Creek’s Edge is the result of mixing together a bunch of Amish craftsman, a chef, and an up and coming winemaker. Located only 15 minutes away from other wineries in the Leesburg cluster, it makes a great book-end (or the start) of a wine day trip. It’s also one of the most physically stunning tasting rooms anywhere in Virginia.
Jeremy Ligon has been their winemaker since 2015, not long after they opened. Ironically I learned about him during an interview with his family, who own Hunting Creek Vineyard (way down in southern Virginia). If that isn’t enough, none other than Jason Murray of Arterra Wines (perhaps my favorite winemaker in the state) helped convince Jeremy to take the path of a winemaker. Small world!
We started with a discussion of my favorite part of any winery – the vineyard. Creek’s Edge has 34 acres under vine; 4 on site and the rest at a vineyard just down the road. As of 2019 they were making around 4000 cases/year, with 80% of their grapes estate-grown. They previously used some out of state grapes to augment their harvest, but have been gradually weening themselves off of that for several years. While some older bottles are labeled as “American wine” (due to the use of these out of state grapes), Jeremy explained that even back then, this comprised only a small portion of the juice.
Jeremy treated me to an impromptu barrel tasting of juice from the 2019 vines. This year’s crop had turned out great and he was psyched about the quality of his future wines. And joining us on this tasting was none other than Boone, the winery wonder dog! Have I mentioned I’m totally a dog person? Heck, I should have an Instagram dedicated to winery pets.
As we ascended the stairs to the main tasting room, it was impossible not to admire the architecture. The tower-like stairwell is the signature structure of the building, but everything is a marvel to behold. The tasting area is huge, buttressed by the fireplace on one end and the tasting bar at the other. The tables were made of black walnut taken from the property. The entire room felt like a cross between an Amish barn and a dream hunting cabin, complete with what looked like a chandelier made of antlers.
Jeremy had to depart early, but not before he went over what’s cooking in the kitchen. As the General Manager, he was especially proud of the food options. While most wineries have your standard baguettes and charcuterie plates, Creek’s Edge went all out with a full-fledged kitchen. Before we left, a friend & I ended up feasted on pork shoulder and deviled eggs near the fireplace while enjoying some glasses.
Jeremy passed me over to Mercedes, who guided me through a very extensive tasting of Jeremy’s wines. What we tried:
Sparkling Viognier: I swear this was cider! The nose and taste was dead on as cider.
2017 Vidal: Although Vidal us usually sweet this was at best off-dry; I found melon notes and it had some weight to it.
2018 Rose: Orange-colored, reminded me of a Provenance-style Rose. Strong notes of rose water.
2017 Viognier: Dark lemon color and fresh honey nose.
2017 Chardonnay: 60/40 split between fermented in steel tanks and neutral oak. Crisp and light apple notes. I liked this a lot.
2017 Water’s Edge: A Vidal that Jeremy called a ‘starter wine’, mostly because it was less than 1% sugar.
2017 Estate Cabernet Franc: Tiny bit of fruit up front, with cherry notes. But no pepper and spice notes which I often find in other Cab Francs.
2017 Reserve Cabernet Franc: Bramble fruit notes, and this time I found those spice notes.
2016 Petit Verdot: Nice nose! Medium-full body, nice pepper notes. I ended up with a glass of this.
2016 Vintner’s Blend: The black cherry notes came on strong; I swear I found strong acid or tannin as well.
2018 Sweet Caroline: A Vidal desert wine to satisfy those with a sweet tooth; it has 5% sugar!
2015 Hunting Hull: Chambourcin port-style that I liked, even though it was on the sweeter side.