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Ideas, trends and inspiration.

The Wine and Country Shop Creates a Commemorative Beer and Wine for the 150th Anniversary of Kappa Sigma


July 26, 2019 | Ivy Publications

In celebration of Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s 150th Anniversary and its 72nd Biennial Grand Conclave being held in Charlottesville this weekend, the Wine & Country Shop was honored to create a special commemorative wine and beer for the occasion. Drawing upon their knowledge of the local artisan drinks community, Wine & Country developed the concept and labels to highlight the history of the brotherhood, and worked with locals Barboursville Vineyards and Champion Brewing Company to produce the exclusive wine and beer as well as complementary t-shirts.

In honor of the fraternity’s founding year at University of Virginia (UVA) and it’s tradition that Kappa Sigma evolved from an ancient order founded during the middle ages at the University of Bologna in Italy, the wine, named 1869, was produced with the talents of local, Italian-owned and operated Barboursville Vineyards. Bred on the vine and in the winery for early approachability, the Virginia Cabernet Sauvignon contains a complex, ripened dark berry fruit with currant, cassis and chocolate notes.

Similarly, the 5 Brothers beer tells the story of the fraternity’s five founders—five friends and UVA students who became brothers in 1869 when founding the fraternity. For this special brew, Wine & Country enlisted local brewmaster Hunter Smith of Champion Brewing Company, who created an award-winning Bohemian Pilsner made with Czech Saaz hops, giving it a fresh, clean maltiness and spicy flavor.

For Kappa Sigma, it all began 150 years ago when those five friends gathered in the room at 46 East Lawn at UVA to found the first American chapter. This weekend, over 1400 members from across the country have come together to walk the same brick pathways as their founders did. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Kappa Sigma remains the largest social fraternity in the world, with more than 200,000 living members, 20,000 of those members being undergraduates at over 320 chapters. Through it’s focus on the Four Pillars of Fellowship, Leadership, Scholarship and Service the organization has donated millions of dollars and thousands of hours in volunteer service to numerous charitable causes. Kappa Sigma said in a statement, “The 72nd Grand Conclave of Kappa Sigma Fraternity will represent a tribute to our history and a focus towards our future.”

To read more about the fraternity’s history and Charlottesville’s role in its origination, see Book 8 of Wine & Country Life.

Fraternity Images Courtesy of Kappa Sigma

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in the region, are accompanied by the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA—a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginian artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire, to locally made foods and 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.

Shakespeare in the Ruins Returns to Barboursville Vineyards


July 13, 2019 | Ivy Publications

After a 13-year absence, Shakespeare fans returned to Barboursville Vineyards this weekend for a magical evening of wine and open-air theatre set at the foot of the striking Barboursville Ruins. The ruins were once the home of Gov. James Barbour who built the home with the help of friend and architect, Thomas Jefferson. The home was finished in 1822 but tragically burned on Christmas Day in 1884. It now stands as the centerpiece of the prestigious Barboursville Vineyards, whose award-winning wines are produced on the stunning estate.

Surrounded by an historic boxwood garden, the setting was the perfect backdrop for Four County Players to stage “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” in which nature is such an important aspect, almost a character unto itself. The bard’s most popular comedy, the play captivated the audience with music, energetic humor, jealous lovers and mischievous fairies.

Adding to the theatre festivities, guests enjoyed delectable picnics packed by Barboursville Vineyards’ award-winning Palladio Restaurant, as well as food truck fare and, of course, delicious Barboursville wines. With music performances before the curtain went up and mischievous Puck and the fairies gamboling about during intermission delighting guests with funny poses and pantomime, the show entranced all from start to finish.

As darkness fell, lanterns were lit, crickets gently joined in as a background chorus, and fireflies added to the romance and magic of the outdoor evening in the vineyard. There was plenty of laughter and smiles as love potions went wrong and the talented cast resolved their troubles with a little help from the fairies. As Quince so well sums it up for the troupe, “Our true intent is all for your delight.” With a standing ovation, the audience applauded a fabulous performance and the end to a beautiful evening.

Four County Players is Central Virginia’s longest-running community theatre group. The open-air staging of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” runs through July 27. Tickets may be purchased from the Theatre. If you are interested in a picnic from Palladio, reservations should be placed one week in advance. Chairs are provided.

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in the region, are accompanied by the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA—a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginian artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire, to locally made foods and 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.

Salsa Under the Stars at CrossKeys Vineyards


July 10, 2019 | Ivy Publications

As you enter the 124-acre estate winery that is CrossKeys Vineyards, you are sure to notice the unique gold crossed keys decorating the gate. In the spirit of the nearby old Cross Keys Tavern, a popular gathering place in the early to mid 19th century, the Bakhtiar family strives for the winery to be a welcoming hub in the community. And, this intention is clear through CrossKeys’ popular events.

While CrossKeys Vineyards is known for its award-winning wines, tasty food and beautiful venue in the Shenandoah Valley, its fabulous events also draw many from in and around the valley. The estate hosts an array of events throughout the year, including the increasingly popular monthly “Salsa Under the Stars.” This event, hosted by SalsaBurg Club, draws visitors from both near and far to experience a night of Latin music and dancing while sipping delicious wine. A $10 ticket grants you access to lessons and the dance floor, which is set under a sparkling summer night sky. You’ll also want to enjoy the wine and excellent food, too, since they are necessary fuel for a fun evening of dancing.

Salsaburg Club, a social Latin dance and music club in the Shenandoah Valley, infuses the event with sultry Latin rhythm. No matter your skill level or familiarity with Latin dance, you are sure to be swaying to the music in no time. Beginner classes are offered early in the evening by instructors from SalsaNoke to get your feet moving and warmed up. Later, participants can enjoy open dancing, as the DJ plays Latin dance genres such as Salsa, Bachata, Timba, Merengue, Mambo and ChaCha.

Ready to break out your dancing shoes? We asked Salsaburg Club if they could share some insight on learning the art of Salsa dancing. Here are some helpful tips from club member Pablo Cruz:

  1. Wear comfortable and fashionable clothing. Salsa is a social event, but come prepared to sweat. Your shoes should also be comfortable and have soft soles and low heels for easy movement on the dance floor. 
  2. Research the dance and listen to salsa music every day. It is important to become comfortable with dancing and performing the basic steps before learning more complex routines. A level one or foundation class will help ease you into the dance and familiarize you with the style of music. 
  3. Practice as much as you can. Practice alone at home or with a partner whenever possible to get the steps down. Listening to slow salsa tempo songs at home, such as “Yo no se mañana” by Luis Enrique, “Acid” by Ray Barretto and “Time to Spend” by Kevin Davis & Ban Caribe, and practicing with a mirror can help connect your dance movements with the music and rhythm.
  4. Smile. Have fun when you are practicing and don’t be afraid to infuse your own style and flare in the dance. Watching videos of different dance styles and performers can help you find a particular style that suits you as well as specific moves to copy.
  5. Communicate and connect with your dance partner. When dancing with a partner, you should focus on your dance partner’s center and maintain eye contact. Salsa dancing is about having a connection with the person you are dancing with, so it is helpful to dance with someone you are comfortable with.

The next Salsa night is scheduled for Saturday, July 20, at CrossKeys Vineyards. No matter your skill level, this event can offer a fun way to exercise and connect with others! We suggest trying CrossKeys’ popular Joy wine (available in both red and white varietals) while you are there!

If you want to learn more about CrossKeys Vineyards, be sure to also check out our recent feature on them in Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, Book Six.

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in the region, are accompanied by the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA—a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginian artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire, to locally made foods and 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.