Virginia Snow Covered Vines

Virginia_Snow_GrapevinesThe morning after a snowstorm is the rainbow of winter. Grey skies are replaced with crystal blue skies and the sun glinting on snow has always looked like diamonds to me.

Pulling on my favorite “wellies”, we headed just around the corner to Burnley Station Road and the nearest grapevines. Sandy Branch Vineyard pristinely awaited with not a footprint in sight. Nothing is prettier than unblemished snow covered ground and I reluctantly waded in, disturbing the fluff in my quest. Heavily snow-laden deer fencing warned me not to approach closely. Darn! I longed to climb over and get a better vantage point, but my husband reminded me that water plus electricity are to be avoided at all cost. This was the best I could capture, wish you could experience this beauty first-hand.

Sandy_Branch_Vineyards_Snow

Snow_Vines

I requested photos from friends to contribute to this photo blog and Kat Schornberg Barnard from Keswick Vineyards and Paulette Musselman from Glass House Winery took some great pictures!

Keswick_Vineyards_Snowfall

Keswick_Vineyard_SnowGlass_ House _Pinot_Gris_Snow

Glass_House_Snowball

I love living in this part of Virginia, changing seasons, fabulous scenery, great climate, history and more. By the way, the  photos at the beginning of this blog are from a home which is presently on the maket and Yes! includes a producing vineyard. Call me or e-mail me if you’re interested! I’d love to show you this property!

Tricia_Traugott_Better_Homes_&_Gardens

A Heavenly Valentine’s Day Pairing Wine with Chocolate

Better than Reese's!

Just a few ideas for your Valentine this year:

Stinson Vineyards Valentine’s Day Weekend in the Tasting Room

Saturday February 11th & Sunday February 12th, 2012

Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, we’ll be celebrating the weekend before. Come on out to the Tasting Room for a glass of our delicious Rosé and homemade Red Velvet cupcakes! We’ve also got plenty of gift baskets sets and pre wrapped wine bottles if you’re looking for a last minute gift.

Be Mine With Wine Keswick Vineyards
Saturday, February 11th, 11-4pm

Come spoil yourself or someone you love with Keswick Vineyards’ special wine and dessert tasting for a Valentine’s Day indulgence. Discover how these luscious confections complement each wine. After your tasting, enjoy the romantic setting while you savor a glass of wine on our newly enclosed heated porch! The cost is $15 for our wine club members and $20 for non wine club members. Please call ahead as reservations are recommended. (434) 244-3341.

Valentine’s at White Hall

Saturday, February 11th & Sunday, February 12th
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$10/person

Join us for a wine and chocolate pairing featuring Gearharts Fine Chocolates. We will be sampling three sumptuous chocolates paired with six wines, and you take home your glass. Live music performed by Curtis Prince on both days from 1 p.m.to 5 p.m.

Glass House Valentine’s Pairing Party

Music, wine, wine pairings

Spend Sunday Feb 12th in the sultry tropical conservatory at Glass House Winery.

Sip wines served at your table, listen to Beleza Brasil’s sexy Valentine’s Day set; all while having chocolates, artisan cheeses, and small dishes paired with your wines.

Feel free to get up and dance…when Beleza plays it is almost impossible not to!

12-5 pm (Beleza Brasil from 2-5 pm)

Barboursville Valentine’s Dinner $150

Some special sentiments about Love for your Valentine:

  • Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.” By Saint-Exupery

    • “Love is patient, love is kind.

      It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
      It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.
      It is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs.
      Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
      It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
      Love never fails.” The Bible

  • “There is no remedy for love but to love more.” By Thoreau 
  • Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. – Henry Van Dyke 

Autumn Halloween Fun at Virginia Wineries

Haunt the Wineries this Halloween

▪                                        
October 22-23 — Pick of the Piedmont Fall Wine Festival: Twelve wineries will present their best at this new Orange County event. Beautiful autumn weather and the lure of music and fun will make this an unforgettable experience. Booster Park, 19046 Constitution Hwy, Orange VA
Fee: $12 Advance/$20 At the Gate Time: Sat 11 am-6pm/Sun 11am-5pm Phone Number: 540-672-1653

▪                                        October 22 – 23 — Fall Foliage Open House at Hill Top Berry Farm 
Celebration: Taste ‘True to the Fruit’ wines and authentic Honey Meads at our Fall Foliage Open House. We will be pairing them with samples of food. We will also have samples of our gourmet Irish and Scottish gift shop items available to taste. Come enjoy a fall day while sipping on hot mulled wine in your rocking chair by the fire. 2800 Berry Hill Road, Nellysford VA
Fee: Free Time: 11am – 5pm Phone Number: 434-361-1266

▪                                        October 22 — Fall Treats with Foggy Ridge Cider 
Fall in an apple orchard couldn’t be better. Sample cider and mead paired with tasty seasonal treat at Foggy Ridge and nearby neighbor Blacksnake Meadery. Fee fee covers tastings and food pairings at both locations. 1328 Pineview Road, Dugspur VA 24325
Fee: $5 Time: 11am to 5pm Phone Number: 276-398-2337

▪                                        October 22 — Ingleside Vineyards Harvest Celebration 
Celebration: See winemaking demonstrations, tour the vineyards and winery and enjoy artwork, crafts, exhibits and delicious food. Sit in the courtyard and relax (or dance) while listening to live music and sipping wine. Includes tour, tasting, Ingleside wine glass and live music. Food available or bring a picnic. 5872 Leedstown Road, Oak Grove VA
Fee: $10 Advance/$15 At the Gate Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Phone Number: 804-224-8687

▪                                        October 22 — Powhatan’s Festival of the Grape
 Festival: Experience the excellence of Virginia wineries at Powhatan’s historic Courthouse square. A festival for family fun, tastings of Virginia’s finest wines, delicious food, continuous live music and entertainment and arts and crafts. Powhatan Courthouse, 3880 Old Buckingham Road, Powhatan VA
Fee: Call for information Time: Call for information Phone Number: 804-598-2636

▪                                        October 22 – 23 — Taste of the Alpines Weekend 
Celebration: Taste of German, Austrian and Swiss wines and light food fares. Please email or call for reservations. We are taking reservations every 1/2 hour starting at noon and ending at 3:30pm, both days. 38906 Mt. Gilead Road, Leesburg VA
Fee: $15 Time: 12pm-4pm Phone Number: 703-777-8161

▪                                        October 22 — Wine & Cheese Fondue Alfresco at Veramar Vineyard 
Wine & Food Education: Fondue parties are back in style. What better way to spend an afternoon, then with friends, wine and cheese? This event will be outside under the gazebo. Ooh – all that warm, oozy cheese, served in a fondue pot. Fee per person, includes glass of wine and cheese fondue plate. Reservations are required. 905 Quarry Road, Berryville VA 22611
Fee: $15 Time: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Phone Number: 540-955-5510

▪                                        October 22 – 23 — Barrel Tasting at Autumn Hill Vineyard
 Wine Education: Barrel samples and tasting of newly fermented 2011 wines. Vertical tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon vintages in addition to a cellar tour. Savor our full range of wines and enjoy the spectacular fall foliage. Fee includes glass and delicious homemade soup and wine tasting. No sweet wines here! No reservations required. Rain or Shine. Picnics welcome. Cellar tours at 1:15, 2:30 and 3:45. 301 River Drive, Stanardsville VA
Fee: $7 Time: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Phone Number: 434-985-6100

▪                                        October 25 — Barrel Tasting with the Winemaker
 Wine Education: Join the winemaker at 1pm in the Barrel Room for a tasting, tour and appetizers. $30/person. Must call for reservations by October 18th. 6011 E Timber Ridge Road, Harrisonburg, VA
Fee: $30/person Time: 1pm Phone Number: 540-234-0505

▪                                        October 28 — Mad Hatters Halloween Party 
 Celebration: Dress for the occasion and enter to win the best costume, best group and best carved pumpkin contests. Includes heavy appetizers and dancing with DJ Rick Rowe. Get dressed, grab your carved pumpkin and celebrate Halloween with CrossKeys Vineyards. 6011 East 11pm Timber Ridge Road, Mt. Crawford VA
Fee: $40 Time: 7pm-Phone Number: 540-234-0505

▪                                        October 28 — Haunting Halloween Madness at Lake Anna Winery 
Celebration: Costumes, music, and food outline this scary Friday night in the vineyard. Dance into the night to the tunes of “String Kings.” Pumpkin carving, Roast marshmallows and Wieners by the bon fire, wine tasting, and tours. 5621 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania VA 22551
Fee: $10 Time: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Phone Number: 540-895-5085

▪                                        October 29-30 — Autumn Barrel Tasting at Barboursville 
Wine Education: Welcome to a much-enhanced tasting, focusing on valuable older vintages, along with our traditional sampling of new Octagon from barrel. Caromont Farm will present award-winning artisan cheeses and fresh breads from Palladio Restaurant will refresh the palate. No reservations required. 17655 Winery Road, Barboursville, VA 22923
Fee: $25 Time: 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Phone Number: 540-832-3824

▪                                        October 29 — Chesapeake Virginia Wine Festival 
Festival: Fabulous wines from around the world and produced by Virginia wineries will be available for tasting, as well as foods from the regions finest restaurants. Entertainment will be provided by Lewis McGehee. Sponsored by the Chesapeake Rotary and this is their largest fund raising event. Chesapeake City Park, 900 Greenbrier Pkwy, Chesapeake VA
Fee: $30 Advance/$35 At the Gate Time: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Phone Number: (757) 573.8940

▪                                        October 29 — Halloween at Tomahawk Mill Winery 
Celebration: Our Halloween in the haunted Grist Mill includes readings from Edgar Allen Poe. Wine and gourmet food will be served for this adults-only event. Reservations required. 9221 Anderson Mill Road, Chatham VA
Fee: $20 Time: 7 p.m. Phone Number: 434-432-1063

▪                                        October 29 — Harvest Festival at Hartwood Winery 
Celebration: Join Hartwood Winery and guest Rogers Ford Winery to sample the harvested fruits of the vine and usher in the winter air. Enjoy hayrides, scarecrow-making, games, pony rides, live music, food and more! Kids will love this outdoor event. And the best part is, children get in free! Fee includes a special event glass. 345 Hartwood Road, Fredericksburg VA
Fee: $15 Adults Time: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Phone Number: 540-752-4893

▪                                        October 29 — A Fright Night Wine Dinner 
Wine & Food Education: Join us for a Fright Night Wine Dinner. Reservations are required. Ages 21 and over only. Winery at La Grange, 4970 Antioch Road, Haymarket VA
Fee: $99 per person, all inclusive Time: 6:30pm-9:30pm Phone Number: 703-753-9360

▪                                        October 29-30 — Oyster Roast at Cardinal Point
 Celebration: Live music and plenty of oysters from our friends at Rappahannock River Oyster Company! Live music on Saturday from The Cashmere Jungle Lords (surfability rock at its best) and Sunday The Atkisons (roots rock from Richmond VA). Cover charge includes wine glass and free wine tasting; it does NOT include wine to fill your glass or oysters. 9423 Batesville Road, Afton VA
Fee: $8 Advance/$10 At the Door/$5 Case Club Members Time: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Phone Number: 540-456-8400

▪                                      ♥ My Favorite Pick for a Boootiful Halloween Celebration: Glass House Winery South American melodies in our “terrifyingly tropical paradise.” Costumed guests are highly encouraged – creativity will be rewarded! Extra points if you don tropical/jungle themed threads. And if you are stumped for ideas or come unprepared, not to worry, Madeline and Humberto (of Beleza) will be supplying a box of extra costumes at the door. Light fare will be provided for a suggested donation.

Answers to Stump The Winos! See 7/19/2011 Post

A. Pollak Vineyard -View towards the Pond and Mountains

B.Glass House Winery-When the Raccoon ate the Pineapple

C.Flying Fox Winery-Quaint Cottage Entrance

D.King Family Vineyard-Polo Pony

E.Mountfair Vineyard-Barrel Room

F.Keswick Vineyards-Cherub Sculpture at Tasting Room

G.Blenheim Vineyards-Sign to Tasting Room

H.Pippin Hill Farm Vineyards-View from the Patio

I.Barboursville Vineyards-Ruins

J.Sweely Estate Winery-Sculpture

K.Afton Mountain Vineyards-Artwork

Just for Fun, How many did You get right?

Wine Blogging at Monticello!

After spending a day at the Omni Hotel on the Charlottesville downtown pedestrian mall ( I write this description for non-locals) we climbed on busses heading up curvy route 53 to Monticello for a dinner reception featuring Virginia wines. Extremely muggy hot weather was not the best conditions to show off our fair city and Blue Ridge Mountains. I still think despite the New Orleans Bayou-thick air, out of state visitors were impressed with the history and beauty of Monticello.  Efforts were made to keep the guests comfortable, hand-held fans printed with “Virginia Is For Lovers” were distributed and outdoor air conditioning was provided at strategic locations, fans with water reservoirs diffusing cool mist on the more aggressive heat relief seekers (Me!).  TJ look-alike mingled with the guests  along with celebrities like the Zonins, owners of Barboursville, just in from Italia! 

The wine makers were sheltered under a vast tent, keeping their bottles in coolers before opening them  for the bloggers. I couldn’t be more proud of our winery owners, wine makers and hosts-cheerfully pouring (more requested) whites  and reds and extolling the quality of their wines. Meanwhile, I shed my heels at Ankida Ridge’s table and walked barefoot in the grass,  meeting other wine bloggers and tasting wine.  As I wandered around, I couldn’t help but wonder what Thomas Jefferson would think about these techy wine lovers traipsing around his home and sharing thoughts regarding an industry that he started centuries ago  in Virginia!  

I was a little despondent about the demise of the 200+ years old White Oak and Poplar trees flanking the west side of Monticello. Noticeably missing, the large tree stumps look void and sad, so I toasted Thomas Jefferson quietly to myself.  The value of some of the wines attributed to his collection have reached record prices at auction!

Ankida Ridge, Glass House, Stinson, Gabrielle RausseFlying Fox and Pippin Hill Farm Vineyard were stops for me, unfortunately I missed several others due to waning energy. The food was excellent!  Shrimp and cheese grits, mini crab cakes, tiny stuffed red potatoes were all tasty pairings for the wines offered. Water bottles were the most coveted item on the menu, Keswick Hall did a fabulous job!

All in all, a lovely event and I overheard many guests discussing return travel plans to Virginia!

Great job, Charlottesville and Virginia Tourism!

Seeking Mountfair Vineyard on the Appellation Trail

           On one of my recent outings with a good friend, open to spur of the moment adventures and travelling down bumpy back roads, we headed out to Mountfair  via “the shortcut”! 
We had just stopped in to revisit Glass House Vineyards, another excellent boutique winery on The Appellation Trail,  and decided to take the  shortcut over to Fox Mountain Road.  Delightful and scenic, with the surprise of a covered bridge (didn’t get a picture, Drat!) and mountain views I had never seen!  From Free Union Road and Glass House, turn right on 668 Chapel Spring Road which becomes Fox Mountain Road. This is approximately 7 miles, but an enjoyable detour.
I had been to Mountfair in the Fall,  the tasting room had recently been completed and I was curious to see the progress made by this sweet little winery on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It is a little further out than some of the other wineries, but I recommend putting it on your list!  Look for events by following them on Facebook!  I was at City Market (the farmers market in Charlottesville ) and heard a rumour of a wine pairing event with L’Etoile!  Doesn’t that sound fabulous! L’Etoile is a mainstay in C-ville. Located near the bridge across from the Amtrak station, it has charm and character with delicious dishes and have a commitment to buying “fresh and local”! Check them out for lunch, dinner or samples (yum) at the market!  If that’s a perk of the wine club, it may be time to join!  We’ll keep you posted!
Kelly Meyers Rogan is the tasting room manager at Mountfair and  is as sweet as any Riesling.  Not only was she informative and gracious (stayed beyond closing time for us) but she is working on becoming a wine maker herself! She is presently apprenticed as a wine maker and taking the University of California at Davis wine making program!
 
 
 
 Kelly has a degree from The University of Virginia and is excited about her future in the Virginia wine industry!  When you stop in at Mountfair, be sure to say hello for me!  She is working on getting a refrigerator for snack items for visitors tempted towards a picnic on the terrace! Great idea!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 We tasted a couple of the wines and enjoyed them all, but liked the Indigenous, a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and  50% Petit Verdot,  the best.  Don’t worry, there are more wines to come!  Being a small boutique winery and having sold out of several of their wines, more are being bottled!
  There is a very sentimental story behind the Wooloomoolooo wine, but for privacy reasons, let’s just say that it’s rather spiritual. When offered in the future, take advantage of savouring this wine!  Western Albemarle and Mountfair are rustic and  appealing, a great place for a weekend afternoon any season of the year!

Looking for Mother’s Day Ideas? Think Virginia Wineries!

 
Note from Keswick Vineyards: Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us in the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine’s “Best of” poll! We are so honored to have won Best Winery -Central, Most Romantic, Best Viognier Overall, Best Cabernet Franc Overall, and our talented Stephen Barnard won Best Winemaker Overall! They received over 7000 votes and the full results will be in their Summer 2011 issue!

Okay,  Dads!

I have talked to several Moms this week who had no idea what they were doing to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend! What they all agreed on was their expectation that their husbands should a) plan something,  b) probably wouldn’t plan something and c) would wind up planning something themselves! This is a sad commentary on appreciating Moms! When I mentioned a trip to a winery, they loved the idea but thought it wouldn’t come together.

So, husbands, here are a couple of ideas that are close t0 Charlottesville and already planned for you. Buy a ticket, gas up the car and treat your lovely wife to something special. Maybe even line up a babysitter for a few hours if you have small children. There are several other wineries serving up wine and music as well. In addition to the ones listed below, check out Keswick Vineyards, Afton Mountain, Mountfair or Glass House Winery (decadent gourmet chocolates!).

Sugarleaf Vineyards                                                             

Mother’s Day Weekend Chocolate and Wine Pairing
Date: May 8, 2011
Time: 11:00AM – 6:00PM

Celebrate Mother’s Day with all the special women in your life at Sugarleaf Vineyards! Participate in a fun and informative wine and chocolate pairing. Sit outside, overlook the vineyard and enjoy the day with those you love while savoring hors d’oeuvres and wonderful Sugarleaf wines. $20 per person includes wine tasting, your personal box of wine infused chocolate truffles and hors d’oeuvres.

3613 Walnut Branch Lane
North Garden, Virginia 22959

Wine & Food Pairing
<!– Adv. Tickets Required
–>Cost: $20.00

Organizer: Sugarleaf Vineyards
Name: Lauren Bias
Phone: 434-984-4272
E-mail: info@SugarleafVineyards.com
Website: www.SugarleafVineyards.com

May07

Montpelier Wine Festival

 Address:
11393 Constution Highway
Montpelier Station, Virginia 22957
Date: May 7, 2011
Time: 11:00AM – 6:00PM

Montpelier Wine Festival
Date: May 8, 2011
Time: 11:00AM – 6:00PM

Description

The Montpelier Wine Festival is a two day event May 7 & 8 – showcasing the best of Virginia wines with music, wine cooking classes, upscale vendors and a kite extravaganza all on the beautiful grounds of James Madison’s Montpelier in rural Orange County. Enjoy a day in the country while sampling from 24 of our great wineries. Picnic on the grounds, take a carriage ride, fly a kite or sit back with your favorite vintage and listen to the music. Special tours of James & Dolley Madison’s home are just a short carriage ride away. This event is geared for the whole family to enjoy. Kids can make & fly their own kite, run on the grounds or make a balloon animal! Enjoy the whole festival with general admission or reserved your very own private table or tent to expand your experience!

Address

11393 Constution Highway
Montpelier Station, Virginia 22957

Private Parties: You can choose to have a private table for 8 which includes tickets, glasses, seating under a tent and a complimentary bottle of wine with your hospitality basket OR a private tent for parties of 12 and up which comes with all of the above, extra tables, chairs and hospitality baskets as well as VIP parking! Call 540-672-5216 to reserve yours now.
Bus/RV Parking: We welcome large groups. Parking is plentiful and we will greet your group at the bus. Call 540-672-5216 to arrange your special bus package.
Child Friendly: This is a day for the whole family. Wings Over Washington Kite Club hosts special classes to make your own kite. Then they help you fly it. They also have fun kite contests. The grounds of Montpelier are a special place to play and picnic for the whole family.
Specialty Foods: We look for the best of the best with our food vendors to compliment your favorite wines! Try butterfly shrimp or specialty crab cakes; wood fired pizza; honey baked ham treats; locally made cheeses with a great variety of breads; complete menu of vegetarian treats; baklava or chocolate covered strawberries – just to name a few tempting items.

Festival
<!– Adv. Tickets Required
–>Cost: $25 gate/$15 advance

May08

Roses and Rosé for Moms                     

DuCard Winery

Address:
40 Gibson Hollow Lane
Etlan (Madison County), Virginia 22719
Date: May 8, 2011
Time: 11:00AM – 6:00PM

Join us on Mother’s Day with a rose for all the Mom’s and discounts on our new Rosé wine. Mattie Fuller will be performing on the patio too. While supplies (of both!)last, as they say. No charge, but bring a brag picture of the little one(s), Mom.

Address

40 Gibson Hollow Lane
Etlan (Madison County), Virginia 22719

 

Roses for the Moms:

 <!– Adv. Tickets Required
–>Cost: a brag pic of the little one(s)

Organizer: DuCard Vineyards
Name:
Phone: 540.923.4206
E-mail: scott@ducardvineyards.com
Website: www.ducardvineyards.com

Get an “Official” Taste of Spring on The Appellation Trail

 Albemarle County is catching on fast! I try to arrange self-guided wine tours for friends and clients with location and proximity in mind.  Now, the newly formed  Appellation Trail has done just that!   By organizing a mapped tour of four ( soon to be five wineries ) a logical sequence of wine tastings is simplified for tourists and locals.  Loudoun County has a similar set up for 27 wineries broken down into “clusters” for easy touring.  Wikipedia describes an appellation as a legally defined and protected geographic indication used to identify where grapes are grown.  It is also defined as a geographical name (as of a region, village, or vineyard) under which a winegrower is authorized to identify and market wine according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Playing off of the name of the nearby Appalachian Trail,  the  “AT”  is a unique wine route that connects five artisanal wineries in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains:  White Hall Vineyards,  Mountfair Vineyards,  Glass House Winery,  Stinson Vineyards & Moss Vineyards (opening 2012).

  This Saturday April 16th  is the celebration of the” official opening” of  The Appellation Trail!

Spring is the Time for Wine!

                                           Appellation Trail Grand Opening Winery Events on April 16th:

 White Hall Vineyards:

Vertical tasting of  2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 Petit Verdot,  paired with cheese (12:00 to 3:00pm)

 Mountfair Vineyards:

Pre-Release Tasting of the 2009 Engagement Blend with live music!

 Be sure to stop by  &  join them on the patio for a delicious glass of wine while taking in the beautiful views & the sweet tunes of  THE LOST SOULS!

 

 

 Glass House Winery:

Tank tasting of 2010 Viognier with Live music — The Stoned Masons (3:15 to 5:45pm)

 Stinson Vineyards

 Winery Preview Opening featuring Gryffon’s Aerie meats & mini-burgers.  Preview four of their seven wines!  The 2010 Sugar Hollow White, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, and Sugar Hollow Red will all be available to taste and purchase.  Additionally, they will be featuring Gryffon’s Aerie meat and miniburgers – stock up on pasture-raised, heritage beef, pork, and sausage!

 

Don’t Be FOOLish, Visit These Virginia Wineries in April

Saturday April 2nd                                                 

White Hall Vineyards

Release and tasting of the 2009 Pinot Gris

They have joined with a few of our neighboring wineries to form the Appellation Trail.  Other wineries on the wine trail are Mountfair, Glass House Winery, Stinson Vineyards (opening 6/11) and Moss Vineyards (opening in 2012). Check back for more details on our April 16th Appellation Trail kick-off event!

Sunday April 3rd

Delfosse Vineyards and Winery

1:00 p.m. Wine and Food Pairing with menu by Genevieve Delfosse

$40 per person, reservations required.

Glass House Winery

2:15-5 p.m. Live Music with David Tewksbury

Paramount Theater “Big Night at the Paramount”

3:30 p.m. . The brothers in Big Night–chef Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and businessman Secondo (Tucci)–have come to New Jersey to open a bistro named The Paradise that serves the finest in traditional, authentic Italian cuisine.

Sample food and wine, meet winemakers and chefs before the movie. Special guests are Virginia winemaker Gabrielle Rausse and Tavola Restaurant owner, Michael Keaveny. 

Tickets are $12

Afton Mountain Vineyards

2009 Vintners Reserve Merlot Tasting one day only!

Tuesday April 12th

Barboursville Vineyards

Palladio Cooking class: Seafood

6:30 p.m. Enrollment is limited to 12 and admission is $95

 Friday April 15th TAX Day!

Keswick Vineyards Tax Free Zone zone for the day 🙂

Look for more events the second half of April, this should be a good start for enjoying early Spring in the Virginia vineyards!

 

 Virginia Wine Lover magazine has announced their First Annual “Best Of” Readers’ Choice Awards.

 One lucky voter will be gifted with a wine weekend getaway.

The polls close on April 15, 2011 so be sure to vote now!

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!