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Virginia Governors Cup 2020 Awards


February 26, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

Last night, the Annual Virginia Governor’s Cup 2020 Awards was held at Richmond’s Main Street Station. After 107 wineries submitted more than 530 wines, a prestigious panel of judges selected 64 Gold Medal-winning wines to be celebrated at the gala that was expertly organized by the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office.

A dazzling array of local wineries all made the distinguished list, demonstrating the talent and commitment to quality wine of our local wine region.

The evening’s festivities began with many of the gold medalists pouring their award-winning wines and sharing details about each vintage with attendees.

The highest-ranking twelve reds and whites of these Gold Medal-winning wines were selected for the 2020 Governor’s Case after outscoring the other entrants on appearance, aroma, flavor, overall quality and commercial suitability.

We were delighted to see so many of our friends in the industry, including Luca Paschina from Barboursville Vineyards, the Bakhtiar’s from CrossKeys Vineyards, Michael Shaps from Virginia Wineworks, the team from Pollak Vineyards and many more.

After sampling the delicious wines, the attendees moved from the impromptu tasting room into the awards hall where they were greeted by George Hodson of Veritas Vineyard & Winery, who was a warm and gracious host for the evening.

The accolades began with Justin Rose from Rosemont of Virginia receiving the President’s Appreciation Award for his service as past president, given by now President, George Hodson.

Justin was further celebrated as he was named Wine Person of the Year for his service to the industry.

Randy Phillips of Cave Ridge Vineyard graciously accepted the Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award and reminded us of the importance that each person, from grower to consumer, has in advocating for the wine industry.

All in attendance were deeply touched when Carrington, James and Stuart King of King Family Vineyards took the stage to present the inaugural David King Advocate of the Year Award. This new award was inspired by their late father who was an ardent and constant advocate for Virginia’s wine industry.

The David King Advocate of the Year will be given to the individual that demonstrates significant involvement in advocacy efforts on behalf of the Virginia Wine industry.

As James prepared to give the award, he shared his father’s favorite quote from John F. Kennedy “A rising tide lifts all boats” and reminded us of the value and strength the Virginia wine community has as it continues to grow and add new vineyards and varietals.

George Hodson was surprised and extremely honored to be the winner of this award in honor of a man he deeply admired.

The culmination of the evening was when Governor Northam took the stage along with the winemakers of each wine in the Governor’s Case for the much anticipated announcement of the Governor’s Cup.

Virginia Governor’s Cup Case Winners

The wines to receive this coveted honor are 868 Estate Vineyards’ 2017 Vidal Blanc Passito, Afton Mountain Vineyards’ 2017 Tradition, Barboursville Vineyards’ 2014 Octagon AND their 2018 Vermentino Reserve, Delaplane Cellars’ 2017 Williams Gap, Lake Anna Winery’s 2017 Tannat, Michael Shaps’ 2016 Meritage, Pollak Vineyards’ 2017 Cabernet Franc Reserve AND their 2017 Smuggler, Rockbridge Vineyard’s 2017 Vd’or, Shenandoah Vineyards’ 2017 Shenandoah Reserve Red, Virginia Cellars Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards’ 2017 Petit Verdot. 

Governor Northam was very jovial and insisted that he be included in the judging next year.

Virginia Governor’s Cup Winner

Finally, the moment had arrived, and he ceremoniously opened the envelope to reveal the winner of the 2020 Virginia Governor’s Cup: 868 Estate Vineyards’ 2017 Vidal Blanc Passito. This is the first fully Loudon County-made and Loudon-grown Virginia Governor’s Cup Winner.

Carl DiManno accepted the award on behalf of the vineyard.

“The 2017 Passito was the culmination of a concerted winemaking effort,” says 868 Estate Vineyard’s Co-Founder and Winemaker, Carl DiManno. “I take a very hands-on approach in the winery, and a lot of love and hard work went into this wine, but it was well worth it. I am thrilled that Loudoun’s wines are getting the recognition that they deserve.”

This marks the first time in 15 years that a dessert wine has won the Governor’s Cup.

The 2017 Vidal Blanc Passito is the first wine made from 100 percent Loudoun County fruit to win Virginia’s top wine award.

The talented members of the Virginia wine industry proved once again how much our region has to offer wine enthusiasts and winemakers around the world. The innovative vision that drives our region continues to progress the industry and its product, creating quality wines that delight wine lovers and impress wine connoisseurs.

We would like to sincerely congratulate 868 Estate Vineyards on their Governor’s Cup win, as well as all of the other wineries who demonstrated our region’s talent with gold medals and for being chosen for the elite Governor’s Case. We cannot wait to try all of the award-winning wines and to see all that these talented winemakers have in store for Virginia’s wine country!

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.

An Engaging Winter Wine Weekend in the Shenandoah Valley


February 25, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

Wine & Country Life attended the 2nd annual Winter Wine Weekend at the beautiful new Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg on February 21-23. The weekend started with a welcome reception Friday evening followed by a sumptuous sold-out wine paired dinner at Joshua Wilton House. Saturday morning, winemaker Lee Hartman knowledgeably led guests through the winemaking process from the field to the glass with an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the nearby Bluestone Vineyard.

Hotel Madison’s Second Annual Winter Wine Weekend

Back at Hotel Madison, guests filled workshops learning from some of Virginia’s most respected winemakers like Luca Paschina of Barboursville Vineyards (below) who talked about winemaking in both the “New World” of Virginia and the “Old World” of his native country, Italy.

Between workshops, guests browsed the crafts of local artisans and participated in the Grand Tasting in the Shenandoah Grand Ballroom where over a dozen wineries from around the region provided tastings.

Wineries included Barren Ridge Vineyards, Shenandoah Vineyards, Rockbridge Vineyard, Keswick Vineyards, Barboursville Vineyards, Cardinal Point Winery, Bluestone Vineyard, Muse Vineyards, CrossKeys Vineyards, Brix and Columns and Cave Ridge Vineyard.

Below (upper left) Saam Bakhtiar educates guests as they taste the award-winning wines of Crosskeys Vineyard. A family business of the Bakhtiars since 2001, Crosskeys Vineyard is often awarded for excellence for their estate-grown wines. Below (upper right), Stephanie Pence, the owner of Brix and Columns, shares her wines and expertise with guests. As current president of the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, she was excited to see the event so well attended and the interest in her region’s wine growing in popularity. Below (bottom right) Micheal Shaps of Micheal Shaps Wineworks shares his exciting new wines from Shenandoah Vineyards, a property he has been involved in since 2010 and purchased in 2018.

Saturday evening, guests enjoyed the engaging “A Night in Tuscany” wine-paired dinner prepared by Brock Kappers of Winebow Group followed up on Sunday morning with a delightful brunch paired with sparkling wines from Veritas Vineyard and Winery and featuring their winemaker Elliott Watkins.

Curious to learn more about some of these featured vineyards? Click below for more articles:

Read more articles on CrossKeys Vineyards here.

Discover more about Veritas Vineyards & Winery here.

Explore the many delights of Barboursville Vineyards here.

More about Michael Shaps Wineworks can be found here.

Read more about Keswick Vineyards here.

Find out more about the happenings at Cardinal Point here.

We are delighted to see the wonderful wines of the Shenandoah Valley region continue to reach new audiences.

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.

An Inside Look at the Caspari Living Floral Event


February 24, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

Join us for an inside look at Caspari’s Living Floral event with Margot Shaw. And click here to see more events we love at Caspari!

It was with eager anticipation that floral enthusiasts escaped the chill of a gray February day and slipped inside the warm embrace of Charlottesville’s own Caspari store on the Downtown Mall. While a trip to this bastion of style and gracious living is always a unique and delightful experience, today would be exceptional as attendees would have the opportunity to meet designer, editor and writer Margot Shaw for a private book signing and enjoy a gracious talk of her new release, Living Floral: Entertaining and Decorating with Flowers.

Beautiful Blue & White Caspari Decor

Beautiful Blue & White Entertaining Inspiration with Caspari

Upon arrival, guests were instantly transported from city to nature as the center of the store had been cleared and transformed into what felt like an alfresco garden thanks to the efforts of The Charlottesville Garden Club, Caspari’s co-host for the event.

Beautiful Pink Entertaining Inspiration with Caspari

Caspari and the Charlottesville Garden Club were able to arrange this visit as part of the club’s ongoing Tay Gwaltney series. Tay was a long-time member of the club who very generously bequeathed funds to the club to make events such as this possible. 

Shown left to right: Lisa Milbank, President of Caspari, Jeanne Marie Holden, vice president of CGC, Allison Schildwachter, CGC event chair, Linda MacIlwaine, CGC member, Robin Cherry, President of CGC, Jen Bryerton, co-publisher Wine & Country Life, and Margot Shaw (seated).

If you have not met her yet, Shaw is the editor of Flower Magazine and a celebrated speaker at antique shows, botanical gardens, interior design centers and more.

Caspari Garden Decor inside the Charlottesville Caspari store

Copies of Shaw’s luscious ode to incorporating florals into our everyday lives were pleasantly scattered about the store for attendees to peruse. In addition to her book, guests were also treated to delightful nibbles prepared by garden club member and caterer Jayme Naughton.

Catering by Jayme Naughton

Florist extraordinaire, Gregory Britt, created a stunning centerpiece to complement Shaw’s book and add to the charming garden feel of the event.

Meet Margot Shaw, Author of Living Floral

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Shaw studied Art History at Hollins College, then Interior Design in graduate school at the University of Texas.

Margot Shaw signing copies of Living Floral, Margot Shaw editor of Flowers magazine

Shaw was always attracted to flowers and delighted guests with the story of herself at age 5 when she happened upon a bed of hyacinths from which she proudly plucked every single bloom to present to her mother. Needless to say, the neighbor whose garden she had pillaged was less than delighted by this and immediately called Shaw’s mother. The memory of that fateful day was indelibly pressed upon her thanks to her mother greeting her at the door with a hairbrush instead of the smile she had been anticipating!

Despite this early foray into florals, or perhaps because of, it was not until her daughter’s wedding that she found her calling in floral design. Working side-by-side with the florist to put together arrangements for her daughter, Shaw fell in love with the artistry of arranging.

At the age of 46, she courageously humbled herself and began interning with the same floral designer, which eventually led her to start Flower Magazine.

Flowers magazine by Margot Shaw on display at Caspari store in Charlottesville

Now in circulation for over 12 years, Flower has grown significantly from her early vision, and now includes homes, gardens, entertaining and lifestyle sections.

Charlotte Moss's home featured in Living Floral book by Margot Shaw

Shaw’s new book, Living Floral, focuses on both inspiration and instruction so that readers are not only merely inspired but also equipped to begin implementing the ideas they’re seeing.

The book, which features an astonishing array of tastemakers, including design icons Charlotte Moss and Bunny Williams, event planners Mindy Rice and Tara Guerard, floral experts such as Sybil Sylvester, swoon-worthy homes including Bee Cottage, the beloved home of Frances Schultz and numerous others, provides intimate portraits of creators and their personal approach to utilizing blooms and greens.

Covering a range of styles, from rustic to refined, and emphasizing the ability of flowers to completely change a space, there is a seed of discovery awaiting the reader on every page.

Be sure to take note of the beautiful endpapers and textile patterns designating each season as they are designs by Charlotte Moss and Michael Divine—a lovely extra flourish that lends to the overall beauty of the book.

Thoughtfully divided by season, readers are welcomed into a variety of homes, parties and gardens to find inspiration and learn from the experiences and styles of these authorities. Each creator shows how to integrate florals into your home to create a more beautiful, welcoming space.

Interior designers give suggestions on using florals in furniture, wallpaper and artwork, both indoors and out, while floral design experts give tips for creating the perfect arrangement for any event, both for the amateur floral enthusiast and for the professional designer.

Readers are encouraged to look beyond the garden path and venture further afield and forage for pieces to transform their arrangements from ordinary to extraordinary.

Living Floral encapsulates Shaw’s philosophy emphasizing the ability of flowers to improve our daily lives, enriching every day with their beauty and highlighting a special event with their charm.

With Living Floral: Entertaining and Decorating with Flowers, she hopes to inspire readers to make the most of the natural beauty surrounding us all, to make our spaces brighter and more welcoming both for ourselves and others.

Buy Living Floral by Margot Shaw

Ready to acquire your own copy? Get (affiliate link) Living Floral by Margot Shaw on Amazon so you, too, can begin to entertain and decorate with flowers!

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.

Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Virginia Wine Expo


January 14, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

The Annual Virginia Wine Expo is coming up on March 3-8 in Richmond, Virginia. This popular event highlights not only premier wines but also spirits, cider, craft beer and artisan cuisine with over 30 curated events, including master-class seminars, tasting events, wine-paired dinners, lunches and brunches, and cooking classes.

This year, the expo is kicking off with a special preview event on Thursday, February 6. This 15-course Virginia wine dinner will be prepared by award-winning Chinese Chef and Restaurateur Peter Chang. The feast will be paired with Barboursville Vineyards wines and will be held at Q by Peter Chang, Chang’s flagship restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland.

The rest of the expo’s scheduled events will begin on Tuesday, March 3, and will take place in and around Richmond. The week’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. Each year, the expo’s events showcase the best of Virginia wine, as well as another guest region from the United States and abroad. Along with hundreds of Virginia wines, this year’s selections will include wines from the International Guest Region Bordeaux and Loire Valley, France and the 2020 National Guest Region Washington State.

Tuesday through Friday, guests can choose from wine-paired dinners (including a dinner at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts), seminars, workshops and a sparkling wine-paired lunch. Friday evening, Main Street Station will host the popular SMOKED! event, which features over 30 artisan dishes, over 35 whiskeys from Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Scotland, wines from Virginia, Bordeaux and Loire Valley, France and Washington State, craft beers and ciders.

Saturday, attendees will have the opportunity to attend a few additional specialty events before the Afternoon and Evening Walk-Around Grand Tastings and the Ultimate Brew Fest, all of which will be held at the Main Street Station. The heart of this expo, these tasting events offer guests the opportunity to try curated libations and meet and learn from winemakers, knowledgeable volunteers and distributor representatives.

The expo will conclude on Sunday, March 8, with a seminar on Rose, a farm-to-table brunch, a Sub Rosa Bakery wine dinner and the Grand Tasting event for locals.

With events featuring curated wines, brews, ciders and spirits, as well as artisan foods, the Virginia Wine Expo truly offers something for everyone and unique, educational experiences. We cannot wait to see all that the 2020 expo has in store for participants, and we hope to see you there!

You can learn more about the expo and find tickets/the full schedule of events here.

Photos Courtesy of the Virginia Wine Expo

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.

The Paramount Reveals NEW Members Lounge by U-Fab


December 5, 2019 | Wine & Country Life

Last Monday to a packed room of enthusiastic supporters, The Paramount Theater in Downtown Charlottesville kicked off the holiday season with the reveal of its newly remodeled Members Lounge. The new lounge was greatly enhanced with beautiful lush banquet sofas, chairs and cocktail tables, all created by the talented team at U-Fab Interiors of Charlottesville.

The guests were also treated to an evening of drinks and delightful food provided by Harvest Moon Catering. Board of Directors Chair David Gies welcomed those in attendance and thanked them for their continued support. Below, from left to right, The Paramount’s Director of Marketing Maran Garland, thanked U-Fab designers Kai’li Millner and Wendi Marshall alongside The Paramount’s Executive Director Chris Eure, all of whom were so thrilled with the outcome of the project. “We’re really proud of the space and had so much fun working with The Paramount. The project worked out great,” said Designer and Manager Wendi Jackson.

The Paramount Theater is officially decked out and ready for the holidays! Locals and visitors alike look to The Paramount over the holidays for an array of events, such as the Nutcracker Ballet and other special holiday concerts. As guests admired the holiday décor, Marketing Director Garland pointed out, “Many people don’t realize that many of our beautiful and more intimate upstairs rooms are available for rent. We even have a small dining room that families or businesses can rent out during the holidays that overlooks our famous marquee.” This year, those who want to show their support for the landmark theater can also purchase a tree ornament featuring the famous Paramount marquee, which is available at both the theater and the newly relocated Wine & Country Shop in Ivy!

In a playful moment, U-Fab Designers Kai’li and Wendi wished everyone a Happy Holiday!

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.

Historic Holidays in Charlottesville


November 30, 2019 | Wine & Country Life

While Charlottesville is known as a wonderful destination for history lovers any time of the year, with its various historic sites and homes that are open for public tours and visitation, experiencing these attractions during the holidays is a unique and wonderful experience. During the holiday season, Charlottesville’s historic sites join in the festivities and offer visitors the opportunity to experience decorations and traditions of holidays past. Scroll on to learn about some of the historic places you can visit this season!

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Home of our third President, University of Virginia founder, and author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello displays the holiday traditions of his time. Monticello is open daily from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. On December 6, 7, 13, 14, 18–23, & 26–30, you can also enjoy special Holiday Evening Tours.

Michie Tavern

This 18th-century tavern, named after proprietor Corporal William Michie, features colonial decorations, southern fare and servers in period attire. Michie Tavern’s dining room is open every day from 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

James Monroe’s Highland

When visiting Highland, home of our fifth President James Monroe this holiday seasonvisitors will enjoy seeing the decorations, including greenery and arrangements sourced from plants and trees on the estate. The entire house will be decorated for the holidays through January 3. Highland is open daily from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. The historic home will host a special After Hours at Highland event on December 28 from 4:30–6 p.m.

James Madison’s Montpelier

Home of our fourth President James Madison, Montpelier’s mansion showcases 19th-century holiday decorations and customs. Montpelier is open daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (Photo by Jennifer Powers, courtesy of The Montpelier Foundation)

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.

10 Ways to Enjoy Autumn in Virginia


October 23, 2019 | Wine & Country Life

We may be biased, but fall in Virginia is pretty magical. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay, when the leaves start changing, it’s hard to stay indoors. Luckily, there are many activities that are best enjoyed in the crisp Virginia air.

Apple Picking: Apples always taste better when you pick them yourself. With local orchards like Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, Great Country Farms in Bluemont, Dickie Brothers Orchard in Roseland and Drumheller’s Orchard in Lovingston, you can pick your own peck … and bake a delicious apple pie when you’re done.

Annual Festivals: Besides the impending holiday season, there is much to celebrate in the fall. Check out the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville, attend one of the several Oyster Festivals across the state, or enjoy a beer at any Oktoberfest celebration.

The Charlottesville Downtown Mall: With its abundance of delicious dives and plenty of outdoor seating, the Downtown Mall, one of the longest pedestrian malls in the country, is the perfect place to spend an afternoon and enjoy the fresh fall air while you dine. Plus, you can enjoy shopping at unique boutiques, visiting art galleries or even catching a show at one of the venues or theaters.

Photo by Jennifer Jones

Excursions: In between summer vacations and holiday traveling, it can be nice to steal a quick weekend excursion with friends and family, and Virginia offers plenty of outdoor fun. Go for a trip on the James River or visit a vineyard for a horseback ride through the fields with a tour company like the Indian Summer Guide Service.

Photo by Aaron Watson Photography

Harvest Dinners & Seasonal Feasts: Why wait until Thanksgiving to share a delicious meal with loved ones? Harvest season means bountiful, savory meals featuring locally sourced food. One regional favorite is Barboursville Vineyard’s’ Truffle Feast!

Horse Races: Virginia’s horse races offer something exciting for all ages. You can place your bets and show off your Sunday best while cheering on the horses at The Foxfield Races, The International Gold Cup or the Montpelier Hunt Races.

Leaf Peeping: Capture the most beautiful part of the season as the leaves change colors. According to the Virginia Department of Forestry’s fall foliage reports, we are in peak leaf-peeping season. Go for a bike ride through the mountains, or coast down Skyline Drive to stop at an overlook and take in the scenery. The Shenandoah National Park offers plenty of local hikes and trails for all skill levels to soak in the rich colors.

Photo by Jennifer Jones

Local Markets: Score some fun fall finds at a local market. Enjoy the brisk morning air at markets like the Old Town Farmers Market in Alexandria (the oldest farmers market in the country) and Charlottesville City Market (voted the top farmers market in the Southeast in the American Farmland Trust’s 2019 Farmers Market Celebration), and pick up some seasonal produce, artisan jewelry or some warm freshly made food from local vendors.

UVA Football Games: Fall means tailgating season. Take your corn hole set to Grounds as you cheer on the Cavaliers. There are plenty of local restaurants, breweries and boutiques that offer all your tailgating essentials this season, such as the Wine & Country Shop. Just don’t forget your orange and blue!

Photography: Sera Petras Photography | Styling: Marisa Vrooman of Orpha Events | Venue: Alumni Hall, UVA | Catering: The Local | Desserts: Kilwins & Paradox Pastry | Beverages: The Bitty Bar, Valley Road Vineyards & Bold Rock Cider | Rentals: Orpha Events & Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop| Florals: Tourterelle Floral Design | Sunglasses: Primary Eyecare | Jewelry: Andrew Minton Jewelers | Makeup and Hair Styling: A More Beautiful You | Transportation: Mercedes-Benz of Charlottesville

Vineyard Outings & Picnics: With harvest season upon us, it’s a great time to visit local vineyards. The weather is nice and the wine is fresh! Make a day of it and pack a picnic for lunch. You can catch a stunning sunset at one of the picturesque locations in Virginia’s wine country.

Photos: Rachel May Photography | Venue: Barboursville Vineyards | Clothing: Verdigris & Brooks Brothers | Ring: Ana Cavalheiro Fine Jewelry | Hair: Brianna B. Adams | Makeup: Gohar Makeup | Female Model: Noelle S., Modelogic | Male Model: Patrick K., Modelogic

No matter how you choose to celebrate, fall is the perfect season to explore our beautiful state. From apples to oysters and horses to ‘Hoos, autumn in Virginia has something for everyone.

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.

Palladio Restaurant Celebrates 20th with Food and Wine Gala


October 10, 2019 | Wine & Country Life

On Saturday, October 5, Wine & Country was pleased to join Barboursville Vineyards in celebrating the 20-year anniversary of Palladio Restaurant at a spectacular gala held at the foot of the historic Barboursville Ruins. Established in 1999 under the leadership of native Italians Luca Paschina (winemaker) and Gianni Zonin (founder), Palladio has long been hailed as one of our region’s finest restaurants with a strong commitment to excellent cuisine paired with the beautiful wines of Barboursville Vineyards.

On the evening of the gala, guests were treated to delicious food and some of the best vintages Barboursville Vineyards has produced to date. Poured alongside appetizers was the 1994 Barboursville Anniversary Brut as well as the 2018 Allegrante Rose. Seen above at right, winemaker Luca Paschina welcomed viticulturist and winemaker Gabriele Rausse (on left) for an evening of fine wine and cuisine. Rausse, who is a childhood friend of founder Zonin from back in Italy and fellow viticulturist, helped Zonin establish the Barboursville Vineyards in the first five years of its existence from 1976 to 1981. Once established, Rausse went on to help establish well over 100 vineyards in Virginia, earning him the title “Father of Virginia’s Vineyards.”

Executive Chef Spencer Crawford (seen below on left) stepped out of the kitchen momentarily to welcome esteemed Chef Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington to the gala. Adding to many accolades throughout his career, Chef O’Connell was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the James Beard Foundation earlier this year, and he enjoys offering Barboursville’s Octagon at his much celebrated restaurant.

Just before sitting down to dine, Zonin joined his son Francesco Zonin (seen above) and Paschina. Francesco, alongside his two brothers, Domenico and Michele, accepted the executive duties of Barboursville Vineyards in 2017, leading the way into a new generation of Zonins.

When guests were seated, Paschina welcomed them with a short speech. “When we began developing Octagon in the late 1990s, we felt it should be paired with good food,” he said. “And so, we opened Palladio in 1999 to do just that. Now, here we are, 20 years later, and I can say that I am very proud to be a part of all we have accomplished.”

The first course began with Sommelier Alessandro Medici pouring a 2006 Viognier Reserve to pair with a beautiful North Carolina yellowfin tuna cured in Castello di Albola extra virgin olive oil and wrapped in roasted peppers. Next, guests enjoyed the Nebbiolo Reserve 2014 paired with a luscious parmigiano reggiano flan, West Virginia lagotto truffles and Barboursville farm-raised Berkshire coppa.

Medici then began decanting three prized reds from the winery’s library vaults: the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1998 from Double Magnums, the Octagon Fourth Edition 1999 (the year Palladio opened) and the Octagon 200th Anniversary Edition 2010. The sumptuous Cabernet Sauvignon paired beautifully with the braised veal ravioli in thyme-scented oxtail broth mixed with Cabernet Franc.

The two Octagon wines were served with the main course of licorice-glazed Retreat Farm lamb chops, supernova sunchoke puree, roasted Bella di Napoli squash and fairy tail eggplants—a dish the guests raved about. Both Octagons were sublime and paired wonderfully with the dish.

Last, but never least, the dessert course included a traditional tiramisu, a chocolate and Piedmontese hazelnut bunet and a Feudo Principi di Butera extra virgin olive oil cake with candied orange and Elysium citrus honey whipped cream. The dessert course was paired exquisitely with the delicious Malvaxia Reserve 2003.

As the evening came to a close, Francesco Zonin gave a warm thanks to his mother Silvana and Luca’s wife, Patricia, who were credited for their unwavering devotion and support for the many endeavors of Gianni and Luca, which, of course, includes the creation of Palladio. He then recognized Chef Crawford and the devoted staff of Palladio, many of whom have been with the establishment for years and are like family to both the Zonins and the patrons who enjoyed being a part of the special celebration.

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.

Veritas Hosts Final Starry Nights of the Season This Saturday!


August 7, 2019 | Wine & Country Life

Perhaps the only thing that could improve a delicious wine tasting with friends and a panoramic Blue Ridge view would be live music. One annual event we definitely recommend checking out is Veritas Vineyard & Winery’s Starry Nights series, which is held on the second Saturday of every month throughout the summer.

Photo by Wine & Country

This popular outdoor concert series allows guests to sip local wines, dine al fresco, and spend the evening dancing, and enjoying live music and good company under the stars. With the final night of the season coming up this Saturday, August 10, featuring music from The Legwarmers, there has never been a better time to attend this fun summer event yourself. Here is a quick breakdown of the three different ticketed experiences—SUNS, MOONS or STARS you can choose from:

  • SUNS: Includes admission and a Veritas wine glass. This is perfect for those who want to bring their own picnics and enjoy a laid back evening on the lawn.
  • MOONS: Includes admission to not only the event, but also a delicious buffet dinner, as well as access to seating at the tables on the lawn. This is a great option for those who do not want to worry about having to prep food or bring chairs and picnic items to the event.
  • STARS: Includes admission, a three-course meal and a seat at a table on the deck overlooking the lawn. For those who want a more polished experience, perhaps for a date night or celebratory outing, this is the best option.
Photos courtesy of Veritas Vineyard & Winery

For the upcoming Starry Nights this Saturday, the MOONS will be served a late summer cucumber and tomato salad with basil, feta and a balsamic reduction, pecan smoked chicken with maple BBQ sauce served with a summer pasta salad, and roasted sweet potatoes and strawberry peach shortcake with an orange rose reduction and cocoa whipped cream. The STARS’ three-course meal will start with a crunchy summer vegetable salad with ricotta crostini, followed by a seared chicken with broken balsamic served with basil zucchini noodles with pine nuts, ricotta salata and orzotto. The dinner will be completed with a graham cracker cake, toasted mallow and chocolate two ways.

Photo courtesy of Veritas Vineyard & Winery

Whether you prefer to pack a picnic and enjoy an evening on the lawn under the stars or to make the affair more of a foodie outing, this event is a great way to celebrate the season. And, don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes, as most attendees find they can’t help but move to the great bands that are booked for each event. You can find tickets on Veritas Vineyard & Winery’s website. Please note, any tickets for the dinner options must be purchased in advance, and the STARS tickets are already sold out.

You can also learn more about Veritas Vineyard & Winery in Book Four of our magazine.

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 | Wine & Country Life

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.