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Monticello Wine Trail Takes 2019 Cup and Multiple Golds


February 27, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Last night, the 2019 Annual Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala was held at Richmond’s Main Street Station. After 102 wineries submitted more than 500 wines, an esteemed panel of 18 judges selected 68 Gold Medal winning wines to be celebrated at this year’s gala. Locals, Afton Mountain Vineyards, Barboursville Vineyards, DelFosse Vineyards and Winery, Early Mountain Vineyards, Horton Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards, Keswick Vineyards, King Family Vineyards, Trump Winery, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, Brix & Columns Vineyards and Virginia Wineworks all made the prestigious list, showcasing the true talent coming out of our local wine region.

Twelve of these Gold Medal winning wines were selected for the 2019 Governor’s Case after outscoring all the other entrants on appearance, aroma, flavor, overall quality and commercial suitability. Seven of the wines selected for the case were from our very own region, including Barboursville Vineyards’ 2017 Vermentino Reserve, Early Mountain Vineyards’ 2016 Eluvium, Horton Vineyards’ 2016 Petit Manseng and King Family Vineyards’ 2016 Mountain Plains and 2016 Meritage.

During the awards presentation, a video was shown outlining the process of the judging, including interviews with a handful of judges like local Sommelier Erin Scala and highly noted wine authority from London, Steven Spurrier, who in the video compared Virginia’s wine region to that of Europe, and which elicited an excited and thunderous applause from the crowd. After announcing the highly regarded Governor’s Cup Case, Governor Ralph Northam awarded the 2019 Governor’s Cup to local Horton Vineyards for their 2016 Petit Manseng. Not only was the Petit Manseng one of a few select white wines to ever win the cup, but also was the first Petit Manseng to ever receive the award.

Horton’s win was particularly touching after the passing of the vineyards’ founder and winemaker Dennis Horton last June, and it shows the vineyards’ and Horton family’s continuation of Dennis’ pioneering legacy and passion for winemaking. Their second Governor’s Cup, the Horton family also won the cup in 1993 for their 1990 Cabernet Sauvignon, which was produced from the vineyards’ first crop and crafted at Montdomaine Cellars. Horton’s wines have also gained regional and national recognition over the years, including the awarding of the Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award to Dennis at the Virginia Governor’s Cup in 2011, and more recently, the showcasing of Horton Vineyards at a Smithsonian Winemakers’ Dinner. Dennis’ wife Sharon, daughter Shannon and granddaughter Caitlin, who are now continuing the family business, were all present to accept and celebrate the award. During her acceptance speech alongside longtime business partner Joan Bieda, Sharon Horton credited the vineyards’ win to her hardworking vineyard team, including Vineyard Foreman Tony Baeza Cruz who has been with Horton for 20 years.

Throughout the evening, Shannon poured some of their vineyards’ award-winning wine for gala attendees. In a tearful moment, she expressed how proud her father would have been of the prestigious recognition for their work from the Virginia Wineries Association. The winning wine is 100% Petit Manseng and characterized as having sweet tropical fruits, wiped clean by a fierce blaze of blinding acidity—a beautiful, sumptuous, golden wine.

Horton Vineyards was featured in the recent edition of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living. Learn more about Horton’s history in Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, Book Seven.

That evening, the talented members of our local wine industry proved once again how much our region has to offer wine connoisseurs around the world. The innovative and creative spirit that drives the Monticello Wine Trail continues to advance the industry and its wine production, impressing wine lovers along the way. We would like to sincerely congratulate Horton Vineyards on their Governor’s Cup win, as well as all of the other vineyards who highlighted our region with gold medals and for being selected for the Governor’s Case. We cannot wait to try all of the award-winning wines and to see all that these talented people have in store for our wine country!

Below, top left, Winemaker Luca Paschina of Barboursville Vineyards congratulates neighbor and Horton Vineyards’ Co-Founder and Viticulturist Sharon Horton. Below, right, gala attendees are able to try some of the spectacular wines from this year’s Governor’s Case, including Early Mountain Vineyards’ 2016 Eluvium. Below, bottom left, the team at Brix & Columns Vineyards celebrates their Gold Medal winning wine. Congratulations to all from your biggest fans here at Charlottesville Wine & Country Living!

 

 

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia, and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia, are accompanied by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods, award-winning Monticello AVA wines as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

 

Wine and Calligraphy: 5 Tips for Learning the Craft


February 21, 2019 | Ivy Publications
There has always been something so romantic and timeless about the handwritten note. Whether you are writing “thank you” notes, sending invitations or perhaps creating name cards for your next dinner party, having beautiful script can elevate both your versatility and entertaining artistry. So, when we heard Early Mountain Vineyards was hosting a calligraphy workshop with Jen Maton of local If So Inklined, it is safe to say we were pretty excited. Ahead of the class, we asked Maton to share a few of her tips for getting started in the beautiful art of calligraphy.

  1. Take a deep breathe and relax. A glass of wine helps with that!
  2. Remember that when you press down on the pen, you will create thick lines. And when you lift up, you will create thin lines. Another way to put it is: the upstroke = thin, and the downstroke = thick.
  3. Use only high quality tools and materials. A little extra money spent goes a lot further. Cheap pens will result in frustration. The upcoming class teaches what different tools you can use to achieve modern brush lettering and where to buy them.
  4. Practice makes perfect! Practice sheets are the key to success.
  5. Have fun! The upcoming class is structured to teach you brush lettering in a low key (stress-free way).

The Modern Brush Pen Calligraphy class with If So Inklined will be this Sunday, from 1–3pm at Early Mountain Vineyards. Tickets can be purchased here. You can learn more about Maton and If So Inklined by visiting her website here and seeing her in Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, Volume 2.

 

Lead Images by Rachel May Photography

Photo of Jen Maton by Rachel May Photography

Photos of calligraphy course booklets courtesy of If So Inklined

 

 

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia, and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia, are accompanied by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods, award-winning Monticello AVA wines as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

 

Cheers to the Virginia Wine Expo


February 20, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Calling all of our fellow wine lovers! The Annual Virginia Wine Expo is February 26–March 3! This six-day event in nearby Richmond highlights not only Virginia’s premier wines, but also the best in state and national spirits, cider and cuisine with special dinners, brunches, seminars and tasting events. The expo’s signature events will be held at the beautiful Main Street Station, while other foodie and pairing events will take place at local restaurants and venues, giving attendees a chance to explore the city. We love attending this event each year and seeing our talented local vineyards, craft brewers, distillers and cideries showcased! A few popular locals you can look for at this year’s event include Barboursville Vineyards, Bold Rock Hard CiderCastle Hill Cider, CrossKeys Vineyards, Early Mountain VineyardsHorton Vineyards, and Veritas Vineyard & Winery. Here is a little round up of what you can expect at this year’s expo.

©2018 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.

Tuesday through Friday, attendees can enjoy a plethora of foodie and craft beverage events at various locations around Richmond. Many of our local vineyards will be included in wine-paired dinners, including the Buckhead’s Chop House Signature Wine Dinner, which will include Barboursville Vineyards‘ Malvaxia Reserve, on Tuesday, February 26, and Virginia’s Past, Present & Future Signature Wine Dinner at Acacia Mid-Town, which will include a 2017 Early Mountain Vineyards Rose, on Thursday, February 28. You can browse the full schedule of events here.

Love spirits and/or craft brews? Be sure to check out the SMOKED! event on Friday, March 1. This tasting event will feature food from at least 14 different barbecue restaurants, as well as craft beers and ciders, over 50 different whiskeys, and of course… wine.

©2018 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.

Saturday, March 2, is the expo’s most packed day with the popular Walk-Around Grand Tasting event, seminars and other experiences, like a special vertical tasting with local Keswick Vineyards. The Walk-Around Grand Tastings (one in the afternoon and one in the evening) will include over 10 of our local vineyards, as well as two local cideries and distilleries. Plus, we will be in attendance, sharing our most recent issue of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living!

©2018 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.

The expo will conclude on Sunday, March 3, with a sparkling brunch, wine seminar and Walk-Around Grand Tasting. Whether you are a foodie, wine or craft beverage lover, or love all three, there will be plenty to enjoy and explore during this year’s Virginia Wine Expo! Each year, the expo includes more exciting events, and we cannot wait to see all that the 2019 expo has in store for participants. We hope to see you there!

If you need to brush up on your wine-tasting skills before the Virginia Wine Expo, be sure to also check out our recent blog post with Valley Road Vineyards about proper wine tasting technique.

 

All photos: ©2018 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc., Courtesy of the Virginia Wine Expo

 

 

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia, and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia, are accompanied by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods, award-winning Monticello AVA wines as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

Wine Tasting 101


February 13, 2019 | Ivy Publications

With over 40 local wineries to visit for a tasting, learning to expand your palate has never been so easy—or so pleasurable. Whatever you desire—flowery, fruity, smoky or light—you are sure to find the perfect wine. However, when it comes to wine tastings, the experience should involve more than just your taste buds. We asked Stan Joynes, owner and CEO of local Valley Road Vineyards, to share some tips on how to properly taste wine. Joynes recommends the “5 S’s” of wine tasting—Seeing, Swirling, Sniffing, Sipping and Savoring.

Joynes’ breakdown of the “5 S’s:

  • See the Wine.
    Taste wine in a room that is well-lit, and if you can, hold the wine up to a white background to examine the color and clarity.
    Tip:
    The intensity of the color will hint to how the wine is likely to taste, and, generally, depth of color will signal intensity of flavor.
  • Swirl the Wine.
    Swirling the wine in your glass helps release the hundreds of aroma compounds that wine contains. They are so small that they float on evaporating alcohol into our noses.
    Tip: The easiest way to start swirling is to place your thumb and forefinger at the base of a stemmed wine glass while it’s sitting on a flat surface. Then, while gripping the base, move the glass in small circles. As you become more adept, try swirling without a hard surface under the glass.
  • Sniff the Wine.
    Smell is the principal sense used in wine tasting, so sniffing the wine before the initial sip is essential. The “bouquet” of a wine is the total aromatic experience it produces, and assessing a wine’s bouquet can reveal not only its strengths but also its faults, such as oxidation due to age or cork taint. Experiencing the wine’s bouquet assists you in anticipating the wine’s flavors. 
  • Sip the Wine.
    Thoroughly tasting a wine requires recognizing its full array of taste and mouthfeel attributes which involves the combination of the wine’s textures, flavors, weight and overall “structure.” To get the most out of your tasting, start by holding a sip for a few seconds just inside the front of your mouth. With lips pursed, draw in a breath and let the oxygen pass slowly over the wine. The aromatics will be excited by the body heat inside the mouth and will be transferred to your olfactory receptor site.
    Tip: To get the fullest experience of the wine’s attributes, take a larger sip and let it flow into the whole of your mouth, coating the tongue.
  • Savor the Wine.
    The “finish” refers to the sensation you get from swallowing the wine, and it is defined principally by the length of time the wine taste stays with you after you swallow. The finish sometimes provides a sensation noticeably different from the taste you got on your palate. Items to look for include an alcohol taste, which is not desirable, and tastes that dominate in a way that renders the wine unbalanced. 

Ready to put your wine tasting skills to the test? Check out Valley Road Vineyards’ Blind Tasting Event on February 16!

 

Lead Image: By Skip Rowland

Second Image: By Skip Rowland

Third Image: Courtesy of Valley Road Vineyards

Wine Tasting Notes: By Stan Joynes

 

 

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia, and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia, are accompanied by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods, award-winning Monticello AVA wines as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

Three Styles to Complete your Valentines Day Look


February 8, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and that means it is time to find the perfect outfit. While there are always occasions calling for a classic look, some celebrations call for an outfit a little more casual. Here are a few of our favorite looks to rock this holiday, no matter if you are strolling through a vineyard or trying out a chic new restaurant.

Classic: As the name suggests, you cannot go wrong with this romantic look. Break out a chic red number like this Joseph Ribkoff dress for those special plans that might include an intimate candlelit dinner or an evening at the theater.

Fun & Flirty: This look is great for transitioning from daytime to evening plans and is appropriate for an array of Valentine’s Day activities, no matter whether you are enjoying a wine tasting or heading to a new restaurant. Below, these Joseph Ribkoff dresses are both figure-flattering and fun with their bold prints.

Casual & Feminine: Even when your plans call for something a little more casual, you can always keep it feminine and trendy. This look is perfect for a daytime activity like a vineyard tour, catching a matinee or visiting a favorite art gallery. The Joseph Ribkoff jumpsuit and chic jacket are perfect for an afternoon on the town.

Ready to pick out your own Valentine’s Day look? You can shop for these outfits and more at Verdigris on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall. You can also find more style inspiration in the CHO•ho Style section of our magazine, as well as the perfect accessories at the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop!

 

Lead Image: Photo by Jen Fariello | Clothing by Verdigris

 

 

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia, and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia, are accompanied by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods, award-winning Monticello AVA wines as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

Celebrate Love Wine and Country Style


February 6, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Wine almost always comes to mind when we think about Valentine’s Day—whether you are looking for the perfect bottle for toasting with your candle-lit dinner, want to plan a romantic afternoon at a vineyard or perhaps are looking for that special vintage that takes you back to the early days of a relationship. And, what better place to celebrate than in our local wine country, where you can always find the perfect award-winning local wine for any occasion.

In fact, our local vineyards can do much more than just serve as the source for wine. They also make for a lovely location for a romantic outing. Plan a picturesque afternoon at a local vineyard and stroll the vines hand-in-hand. Or, attend one of the many pairing events at a local vineyard and try something new with your beau.

Tip: The vineyard and Blue Ridge Mountain vistas make for an idyllic backdrop for gift giving. Spread out a picnic blanket among the vines (on warmer days) or cozy up by a tasting room fire for an intimate gift exchange. We suggest gifting something locally and/or hand-crafted like the beautiful Ana Cavalheiro ring given at a special Barboursville Vineyards outing below.

If you prefer a more elegant Valentine’s Day, consider attending a local vineyards’ multi-course wine-paired dinner, like the Valentine’s Day Celebration at Barboursville Vineyards, and enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner with exquisite wine pairings. Some area vineyards even offer quaint cottages, inns and bed & breakfasts that overlook the rolling vines, perfect for turning a romantic evening into a mini getaway or staycation. The couple below spent a romantic weekend at Barboursville Vineyards, strolling along the vines, visiting The Ruins and staying at The 1804 Inn (a must-visit historic inn with luxury suites). Looking for an elegant gift fitting for a vineyard affair? Visit local Schwarzschild Keller & George Jewelers for timeless pieces like the stunning layered “Siviglia” necklaces completing the woman’s chic look below.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, there are many local ways to make it memorable. Here are a few of our top vineyard picks:

Looking for other ways to celebrate? Check out these local ideas:

You can also check the Charlottesville Welcome Book website for a calendar of more exciting local events, as well as find inspiration for a romantic weekend at Barboursville Vineyards in Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, Book Five. To complete your plans, stop by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop for local wines, artisan-made jewelry and more perfect gift ideas.

 

 

Image Credits:
Photography: Rachel May Photography 
Venue, Catering & Wine: Barboursville Vineyards
Florals: Tourterelle Floral Design 
Clothing: Verdigris & Brooks Brothers
Jewelry: Ana Cavalheiro Fine Jewelry and Schwarzschild Keller & George Jewelers
Table Setting & Chairs: MS Events
Hair: Brianna B. Adams LLC
Makeup: Gohar Makeup
Female Model: Noelle S., Modelogic
Male Model: Patrick K., Modelogic

 

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia, and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia, are accompanied by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods, award-winning Monticello AVA wines as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.