Todd and Aimee Henkle, the owners of The Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek, have partnered with Jay Youmans, master of wine and owner of Capital Wine School in Washington, DC, to begin offering Wine & Spirit Education Trust accredited courses at their new Echelon Wine Bar, slated to open in April in downtown Leesburg.
“When we started working on the concept of Echelon Wine Bar, we knew it had to have an education component to it,” Aimee Henkle said. “Accredited wine courses are offered only in Washington, DC and Charlottesville currently and we have so many talented professionals who want to start their career in wine.”
Wine & Spirit Education Trust provides professionals a path in the wine industry and also offers enthusiasts the opportunity to expand their wine knowledge.
Youmans is the first master of wine in Washington, DC, and one of only 389 masters of wine worldwide. He founded the Capital Wine School in 2008 with the goal of offering the high-quality wine education while keeping classes fun and unpretentious.
“The opportunity to expand our reach into Northern Virginia and Frederick County, MD was a great fit. This gives wine industry professionals in not only Loudoun County but the surrounding counties of Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince William, Clarke and Frederick an opportunity to attain accreditation in the wine industry.” Youmans said.
Todd Henkle said the educational offerings will complement the wine expertise in Loudoun and help support the industry’s growth.
”As we grow as a wine region, this type of education is crucial to expanding our industry and creating career opportunities,” he said. “Accredited courses like the W.S.E.T. will attract wine professionals to the area, as well as give our industry the opportunity to retain existing talent with career advancement options.”
In addition to accredited courses, there will be other educational and fun classes such as starter courses in wine basics, monthly themed tastings and a food and wine pairing course designed for professionals and enthusiasts alike. Early offerings include WSET level 2 and level 3 certification courses, a Dare to Drink Pink wine exploration and a Wine Simplified class.
Registration is open for the first WSET courses that will begin in April. Information can be found at echelonwinebar.com/classes-and-experiences.
Currently under construction, the Echelon Wine Bar is located at 32 S. King St. in Leesburg’s historic district. It will include private event space, a commercial kitchen, a tasting bar, bistro tables and lounge seating and a 1,200-bottle wine cellar. For more details, go to echelonwinebar.com.