Barrel Oak Winery and Oak Hill Estate
Quiet, and secluded, Northern Fauquier County has long been a haven for emissaries from the hectic life of our Nation’s Capitol. With its rolling hills, peaceful pastures, broad woodlands, and babbling streams, it’s the perfect home for artists, political figures, academics, and captains of industry seeking simplicity and peace. As the sun sets over the eastern Shenandoah range, cool breezes whisper through the valley, making this an ideal and comfortable place to build a home.
For these very reasons, Sharon Roeder, a former government affairs consultant in Washington D.C. and her husband Brian Roeder, a former leader of non-profit organizations, relocated to the beautiful and arcane village of Delaplane to pursue their dream of opening a vineyard and winery. As the culmination of their dream Barrel Oak Winery emerged as a family destination winery, gaining international appeal, and garnering unprecedented awards and recognition for fine winemaking.
As they continued to expand their vineyard and winery operation, they began to learn more of the man who would have been their landlord, would he have lived today. “The Great Justice,” Chief Justice John Marshall was once the owner of the now parceled estate home of Barrel Oak Winery.
As Brian and Sharon toiled at their lifelong dream, they found themselves immersed in the story of John Marshall, the scholar, the romantic, the gentleman farmer, and the father of our modern judicial system. Born, raised and educated in Fauquier County, he and his father Thomas built the home at Oak Hill in the 1780s. It became a sanctuary for his ailing wife, Polly, and his refuge from the embattled Court.
Brian and Sharon purchased the adjoining property including John Marshall’s home, Oak Hill, in 2010, and began planning the next chapter in the home’s story. The house had fallen into disrepair over the previous three decades of tenants, and there was no question that it should be rehabilitated, preserved and celebrated.
Many wine and sunset soaked conversations later, the Roeders settled on the idea of the John Marshall Tasting Experience: unique pairings of extraordinary wines with savory snacks designed to bring out the very best in each wine. Various accounts of John Marshall retell his love of simple but fine foods, and the bounty of the vineyard, so the choice to host wine and food pairings in the home where he spent much of his leisure time seemed not only appropriate, but necessary to pay homage to this great and complex man.