and bringing up some minerality from the rocky sub soils. The Tranquility fruit has been in great demand since day one due to this incredible site. It has been used for several wineries in the past, but today is solely leased by Tarara. Some fruit is still allocated to close friends though at 8 Chains North, Otium Cellars and Hiddencroft Vineyards. In 2005 Ben Renshaw took over the management of the vineyard and has maintained it ever since. Starting with the 2011 season, the Tranquility Vineyard is being leased entirely by Tarara Winery.