General

Fabbioli Cellars: It’s all about the Community

Fabbioli Cellars is located in Leesburg, Virginia. A small, family owned winery that makes mostly reds, a small amount of white, and a wonderful but pricey aperitif pear wine, Fabbioli opened their doors for a TasteCamp tour.

Doug Fabbioli arrived in Virginia via Sonoma. After stints at Tarara Vineyards and Windham, he decided to strike out on his own. Doug is a big believer in building a good neighborhood so collaborates and consults with other local winemakers.

It’s a good thing he likes his neighbors, as his vineyard goes right up to their front yard. Doug has adapted to the conditions of his particular vineyard, determining the areas that are too frost prone after losing close to $200k to frost on Mother’s Day night in 2010 in a low lying corner.

In that area, he ripped out the grapes and now uses it to plant garlic and asparagus instead. He has installed a Frost Protection System and is still evaluating how it is working.

Like other small family winemakers, Doug let us know that the work never stops. Walking us through his vineyard, he showed his approach to thinning the vines, “one of 150 things we need to learn about growing grapes.”

One of the really interesting things about Doug is his enthusiasm for his community. Loudon County is about two-thirds rural and Doug is interested in teaching the next generation how to work the land. His passion took him to found the Piedmont Epicurean Arts Center with a mission to strengthen and enrich the community through education.

PEAC’s intention is to teach all things from the farm to the table, including food, wine and farming. Vineyard Management classes take place at Fabbioli and include topics such as canopy management, pesticides, and harvesting. Wine appreciation classes are also offered.

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