Seven years ago, when Johannes and Sarah Endhardt moved to Loudoun County, they enjoyed spending their weekends exploring the vineyards of West Loudoun on family outings with their two young children.
With the opening of their new vineyard, Endhardt Vineyards, located several miles from the village of Lincoln near Purcellville, Loudoun County is getting closer to more than 50 wineries in total.
The idea of ââowning a vineyard became a passion and they looked for properties where they could start a wine business. When they discovered the property on Lincoln Road that they would eventually buy, they fell in love with its sloping hills and stunning views. That it wasn’t far from their home in Ashburn was a bonus.
The Endhardts consulted with other winemakers in Loudoun County and, despite having no farming or winemaking experience, decided to take the plunge. After three years of bush-hogging fields, planting vines, and building a tasting room and wine production facility, they officially opened on September 24.
âIt was a mix of excitement and naivety when we bought land in 2018,â said Johannes Endhardt. “However, we have a passion for wine and it is a beautiful region.”
The couple were brought together from different parts of the world when they met in 2007 while working for a global consulting firm in the Middle East. Johannes, from the Bavarian region of Germany and Sarah, from the Midwest, got married quickly and their jobs eventually brought them to the United States and they bought a house in Loudoun County.
When they first saw the property that would become their vineyard, they thought it was perfect even though it would take a lot of work.
âThis is a one of a kind property with slopes and views that would be incredible for a winery,â said Sarah Endhardt.
They bought a tractor and a brush cutter to clear the land, she said. The upper hill was covered with brush and had to be cleared in order to plant vines. They also had to create an aisle to lead guests to the tasting room and production facility, which was completed in 2020.
So far, they have planted 11 acres of vines with five varietals – chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot, she said.
Ben Renshaw, who previously owned 8 Chains North winery in Waterford, is their consultant and winemaker. He helped them start the fermentation process for their first harvest and they also produced a white and a rose from grapes rented from another vineyard in Loudoun County, said Sarah Endhardt.
The couple said they enjoyed their new passion project and were grateful for the support they received from the Loudoun wine community.
âEveryone was ready to share tips and stories,â she said. âWe found it really amazing and welcoming.
âIt feels good, it’s really fun. We have many neighbors who watched and came with a warm and friendly welcome. Everyone is very supportive and grateful and we are delighted, âshe said.
The tasting room is open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 19600 Lincoln Road, Purcellville. Endhardtvineyards.com.