The Bazaco Family
Doukénie Winery is a family run winery located in Loudoun County, DC’s Wine Country where guests feel the warmth and hospitality of the Bazaco family from the moment they enter the tasting room. The Bazacos trace their success back to Doukénie Babayanie Bacos, who at 14 years old boarded a boat for the journey to America. Doukénie’s daughter, the aptly named Hope, married the elder George Bazaco and had three young children of her own. Summers were spent at their Maplecrest farm near the town of Windham in Upstate New York. This retreat clearly sparked the agricultural imagination of Hope’s eldest son, George. “George would get up really early and work in the fields all day on an adjacent farm,” Hope recalls, “He would arrive on the front porch covered in mud and sweat but with a smile from ear to ear.”
George followed in his father’s academic footsteps attending Virginia Tech. He was faced with a choice after his undergraduate studies to pursue a career in agriculture or medicine (his other calling). While he felt the strong pull of his agricultural ties, he also recalled that his grandmother had deferred her lifelong dream to become a doctor. He headed to Europe to study medicine with the clear intent he would work in the medical field but someday own a farm.
In 1981, George and his wife Nicki purchased the first track of land in Loudoun County that is now Doukénie Winery. The land, at the foot of Short Hill Mountain, was being farmed for corn, hay and cattle. In 1986, the Bazaco’s decided to plant their first vineyard. The winery was constructed in 1995. In many ways, this activity takes the family full circle as the young Greek girl who was boarding the boat was leaving her farm where her father, a local sheriff, also was a winemaker.
Today, visitors to Doukénie often have the opportunity to meet Nicki in the tasting room and sample Hope’s homemade Baklava. If visitors are lucky, they may peer out over the vineyard and see a man on a tractor, smiling from ear to ear...that’s George Bazaco.