The 10th Annual Heritage Harvest Festival at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello was truly a celebration of the local harvest and a Jefferson inspired love of gardening. From the fresh tomatoes, peppers and melons picked from the trial gardens of the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (a co-founder of the Heritage Harvest Festival) and Jam According to Daniel to local fruits, there was a plethora of fresh, delicious local produce and products for visitors to taste and take home. The festival showcased the many talented local food and drink vendors the Charlottesville area has to offer through the tastings, workshops and talks that took place over the three days of the festival. Ira Wallace, a founding member of the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, pictured above, gave a talk on how to create a garden capable of providing produce during each season.
The many modern and historic talks and workshops drew crowds throughout the day. Visitors could learn about the history of Monticello and tour the gardens and buildings, as well as learn about food and agricultural practices. Many local and notable chefs gave talks and demonstrations including Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington.
The Heritage Harvest Festival offered something for everyone—a petting zoo, a variety of local food, handcrafted items, a tasting tent with fresh produce and Monticello tours. The three-day event was an opportunity to learn more about the farm-to-table movement and home gardening practices.
UPDATE: DuCard Vineyards will host 2017 Oyster Festivals on Sunday, April 22 and Saturday, September 23. More information and advance tickets are available through DuCard’s website.
On Saturday, September 24, while the beautiful Cabernet Franc was still ripening in the field, fans of DuCard Vineyards’ exclusive boutique wines came in droves to enjoy the day at the vineyard’s Annual Oyster Fest. Kicking off a series of popular wine and oyster events throughout the region at various local vineyards, DuCard Vineyards set the standard for savory Chesapeake Bay oysters and excellent wines.
Rappahannock River Oyster Company was on-hand to serve up succulent oysters fresh from the Chesapeake Bay and grill up unbelievable crab cakes. These local oysters capture the essence of the region (the minerals, the grasses, the plankton) to delight the palette. In the oyster business, the regional distinctions of where the oysters are grown is called the merroir—a nod to the wine term terroir, which speaks to the unique taste characteristics imparted by a given region. In the Chesapeake Bay, merroir is on stunning display. Nowhere do you get such a varied blend with nutrient rich waters spanning the entire salt spectrum—from subtly sweet to jarringly briny—bringing to our coastline a limitless palate in which to create some of the most unique oyster flavors in the world.*
The star wine of the day was DuCard Vineyards’ Cuvee 719, a Traminette-Chardonnay blend, stainless steel fermented with lemon zest and rose petal on the nose and lychee nut—great with seafood and most refreshing. Also recommended was the Signature Viognier. This new vintage with its hints of honeysuckle, peach and more paired nicely with the day’s oysters and crab cakes.
The day was filled with music by Kat and the Travelers who entertained the crowd with their fun and eclectic mix of jazz, blues and country. Corn-hole and picnicking on the lawn was enjoyed in the company of good friends all day long.
Our next regional vineyard to host the popular Rappahannock River Oyster Company for a day of wine and oysters is this coming weekend at nearby Early Mountain Vineyards on Saturday and Sunday, October 1-2, 2016 from 11am-6pm. Wine and oyster lovers can again find Rappahannock River Oyster Company at Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery in Afton on Saturday and Sunday, November 12-13, 2016 from noon-5pm. This marks the 13th occasion that Cardinal Point hosts their popular wine and oyster festival and contributes to November’s line-up as Virginia Oyster Month!
This summer, Andy Warhol returned to The University of Virginia. In 2011, following a gift of 153 Andy Warhol photographs from the Andy Warhol Foundation’s Photographic Legacy Project, UVA debuted Society Portraits: Andy Warhol’s Photographic Legacy. The newest Warhol exhibit at the Fralin Museum of Art, Andy Warhol: Icons, features a range of prints by Andy Warhol, also known as the Pope of Pop. Keeping with its mission to promote the community and public’s visual literacy, the Fralin allows visitors to experience some of Warhol’s most famous works, like his Marilyn Monroe paintings. This exhibit, which runs until September 18th, salutes Warhol’s work with the singular image and his pop art featuring famous subjects. The bright prints, popping from the gallery’s dark walls, showcase Warhol’s famous screen printing techniques.
Andy Warhol: Icons features both pieces loaned to The Fralin from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, as well as six pieces from The Fralin’s own collection, another gift from the Andy Warhol Foundation in 2014. Since 2007, The Andy Warhol Foundation has gifted over 29,000 Andy Warhol photographs to 190 American university art museums, and over 14,500 additional Andy Warhol pieces to museums around the globe. The prints now displayed at the Fralin reflect Warhol’s famous photo-based work. Along with being a photographer, Warhol used photos for silk screen printing, manipulating the layers of colors expressed in his images, as well as for painting.
Warhol was not only revolutionary in his art techniques, but also in his subject choices. Andy Warhol: Icons highlights Warhol’s role in the art pop movement through his use of the celebrity, icon and commercial image. Images displayed from Warhol’s Cowboys and Indians series depict both Native American and Western icons, like Annie Oakley.
Warhol’s work with Campbell’s Soup, also featured in the exhibit, demonstrates his famous work with the commercial image. The pop artist featured the soup cans in one of his first art shows, choosing to highlight a commercial subject over the private and exclusive fine art subject, helping to usher in the pop art movement. This incredible exhibit will be at The Fralin until September 18th. Don’t miss your opportunity to experience the famous work of the Pope of Pop!
Tucked away in Nelson County lies the breathtaking flower farm Pharsalia, a stunning estate with lush gardens, rolling hills, impressive mountain views, and beautifully restored buildings.This summer, Charlottesville Wine & Country attended Pharsalia’s 5th Farm-to-Table Dinner, a sold out event showcasing Pharsalia and other talented local artisans and benefiting the restoration of the estate.
Pharsalia is the private residence of Foxie and Dick Morgan. Foxie grew up on the estate, which is on the National Historic Register and has been in her family for five generations. In 2006, Foxie began flower farming and sharing her home as a wedding venue to support the restoration of Pharsalia. The property now serves as a venue for authentic weddings and private events. Wandering the gardens, one feels as a friend or relative. Pharsalia blends all the elegance and grandeur of a vast farm that produces everything from flowers to grapes with the intimacy and warmth of a family home.
The evening began with cocktail hour on the front lawn, where guests enjoyed a drink while taking in the surrounding views. Foxie took time to meet and greet all in attendance while Nelson County’s Bennie Dodd Band played Johnny Cash in the background. Local wines from Ox-Eye Vineyards, Veritas Vineyard & Winery, Pollak Vineyards and King Family Vineyards were available for guests to enjoy.
An Acre of Parsley enticed guests on the front lawn as they roasted peppers by flame. And as the sun began to set over the mountains, a light breeze swept across the estate, making the weather perfect for the evening at Pharsalia.
Following cocktail hour, the event moved under the grand white tent where rows of handmade harvest tables were beautifully set for the feast. Each table, made by local furniture maker Tim Smith, who was also the evening’s pepper roaster, featured lush floral displays made by Foxie herself from the very flowers she tends and grows at Pharsalia. With dinner ready to be savored and the candlelight setting the mood for the evening, guests could be heard admiring the beautiful setting.
Just the sight and smell of the locally sourced southern cuisine of fresh vibrant vegetables and baked chicken ignited conversation among the guests, as they filled their plates and trickled back to their seats to savor a meal by Chef Mark Gresge of L’etoile Catering. The gentle clinking of silverware and wine glasses were complemented with laughter, stories and the beginning of new friendships.
Following dinner, Ken Farmer with the Antique Road Show auctioned off a variety of locally crafted items, including local art work, two tables made by Tim Smith, a couples’ weekend at Pharsalia and other highly desirable items and packages. Guests were eager to support the local artisans and the gorgeous estate of Pharsalia. The evening, a true celebration of local artisans and community, concluded with desserts by The Hungry Fox, and dancing under the stars to the Bennie Todd Band. Departure from the lovely, intimate venue was met with a hope to return and an intent to continue the friendships that were formed at this wonderful event. We are so grateful Pharsalia invited us to participate in such a wonderful evening.