As a new year begins, there are countless ways to take advantage of all the Charlottesville area has to offer. We have 17 Must-Dos that are sure to make the new year an unforgettable one.
1. Attend a Winemaker’s Dinner. This year, treat you and your partner to a winemaker’s dinner, where you will enjoy the best of local cuisine paired with the area’s wines. Consider a dinner at Early Mountain Vineyards, like the Winemaker’s Field Supper featured in the most recent book of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living. Or perhaps an upcoming event like the Valentine’s Day Winemaker Dinner at Veritas Vineyard & Winery. (Left photo by Paula Bartosiewicz)
2. Experience Barboursville Vineyards’ Octagon Wine. This age-worthy, award-winning wine, highly distinct in character, is a can’t miss for wine lovers. Join the list of those who have been served Octagon, including Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama.
5. Throw an Outdoor Party. Take advantage of the beautiful mountain views Charlottesville has to offer and throw an outdoor party fitting to the season. Match your décor, refreshments and activities to a theme just as this hostess did with her hunting party in the latest book of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living. (Photos by Rachel May Photography)
6. Indulge in Executive Chef Gary Glaser’s Crab Cakes. You’ll leave raving about these scrumptious crab cakes at The Downtown Grille. Try them at the restaurant or make them yourself! Customers who dine at The Downtown Grille will receive a complementary copy of the latest Charlottesville Wine & Country Living featuring Chef Glaser’s crab cake recipe.
7. Try Gearhart’s Beer or Wine Infused Chocolates. Try a unique delicious twist on your palate with some of Gearhart’s infused chocolates. (Photos on the right by Jen Fariello Photography)
8. Travel Locally with the Inn at Willow Grove. This boutique hotel combines history, charm and luxury for the perfect intimate getaway.
9. Attend the Virginia Wine Expo. This March event is perfect for the wine lover. You’ll spend a weekend exploring an event filled with food, wine and great company. (Photos courtesy of the Virginia Wine Expo)
12. Attend the Montpelier Hunt Races. Gather a group of great friends for a beautiful fall day of tailgating and horse races. Dress in style and participate in the hat contest, or put your focus on your tablescape for the tailgate competition. (Photos by Susan M. Carter Photography)
14. Visit the Blue Ridge Trails. Complete with 500 miles of hiking trails, 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail and 80,000 acres of designated, back-country wilderness, the Shenandoah National Park is a natural treasure. (Photo by Kelly J. Mihalcoe, LLC, courtesy of the Virginia Tourism Corporation)
15. Visit the Design House. This spring, see the amazing work of the area’s top interior designers and professionals while experiencing the year’s décor trends in the Design House 2017. You’ll also be supporting a great cause—the Shelter for Help in Emergency. Below is the 2016 Design House‘s stunning library designed by Foxchase Design. (Photos by Robert Radifera Photography)
16. Travel Abroad. Take your adventures to France this year and explore Burgundy’s wine region. Indulge in the rich history of the area and learn about the connections that Jefferson had in the town of Beaune, France, also featured in the latest issue of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living.
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.
A few years ago, Kathy Ramsay started raising chickens and encouraged her husband Bob to purchase some goats. Bianca, Journey, and Esther, three “girls” full of personality and charm now greet visitors in the first pasture at Wynott Farm. The mini-Nubian goats are kept company by a flock of free-ranging hens and Lucy and Ethel, two Karakachans, livestock dogs originating from Bulgaria.
“We are breeding for conformation and milk,” says Bob. “We love their great personality, the farm fresh, sweet, creamy milk they provide for our table and for us to make soap, and of course the long ears and roman noses for which Nubians are famous.” Alongside their jobs away from their little farm, the Ramsays enjoy the twice-a-day milkings and making the soaps in the evenings together.
The soaps are made by hand in the traditional 200-year-old cold-process method—each bar taking a little over a month to produce. The Ramsays start with their proprietary blending of goat milk, oils of olive, coconut, jojoba and rice bran, butters of Shea and cocoa as well as essential oils in a large bucket. And once Kathy’s expert eye determines the soap has reached “trace,” the perfect consistency, she and Bob pour the soap into the mold to set for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, the soap is soft enough to cut into logs, followed with another 24 hours of aging before cutting into the bars. The bars are then aged for a few weeks at minimum before being dressed with a wide hand-cut ribbon, upcycled from burlap coffee bean bags, and a charming Wynott Farm sticker. Now, they are ready for sale.
In addition to being carried in several area boutiques, Bob is at the Charlottesville City Market every other Saturday, chatting with all who pause to admire the beautiful bars. The Ramsays look forward to sharing their adventures with their children and grandchildren.
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!
We’re completing our set of Christmas shopping gift guides with some more CHO•ho style from Verdigris Clothier! Find gifts and ideas for that special guy or lovely lady in your life this holiday season!
With all the great stores in Charlottesville, it’s easy to shop local this holiday season. Get a little CHO•ho style with Verdigris Clothier on the Downtown Mall and our gift guides, just for you. Whether you need a present for that trendy sister or some new duds for your dapper hubby, give them something unique and support local! This week, we’ve made it easy with Gifts for Her and Him!
Back-Zipper Lace Sweater by Elan
Tied & True Mini Bow Necklace in Sterling Silver by Dogeared
Earring Cuffs with Staggered Pearls by Marcia Moran
Black Bag by Tosca
Faux Fur Fingerless Gloves in Desert Sand and Charcoal by Pandemonium Millinery
Cuffed Brown Faux Chinchilla Fur Pillbox Hat by Pandemonium Millinery
Round Stud Earrings by Hadas Shaham
Diamond Textured Navy Shirt by Stone Rose
Checkered Orange and Navy Shirt by Stone Rose
Quilted Twill Grey Shirt by Stone Rose
Diamond Textured Black Shirt by Stone Rose
Wallet by Alfred Statler
Dryden Belt by Brave
Men’s Gift Set by Stone Rose
Join us for a Pop-Up at Verdigris Clothier’s Friends and Family Sale on Saturday, December 19 from noon-4pm. Some of our staff will be there for a meet and greet from 2-4pm. From now until Christmas, our inaugural publication is Buy One Gift One Free! Swing by to pick up your copies and shop our gift guide in person!