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Embracing the Season with Flower Arranging at Pippin Hill


July 13, 2018 | Ivy Publications

This summer, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards hosted the first event/workshop in what is tentatively a new agritourism series. The “Cut Flower Workshop” was led by the vineyard’s expert horticulturalist, Diane Burns, and guest host flower grower Jenny Hopkins, owner of Big Arms Farm in North Garden. The delightful afternoon included a tour of Pippin Hill’s gardens and grounds, a flower arranging workshop and a farm-to-table, wine-paired lunch on the veranda overlooking the winery’s beautiful mountain views.

Burns commenced the event with a tour of the Pippin Hill grounds and gardens that supply both the winery’s kitchen and the table arrangements in the tasting room. She showcased one of her major imprints on the property thus far—a 215-foot-wide section of flowering plants she planted for the sole purpose of being harvested for displays and arrangements at the winery. During the tour, Burns also provided guests with helpful tips for flower cutting. (see below)

After the grounds tour, guests settled into the Reserve Room for a flower arranging workshop with Jenny Hopkins. After learning how to prepare stems for bouquets, including advice on creating homemade “flower food,” guests were able to peruse an array of pre-cut seasonal flowers to create their own displays.

Following the workshop, guests moved outdoors for a farm-to-table luncheon prepared by Executive Chef Ian Rynecki. The three-course meal included fresh garden greens in a nasturtium vinaigrette with radish and feta followed by Free Union Grass chicken with a poached and fried marble potato and swiss chard before concluding with a Mara Des Bois strawberry sorbet with a shortbread cookie and lavender. In addition, Pippin Hill’s Vineyard Manager Brooks Hoover charmed guests with a brief talk, providing insight into the wines guests were enjoying with their lunch.

The sold-out event was a great success with attendees not only learning practical flower cutting and arranging tips but also gaining hands-on experience with arranging before dining al fresco with Pippin Hill wines. Check out some flower cutting and arranging tips from the workshop below that you can try yourself!

Tips for Flower Harvesting:

  • Harvest in the morning when the plants are fully hydrated.
  • Use a “wiggle test” to determine if a flower is ready to be harvested—flowers are ready to be harvested when their stems are firm.
  • Cut stems 1 1/2 to 2 times as tall as the vase you wish to place them in, and cut above leaf nodes so that plants can continue to bloom after cuts.
  • Place freshly cut flowers into a flower food solution immediately after cutting and then in a fridge if possible for further cooling.
  • When harvesting, you can protect your plants from Japanese Beetles by shaking them off from stems into a cup of soapy water.

Tips for Flower Arranging:

  • Keep your hand relaxed. When your hand is too warm, it can cause flowers to wilt.
  • Cut flowers at an angle so they can get water, as they will not sit straight in the vase.
  • Make sure your arrangement is not near heat or a fan.
  • Change water in your vase every 3 days to help extend the life of your flowers.
  • Going away for a few days? Store your arrangement in the fridge.


From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Home Magazine, a quarterly flipped edition with CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine that includes all things home, from builders and real estate professionals to insurance, landscaping, utilities and more;
 the CharlottesvilleFamily Ultimate Go-To Guide and Home Go-To Guide, an annual flip book with everything from daytrip ideas and home tips to directories of family & home services; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook.

At Ivy Publications, we’re inspired by the belief that by utilizing technology, working efficiently and attending to quality, we create publications that honor the reader and build a real connection with our local businesses. This belief has led to prosperous and long-standing relationships with our clients, who entrust us with their advertising and have enjoyed great success utilizing our niche publications to effectively reach their target markets since 1998.

Fabulous Floral Creations Bloom at Caspari


June 18, 2018 | Ivy Publications

As we say so long to spring and hello to summer this week, we want to share one of our favorite events from this Spring—Caspari’s fabulous floral creations event during Historic Garden Week.

Over the past 13 years, Caspari, a local retailer of stylish paper products influenced by a variety of materials—fine art, textiles, ceramics and interior design—strives to showcase the works and patterns of established artists and museums around the world. In continuing their vision, Caspari hosted its annual “Floral Fashion” event, where local florists artistically highlighted everything spring and summer have to offer. Pulling inspiration from Caspari’s stationery and accessories, each florist brought to life their own beautiful vision of artistic attire through unconventional ideas, styles and patterns.

As guests wandered from one display to the next, they snacked on delicious cheese and crackers, crostini and fruit and sipped on wine, fulfilling all of their senses at once.

A Pimento Catering (photo above and at left below), inspired by Caspari’s lemon-print items, combined different elements for their creative display. The cleaver fascinator topped with pheasant feathers was a charming feminine accessory pulled together with garlic bulbs and lemons, succulents, moss and feathers.

Stacy Torrence of Fresh (photo at right below) played off of Caspari’s blue and white dinnerware to create a lovely setting. Inspired by spring’s innocence before leading into summer, Fresh used jade plants on ballet slippers, greenery around a simplistic, yet classic, child’s summer dress and other minimalist floral elements that are sometimes overlooked when other plants are in full bloom.

Floral Images Design Studio in Charlottesville (photos below) created a breathtaking display by using a variety of items. Their vision carries all the way from the rose hat to the moss-coated high heels topped with the same pink rose. Pearl earrings adorned the heels, complementing the stunning necklace. The bodice of this masterpiece, composed of Caspari napkins, leads into a rose festooned sash and white orchids before reaching its full-skirt, ball-gown style, crafted of white feathers. A spray of lilac was also added for a sweet spring scent.

Gregory Britt with Tourterelle Floral Design (photos below) was festive with their garden-style arrangement. Stemming off of Caspari’s pink floral napkins and tableware, Tourterelle added sprays of cherry blossom and a custom hand-crafted tulle to incorporate the pretty shades of summer. Eucalyptus, ivory trailing down the skirt, roses, candles and protea were also used to display the softness of the season.

Southern Blooms (photos below) pulled in the bold, yet soft, style of Caspari’s products to pair with this gorgeous securely fastened, floral collar necklace. By using grape hyacinth, delicate shades of lavender and purple, many hues of green and chartreuse, white roses and ranunculus, Southern Blooms brought to life an envy-worthy adornment.

Hedge Fine Blooms (photos below) inspired all with their tropical-inspired hat and ballet flats. Using orange poppy, white roses, variegated and grape hyacinths with chartreuse flowers, Hedge created botanical accessories that speak to a heavenly oasis.

Pharsalia (photo at left below) gave guests a highly structured display comprised of blue and orange hues, reminding us that the garden is beautiful year-round. Designed to show the natural growth of the stems, this dramatic arrangement of greenery, bittersweet berries, dried hydrangea and seed pods paired well with seashells, dried flowers and moss.

Whereas, Blue Ridge Floral Design’s display (photo at right below) grew from the inspiration of Caspari’s pink and green-themed paper items. A sash of pink and a white rose belt cinched the waist of a bodice of large tropical leaves before dropping to a skirt decorated with bows that resembled delectable ribbon-candy.

Once again, Caspari’s “Floral Fashion” event was a successful affair, and we were grateful to be in attendance. Movers and shakers in the local garden industry came together to celebrate not only the local florists who help lead Charlottesville’s identity in artistic fashion, but also Virginia’s Historic Garden Week, known as “America’s Largest Open House.” We look forward to seeing the amazing creations at next year’s event.

 

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Home Magazine, a quarterly flipped edition with CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine that includes all things home, from builders and real estate professionals to insurance, landscaping, utilities and more; the CharlottesvilleFamily Ultimate Go-To Guide and Home Go-To Guide, an annual flip book with everything from daytrip ideas and home tips to directories of family & home services; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook.

At Ivy Publications, we’re inspired by the belief that by utilizing technology, working efficiently and attending to quality, we create publications that honor the reader and build a real connection with our local businesses. This belief has led to prosperous and long-standing relationships with our clients, who entrust us with their advertising and have enjoyed great success utilizing our niche publications to effectively reach their target markets since 1998.

Celebrate Mom with an Al Fresco Gathering


May 11, 2018 | Ivy Publications

Mother’s Day is almost here! If you are hosting a celebration this year, we have some last-minute inspiration to help you plan the perfect gathering.

Immerse yourself in the setting. With its vibrant spring blooms and warmer weather, May is a great month to plan an outdoor event. Consider setting a table outside near fresh flowers or beneath a beautiful tree for a seasonal affair. If you prefer to gather indoors, consider opening windows, allowing gentle breezes and spring scents to waft through your home during the event.

Embrace the season on your table. Fresh flowers and greenery are always a must for any spring gathering, whether you choose to pick from your garden, a farmers market or a local nursery. Consider mixing small arrangements with larger ones to highlight a myriad of blooms for your table setting. Once you have created your floral displays, you can use leftover stems to adorn plates.

Be prepared to toast. For any celebration, it is a good idea to serve a drink with which guests can toast. Local sparkling or white wine, or hand-crafted cocktails like mimosas are perfect for an al fresco Mother’s Day brunch or luncheon and a special toast to mom.

Don’t forget the sweets. No gathering is complete without a sweet treat, or two. They make for a perfect party favor or ending to a meal.

If you are not hosting an event this year, or are looking for other ways to celebrate mom, be sure to check the Charlottesville Welcome Book calendar for local Mother’s Day events!

Photography: Jen Fariello
Design & Styling: Marisa Vrooman of Orpha Events
Florals: Southern Blooms
Venue: Septenary Winery at Seven Oaks Farm
Caterer: The Catering Outfit
Desserts: HotCakes Gourmet
Rentals: Emerson James, Stonegate Event Rentals & Festive Fare


From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Home Magazine, a quarterly flipped edition with CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine that includes all things home, from builders and real estate professionals to insurance, landscaping, utilities and more;
 the CharlottesvilleFamily Ultimate Go-To Guide and Home Go-To Guide, an annual flip book with everything from daytrip ideas and home tips to directories of family & home services; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook.

At Ivy Publications, we’re inspired by the belief that by utilizing technology, working efficiently and attending to quality, we create publications that honor the reader and build a real connection with our local businesses. This belief has led to prosperous and long-standing relationships with our clients, who entrust us with their advertising and have enjoyed great success utilizing our niche publications to effectively reach their target markets since 1998.

A Celebration of Garden Design & Bunny Mellon


April 20, 2018 | Ivy Publications

Garden enthusiasts looking forward to this year’s Historic Garden Week will enjoy New York Times bestselling author Meryl Gordon‘s new biography, Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend. Mellon, who has designed many notable gardens, designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend John F. Kennedy in 1962. Charlottesville Wine & Country will have Gordon’s new book available for purchase this Sunday at our booth at Castle Hill Cider, the headquarters for the Historic Garden Week tour in Albemarle County’s Keswick Hunt Country. Scroll on to learn a little more about Gordon’s new book and her recent visit to Charlottesville!

(Photo of Gordon below by Nina Subin)

Earlier this spring, fans of Mellon and her horticulture legacy packed the ballroom at the Farmington Country Club to hear Gordon speak about her new book at the Albemarle Garden Club’s Design Forum. Gordon was accompanied by the Oak Spring Garden Foundation’s president and distinguished botanical researcher, Sir Peter Crane, as well as the head volunteer of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, Lady Elinor Crane.

Gordon crafted her new book by pouring through pages of letters, diary entries and calendars, and interviewing over 175 people in order to better understand the woman behind the reputation. During her talk, Gordon delighted the audience with anecdotes about Mellon’s relationships as well as Mellon’s reputation for being notoriously press shy in her lifetime.

In addition to talks by these distinguished guests, attendees enjoyed refreshments and a book signing with Gordon. Visitors were able to shop the Albemarle Garden Club‘s boutique as well as several popular local retailers, such as Tourterelle Floral Design, Folly, Kenny Ball Antiques and Blackwell Botanicals. From hand-crafted jewelry to beautiful topiaries—a style loved by Mellon—attendees were able to browse a plethora of beautiful items.

Mellon was an avid horticulturist, American aristocrat, style icon, philanthropist and art collector. In addition to her work in the gardens of the many homes she and her family owned in France, Antigua and throughout the United States, including in New York City, Virginia and Massachusetts, the acclaimed garden designer’s portfolio also includes the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden and Louis XIV’s Versailles kitchen garden.

During his talk at the Design Forum, Sir Crane shared that although all of Mellon’s homes were in constant cultivation by professional teams, Mellon was never without a pair of secateurs (pruning scissors) and was meticulously detailed. He noted that in the autumn, Mellon’s lawns were raked free of leaves only to then be decorated with the most beautiful fall foliage to create an idyllic scene. (Photo below from Mellon’s beloved Oak Spring Farm Estate, courtesy of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation)

Sir Peter and Lady Elinor Crane also shared insider information about The Oak Spring Garden Foundation’s preservation of Mellon’s home and gardens at the Oak Spring Farm Estate. The foundation cares for the private estate and hosts scholars through garden internships and programs.

In addition, the foundation has made Mellon’s extensive private library of over 16,000 volumes of horticulture literature—dating as far back as the middle ages—available to pre-approved visiting authors and scholars and is in the process of making the collection available online to increase public access. Below is a photo from the stunning gardens at the estate. (Photo below from Mellon’s Oak Spring Garden Library, courtesy of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation)

We were so pleased to be able to attend this annual event and learn more about the distinguished Bunny Mellon and her influential contributions to horticulture and botany while supporting a wonderful cause. The proceeds from the event benefited the Garden Club’s civic projects, including the Bog Garden at Booker T. Washington Park, the City Schoolyard Garden, the Nature Camp Scholarship, the ARC Natural History Camp and the McIntire Botanical Garden.

To enjoy more of Virginia’s gardens, be sure to save the date for the Garden Club of Virginia’s upcoming 85th Annual Historic Garden Week on April 21–28, 2018. Our local home tours in Orange and Albemarle Counties, and at the University of Virginia, are open April 21–23.

If you would like to find more book events/signings with Meryl Gordon, you can see her full schedule here. She has an upcoming appearance in Washington, D.C. on April 16, and you can also find her new book at our local Barnes & Noble in the Barracks Road Shopping Center.

 

*Lead photo from Mellon’s Oak Spring Garden Library, courtesy of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation


From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Home Magazine, a quarterly flipped edition with CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine that includes all things home, from builders and real estate professionals to insurance, landscaping, utilities and more;
 the CharlottesvilleFamily Ultimate Go-To Guide and Home Go-To Guide, an annual flip book with everything from daytrip ideas and home tips to directories of family & home services; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook.

At Ivy Publications, we’re inspired by the belief that by utilizing technology, working efficiently and attending to quality, we create publications that honor the reader and build a real connection with our local businesses. This belief has led to prosperous and long-standing relationships with our clients, who entrust us with their advertising and have enjoyed great success utilizing our niche publications to effectively reach their target markets since 1998.

5 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Charlottesville


February 7, 2018 | Ivy Publications

With Valentine’s Day almost here, many of us are thinking about how we want to celebrate. Scroll on for five romantic ideas to share with your special someone. Be sure to also check the Charlottesville Welcome Book for local Valentine’s Day-inspired events taking place throughout the next week.

1. Make a delicious wine-paired pork loin roast with vegetables. Toast to love over a romantic candlelit dinner. Click here for this delicious recipe from Feast!’s Kate Collier, or check out these other pairing ideas if you are in the mood to serve a different dish. Prefer to dine out? Consider one of these gourmet restaurants.

2. Enjoy a couple’s spa treatment. Sign up for a couple’s massage, facial or pedicure, and relax together. This Couple’s Facial and Pedicure Special at the romantic Med Spa of Virginia Total Wellness Center is one of many that you can enjoy locally.

3. Set up your own wine and chocolate pairing. Check out our Wine & Chocolate story in Book Three, and learn which wines pair well with the different Gearharts Fine Chocolates. Then, set up your own delectable tasting session for you and your significant other. This is a great post-meal way to enjoy hand-crafted chocolates on Valentine’s Day. (Photo below by Jen Fariello)

4. Plan a cozy stay-cation. Valentine’s Day is the perfect night to book an evening in one of our area inns or bed & breakfasts like the Inn at Willow Grove (pictured below). Enjoy local sparkling wine while you escape the rush of everyday life together.

5. Enjoy an evening on the town. Booking a limousine service, such as A & A Limousine or Top Shelf Transportation, gives you the freedom to spend and enjoy time together as a couple while visiting vineyards or just exploring the town, even if you do not have your plans solidified.

Lead Image by Jen Fariello

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Home Magazine, a quarterly flipped edition with CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine that includes all things home, from builders and real estate professionals to insurance, landscaping, utilities and more; the CharlottesvilleFamily Ultimate Go-To Guide and Home Go-To Guide, an annual flip book with everything from daytrip ideas and home tips to directories of family & home services; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook.

At Ivy Publications, we’re inspired by the belief that by utilizing technology, working efficiently and attending to quality, we create publications that honor the reader and build a real connection with our local businesses. This belief has led to prosperous and long-standing relationships with our clients, who entrust us with their advertising and have enjoyed great success utilizing our niche publications to effectively reach their target markets since 1998.

How to Tailgate at Steeplechase Races Like a Winner


October 31, 2017 | Ivy Publications

During the fall in Charlottesville, there are many fabulous events to tailgate at, especially the horse races. Horse races provide the perfect opportunity to gather and enjoy amazing food while watching a spectacular and traditional sport. Each year, the Montpelier Hunt Races hosts a tailgate contest showcasing how best to execute this form of entertaining. Here are Wine & Country’s tips for horse race tailgating featuring the Montpelier Hunt Races:

Presentation, Presentation, Presentation. Break out the silver and fine china to set a spectacular arrangement. Bring your vintage silver wine bottle cooler to keep the white wines chilled and plenty of serving bowls and dishes for displaying your food. While it is perfectly acceptable for guests to use plastic plates and cups from which to eat and drink, serving out of Tupperware is a faux pas.

Embrace a Theme. Whether you showcase the look of the season, such as the table with the leaves and engaging fox head below, or choose to highlight the theme of the event you are attending like the horse cookies and horse cake below, themed presentations are sure to make your table stand out. The perfect tailgate spread incorporates appropriate decor while also providing delectable food, both of which can delightfully feature your theme.

Prepare to Feast. When choosing the food for your tailgate, you want to cover all your bases: beverages, finger/snack foods, side dishes, entree options and desserts. If hosting for a large group of people, it is a good idea to provide gluten-free and vegetarian options as well. If you are planning to stay at an event long enough, it is often a good idea to provide for multiple times of the day (having breakfast and lunch spreads, for example). Tailgating tends to be an all-day or all-afternoon affair, so be prepared to set out different foods throughout the day depending on the time.

We cannot wait to see the tailgate spreads at this year’s Montpelier Hunt Races on Saturday, November 4, and are proud to be both sponsoring and providing a judge for the tailgate contest. We are looking forward to spending a delightful afternoon at the races.

To learn more about the Montpelier Hunt Races, be sure to check out our previous blog post on the event.

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.

Virginia Distillery Co.’s Shenandoah Peach


June 15, 2017 | Ivy Publications

Looking for a new go-to summer drink? Consider the Virginia Distillery Co.’s Shenandoah Peach—a fruity cocktail that is perfect for summer entertaining! You can try it yourself while it is featured this month at the Virginia Distillery Co.’s Visitors Center, or make it at home. The Charlottesville area offers many local farms, perfect for picking your own peaches for this seasonal treat.


Shenandoah Peach
 (Makes One Cocktail)

What You Need:

1½ oz. Virginia Highland Malt Whisky
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 oz. peach simple syrup (recipe below)
Slice of fresh peach to garnish
Optional mint sprig to garnish

How to Prepare:

1. Combine all ingredients in a glass.
2. Add ice to the glass and stir.
3. Garnish with peach slice and sprig of mint.

Peach simple syrup: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 3 cups of sugar, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat, add 4 peach tea bags and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove tea bags. Good to store for up to two weeks.

 

Lead Photo of Virginia Distillery Co. Barrels by Aaron Watson Photography

Shenandoah Peach Photo by Sarah Cramer, Our Local Commons


From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.

A Garden Party at Estouteville


May 26, 2017 | Ivy Publications

On Saturday, May 20, we were pleased to attend Forage’s “A Garden Party at Estouteville.” Hosted at the beautiful home of Beatrix Ost and Ludwig Kuttner, the garden party began in late afternoon. As ladies and gentlemen wandered the lush grounds in hats, sundresses and summer suits, they conversed with other guests and sipped cocktails made with foraged mulberries, and rosemary and roses from the Forage garden.

The evening’s hostess was none other than Beatrix Ost, a noted artist, philosopher, author and paragon of style. Coordinated by the talented women of Forage, Megan Kiernan and Kate Lynn Nemett (pictured below, top left: Nemett, Ost and Kiernan), the evening affair was a splendid gathering. Forage Founder and Chef Megan Kiernan created a delicious seasonal menu with food foraged, as well as from local farms. Forage Designer Kate Lynn Nemett styled the garden party with charming tea cups, floral arrangements and seasonal decor.

As twilight settled over the garden, Kiernan (below, bottom right) prepared wild nettle & feta tartlets from foraged nettles, tea sandwiches and beet cured trout for appetizers. Kiernan, having worked under both James Beard Award Winning Chef Suzanne Goin and James Beard Award Winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard in California, embodies the farm-to-table movement with her love for local and quality fresh ingredients. She showcased expertise with her menu, from her foraged appetizer to her garden-fresh dessert.

During cocktail hour, host Ludwig Kuttner (below in the striped jacket) mingled with his guests. Kuttner, a venture capitalist who continues to be a leading figure in the development of Downtown Charlottesville, was also a developer and founder of IX Art Park.

The venue, Beatrix and Ludwig’s Estouteville, showcases the couple’s love for the arts with historic charm. The home, built in 1827 by Thomas Jefferson’s master builder James Dinsmore, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The beautiful home is not only surrounded by but also filled with striking sculptures and art, including many works by Ost.

Over the course of the evening at Estouteville, guests were able to wonder the unique grounds and enjoy dinner in the beautiful foyer.

The table settings featured seed paper welcome cards that were handmade with wildflowers and overflowing bouquets of herbs and freshly picked flowers. An eclectic collection of vintage candle holders lit the tables as the sweet scents of the garden made their way to the guests through opened windows. The first course was a richly flavored beet and goat cheese amuse bouche with citrus tones.

The guests chatted about the season, the venue and the food as they made new acquaintances amongst their table companions. Across the table from us, Beatrix struck up conversation with Donna Tartt, Pulitzer Prize Winner for her coming-of-age novel The Goldfinch.

Just as in the tradition of the European salon, Ost (below, left) captivated guests by reading aloud an amusing selection of poetic prose about the changing seasons from her new book The Philosopher’s Style before the party adjourned to the porch for dessert.

For dinner, guests enjoyed delicious Thai crab cakes with avocado, Thai chili aioli and garden greens, and bacon-wrapped trout with asparagus soubise, roasted asparagus and sorrel stuffing. The greens, cilantro flowers and nasturtiums for the crab cakes were all sourced from the Forage garden, while the sorrel for the trout was foraged.

Known for their community involvement and arts-related gatherings, including regular salons and bringing together local artists and philosophers for discussion, Kuttner and Ost were the perfect pair to host this lovely garden party.

Conversations flowed at each table, as guests learned about the local origins of the ingredients in their dishes.

Following dinner, an array of desserts were served on endearing mismatched china on the front porch. Guests enjoyed financier, strawberry cream tartlet, lemon & wild mulberry tartlet, salted chocolate caramel truffle, chocolate hazelnut truffle and canele.

The evening concluded with conversations spilling into dusk and new friendships forming under the stars at Estouteville.


From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.

Mother’s Day Breakfast at The Farmhouse


May 7, 2017 | Ivy Publications

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Charlottesville Wine & Country visited The Farmhouse at Veritas for a lovely Mother’s Day breakfast! As we admired the beautiful Chardonnay vineyard just outside the porch window, we were served Veritas’ beautiful Scintilla sparkling wine made from the grapes from that very same vineyard block we were admiring. Made in the methode champenoise, Scintilla is made using the same method as in France to produce the world famous sparkling wines of Champagne. The French use Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to make this lovely cuvee base wine, whereas winemakers Emily Pelton and Elliott Watkins use Chardonnay and either Merlot or Cabernet Franc.

As Pelton, the Virginia Wine Person of the Year according to the Virginia Wineries Association, notes, “Scintilla is pale lemon in color with a persistent mousse. The wine is kept on the lees for two years before disgorging. Chardonnay usually dominates the blend, giving the nose a citrus character; and because of the long time on the lees, the wine has a brioche note with hints of almonds. Characteristically, the wine is made in a Brut style (less than 12g/L). Fresh bubbles of Meyer lemon fill the palate with a delicate mousse that fades into a lasting finish.”

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As we enjoyed our fresh orange juice and sparkling wine, we were offered delicious fresh croissants and fruit to start.

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Our breakfast was prepared in the open family-style kitchen of The Farmhouse using beautiful fresh ingredients. We had one savory and one sweet option. The sweet dish was wonderful buttermilk pancakes with vanilla bean whipped cream and fresh strawberries. The savory dish was a frittata made of local sausage, egg and asparagus with radish top pesto, and topped beautifully with fresh pea shoots.

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Afterwards, we explored the lovely kitchen garden just outside our window where the Chefs at The Farmhouse tend to and harvest some of the ingredients we enjoyed.

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The Farmhouse at Veritas is a six room bed and breakfast on the Veritas Vineyards and Winery property in Afton. The Farmhouse, built in July of 1839, was a private family home for the Hodsons until being transformed into an elegant B&B in 2012. From tea cups to the trellis’, the lovely decor and charm of The Farmhouse exudes the English flare of the Hodson family. The family built Veritas Vineyard and Winery from the roots up in the spirit of their own British heritage, and this is no better showcased than through the beautiful Farmhouse. See the newest Charlottesville Wine & Country Living to learn more about Veritas Vineyard and Winery and the Hodson family.

Charlottesville offers a plethora of stunning locations for the perfect Mother’s Day celebration. On Sunday, May 14th, Veritas Vineyard & Winery is hosting a Mother’s Day Winemaker’s Brunch at Saddleback Hall at 12:30pm. Click here to see more Mother’s Day events that will be taking place around Charlottesville next weekend!


From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.

Floralscapes, A Garden Week Celebration


April 22, 2017 | Ivy Publications

On Thursday, April 20, Caspari hosted Floralscapes, an annual celebration of Historic Garden Week in Virginia with the Albemarle Garden Club, Charlottesville Garden Club and Rivanna Garden Club. For this unique event, 10 local designers were given a Caspari napkin as their inspiration for a centerpiece. A Pimento Catering, the Albemarle Garden Club, Blue Ridge Floral Design, Cakes by Rachel, Hedge Fine Blooms, Paradox Pastry, Pharsalia Events, Southern Blooms, The Hungry Fox and Tourterelle Floral Design created stunning cakes and floral arrangements showcasing the creativity and talent in our community.

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.

We were pleased to attend the event, showcasing the newest Charlottesville Wine & Country Living. During the evening, guests could browse other items in Caspari’s boutique, including fashion and home accessories.

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 had such a wonderful time spending the evening with the Albemarle Garden Club, Charlottesville Garden Club and Rivanna Garden Club at Caspari in celebration of the start of Historic Garden Week. Below is the Albemarle Garden Club’s beautiful arrangement based on the “Botanical Studies” napkin and Susan Lankenau and Cindy Schutt, the Co-Chairmen of Historic Garden Week in Charlottesville & Albemarle.

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.

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an annual art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook. Email us at living@ivypublications.com with your questions and inquiries, or call us at 434-984-4713.