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.
On April 13, the Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival, a highly-anticipated spring tradition in Charlottesville, will begin. The Festival involves three days of celebrating the Monticello American Viticultural Area’s best wines. (Photo below by Jack Looney)
Along with featuring the coveted Monticello Cup Awards at the Jefferson Theater on Thursday, April 13, the Festival will host delicious food and wine pairing events on Friday, April 14. Friday’s pairing events will showcase the phenomenal food and wine culture in the area with a Sparkling Brunch, Rosé Lunch, barrel tasting, winemaker dinner, and an evening of chocolate, music and wine.
On the final day of the festival, Saturday, April 15, more than 25 regional wineries and vineyards will be featured for the tasting event at the Sprint Pavilion on the Historic Downtown Mall, and there will be plenty of catered food and live entertainment.
Wine-lovers and foodies alike will love this opportunity to experience Charlottesville’s incredibly rich food and wine culture. You can visit monticellowinetrailfestival.com for more information and tickets.
Purple Cherry Architects is an award-winning high-end residential architecture firm that recently opened an office in Charlottesville this past fall. With Best of Houzz awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017, as well as winning the Designer’s Choice Award for Local Traditional Architect/Home & Design this year, Purple Cherry Architects is pleased and excited to be able to share an inside look at one of its private waterfront residential projects—the Duvall Creek Home.
The owners of the Annapolis home desired a traditional, turn of the century, Georgian home with symmetrical, flanking wings. Leading up to the house is a tree-lined, meandering driveway and a parking court at the front. The symmetry of this 10,000 SF home lends to its classic appeal.
The formal entry was designed to ensure that upon opening the door, the waterfront view would be seen. The traditional look and feel of the home is emphasized throughout the interior with raised paneling, heavy mill-work, traditional railings and wide-wood strip flooring. The backside of the house explodes with the connecting rooms, opening up to reveal a 180-degree full view of the waterfront. The spacious, open floor plan communicates between all three floors without going back through the formal area.
The design of the home provides a first floor casual entertainment area with a connected kitchen, dining and living room spaces.
This inside, large entertainment area connects to a large, screened-in, green-blue slate porch which leads to a waterside entertainment area featuring an outdoor cooking kitchen and in-ground pool.
The kitchen connects to a wine cellar and a large mudroom, supporting a family of five. Two staircases lead to the second floor which provides five bedrooms and a large laundry area. An extensive infusion of organizational strategies was incorporated to support a household with three children who are heavily involved in sporting activities. These organizational strategies can be seen throughout the home.
The house and surrounding hardscaping levels were designed to accommodate large family and social gatherings. Additionally, the house includes a four-car garage—two-car garages in each flanking wing. To maximize space, a workshop / home office is located above one of the garages while the top of the other garages houses an independent in-law suite with a separate entry for privacy.
Purple Cherry Architects’, an architect firm in Charlottesville, is responsible for this beautiful Duvall Creek Home among other projects.
Tuesday night, the Governor’s Cup Gala was held at the Hotel John Marshall in Richmond to celebrate the best of Virginia’s wines. The competition is now in its 35th year, and after being revamped in 2012, it continues to grow as one of the most stringent competitions in the country.
Honored for her work with the Winemakers Research Exchange (WRE) was Winemaker Emily Pelton of Veritas Vineyard & Winery. She received the Wine Person of the Year award. Emily (seen above at left with David King) has lead the effort to promote research and experimentation in the wine industry as a founder of the WRE. Also honored with the Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless legislative work on behalf of the vineyard industry was David King, winery and vineyard owner of King Family Vineyards and Virginia Wine Board Chairman.
Governor Terry McAuliffe spoke to the great accomplishments of Virginia’s ever-growing vineyard industry and it’s impact on the state’s robust economy, job growth and tourism. He then awarded the state’s highest wine award to The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards, located in Hamilton, Virginia, for their 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon produced by winemaker Michael Shaps of Michael Shaps Wineworks in Charlottesville. The winning Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine with well-balanced acidity, aged in French and American oak and expresses notes of dark cherry and coffee. It is 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and is complemented by a soft tannic structure integrated with the fruit along with notes of clove and tobacco for a complexity and extended finish.
Shaps (seen above at the podium) creates wines for many vineyards throughout Virginia. “Our team is especially proud of this wine. It is a classic Virginia Cabernet Sauvignon. It is perfectly balanced and has mature tannins that are ripe but not overly extracted; and it has nice acidity,” says Shaps. “The fruit comes from mostly Carter’s Mountain [Orchard] with some additional fruit from Mount Juliet Vineyards. Carter’s Mountain has southwest exposure, constant breezes, great drainage and a slightly cooler climate to retain nature acidity.”
The evening’s celebration was a true testament to Virginia’s wine industry and it’s extraordinary talent and accomplishments. A big Charlottesville Wine & Country congrats to all!
When we asked Sean Miller, Investment Advisor of Miller Asset Solutions, for advice on choosing an investment advisor for 2017, here is what he said.
“I do not have any faith in economic or investment outlooks. None – zero. No one knows the future; it is as simple as that. What I do know is that investors can gain an advantage by choosing an investment advisor who has the following objective attributes:
LOWER FEES AND PERFORMANCE-BASED FEES: Fixed Fees below 1%, or fees below 1% including a performance-based fee, are the fee structures that absolutely align the mutual interests of the client and manager. Many folks too often forget that a dollar saved in costs or fees is actually worth more than a dollar earned from investment returns (thanks to taxes). In addition, investing in cost and fee reduction can provide far greater returns per unit of risk than anything else an investment organization can do. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that cost and fee savings represent risk-free returns to investors.
SMALLER IS BETTER: Larger firms have unnecessary administrative layers. Each layer has a cost, and the presence of each layer is disproportional to clear communication. Administrative layers are much like a placebo – present but offering no efficacy or value. There are fewer layers, if any, at smaller investment firms. Greater, direct access and seamless communication will be yours at a smaller firm, versus a larger firm.
ALIGNED INCENTIVES: Typically 100% of an investment manager’s personal capital is invested in the same positions as his clients. In this way, they act as a true fiduciary steward of shared capital. Often referred to as having “skin in the game,” advisors with skin in the game perform better and are more accountable. What is good for the advisor or manager is good for the client. This eliminates conflicts of interest. Aligned incentives are a very good thing, not just in investing but in life. The more aligned interests are the more you can base a relationship on trust. The optimal outcome is a more seamless web of deserved trust.
ABSOLUTE LIQUIDITY: Choose an investment manager who invests simply, preferably one with no proprietary products with hidden fees. Investment complexity is usually costly, unnecessary and results in your investments being illiquid [not easily converted into cash]. Liquidity is essential during times of severe market stress.
SAME INSURANCE PROTECTIONS AS ANY MANAGER: Many folks do not know that their investment account insurance protections are similar – regardless of the manager. For example, all investors have $500,000 for each account provided by SIPC (Securities Investors Protection Corporation) and then their investment custodian usually provides coverage for amounts exceeding the SIPC limits. This means all investment managers generally have the same insurance protections against fraud and malfeasance.”
The 10th Anniversary Virginia Wine Expo is scheduled for March 8-12 in Richmond, Virginia. This four-day event will showcase wines from Virginia and California to Portugal and Spain, and will include delicious artisanal foods as well as other craft beverages, including whiskey and beer.
Leading up to Saturday, attendees can enjoy local and international artisan food, including a six-course wine-paired dinner at Richmond’s new restaurant Shagbark, noodle and dumplings, California tapas, and the Burger Blast™, a presentation of some of Richmond’s best craft burgers.
Saturday, March 11, after a four-course brunch at Belle & James, the much-anticipated Walk-Around Grand Tasting, presented by Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, will begin. Guests will be able to sample and buy cheese, chocolates, nuts, smoked meats and more while they taste some of the over 250 wines available.
Sunday, attendees can attend the second day of the Walk-Around Grand Tasting, an opportunity to experience vendors missed the first day. Throughout the weekend, guests can also choose to attend the various seminars offered about the expo’s wines and the wine industry.
The 10th Anniversary Virginia Wine Expo is sure to be a fabulous time for all wine-enthusiasts and a superb showcasing of regional, national and international wines. It is advised to book your tickets or ticket packages now, as events tend to sell out.