I keep a record in the back of my notebook. Every time someone recommends a winery, I add the suggestion to that page. Doukénié Winery was mentioned to me more than once, so I was itching to scratch it off the list. Doukénié is way up north in the Middleburg AVA and pretty far from Charlottesville, but I was in Northern Virginia for Thanksgiving and capitalized on that opportunity.
The sign at the Doukénié front gate.
The winery takes its name from owner George Bazaco's Greek ancestry. Doukénié means Duchess in Greek and is a reference to George's Greek heritage. You will find Doukénié just north of Purcellville, Virginia on Route 690. There are dozens of other small wineries in the area, so it can easily be visited as part of a larger winetasting adventure. It's located on converted farmland and, from the road, looks very much like the other local farms. It's a lovely property that backs up against the ridgeline. There is lots of space to spread out on the patio or around the large farm pond.
The winery as seen from the road.
The first vines were planted on the property in 1985 and the first vintage followed three years later in 1988. Today there are sixteen acres under vine on the Loudoun County property and the winery has another twenty five acres near Fredricksburg. Doukénié is a medium-sized boutique winery producing between 4000 and 5000 cases per year. The emphasis is on small-batch artisan wines using primarily French varietals.
The tasting room exterior.
Sebastien Marquet, the Doukénié winemaker, began his career in Burgundy and moved on to make wine in the Caribbean and California before settling in Virginia. He specializes in Bordeaux blends and produces an exceptional product for Doukenie.
I found all of the Doukénié whites to be extraordinary. I particularly enjoyed the 2012 Viognier with its apricot nose, bright fruit, and light acidity. I am also a fan of the 2012 Riesling. It reminds me of an Austrian Riesling with its crisp acidity, nice minerality and apple and pear notes. I absolutely loved the 2010 Merlot, which showed cherry notes on nose, more cherry on the palate and beautiful finish.
There was a nice size crowd on the day of our visit, but there are multiple tasting bars, so the crowd is nicely dispersed. Chris, our wine steward, claimed to have the least knowledge of the staff, but he really seemed to know his stuff. It kind of makes me wonder what the others must know. He was very engaging and talked us through each of the offerings. We had a great conversation and the whole experience was excellent. Doukénié was recently recognized as one of the best tasting rooms in Virginia and it's easy to see why.
One of many tasting bars.
Doukénié Winery is easy to find and a delight to visit. The beauty of the property, hospitality of the tasting room and quality of the wines are are all reason to add this one to your list. If you're up in Loudoun County, make this one of your stops.