A family food tradition + Stone Tower Winery

Alright, this is the type of content everyone wants to see, right?  I will admit we haven’t been exploring the DC food scene as much as I’d like to.  A few reasons for it.  For starters, we have a toddler who naps from like 12-2pm just about every day and is in bed by 630-7pm without fail.  Tough to go out for a good meal and work around those parameters.  Secondly it is expensive.  We live in a very accessible part of Arlington.  Lots of great food spots right in the neighborhood or right across the bridge into Georgetown or quick train ride from our Rosslyn metro stop. 

Time is money as they say, and to get anywhere in this city quickly costs money.  A run into Dupont Circle for a meal would run us $50 on the cheap side and about an hour in transit time.  It shouldn’t be an excuse, but we are being practical.  Buying suits for work, suitcases, and prepping for an overseas move gets expensive very quickly.  This career and life change came with a financial tradeoff.  The government doesn’t pay quite as nicely as the private sector, and we are down to one income while in transition with Mel staying home with Naomi. 

Enough with the excuses already

That being said, we do make it a point to have little food getaways here and there.  Having family visit is a perfect excuse to go out and explore local eateries and drink spots.  Any excuse to go out and celebrate, right?  The extra set of hands to help with Naomi doesn’t hurt either.

My parents were visiting last week.  Something you need to know about my family, or maybe in particular, my Dad.  We are very serious about food.  Before breakfast finishes, we’ve already had a few conversations about what we plan to eat for dinner that night.  Right after Mel and I got married, Mel always gave me a hard time that the entire door of our refrigerator was nothing but sauces.  “How many types of mustard do you need,” she would ask.  Just know that us Neujahrs are serious about food.  In my last post, I shared that one of my dad’s requirements was that he, and I quote, “MUST go to a seafood place at least once🍤🦀🦞🦐🦑”

Over the next few posts I will chronicle some of the places we visited for food and drink over the week. The first stop is you guessed it — a winery.

Stone Tower Winery

The Stone Tower Harvest Barn Tasting Room is family friendly and first-come-first-serve
Image credit: Stone Tower Winery

Finding a family friendly winery, with ample indoor space, that doesn’t charge a cover, and is relatively close to DC is surprisingly difficult.  As I’ve written here before (and if you know us you’ll know that we enjoy wine), we really enjoy the Virginia wine country that boasts 10 regions and 8 unique American Viticultural Areas (AVA, or wine grape-growing regions).  Stone Tower Winery checked all the blocks for us so we headed out around 11:30 so Naomi could nap in the car on the way out. 

Located in Leesburg, Stone Tower Winery is very accessible from the DMV.  There is ample parking here so you shouldn’t have to worry about timing your visit to ensure a place to park.  The property is HUGE with several buildings.  The website recommend reservations on the weekend, request you limit your stay to 2 hours, and require reservations for groups of 7 or more.  They do offer tastings and their flight included 5 wines (a brut rosé, sauvignon blanc, rosé, pinot noir, and cabernet franc).  Stone Tower also provided index sized cards with a picture of the bottle and then facts about the wine to go along with the tasting.  I’m not sure I’ve seen another winery out here do that.  It is obvious that this place pays attention to detail and guest experience.

Stone Tower tasting and wine cards
Getting settled in with a bottle

We knew we were getting a bottle.  They had several whites and reds available with the majority of their selection using grapes grown on their property.  Bottles start around $40 with some of their reds priced around $80.  We knew we wanted a red and I was considering either the pinot noir or the cabernet franc. The attendant behind the counter was quick to offer me a taste of the pinot noir.  Now this was not a couple drops in a glass.  I’d call this a very generous half pour.  We settled on a bottle of the pinot noir (these grapes were grown off site) and found a place to sit upstairs. 

Stone Tower Winery upstairs seating

It was very well decorated and had that black-white-barn feel.  There were couches, chairs, and tables around the perimeter with tables and chairs in the center.  It was a bit cold inside.  There must not be indoor heat, but since Stone Tower Winery was thinking ahead, they came around and offered blankets embroidered with their logo to guests to use during their stay.  While enjoying our bottle upstairs, an employee came around and offered a sample (again a generous half pour) of their merlot that was made with grapes from the property.  They only had a few bottles left and were eager to share. 

Strategies to prolong our stay

We were honestly only going to stay here for one bottle and then try out some other places.  The relaxing environment, ample indoor seating, kind and friendly staff, and a semi-cooperative toddler all contributed to our decision to stay for a second bottle.  I did have to take Naomi outside to chase a ball around and play in snow piles to stretch out our time. Thankfully they have plenty of outdoor space to make that happen. We ended up getting a bottle of chardonnay and stayed until about 3:30. 

Naomi playing in the snow
Not pictured are the massive puddles she ran through to get here. :/
Tangled on the iPad
Disney+ and Tangled on the iPad help extend the afternoon

While we didn’t order food, Stone Tower did have an attractive food menu.  They offer your classic winery meat and cheese fare, salads, sandwiches, and even have a wood fire oven on site.  You could very easily turn a stay at Stone Tower into a several hour affair.  Just keep in mind, on busy weekends and evenings, your stay is likely going to be limited.  But on a kind of chilly Sunday afternoon in March, we enjoyed all four hours of our stay.  I’d highly recommend a visit to Stone Tower winery.  I know we will be back for sure.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *