On April 29, locals will flock to Foxfield—one of the finest steeplechase courses on the East Coast—for a beloved Charlottesville tradition—the 40th annual running of the Foxfield Spring Races.
The sport of steeplechasing originated way back when men would race their horses for competitive fun after a day of foxhunting. They determined the finish line to be at some sort of landmark, such as a church steeple. Thus, the term ‘steeplechase’ originated. Steeplechasing developed its roots in Virginia during colonial times. It is even said that Thomas Jefferson met George Washington in a steeplechase competition. You can learn more about the steeplechase tradition in Virginia in the newest Charlottesville Wine & Country Living.
Today, many people gather from all around Charlottesville, including many students from the University of Virginia and neighboring colleges, for a favorite spring social event. Attendees enjoy a day of tailgating and high fashion at the races.
The Foxfield Spring Races is a day filled with men and women donning sun hats, spring dresses and bow ties. With over 25,000 guests attending the spring races each year, the tailgating is a substantial and popular aspect of the affair. Foxfield offers a plethora of reserved spaces, allowing attendees to set up tents with music, games, food and drinks along the race track while they mingle with friends and enjoy the spring weather.
What better way to celebrate the gorgeous season and participate in an old Virginia tradition than attending the Foxfield Races? Additionally, this year’s races benefit International Neighbors. You can purchase tickets through the Foxfield race office until Friday, April 28, but can also purchase tickets at other select outlets up to and on race day. Click here for more information.
It was an exciting Sunday, April 23, at the Historic Garden Week tours in Charlottesville and Albemarle, as Charlottesville Wine & Country Living launched some of our new products from our exclusive Wine & Country (W&C) Collection to rave reviews.
Our little pop-up shop of local artisan crafted pieces, including wine & cheese items, luxury bath products, jewelry and more, all blended perfectly. The collection also included our exclusive hat scarves, W&C wine & market bags and locally crafted picnic linens made from beautiful fabrics from France as well as from charming made-in-Virginia ginghams.
The new W&C Collection will soon include our complete Countryside Fetes Collection and more over the next few months. From steeplechases, polo matches and art exhibits to music festivals, vineyard tastings and farm-to-table events, we are so excited to embrace the season in Wine & Country style. We had such a wonderful time debuting our collection this weekend and cannot wait to see you at the next event.
Guests sipped wine and enjoyed delicious food from Feast! while they browsed the colorful displays. Each table was decorated with a gorgeous custom centerpiece, and a full complement of Caspari table pieces, from linens and flatware to name cards and plates.
Below is Southern Bloom’s delightful arrangement. After being assigned the “Secret Garden Ivory” napkin as their inspiration piece, Southern Blooms created a stunning centerpiece incorporating the napkin’s colors and patterns with Scotch broom, hydrangea and heuchera, among other beautiful florals and greenery.
For Tourterelle Floral Design’s table, “The Devonshire Ball” napkin from the Chatsworth napkin collection was assigned. This table also featured House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth, a book released earlier this year that explores the history of fashion at Chatsworth. Tourterelle creatively played off the napkin’s title, “The Devonshire Ball,” by creating a grand display with elegant round floral arrangements.
Below are the centerpiece cakes created by Paradox Pastry (left) and The Hungry Fox (right). Paradox Pastry was assigned the “Sail Away” napkin. The bakery used not only the napkin’s red, white and blue colors, but also the napkin’s shapes by cutting out individual pieces shaped like sails from rice paper and using them to decorate the middle layer as well as for the pinwheel atop the cake.
The Hungry Fox’s cake was created to look like it’s assigned napkin, “Brushstroke.” The Hungry Fox highlighted the colors and pattern of the napkin, adding a delightful paint pallet and tube of paint to complete the theme.
Below is the floral arrangement from Pharsalia Events. A colorful napkin featuring birds, “Papageno” was chosen for Pharsalia Events’ muse. They not only included the colors and shapes from the napkin with flowers and greenery they grew—including lilac, peonies, scotch broom, hydrangea and solomon’s seal—but also set their centerpiece in a vintage birdcage, from which the lavish florals protruded.
We continue to be amazed by the immense talent in our community and were so pleased to celebrate both the start of Historic Garden Week in Virginia and the start of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Garden Week tours on April 22.
The 2017 Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival kicked off with the Monticello Cup Awards at The Jefferson Theater on April 13. Prior to the evening, 10 wine industry professionals judged wines from over 30 wineries at the Capital Wine School in Washington, DC. Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery won this year’s Monticello Cup for its 2014 Union. Below (bottom, right), Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery’s Winemaker, Tim Gorman, accepted the Monticello Cup.
Following a day of pairing events, the festival concluded with a tasting event at the Sprint Pavilion on the Historic Downtown Mall. Beautiful weather and the showcasing of over 25 local wineries made this a popular event! The day started with a VIP catered tasting at 12:30 p.m. with the general event starting at 1:30 p.m.
During the tasting event, attendees were able to choose from one of two wines from each winery while learning about the different vineyards and their practices.
The Taste of White Hall dinner prepared by Kitchen Catering and Events started with seated appetizers. The White Hall Vineyards 2014 Gewurztraminer, made in an Alsatian style, was paired with a beggar’s purse of double cream cheese with rosehip jam. Then, a delicious lemon and garlic seared scallop over shaved carrot salad with parsley was served with crisp 2016 Rose from both Stinson Vineyards and Grace Estate Winery.
The talented winemakers helped carefully plan the menu and delighted guests throughout the beautiful evening with details about the wines and interesting anecdotes as they served wines table-side. Pictured below (from left to right) are Winemaker Megan McGuire of White Hall Vineyards, General Manager Lisa Champ of White Hall Vineyards, Winemaker Brad McCarthy of White Hall Vineyards, Winemaker Frantz Ventre of Grace Estate Winery and Winemaker Rachel Stinson Vrooman of Stinson Vineyards.
In western Albemarle County, the village of White Hall rests just at the edge of Sugar Hollow and the George Washington National Forest that lead up into the mountains. The charming century-old White Hall Community Building is the site for regular Ruritan meetings, country dances, the fall Apple Butter Festival and generally serves as a gathering spot for the little community. It was the perfect place for this group of gifted winemakers to celebrate their wines together.
The main courses tipped off with a delicate braised rabbit with Mediterranean white beans, herbs, red onions and arugula. The rabbit was well suited to White Hall Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay. The Chardonnay has subtle well-integrated oak flavors and a beautiful extraction of fruits and a lively acidity.
Paired well with richer dishes, the Grace Estate Winery Petite Manseng, and White Hall Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon were served with Mojo ropa vieja with mufungo (beef braised in a garlic citrus sauce), fried plantain and pork cracklings. Cognac barrel aging is used for the Petite Manseng to form a truly unique white wine that can appeal to red wine drinkers. The Cabernet Sauvignon underwent extended maceration giving it a dark cherry color, flavors of plum and fig, and a lengthy blackberry finish with wisps of smoke.
Lamb kabobs on rosemary skewers with saffron, apricot and currant couscous with charred scallion and cucumber cream were then paired with Stinson Vineyards 2014 Meritage, a velvety complex blend of their finest grapes. The Grace Estate Winery 2014 Tannat offered a sultry array of red fruits with early tones of coffee and a significant lingering finish of tannin.
As the meal progressed and the delicious food and wine flowed, new friends were made and each table was chatting and enjoying themselves immensely as is the tradition on our wonderful Monticello Wine Trail. The evening concluded with a sweet treat—pineapple layer cake with mango cream frosting paired with Stinson Vineyards 2014 Petit Manseng, a smooth late harvest wine with an intriguing natural sweetness.
The Taste of White Hall Dinner was truly a delightful community endeavor and a wonderful showcase of the talented winemakers’ work.
A beloved springtime event, Virginia’s Historic Garden Week allows participants to step foot on some of the area’s finest properties. Each year, a different collection of stunning private homes and gardens are selected for the tours throughout the state. Guests also have the opportunity to tour several historic sites, such as the University of Virginia’s Pavilion Gardens in Charlottesville and the exclusive Morven Estate. For 84 years, this unique event has been held each April and is eagerly anticipated by those who love horticulture, architecture, interior design, art and antique collection, and history.
This year’s Historic Garden Week will take place from April 22–29 with Albemarle County properties being featured Saturday, April 22–Monday, April 24. Here, we give a sneak peek at some of the stunning Albemarle-Charlottesville country estates that are included in this year’s Historic Garden Week tours. See Charlottesville Wine & Country’s exclusive luxury Garden Week Getaway for a chance to do Garden Week Tours statewide, enjoy a beautiful stay at Keswick Hall & Golf Club, fine dining at The Downtown Grille, wine tasting at Veritas Vineyard & Winery and more!
Fox Ridge, an equestrian farm and property, features a 20-stall barn, a cottage that dates back to the 1800s and the main house, a Neo-Georgian red brick home built in 1945. The property also includes a charming Williamsburg-inspired garden and an apple orchard. See Book Four of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living for “Horse and Home,” an exclusive look at the Fox Ridge home and property.
Other properties on this year’s tour include homes such as Southfield, a property of 20 acres that offers a unique collection of plants, a parterre garden and striking water features. Midway (featured below), a historical Albemarle property, offers Blue Ridge Mountains views, a lovely formal garden, and ties to history with its early 19th-century farmhouse that once served as a hemp, flax and tobacco plantation.
Choill Mhor, an English Country Manor home, features perennial gardens, a shade garden and gorgeous views of the property’s many untouched acres of hardwood forest, as well as the pond and lovely Blue Ridge mountains in the distance.
The Laing House (featured below) will be a debut property for Garden Week. Featuring a quaint, gray brick home, the property overlooks Moorman’s River. The home contains interesting and eye-catching antiques and furnishings that the owners acquired during years living in Asia and England.
The Albemarle-Charlottesville garden tours will also include Morven Estate, Carr’s Hill and the Morea Garden and Arboretum. Foxfield off of Garth Road will serve as the designated parking area for the tours. Charlottesville Wine & Country Living will join other vendors at Foxfield on Sunday, April 23, to debut the new Wine & Country Collection. Come see us and the beautiful new issue!
April 1–15, you can visit The Derry Cottage, Bundoran Farm by Natural Retreat’s 2017 show home. The interiors of this beautiful 3,606-square-foot home were designed by Wendi Smith of Leftover Luxuries and the home is decorated with local pieces from many artisans and businesses, including Patina Antiques, Etc., The Shade Shop, Yves Delorme, The Market at Grelen, Ferguson Enterprise, Crutchfield, Plow and Hearth, Floor Fashions, Relics to Rhinestones, Palette Paint and Home, and Blanc Creatives. Other contributions in the cottage are from Leftover Luxuries, Fox & Crow Antiques, Shenmont Antiques, Mallon & Bennet Antiques, Girl Garage Designs, Verve Home Furnishings, Greenwood Antiques and Laurie Holladay Interiors.
When guests walk through the front entry doors, they step into a beautiful open living room with wood floors, a fireplace and grand windows allowing for plenty of natural light. The floor is completed with soft rugs from Patina Antiques, Etc. and a chic animal hide from Relics to Rhinestones.
A blue and white pillow from Patinas Antiques, Etc. adds a pop of color atop the beautiful white couch. Two charming lamps from Wendi Smith Interiors with shades from The Shade Shop are perched behind the couch. Two re-upholstered chairs frame the fireplace and inspire the room’s decor. Hand dried and framed botanicals from 1941 from Fox and Crow Antiques and a stunning gold mirror from Wendi Smith Interiors liven up the wall above the mantle.
The Patinas Antiques, Etc. console table by the staircase hosts two lamp—also from Patinas Antiques, Etc.—with lampshades from The Shade Shop. Books and other decor from Wendi Smith Interiors add color and dimension to the space.
The cottage’s kitchen has ship lap on the walls, stone counter-tops and state-of-the-art appliances, including a built-in refrigerator and microwave, and a 36″ range with a hood vent.
The master bedroom, conveniently located on the first floor, includes an en-suite bathroom and plenty of windows to incorporate more natural light. The bed showcases Yves Delorme linens that complement the white lacquered console from Patinas Antiques, Etc. Pops of green can be seen in the patterned rug below the bed from Patinas Antiques and the corner cabinet from Wendi Smith Interiors. The additional furniture pieces were re-upholstered by Wendi Smith Interiors for this project.
On the second floor, guests will find a charming loft that can be used as a second living space. Both the console table in this area and the coffee table were created from recycled materials and are from vendors at Greenwood Antiques. The antique Guatemalan bench, and vibrant rug and pillows were all from Leftover Luxuries.
Two more bedrooms are also located upstairs and can be found charmingly decorated for children. The upper level also hosts a bunk room/office, two bathrooms and a guest suite with a full bathroom over the garage.
A finished basement with a game room and additional bedrooms, soapstone terraces, an outdoor porch with a fireplace, and a garage with an attached parking shed complete this five bedroom home with four full baths and two half baths.
All proceeds from the show home will benefit the Shelter for Help in Emergency. Additionally, all those who visit will be entered into a drawing for a free five-night stay in Bath County, Virginia, with Natural Retreats. Click here for more information on The Derry Cottage.