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Winery For Sale – Beloved Local Business Seeks New Ownership

You could say that the story of Dry Mill Winery is as long as the history of wine in Virginia. European colonists were already planting vineyards in 16th century. By the early 1800s, Thomas Jefferson, one of the greatest patrons of wine in the United States, had established two vineyards in his south orchard at Monticello. In the early 1900s, Charlottesville's Monticello Wine Company was so well regarded that the city declared itself "the Capital of the Wine Belt in Virginia".


The Opportunity - Winery For Sale


But in fact, Virginia's hot humid summers proved challenging to viticulture over the years. Black rot and the root louse phylloxera savaged vineyards planted with classic European grape varieties. It is only within the past 20 years that growers successfully adapted, learning to cultivate French hybrids and American varietals that spawned a game-changing revolution for Virginia wine. Virginia now ranks 5th in the US for both bearing acreage and grape production. Loudoun County, just west of Washington D.C., is one of the counties at the heart of this turnaround.


A Labor of Love


In the 1980s, a growing number of for-profit and non-profit organizations were established to help promote Virginia wine. A few prescient individuals could see the opportunity that Virginia wine presented. One of these far-sighted individuals was a man by the name of Dean Vanhuss. Dean began growing grapes in Loudoun in the late 1990s. After retiring from a career in Northern Virginia's "Tech Corridor", Dean turned his full attention to a lifelong dream of making wine. With his wife Nancy and his daughter Michelle Pizarello, Dean set about finding the perfect place to make wine and share it with the public.

In 2009, with the help of local Realtor, Kelly Gaitten, Dean & Nancy acquired 9 gorgeous, rolling acres just west of Historic Downtown Leesburg, Loudoun's county seat. The site had a history of it's own and enormous potential as winery. The first job was to renovate the old barn previously used by the Loudoun Hunt.


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The Renovation


The old barn was sturdy, but was truly nothing more than an old horse barn. Dean, Nancy & Michelle carefully restored the structure, reusing nearly all of the original wood. Their goal to was to preserve the character of the building and give their winery a rustic and authentic feel. Exposed wooden beams, a tin roof, wall sconces and a fireplace transformed the old horse stalls into a warm and cozy tasting room. The original large wooden storm shutters now slide past the winery’s French doors, inviting visitors inside. The outside patio seats up to thirty people for wine tasting and light fare. The old hay loft is now a spacious meeting room featuring two balconies that overlook the property.

While some vines have been planted on the lower level of the property, the full potential of the 9 acre lot has yet to be realized. Dean continued to produce most of the grapes for Dry Mill’s many award winning wines at Short Hill Vineyards, Dean & Nancy’s home in nearby Lovettsville. Standing on the balcony looking up the steep slope, it’s easy to imagine the property fully planted like a hillside vineyard in Provence or Napa Valley.


The Fruits of Our Labor - Winery For Sale


Ten years later Dean & Nancy have accomplished nearly everything they set out to do. They’ve won dozens and dozens of awards for their wine. They created a thriving business with a loyal following and a reputation for quality. They made hundreds if not thousands of new friends from all around the world. They’ve made continuous investment in a facility that will hopefully continue as a winery, or take on a new life as something more. They’ve chosen the time to hand over stewardship of this property and this business to the next owners. Even more, they’ve created a large surplus inventory of wine that could be transferred to the new ownership as part of the sale.

Dean & Nancy would very much like to be hand’s on during the transition and assist the new owners as they take over. With access to their experience and expertise, it’s entirely reasonable that someone without prior winery management experience could sustain and grow the business.


The Return of the Hunt


Among the many satisfying moments along the way was the return of the Loudoun Hunt to their old barn. It was a great day at the winery, and seeing members of the hunt in their traditional garb reminds us of the history and tradition of this place.


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Are You The One?


Someone will read this blog post and feel a stirring of the heart. Someone will read this and see the hand of fate pointing them down a road they’ve longed to travel. If you are that person, please, pick up the phone and call or text Kelly at 703-966-7036. It’s time to start the next chapter of your life, and the realization of your dreams. All reasonable offers considered. The owners are looking for “the right buyer”, not just the highest bidder.

For more information, view the full MLS Listing here: 18195 Dry Mill Road, Leesburg, Virginia


Video Overview of the Property – Winery For Sale




Could It Be Something Else?


Absolutely. For sentimental reasons, the owners would love to transition the property to someone who shares their love of wine and wine-making. That being said, this is an incredible venue, close to Historic Downtown Leesburg, near the Washington & Old Dominion Bike Trail, with a large parking lot and spacious grounds. The facility might work as a restaurant, a venue for weddings & events, a brewery, or any one of the new “agri-tourism” businesses springing up all over Loudoun. All scenarios subject to consideration of current zoning ordinances and other relevant regulation.

37210 Devon Wick Lane – Coming Soon Near Middleburg, Virginia

Country Estate in the Heart of Virginia’s Hunt Country

This elegant country estate in the rolling hills of Western Loudoun County is right in the heart of Hunt Country. The all brick home features nearly 9,000 square feet of finished space on three levels. The main floor master suite is one of six bedrooms and offers a gas fireplace and spa bath. A dramatic stone fireplace is the centerpiece of the two-story family room.


Available for showings beginning  Saturday, January 25th. Call Kelly at 703-966-7036 for more information!



12 Acre Property for Sale Near Downtown Purcellville

12+ IN-TOWN ACRES – Purcellville. This charming 3 bedroom farmhouse sits on just over 12 acres just minutes from downtown. The property features a scenic 1+ acre pond, guest house and a large barn. A special zoning exception has been granted for a retail home-based business.

Simmons Switch Farm was originally a stop on the W&OD railroad (as noted in Eugene Sheel’s book Loudoun Discovered Volume 4). This charming farmhouse had additions in 2010. Tax records incorrect. Now 3 bedrooms/2 full baths plus kennel area for dog breeding business. New Trex deck. Over 1 acre pond and special exception for retail home based business. Peruvian Granite flooring on main level. Guest house has 2 efficiency apartments. Guest house and barn are fully rented until 2021. Income producing property!

Walking Tour of Historic Carter Hall – Episode 2 of ‘Round Town with Mark Ferguson

Carter Hall in Millwood, Virginia is one of the most historic properties in the state and perhaps the nation. Originally built in 1797 by Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Burwell, a solidier in the Revolutionary War, the property is available for sale for the first time in more than four decades. Offered at $12 million, the 87-acre estate features 14 structures, including the grand manor home known as Carter Hall. Ready for a virtual tour of Carter Hall?

Local mortgage lender Mark Ferguson of MVB Mortgage is one of my most trusted business partners. He provides mortgages and lending solutions for many of my clients. In his ongoing local web video series ‘Round Town, Mark visits with builders and agents to understand the latest developments in the local real estate market. I was pleased that Mark decided to bring the ‘Round Town team to Millwood for a tour of Carter Hall.

Many thanks to Mark Ferguson and Tina Diamond and their support of this listing and so many of my clients throughout the year. I highly recommend Mark as a lender who will help you find the best rates and the mortgage that is the best fit for you.

Coming Soon in Millwood, Virginia – Historic Carter Hall

Carter Hall in Millwood, Virginia is one of the most historic properties in the State of Virginia. Carter Hall is most widely known as:

  • The Estate of Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Burwell, a politician and plantation owner who built the property around 1797, great grandson of Robert “King” Carter.

  • The headquarters of General Stonewall Jackson during the Civil War. Also, Carter Hall is the setting for the famous painting “Shenandoah Autumn” by Mort Kunstler that depicts the camp of Stonewall Jackson in front of the manor home.

  • The childhood home of Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon who designed and planted the White House Garden. Mellon was the daughter of Gerard Barnes Lambert, president of the Gillette Safety Razor Company.

  • A signature project of world renowned architect Harrie T. Lindeberg. Lindeberg designed a major update to the property in the 1930s.

  • A unique example of the work of Dr. William Thornton, “Architect of the Capitol”. The portico of the manor home was designed by Thornton, the painter and architect who designed the US Capitol Building.

  • Since the 1970s, the headquarters of Project HOPE, a global health and humanitarian relief organization.

Aerial view of Historic Carter Hall. As seen from the South, the Georgina Manor home overlooks a great lawn on the 87-acre estate.
Built in 1797 by Lt. Col. Nathaniel Burwell.
Aerial overview of Carter Hall from the North.
Virginia plantation house, late Georgian style, built of native limestone.
Aerial view of Carter Hall and it's terraced boxwood gardens.
Flanking the main house are two, two-story pedimented gabled-roof dependencies.
Aerial view of the guest cabins at Carter Hall. The manor home is visible behind them.
The Stone House and four guest cabins. The estate has a lodging capacity of 42.
The leaded glass fan window above the front door at Carter Hall.
The arched leaded-glass window over the main door of Carter Hall was one of several signature features specified by renowned architect H.T. Lindeberg during a redesign in the 1930s.
The East House at Carter Hall.
The West House, originally the school house for the estate and is now a three bedroom guest house.
Carter Hall and the East House.
Carter Hall and the West House.
The manor home at Carter Hall.
The 18th Century Manor House overlooks a great lawn and sweeping views of the Shenandoah Mountains.
Hand stacked stone walls line the driveway at Carter Hall near Millwood, Virginia.
Hand stacked stone walls accent the perimeter of the 87-acre estate.
The portico at Carter Hall in Millwood, Virginia. Designed by William Thornton, architect of the U.S. Capitol Bulding.
The portico was designed by Willaim Thornton in 1814, architect of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Boxwood gardens at Carter Hall in Millwood, Virginia.
The terraced boxwood gardens were created by John Townsend Burwell with the assistance of landscape architect Warren Manning. Manning also designed the plantings at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.
Outbuildings at Historic Carter Hall
Behind the main house is a cluster of three early wooden outbuildings, including the dairy and smokehouse.
The Stone House, originally the carriage house, has 11 bedrooms each with private baths.
View from the front door at Carter Hall
Rich, fluted columns frame a picturesque view.


Custom Manor Home with Views of Historic Waterford, Virginia

This sprawling custom manor home sits on almost 5 acres and has views of the countryside in Historic Waterford, Virginia!

With gracious formal rooms and cozy spaces, there is a great flow for entertaining and everyday living.

Gourmet Kitchen

The family room has a fireplace, built in cabinetry and a window seat with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Family Room With Views of the BLue Ridge Mountains

Hardwood flooring on main and upper levels.

Master Bedroom

The back staircase leads to bedrooms, all with en suite baths.The laundry room is also on the bedroom level with a utility sink and room to work. The master suite has a fireplace, private sitting room, dressing room and two oversize walk-in closets.

The expansive lower level has a family room with fireplace, den/5th bedroom, craft room, recreation area and a full bath and half bath.

Finished Lower Level

Enjoy sunsets from the porch!

Located just outside The Village of Waterford on a quiet lane.

Sunset in Waterford

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