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The Paramount Reveals NEW Members Lounge by U-Fab


December 5, 2019 | Ivy Publications

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 | Ivy Publications

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 Monroevisitors will enjoy seeing the decorations, including greenery and arrangements sourced from plants and trees on the estate. Highland is open daily from 11 a.m.–5 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 | Ivy Publications

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 | Ivy Publications

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 | Ivy Publications

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 | 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.

3 Must-Try Garden Trends from 2019 Historic Garden Week


May 30, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Each year, our local Caspari hosts a special floral exhibition for Historic Garden Week. The event is held a few days before the local Albemarle-Charlottesville garden tour, and allows local floral and landscape designers and members of local garden clubs to showcase their floral design skills and creativity, as well as incorporate current garden and floral trends. In addition, all proceeds from the annual event benefit the Garden Club of Virginia’s efforts to restore and preserve historic gardens and state parks across the state of Virginia. This year, Catherine Bolton, Hillbrook Collections, LH Gardens, J.W. Townsend Landscapes and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello all created displays for the affair.

A few garden trends really stood out from this years creations, and were further showcased in our local Historic Garden Week tour, as well as at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which took place earlier this month. Check out these three trends that are popping up in gardens not only locally but also internationally!

Above (Left), J.W. Townsend Landscapes showcases their popular “Hotpots.” Above (Right) LH Gardens presents a beautiful garden display overflowing with plants and vibrant blooms, including wildflowers. Bottom, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello styled a delightful window display with many woodland elements.

1. Woodland Gardens. Not only was this theme present in the inspiration for the Albemarle-Charlottesville garden tour, which showcased the “Woodland Gardens of Ivy,” but also was presented in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show by the Duchess of Cambridge herself. The Duchess debuted a “Back to Nature Garden” that she designed this year with landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White, complete with a treehouse, edibles, and a multitude of various plants, trees and shrubs. We also saw this theme incorporated into the designs at Caspari’s event through the use of shade-loving/woodland-inspired plants and foliage like moss, ferns and hostas.

2. Wildflowers. Part of the larger trend of planting things that are native to the area and supporting the local eco-system, wildflowers are becoming a popular way for gardeners to support local pollinators and can add beautiful color and texture to a garden. We saw wildflowers incorporated in both the displays at Caspari, as well as throughout our local Historic Garden Week tour, especially in the Boninti home.

3. Garden Buildings. Whether they be used as a “she shed,” an outdoor entertaining space or a more traditional gardening prep and storage area, having small stylish garden structures is all the rage. We saw these in homes like Little Spring Hollow in this year’s garden tour, as well as through Caspari’s custom-made Garden Folly by Hillbrook Collections, which debuted in the store right before the “Little Chelsea” event.

The “Caspari Garden Folly,” custom-made for by Hillbrook Collections, debuted in the boutique shortly before the “Little Chelsea” Event. J.W. Townsend Landscapes garden urns surround the shed.

We had such a lovely time attending Caspari’s “Little Chelsea” event, as well as the Albemarle-Charlottesville Historic Garden Week tour and seeing some of the inspiring gardening talent of our community. If you missed this year’s Historic Garden Week, be sure to mark your calendar for 2020! These events not only give you a chance to see some incredible floral and landscape artistry, but also provide bounds of inspiration for gardeners and homeowners.

Left, guests mingle while browsing all the “Little Chelsea” inspired designs. Top right, local Historic Garden Week Co-Chairs Thierry Drapanas of Harriet and Vee and Vicki Snead greet guests. Bottom right, guests enjoy local bites and sips during the event.

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Living, 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.

Monticello Wine Trail Festival Celebrates Local Food and Wine


May 12, 2019 | Ivy Publications

The 2019 Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival celebrated its eighth year with another weeklong series of wonderful wine-paired dinners, lunches and special tasting events leading up to the festival’s well known “Grand Tasting” on Saturday at the Sprint Pavilion.

The festival kicked off with the Monticello Cup awards ceremony on Monday evening, April 29, at Vault Virginia, one of Charlottesville’s newest venues. Guests enjoyed award-winning wines from the Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA) and learned more about local vineyards, especially the winning wine—King Family Vineyards’ 2016 Mountain Plains.

Throughout the week, local chefs welcomed winemakers into their restaurants to celebrate our region’s best in farm-to-table cuisine, and vice versa. On Tuesday, Glass House Winery partnered with Parallel 38 to host an intimate five-course wine-paired dinner, while Albemarle CiderWorks, Loving Cup Vineyard & Winery and Wisdom Oak Winery came together for the Taste of North Garden Winemakers Dinner, serving appetizers and a four-course meal while the winemakers from each featured vineyard guided the discussion and expounded on their wines.

On Wednesday evening, Afton Mountain Vineyards and Jake Busching Wines partnered with Brasserie Saison for a dinner celebration on Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall. The dinner featured four exquisite courses from Chef Tres Pittard and the inclusion of many locally sourced ingredients which bring bright flavors to the featured wines.

Thursday offered wine lovers two exciting events—the Taste of White Hall Wine Dinner and Going Rouge: A Peculiar Wine Tasting at IX Art Park. While guests were introduced to wines from Grace Estate Winery, Stinson Vineyards and White Hall Vineyards at the White Hall Ruritan Club, others enjoyed a walk-around tasting at IX Art Park featuring small Batch and experimental offerings from Early Mountain Vineyards, Flying Fox Vineyard, King Family Vineyards, Lightwell Survey and Veritas Vineyard & Winery.

Friday ended the weeklong series with its 3rd Annual Rosé Lunch at Barboursville Vineyards (pictured below). Five styles of Rosés from Barboursville Vineyards, Blenheim Vineyards, Early Mountain Vineyards, Reynard Florence Vineyard and Stinson Vineyards (pictured with their respective winemakers below) were paired with a spring-inspired meal prepared by Chef Spencer Crawford at Palladio Restaurant. The event began with a plate of grilled asparagus, mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes, before segueing into a dish of strawberry risotto, which was deliciously prepared using Barboursville’s own Allegrante Rosé, Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh mint and 2001 Aceto Balsamic—also made at Barboursville. The meal concluded with a serving of house-roasted “Porchetta” (from a pig raised on the property) complemented with a side of spring vegetables.

The festival culminated with the “Grand Tasting” event (pictured below) at the Sprint Pavilion on Saturday, May 4, where hundreds of wine lovers were able to meet winemakers and try wines from more than 25 different local wineries. We also enjoyed meeting many readers and fans at our Charlottesville Wine & Country pop-up boutique at the tasting event!

Wrapping up the week of fabulous events was the 4th Annual Sparkling Wine Brunch held at Veritas Vineyard & Winery, where guests were served five Monticello AVA sparkling wines by the winemakers themselves.

This year’s festival was another success, showcasing the impressive talent we have in our local wine country. We are so proud of our trailblazing and hard working winemakers, and though our local wine community has lost two patriarchs in the past year, the festival continues to be a testament of the passion and hard work of people like Dennis Horton and David King.

Congratulations to The Monticello Wine Trail on another delightful festival. Thank you to all the sponsors, including Mercedes Benz of Charlottesville, who helped make this week possible. We are already looking forward to next year!


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

King Family Wins the 2019 Monticello Cup


April 30, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Monday evening, the 2019 Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival kicked off with the 29th Annual Monticello Cup Wine Competition at the new Vault Virginia on Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall. We at Charlottesville Wine & Country were honored to again be sponsors of this year’s festival and were excited to join in the annual celebration of the Monticello AVA.

Earlier this year, 20 of the wineries from our local Monticello Wine Trail (MWT) submitted a total of over 58 wines to compete in the 2019 Monticello Cup Awards (MCA). Under the direction of the Virginia Wine Academy, 14 judges came together at Veritas Vineyard & Winery in March for a day of wine tasting and scoring.

Monday night’s event was kicked off with a few words from George Hodson, CEO of Veritas Vineyard & Winery and Monticello Wine Trail President, who noted all the many efforts and accomplishments of the group, sharing, “We have very talented people, [and a] great place to grow grapes, but we’re at an exciting place in history—we are writing the history of our wine region.” 

After an extensive judging process, King Family Vineyards was selected as the winner of this year’s competition, and on Monday evening, Chris Barker of the Virginia Wine Academy presented them with the 2019 Monticello Cup for their 2016 Mountain Plains. Winemaker Matthieu Finot was present to accept the Monticello Cup. During his acceptance speech, he honored the vineyard’s owners, David and Ellen King, saying they “started the vineyard 20 years ago and made all of this possible.” Carrington King, King Family Vineyards manager and eldest son of the Kings, spoke as well, referencing the unusually wet year. “We learned last year how to work harder and smarter, and my big lesson last year is that you can only control what you can control,” said King. “We’re very proud of the wines we are making and very much appreciate this honor.”

In addition to King Family Vineyards’ 2016 Mountain Plains, Keswick Vineyards’ 2016 Signature Series Cabernet Franc and Veritas Vineyard & Winery’s 2016 Vintners Reserve were the other two reds recognized in the “Top 3 Red” category this year. The “Top 3 Whites” included King Family Vineyards’ Small Batch Series Viognier, Stinson Vineyards’ Petit Manseng and Trump Winery’s 2010 Brut Reserve. Overall, there were 12 gold, 32 silver and 11 bronze winning wines in the 2019 competition.

Below, top left, George Hodson, CEO of Veritas Vineyard & Winery and president of The Monticello Wine Trail speaks about the impressive submissions in this year’s competition. Bottom left, Trump Winery Winemaker Jonathan Wheeler stands with his “Top 3 White” winning 2010 Brut Reserve. Top middle, Vineyard Manager Carrington King and Winemaker Matthieu Finot of King Family Vineyards hold the 2019 Monticello Cup and the wine for which it was awarded— their 2016 Mountain Plains, along with their “Top 3 White” winning Small Batch Series Viognier. Bottom middle, Winemaker Emily Pelton and Assistant Winemaker Elliott Watkins of Veritas Vineyard & Winery stand with their “Top 3 Red” winning 2016 Vintners Reserve. Top right, Winemaker and Co-owner of Ankida Ridge Vineyards, Nathan Vrooman, stands with his wife, Stinson Vineyards‘ Winemaker Rachel Stinson, and her “Top 3 White” winning Petit Manseng. Bottom right, Keswick Vineyards Winemaker Stephen Barnard stands with his “Top 3 Red” winning 2016 Signature Series Cabernet Franc.

The Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival will continue with numerous pairing dinners throughout the week, a small walk-around tasting event on Thursday at IX Art Park, the 3rd Annual Rose Lunch at Barboursville Vineyards on Friday and the Grand Tasting Event on Saturday, May 4, at the Sprint Pavilion before concluding on Sunday with the 4th Annual Sparkling Wine Brunch at Veritas Vineyard & Winery. You can see the full schedule of events here.

The largest event of the festival is Saturday’s tasting event at the Pavilion, which will showcase over 25 local wineries and will provide wine lovers the opportunity to purchase their favorites to take home! The day will begin with VIP catered tastings at 12:30 p.m. followed by the general event beginning at 1:30 p.m. During the tasting event, attendees can enjoy one flight of tastings per winery while learning about the different vineyards and their styles of wine. Wine & Country will join in the festivities with our beautiful booth, where attendees can create a wine charm, shop a few items from our new Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop and take home a copy of the brand new Book Eight of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living. We’ll be attending and covering some of the other festival events this week, so be sure to check our blog for updates and to follow along on our social media!

Again, congratulations to King Family Vineyards for winning the 2019 Monticello Cup. We are looking forward to another year of enjoying local award-winning wine and are excited to experience all the wonderful events this year’s Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival has to offer.

 

 

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