At Tarara we get all kinds of questions every day. And while there is no such thing as a dumb question, there are plenty of very, VERY entertaining ones. Below, we have compiled a rather extensive list of some of our most frequently asked questions, as well as a few “actually” asked questions, as in, someone actually asked us this once…at least.
Vote on your favorite, or submit one of your own, and your name will be entered into a monthly drawing. Each name selected will become the recipient of some very cool Tarara swag.
Now, for your reading enjoyment…..
How do you do an actual wine tasting?
We LOVE this question! Just ask your Tasting Host to guide you through it. Generally you are evaluating the wine on its appearance (color and clarity), aroma, and flavor profile. The best part is that tasting wine is completely subjective. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to tasting wine. It tastes like whatever you think it takes like. And while most people prefer to drink the wine, some people do prefer to spit it out in order to keep their palates and their ability to evaluate in check. Neither is wrong as long as you’re having fun and being safe!
What if I don’t know anything about wine?
Perfect! That’s one of the reasons we’re here. We are extremely passionate about wine, and we love to educate and talk and talk and talk some more about wine. The more questions you ask, the happier we are!
Do you give tours?
We don’t give tours, per se. However, our property spans 475 acres, and you are more than welcome to walk around all areas of the property that are accessible to the public. Unfortunately, this does not include the actual vineyards. Just as we can’t risk any damage to the vines, we also cannot risk any damage to you. For those reasons, the vineyards are gated off and closed to the public except during special events like our Fine Vine dinner or Summer Solstice Celebration.
Can I go into the cave?
Normally yes, you can walk to the end of the ramp and view the tanks and barrels. However, during harvest and fermentation time (August through November), the cave is sometimes closed to the public because of all of the equipment and machinery that is in use, as well as the high levels of carbon dioxide that are released as a byproduct of fermentation.
What kinds of wine do you make?
We try to make wines that showcase what our terroir has to offer, and so we do some pure varietals as well as blends. We specialize in single vineyard blends, but we also produce varietals such as Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Petit Manseng, and Chardonnnay, among others. For the most part, our wines are dry; however, we currently make one dessert wine and will be releasing another shortly.
Do you have Moscato?
NO! Moscato is Italian for Muscat and is traditional to grow in particular areas like Asti and Alba in the Italian Piedmont region. And of course while Moscato can grow at Tarara, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we think it is a good idea for us.
Why don't you use corks?
Even though there have been steps forward in stopping cork taint, there is still a percentage of all wines bottled under cork that suffer that nasty moldy basement like smell that is usually created through the use of corks. If a car had even a 1% failure rate, would you want it? We don’t! Screw tops are a superior closure for the wine in securing the character in which we intended it to be.
Why do we use the bottles that we do?
They are the lightest glass bottles we could find that have a punt. The punt is for structural integrity. The light bottle is because we are wimps and feel we can not consistently lift an added 10 pounds with each case. That, and it is far more environmentally friendly. We also only use two bottle types to ensure waste in minimized.
Do you do weddings?
No. Our goal is simply to concentrate on crafting world class wines, and we are concerned that if we take on too much it might dilute this goal.
Do you participate in wine festivals?
Not usually. Our mission is to educate people about wine. For obvious reasons, this is difficult to do at crowded wine festivals that last all day. We prefer the more intimate Tasting Room setting!
Why did you stop hosting festivals on the property?
Quite honestly, our focus has changed dramatically. Several years ago, we were perceived by many as an events facility that also happened to make ok wine. Today, we make great wine. That’s it. We are a winery, and we focus on making ultra premium wine and strive to be the benchmark for the Virginia wine industry.
Do you have a restaurant on site?
We do not have a restaurant; however, we do offer a delicious selection of local cheeses, breads, charcuterie, and other snacks available for purchase to enjoy at one our our tables inside or outside on the deck. And we are very excited to introduce some new food options in the spring! Also, our staff is happy to offer recommendations for local restaurants.
Can I bring outside food?
Of course, as long as you have some Tarara Wine to go with it! You are more than welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy at one of our tables on the deck or at Lakeside Lawn (not including Lakeside Pavilion). Food is not allowed at the tasting bar, however.
Why don’t you offer or allow food at the Tasting Bar?
We get this question ALL the time! The main reason is that the Tasting Bar is meant to be a wine tasting environment. Ambient smells and tastes from food (even from those cute little crackers that are supposed to “cleanse your palate”) will affect the way you perceive the flavors and aromas of the wine. We want to make sure that our Viognier tastes exactly the same at the Tasting Bar as it does when you open a bottle of it at your table here or at home. And in case you were wondering, water is the BEST palate cleanser.
Why does the Tasting Room feel like a basement?
Because it is basement. The winery facility is also the private residence of the Hubert family. When they built the house in the mid 1980s, operating a winery and tasting room was not part of their plan. What is now the Tasting Room was intended to be a play room for their grandkids. Please note that it is no longer intended to be a play room for anyone’s grandkids!
Can I bring groups?
Absolutely! You are welcome to bring groups, but you absolutely, positively MUST make a reservation for groups of 10 or more, and payment in full is required at least one week prior to your group tasting. All reservations are subject to availability. All Group Tastings cost $35/person and include dedicated space, staff, and one bottle of wine per guest to enjoy after their tasting, whether at the winery or at home with friends! Reservations are available on the hour, ending at 4:00pm. These spots fill up fast, especially in the Summer and Fall, so we recommend booking several weeks in advance.
Why does it cost more to bring a group?
Because we hold a space for you and provide dedicated staff for your group. A bottle of wine per guest is also included in the cost (not to include Single Vineyard Blends, Commonwealth Collection, and D9).
Can I bring my dog to the winery?
Well behaved dogs are welcome on the grounds and must be on a leash (which is attached to its human) and attended by its owner at all times. However, dogs are not allowed inside the Tasting Room or at concerts due to the large volume of guests.
Can I bring my kids to the winery?
Well behaved kids are welcome on the grounds and must be CLOSELY attended by parents at all times. All other children will be given an espresso and a free puppy before you take them home. We do not have a playground or activities available for children, so please consider bringing quiet activities to keep them entertained. The Tasting Room and Summer Concerts often get extremely crowded, so for your children’s safety and the enjoyment of other paying customers, please keep your children close to you at all times. See next question.
My family and I want to have our toddler’s birthday party on the property. Can we bring an inflatable moonbounce and a petting zoo for the kids?
Sorry, no to both. Unfortunately our winemaker Jordan broke the last moonbounce by letting his dog on it, and we have had to cut him off ever since. He also gets horrible cravings for lamb whenever he is at a petting zoo…Sorry!
Are the Tasting Room glasses available to take home?
Tasting Room stemware is available for purchase at the end of your Tasting. We do not offer free souvenir glasses in the Tasting Room for you to take home.
Do you have to be a club member to sit on the deck?
Not at all! Our deck and picnic area are open to all paying Tarara customers. So bring a picnic, buy a bottle or two, and make yourself comfortable!
Can I use your Wi-Fi whenever I want?
You are more than welcome to use our free Wi-Fi anytime during our normal business hours, as long as you are also a paying customer.
Who can use the Lakeside Pavilion or Meadow Pavilion?
The Pavilions are available to private groups who make advanced reservations. The site fee is $2500.
What other wineries do you recommend?
That’s hard to say. It really depends on the style of wine you prefer or the atmosphere that you’re looking for. The great news is that there are over 30 wineries in Loudoun County, so there’s something for everyone. All of our Tasting Hosts are very knowledgeable about what’s around, so just ask your server during your tasting.
What hotels are nearby?
There are several hotels in the area. The best source of information for availability and possible discounts is www.visitloudoun.org.
Can I find your wine in stores or restaurants?
Yes! We are currently carried in over 100 restaurants and retailers in Virginia, DC, and most recently, Maryland. Click here for a list of places that carry our wines.
Do you ship wine?
Yes! We currently are licensed to ship wine to the following states: Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. We are not permitted to ship wine out of the country.
Do you have a wine club?
Yes, and it totally Rocks! Click here for more information.
Do you offer any corporate perks for company partners?
Why yes we do! That’s what the Cellar Club is designed for. Click here to find out how your company can enjoy preferred rates on case orders, tastings, and special events throughout the year.
How can I buy concert tickets?
You can buy tickets online until noon the day of the show, or you can buy them at the gate. And if you’re a Vine Club member, they're free to you and a guest! Woohoo! Click here for more information.
I want to learn more about the technical aspects of wine. Do you offer any classes or seminars?
Yes, and it’s something we are very excited about! We recently started offering Afternoons with the Winemaker, usually held every third Saturday of the month in the fall and winter. They are typically led by our fearless winemaker, Jordan Harris, though our Assistant Winemaker, Tim Kish, may pay a visit every once in a while. Similar to a Premier Tasting but more detailed, this tasting is designed to teach you about everything that goes into your favorite glass of wine. Click here for more information.
JUST SAY NO
Can we hang out on the deck or the grounds after the Tasting Room closes?
No. Tarara Winery is just like any other business. When it’s closed, it’s closed. Tarara Winery also happens to be part of a private residence. After closing hours, the property and its structures are accessible only to residents and their personal guests.
Can we come hang out at your park?
Contrary to what many think, we are not a park. We are a privately owned business and residence. While we are happy to have you visit us, we are a winery, and we are to be used for the enjoyment of paying Winery customers only.
Is swimming or fishing allowed in Shadow Lake?
No. Swimming and fishing are strictly prohibited in all bodies of water on the property. Shadow Lake is stocked yearly with Great White Sharks and electric eels.
Is the beach area open to the public?
No. The beach area is for the private use and enjoyment of the Hubert family and their personal guests only. We are concerned with the potential of broken glass and other sharp objects being stuck in the sand and want to ensure all people and dogs are safe.
Can we play on your tennis courts?
No. The tennis courts are for the private use and enjoyment of the Hubert family and their personal guests only. If you are Serena or Venus Williams we will allow it, but only if we can have you play for a Vine Club Party.
Can we pick your apples, blackberries, or asparagus?
Can you donate wine to my organization’s fundraiser?
No. Virginia ABC law strictly prohibits all donations of wine to any organization.
Will you pour your wine by the glass at my office happy hour/ holiday party, etc?
No. We do not have bartenders on staff, nor do we have the license to do so. However, we do have a guided wine-tasting package that is available for offsite events in Virginia and DC! Click here for more information.
Can I bring outside alcohol to the winery?*******
NOOOOOO!!! Outside alcohol is strictly prohibited by the Virginia ABC anywhere on Tarara property. Any outside alcohol that is brought onto the property will be confiscated, or you will be asked to leave immediately. Don’t be that guy.
Got more questions? Submit them here!