With the impending storm this weekend, we turned to local Sarah Craun of the Monticello Wine Trail to find out how this weather affects our local wine production.
“While winter may seem like a time of rest for the area’s grapevines, this season is just as critical as the rest. The biggest winter threat in the Monticello AVA is the possibility of sub-zero temperatures. Temperatures below -1°F can permanently damage a vine and effect its production potential for years to come as well as its overall survivability.
There are many things a vineyard manager can do to protect against cold temperatures, from “hilling up” dirt around the base of new vines for insulation to using windmills (or even helicopters) to circulate warm and cold air. But nature has perhaps one of the best methods of protecting vines from extreme cold: snow.
Snow, which remains relatively the same temperature itself, forms a protective blanket around a dormant vine, helping it maintain a steady temperature right around freezing. Snow also allows for a replenishment of ground water if melting occurs at a constant rate. So while the weekend forecast may look ominous…stock up on your favorite local wine and rest assured in knowing that all the snow is actually good for something!” – Sarah Craun with the Monticello Wine Trail
Lyn Bolen, the owner and curator of the Les Yeux du Monde Gallery, began to exhibit art with a singular goal in mind—to show and nurture world-class art in Charlottesville. Now, after twenty years, she celebrates a wonderfully successful venture with a show by artist Herb Jackson.
Jackson, an award-winning artist and professor at Davidson College, was the first artist to ever exhibit with Bolen.
His work—very visceral—uses art mediums to add depth and texture to his paintings.
To see other great works from renowned artists, visit Les Yeux du Monde’s year-round exhibits. To read and see more about Bolen, Jackson and the Gallery, pick up your copy of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living at one of your favorite local vendors today!
Since the first hounds made the trek from England to the shores of Maryland in the 1650s, fox hunting has been a long standing tradition on the East Coast, particularly in colonies such as Virginia. The first organized “club” hunt took place in the 1700s, and it continues to be enjoyed by iconic colonists such as George Washington and Charlottesville’s Thomas Jefferson. The oldest continuing hunt in America is the Piedmont Fox Hunt, which began over 150 years ago in the historically steeped Virginian countryside.
While it is easy to connect the dots between fox hunting and preserving Virginia’s colonial sporting traditions, it is a little known fact that many hunt clubs and individuals are advocates in the conservation of land and wildlife. Even the Masters of Foxhounds Association & Foundation (MFHA), the collective group under which all hunt groups of America fall, strongly supports local charities in conservation efforts.
MFHA lists the benefits of conserving land for fox hunting, not the least of which “prohibit land uses such as subdivisions, shopping centers, malls, factory farms and many other undesirable practices.” The Foundation also encourages “farming, parks and many other uses which are consistent with outdoor recreation,” even giving out awards for clubs and individuals that make significant contributions to the cause.
With its historical and philanthropic ties to America, fox hunting continues to be a sport that preserves colonial traditions and our beautiful lands. To read more about fox hunting traditions and practices in Virginia, and for a look inside the Farmington Hunt Club just minutes from Charlottesville, pick up your copy of our inaugural publication at your favorite local vendor!
Set in the Blue Ridge foothills of Virginia, just under two hours from Washington, DC, Early Mountain is often frequented by wine enthusiasts and eager brides and grooms. “We wanted to introduce the local community to a side of Early Mountain that has never been seen before,” says Jaynes. Their goal: to embrace the best of Virginia – the food, scenery, wine and company. By hosting a supper sourced by local farms, introducing exclusive wines made on the property and foraging for greens and flora that grew around the vineyard, Early Mountain aimed to inspire their guests to live locally.
“I brought on Rebecca Gallop of A Daily Something to help style the event, as her aesthetic is exactly what we were looking for. In addition to utilizing her platters, plates and various other props for the dinner, she styled all of our tables and put together some deliciously textural floral arrangements.” For menu design, Jen Olmstead delivered a beautiful and classic menu. “Her eye for detail gets me every time,” Jaynes says. “On the menus, she added an ornament throughout the design that, unbeknownst to me, was a traditional vintage Victorian grapevine printer’s ornament. It was the perfect little addition.” Chef Harrison Keevil of Brookville Restaurant was the chef for the evening, working alongside Winemaker Ben Jordan of Early Mountain Vineyards. “Together, they planned the most delicious pairings. They introduced their menu selections to our guests, explained the pairings and educated everyone on the food and wine included in the dinner.”
The evening began with guests being greeted with a glass of Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay before taking a stroll up to the historic barn overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed their first course. “Chef Keevil prepared Kim Kim Glazed Pork Belly Bites, Rappahannock Oysters with Blog 11 Mignonette and Spice-Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque. As a complementing wine, Jordan chose a 2014 Block Eleven,” Jaynes explains. At each place setting, guests were awaited with their next glass of wine for the first of the two main courses. “There were two wine pairings: a 2014 Pinot Gris and a 2014 Pinot Gris Block Nine along with Chef Keevil’s Edwards Virginia Country Ham & Caramelized Tart served with local micro-greens. This dish was so simple and stunning that we chose to serve it on Cloud Terre’s Obsidian black plates.”
“For the main course, Keevil prepared Buffalo River Beef with Roasted Root Vegetables and Woodson’s Mill Stone-Ground Grits, all family style,” Jaynes says. “The 2012 Eluvium was the perfect pairing by Jordan, and many guests bought a bottle to take home.” For the final courses, guests were introduced to a barrel preview: a 2014 Late Harvest Petit Manseng accompanying Meadow Creek Dairy Grayson topped with Apple Butter made from the vineyard’s own apples. For our sweet goodbye, Jordan introduced his special War & Rust Quinquina with local Gearharts’ Eluvium Dark Chocolate.”
As the attendees departed, each was given a tasting box by the event’s sponsors at Hatchery, including a three-month complimentary membership to their Tasting Box program. “We chose to partner with Hatchery because of their devotion to celebrating small, local makers. We had hoped to leave our guests with the feeling of community and inspiration,” Jaynes says.