Virginia Winery Music Events Fall 2014

IMG_3735Cool weather is around the corner and Autumn is  always a busy time around the grapevines. Harvest speaks to our soul and smells of burning leaves and pumpkin patches;  cinnamon and juicy fallen apples perfume the air. It draws us out of air-conditioned homes and cars to reconnect with the earth.  I thought it might be nice to share some of the upcoming events ( certainly not all) that might piqué your interest.

Grace_Estate_Winery_Entrance_Crozet_Virginia
Grace Estate

Music at the Vineyards

Grace Estate Winery is one of our newer wineries with older vineyards and widespread views across western Albemarle County. Located nearer  the White Hall area in Crozet on the Mount Juliet Farm, music this Friday begins at 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. with Hot Twang and catered by Kitchen Catering

September 5th (Friday): 6-9 pm
Abbey Road “Unplugged” The Beatles Tribute Band

Abbey Road “Unplugged” will be performing in our Friday night sunset series, with their acoustic 395348_328889153823381_157852272_nBeatles melodies, Check them out here! Bring a chair, a picnic blanket, or come early and grab a table and enjoy some classic southern style soul food, award-winning wines, and awesome Beatles tunes while the sun sets over the vineyard.

Foodtruck service by: Black Jack’s Mobile Soul Food

Beleza_Brasil_Glass_House_WinerySinger Songwriter Event Benefitting The Wildlife Center of Virginia at  Glass House Winery  is coming soon, meet some of the winged raptor ambassadors from the Wildlife Center and listen to the music of  ‘2 Wishes’ – Joy Kuhar and Mike D’Antoni and musicians
Genna Mathew,  John Kelly  and Justin Storer. Event begins at 6 p.m. and donations of $10 is suggested but any amount is appreciated.

With so many wonderful wineries in the Charlottesville area, you may want to plan ahead so you don’t miss some of your favorite musicians this Fall.  Sippin into Sunset at Early Mountain Vineyards has managed to secure Beleza Brasil, my favorite duo for Samba style soulful music, for two different dates in September.

Sunsets at Carter Mountain have been playing music every Thursday evening 6-9 p.m. since May 15th and will continue until the end of September. Look for Lockjaw, a band of local dentists who perform together, and The Local Vocals, an acoustic trio, each member with a long history in the Charlottesville area.

starrynightsseptember14On Saturday, September 13th, 2014, 7-11 pm come on out to Veritas for the last of the Starry Nights for 2014 with The Hackensaw Boys – Raucous Bluegrass
Opening: Jim Waive and the Young Divorcees 
Click Here to Make Reservations

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Helpful tip: Bring warm blankets, temps can drop quickly, and seating is harder to come by so bring those camp chairs. Picnics are encouraged but not inside the wineries. I did this once, not cool, they were quite nice about it 🙂

EMV Movie Night

A new way of going to the movies, kind of like going to camp or the drive-in, pack up your lawn chair and Early Mountain Vineyards provides a bag of popcorn and it’s cheaper than the theater. Tickets are $6 and you can reserve on-line. The feature will be The Sandlot and    September 25th is usually exquisite weather for kicking back outdoors with a glass of your favorite cool season robust red, perhaps the 2012 Eluvium Cabernet Sauvignon?

 

This should be a good start to fill up your September calendars, look for more venues next week in my Weekend Picks off the Vine post.

 

For Sale: California Contemporary with Cabernet Vineyard In Virginia Wine Country

Gabrielle_Rausse_Cabernet_Sauvignon_Reserve_2010Another segment of “Honey, I Want a Vineyard”

Here is a rare and unique opportunity to own an airy, light-filled abode at the foot of a mature vineyard and wrapped by  a ten-acre spring fed lake. With over 4000 square feet on 11 acres, this contemporary ranch style home offers geo-thermal radiant heat  and a commercial kitchen for the avid chef.

“Vintage” views are yours, whether relaxing on the swimming deck in the warm Summer months or pulling up a chair and glass of wine  to the outdoor fireplace during peak Autumn color.  Gabrielle Rausse’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is bottled from grapes from this vineyard!  The dock is equipped with a ladder for easy exiting after kayaking or swimming. The neighborhood is also known for its 4th of July fireworks display over the lake.

Virginia_Cabernet_Sauvignon_VinesThe Vineyard

Soft breezes waft down the slopes from the 2+ acres of vineyard where  525  ten-year old  Cabernet Sauvignon vines are in production. Located a mere 10 minute drive from the Charlottesville Albemarle County Airport, makes this property a “best of both worlds” scenario. Burnley Vineyards is just a short distance down the road and the historic Barboursville Winery (where the Virginia wine industry got started) is nearby.

 Don’t be intimidated by the vineyard, the vines are irrigated and require periodic pruning but there is plenty of local interest to support and guide you. Being a wine lover and distant from our 200 acre Southton Farm in Texas, I can’t imagine dividing this lovely, spacious home from its grapes.  However, the property is available sans the vineyard.  You will find me kicking and screaming if you do this, but, it is listed in our MLS both ways. There is also a 3.9 acre waterfront lot that can be divided off of the property.

Sophisticated California Style Home

The floor plan offers a variety of lifestyle options including a separate wing for guests and privacy for the owners.  It has excellent potential for a Bed & Breakfast and is listed  online with Airbnb, check out the pictures. One wing includes an additional complete kitchen, living area with patio, and two bedrooms plus a family room. Tiled flooring makes this home low maintenance and hypoallergenic.  The present homeowner uses the main central kitchen with its customized island as a licensed  commercial kitchen for her luscious Charlottesville Cupcake baking.

Charlottesville_Cupcake_ One level living design also makes the home easily  accessible for elderly individuals and combined households. The workshop below the garage and the fenced raised-bed garden are wonderful bonuses. Personally, I think the home would make a nice tasting room for a winery with living quarters for the homeowner or even a venue for weddings and events. Parties of 75+ guests have been entertained here with plenty of space to socialize. The hot tub, fishing/ swimming dock, outdoor fireplace and expansive great room plus the vineyard combine to create a package that seldom finds its way  to the  Virginia market.  Disclaimer: Cupcakes Not Included 🙂

Sandy_Branch_Vineyard_InteriorThe property is listed two ways, one (CAAR MLS 487248)  includes the house,  11 acres total and the vineyard for $1,249,000.

CAAR MLS 486111 lists the house along with 5+ acres without the vineyard and   3+ acre waterfront parcel.

If you have any interest in viewing this property, it would be my pleasure to show you this lovely home. It is presently listed by Montague, Miller and Company-Westfield. There are only a few properties that boast having income-producing vineyards. If you would like a complete list of vineyard properties or are looking for a home with vineyard views, please check out our website at Welcome Home Charlottesville.com.

We are licensed Real Estate agents with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III 2271 Seminole Trail in Charlottesville, Virginia and knowledgeable about the local wine and vineyard industry.

Sandy_Branch_Vineyard_House_Charlottesville

Delfosse

I shall be telling this with a sigh                         
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

…Robert Frost

I know this may be one of the most over used quotations, but it fits so perfectly that  I can’t resist.   For some unknown  reason I have procrastinated visiting Delfosse Winery in Nelson County, but after recently running into Yvette Okros, Tasting Room Manager for Delfosse, we decided to make it a priority.  With another winery also in mind, we travelled south on 151, the Rockfish Gap Turnpike,  toward Wintergreen.   We veered off at highway 6  in the direction of Delfosse Winery . Our GPS steered us left onto Old Roberts Mountain Road.  Surely, this wasn’t the way most people visit Delfosse!  Gravel road, rutted in many places and traversing over the crest of a small mountain?  Definitely this was the road less travelled by!

Arriving at our destination, we found a breath-taking Virginia valley flanked by European-style terraced vineyards. We were warmly welcomed by Yvette, who ushered us in and introduced us to the owner, Claude Delfosse.   Yvette arranged a table for us to sample wines and get to know Claude a bit. It was nice to have the opportunity to casually hang out with Claude and ask questions about wine making at our leisure.  

 Claude Delfosse,  a Fulbright Scholar,  decided to “take the road less travelled by”  himself  when he veered away from his professional career of Aeronautical Engineering.  French by birth,  he chose to make the U.S. his home and settle in Virginia .   He was relaxed and pleasant, sipping wine with us and expounding on the attributes of some of his wines. He lights up with a big smile when reflecting on some of his award-winning wines.  I really liked the way Claude named some of  the wines after his family members.  One stand-out wine, Reserve d’ Oriane, was named after his daughter.  A complex blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of Viognier and Petit Manseng.  The Merlot was excellent also, but Claude seemed most proud of the 2006 Meritage , a Double Gold Medal winner at the Monticello Wine Cup!  We clearly agreed!  We enjoyed homemade crepes along with our wine for an added treat!

We closed out the day and headed out to explore the grounds. Not the best day, cloudy and overcast before bud break, so no lush vines to photograph. The winery sits at the foot of a hill across from a pond with a quaint bridge for photo ops.  A  generous elegant patio area  expands the dining space outdoors and features  a whimsical  frog sculpture fountain at the center.  This must be a wonderful spot in warm weather and we plan to spend some time here enjoying wine with friends in the Spring and Summer!  

Perched above the pond and winery and just below the Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is a precious log cabin surrounded by perennial gardens and a flagstone patio. What a heavenly spot for a weekend getaway!  The cabin is perfect for a couple and you can invite friends or host a gathering from this vantage point. During the day, take advantage of the miles of hiking trails surrounding the property.

I can only say that I’m sorry I have missed out on this winery in the past and will rectify that in the future!

I highly recommend the drive south from Charlottesville on 29 with Delfosse as your final destination and enjoy the hospitality of Mr. Delfosse, Yvette and Dave ( our wine server who was knowledgeable and unintimidated while  pouring in front of his employer!).

Welcome to Delfosse!

The House That Came With A Vineyard…

Accidentally but  purposefully,  I stumbled upon Stinson Vineyards!  Scheduled for a wine blending class taught by Matthieu Finot (love how the French spell Matthew!) and hosted by Stinson Vineyards, I drove towards White Hall in western Albemarle County.  I am a local realtor and know my way around the area quite well and had never even  heard of this vineyard!  We literally drove past it 3 times, before noticing the parking area between the Piedmont House and the newly transformed garage addition tasting room.  I actually asked for directions at the Piedmont Store at the corner of  810 & Sugar Hollow Road and was sent off in the opposite direction.  Surprisingly, it is located just past the store on the right, practically a stones throw away!  Recently,  Cathy Harding  had  written an in-depth article about it in Cville magazine.  She is (and should have been sooner)  now on my list of  absolute ” must reads”.    At this point I decided we need to get the word out about this up and coming winery.

Finally inside the tasting room,  I explained my difficulty in locating the winery.  I was smilingly informed by  Scott Stinson, owner/renovator/architect,  that if I had  just asked for him they would have directed me there. Well! If that’s not country living with lifelong locals! Ask them for directions and the ironic typical  response is, “You remember where the old Gentry place used to be…”!  If you knew all that you wouldn’t be asking for directions!  Sorry,  I digress…

The Vineyard

Stinson Vineyards, as described on their website,  is now on its way to becoming an environmentally sustainable, family run micro-vineyard. Piedmont House, the main house is  in White Hall, Virginia, a tiny country town with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Built in 1796, it was expanded to the current square footage in the 1840s.  Apparently,  rumor circulated  that General “Stonewall” Jackson occupied the home  during his Valley Campaign of 1862.  The Stinsons purchased  adjoining acreage to start their new five acre vineyard for a grand total of twelve acres. The original,  mostly Cabernet Sauvignon vines from the 1970’s on the property were sadly neglected  and have been  undergoing restoration, hence the need for newer healthier vines.  The Stinson’s plan to open the winery to the public June 16th and celebrate their grand opening on the 4th of July of this year.  Stinson,  Mountfair, White Hall, Glass House and soon to be winery, Moss  will combine to create The Appellation Trail, the newest  wine trail in the northwestern sector of Albemarle County.

The Class

This was my first class through PVCC towards a certificate in oenolgy and viticulture and was it ever fun! Several  class members hailed from Northern Virginia and a few are in the process of opening their own wineries with vineyards already in production. Dennis Vrooman, a veterinarian in Virginia Beach,  Christine Wells Vrooman and their son have a vineyard in Amherst, named Ankida Ridge Vineyard,  with their own winery soon to open!

M. Finot discussing our amateur wine blending efforts

Matthieu Finot, winemaker for King Family, led our class. He is serious about his vocation but had a good sense of humor in dealing with some of us not  as experienced oenophiles!  Many of the students were  already acquainted from previous classes and quite knowledgeable about wines which  created a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere.

 

Rachel Stinson, Director of Operations, helped facilitate our class. She also happens to be Scott Stinson’s  daughter. He defers to her readily and has the utmost confidence in her abilities.

Rachel Stinson tasting Chardonnay prior to blending

She is an asset to the operation and an excellent ambassador for the family venture. Rachel is working alongside Matthieu learning about the entire wine making process.  She is also tech savvy and I believe is responsible for their blog and social media.  We enjoyed having her and Nathan Vrooman on our wine blending team! Look for good things to come from one of the newest wineries in our state of Virginia! I look forward to watching their progress and tasting their future harvest!

Kudos to Keswick

It was my mistake!  

Remember when I first started this blog I  “fessed up” and let everyone know that I’m not a wine snob, not even close!  I love wine and learn something new about it daily.  One evening  we decided to open up  a bottle of the 2007  Estate Reserve  Heritage, a wine club selection  which had not yet been released to the public.  It is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. We had stored it  in a rack and poured it directly into glasses.  The nose on it was  fragrant and it was a beautiful rich garnet red, but it had sediment swirling through  it.  Novice that I am, I complained on Twitter about the sandiness of this wine.  The glory of social media is split second responses and I was impressed that  Keswick acknowledged my concern.  Kat Schornberg  quickly explained the necessity of decanting unfiltered wines and let me know they would be happy (probably not real happy since this really is a very good bottle,  and possibly a  future medal winner)  to replace it. Yesterday I made my way out to Keswick with a friend and we enjoyed a tasting with Carrie Brown pouring. Carrie is always cheerful and fun and  makes  it a point to remember repeat visitors and wine club members. We especially liked the Norton Chocolate sauce drizzled on Nabisco wafers.

Carrie pouring the Norton Chocolate Sauce

 Stephen Barnard , Keswick’s winemaker, came out and brought the notorious ( in a good way) bottle of   Heritage. I think he really wanted to see how dumb I was in person!  So, now I can’t wait to try this bottle again. I did have to laugh when I read HIS blog post To Filter or No to Filter by Stephen the Sediment Slayer  in which he relays my story from a vintner”s perspective!

Anyway, my new motto is “I Shall Decant my Unfiltered Wine!”

Personally, I think everyone at Keswick is great and very much so customer oriented!  Thank You!

“Twelve Days of Christmas at a Virginia Winery”

 

Later on We'll Conspire ....

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On  the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Four vines a growing, Three corks a popping,   Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Five GOLDEN grapes, Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Six Cab Francs Swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a  growing,  Three corks a  popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six  Cab Francs Swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks  a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Ten Magnums sparkling,  Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS, SEVEN port wines snifting,   Six Cab Francs Swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines  a growing,  Three corks a  popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Eleven Viogniers sampling,  Ten Magnums sparkling,  Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,   Six  Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes,  Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses drinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!
 
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Twelve vintners vinting,  Eleven Viogniers sampling,  Ten Magnums sparkling,  Nine CHOCOLATE NORTONS,  Eight OCTAGONS,  SEVEN port wines snifting,  Six  Cab Francs swirling,  Five GOLDEN grapes, Four vines a growing,  Three corks a popping,  Two glasses clinking and a trip to a Virginia Winery!

  • Inspiration for this song comes from my daughter,  Jillian who encouraged me to post something , anything, prior to Christmas.  The original idea was something about twelve wineries relating to the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Maybe next year! 
  • King Family Vineyard – Seven, a Port -this port wine is made with 100% Merlot and is fortified with brandy, and was aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for 2 years.  The  2009 Viognier ( I love this one!) self described by the owners as 70% of the volume  fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks to highlight the freshness of the wine, and 30% in neutral oak barrels, giving the wine fullness without adding oak flavor. There are cantaloupe, honeysuckle and orange zest on the nose and mouth.
  •  Keswick Vineyards Chocolate Norton sauce is  a  gourmet chocolate sauce made with Keswick Vineyards  Norton wine.
  •  Octagon Barboursville Vineyards is described by the vintner as  a proprietary blend  driven by Merlot, with elements of Reserve Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.   Aged 12 to 14 months in new Gamba barriques of the most select French oak, air-dried a minimum of 3 years before coopering, laid down in bottle for an additional six months before release.
  • The Magnums would be from Kluge, of course!

    Merry Christmas from Me and My True Love!