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Vive Le Vin

This coming weekend American’s will celebrate their country’s independence with fireworks, food and fun during a plethora of Fourth of July celebrations. But the U.S. is not the only country in the world to celebrate its independence in July, the French do also. Every July 14 the French national holiday Bastille Day is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the modern French nation and while Loudoun and France don’t have that many close ties it doesn’t mean that Willowcroft Farms can’t use it as a reason to throw a French wine tasting event on July 12.

"We did it last year and it was a big success," Kelly Tech, the marketing director at Willowcroft, said. "We have French interns every year who come for three months and it is sort of to celebrate them. Our wine maker loves all things French, too, so we pick out the top French wines and have little finger foods and have some fun."

THE WINEMAKERS at Willowcroft will hold a wine tasting featuring three or four French wines and a few of their own from 1-5 p.m. Wines were selected for their taste and the region of France they are from. Each region creates a different flavor and a different style of wine so that knowing where it comes from is important.

"French wine, at least reds, are very earthy and very full of taste. It’s very similar to Virginia wine in fact. They concentrate on the fruit and don’t over emphasize the alcohol part of it. They try to be true to the fruit," Tech said.

There will be wine experts on hand at the event to discuss the different types of French wine and help tasters find wines to their liking. Most of the wines will be easy to find in the area and Tech said that part of the experience is being able to go home and buy the wine you tasted. None of the French wines will be on sale at Willowcroft but they will have bottles of their own wine there.

"We go with pretty common wines. I try to go with wines that people can get, but that are very interesting. We hope people will like them," Tech said.

The tasting will also feature French-style food, which has been catered in and a bit of French music playing. Willowcroft tries to present wines from around the world throughout the year and Tech said that celebrating Bastille Day is the perfect reason to present French wines.

"The French wine makers have so much experience. They’ve just been around forever and they know what they are doing. They go with their own grapes and perfect them. They’ve perfected it after so many years. I love European wine. It’s my second favorite after ours of course," Tech said.

Willowcroft Farm Vineyards is located at 38906 Mt. Gilead Road, Leesburg. The cost for the event is $10. Call 703-777-8161 or visit www.willowcroftwine.com.