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“Everything was wonderful - until we walked in the door” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hillsborough Vineyards

Hillsborough Vineyards
36716 Charles Town Pike, Purcellville, VA 20132
+1 540-668-6216
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Ranked #13 of 29 things to do in Purcellville
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Owner description: Hillsborough Vineyards is a small boutique winery nestled in the scenic hillside outside of Washington, D.C.
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144 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“Everything was wonderful - until we walked in the door”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We visit Virginia wineries on the weekends and enjoy finding new places we haven't been. We volunteer at a local winery so we enjoy chatting with other winery workers during our travels.

As we pulled up to the winery, the views are gorgeous. We were very excited about trying their wines and buying a bottle to drink while enjoying the view. Sadly we never made it that far.

When we walked in the door, we were asked to join a group that was getting ready to start tasting. Perfect timing, right? Nope. There were 4 couples in the group, so a young pourer said she'd take us so the group wasn't too big. OK, no problem.

Well, the larger group had tasted 2 wines and were on their 3rd before we even got to taste the first wine. The gal that was "helping" us also helped anyone who had a question, who needed a bottle of wine, who wanted some food, who wanted to taste, etc.

We only tasted 6 wines and it took almost 40 minutes! Two times another winery employee came over to us and asked what wine we were on, otherwise it would have taken even longer. Add in the fact that their wines were good but nothing more and we weren't happy. We were luckier than the couple who joined in after us - they waited 15 minutes for their 2nd wine. I wonder how long it took for them to taste their 6 wines.

We gave up on the gal coming back to ask us if we wanted to buy any wine, so we walked over to the register to ask about buying a Petit Verdot that wasn't open for tasting. We asked if they gave an industry discount (since we pour for a winery we normally get a discount at other wineries), and she didn't believe that we worked for a winery. She asked us which one, she asked us if we had business cards (the first time we've ever been asked that), and said she didn't think it was a winery at all. When we assured her that it was definitely a winery, she said she'd give us one free tasting. Most give a free tasting for each employee, so we weren't happy about that. I asked if we got a % off of the wines and she said no. So we paid for our one tasting that should have been comped and were getting ready to walk out without buying anything. At this point she offered 10% off of the wine (much less than the normal discount), and my husband bought the wine. I didn't want it based on how we were treated, both at the tasting and when we said we were industry. I would never treat a customer that way, and was shocked when we had such a bad experience there. If they had great wines I might put up with more, but they just weren't that great. They were good but I can't say I wanted a bottle of any of them since there are great wines at wineres nearby.

Needless to say I was very unhappy with this winery. They may have gorgeous views, but they don't know how to treat their customers. The only reason I gave it 2 stars is that the average wine taster wouldn't have had the industry discount issue so that's transparent to most people. If I were reviewing this winery based on my own issues I would have given them one star.

We'll never go back, and I'll share our experience with all of my wine industry friends.

Visited August 2012
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72 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“beautiful winery!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

We had a coupon for a free tasting, but it would definitely be worth the fee! It was very quiet when we were there, and the staff was very attentive. There is plenty of room to enjoy a glass or bottle of wine and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Visited August 2012
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Level Contributor
33 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Beautiful views and comfortable setting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

Enjoying a glass of wine on the Hillsborough Vineyards patio is quite a treat! My family took me there for their Mother's Day Brunch and we all enjoyed the food, wine and the view. I would return for a similar event or just to relax and have some wine on the patio.

Visited May 2012
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Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great vineyard!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

We went here on a wine tour with my whole family and they were so very accomodating. The Rose was my favorite wine that we tasted that day and the staff was so friendly and made sure we had a great time.

Visited July 2012
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Leesburg, Va
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The beautiful Blue Ridge viewed through wine colored glasses”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

I must've passed the Hillsborough vineyards dozens of times coming & going along Route 9 until I finally made the visit if just to see the view from their higher ground and then sample the wines that this hillside vineyard produces . Suffice it to say that I've been returning ever since.

This was originally a hillside farm built in the 1820's. The Baki family bought it in 2002 , planted all of the choice vines where there were none before, made the original stone , post & beam main farm structure into the tasting room , and never looked back. I have since had the welcome experience of having my palette further educated on what Virginia soil & grape can do together when nurtured by someone who knows what they are doing thanks to one of the son's periodic barrel tasting lectures that are as delightfully gregarious as they are knowledgeable. He explains how the combinations of choices of different blends of grapes work with each year's weather, with choice of wood for casks , what grapes work best with which soil , and and all of the other finer points & influences that become the alchemy of the wine experience with son , Kerem , as alchemist in residence.

But this is all prelude & preparation for the experience of place as the Hillsborough Vineyards experience is as much about its uniquely wonderful location and the views of the Blue Ridge Mts to be shared over visitors' selections of the variations of flavors that Hillsborough vineyards offers as it is about the wine. Like the Eiffel Tower was designed to view Paris the Hillsborough Vineyards , and the wines it continues to ever-refine , appear to be designed to be all the better to take in this wonderful sense of place that I've often passionately referred to as the backyard I *wish* I had . Then again one does have it for the asking and make their own for the moment thanks to this family's creative efforts . It is there to be shared whenever one takes the time to simply take advantage of what is offered.

It's one of my favorite places to meet with friends if just to get away from everything for a while per chance to just to take in all of the Nature , including the wines , just waiting for enough of your attention to allow it to work its welcome alchemy on you. Weddings & other private gatherings must be made all the more special because of what it has to offer. Can't recommend this vineyard as a get-away enough.

Visited July 2012
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