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Monticello Shares Tips on How to Start Vegetable Seeds Indoors


April 19, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

Staying at home is not only keeping you healthy but also giving you a great opportunity to discover a new hobby. Picking up a new interest that relieves your stress while also providing you with food is a great way to use your time productively, so what better skill to learn at the moment than gardening? In this video, Jessica Bryars, Assistant Manager of Nursery Operations for the Center for Historic Plants at Monticello, walks you through how to plant and propagate vegetable seeds at home so you, too, can start your own garden. 

What Gardening Materials You Will Need.

In order to begin properly planting your vegetables, you need to prepare the materials you will use. Bryars recommends that along with high quality seeds you should gather a soft germination medium (you can easily find potting mixes at Ivy Nursery or another local gardening shop), a watering can, a spray bottle to mist your plants with water, and a container (this can be anything—even empty toilet tissue rolls or old newspaper works great—as long as the container has drainage). Once you have gathered all of this, you’re ready to begin planting!

How to Prepare Your Gardening Containers.

Start by filling the container completely with your chosen potting mix. Once full, gently tap the bottom of the container to the surface you’re working on to make sure the dirt has settled, but don’t pack it in too hard. In order to properly germinate, the seeds will need room to breathe. When done, the container should be loosely full but not crammed. Using your watering can, soak the prepared containers, making sure all of the germination medium is covered. This is why drainage in your containers matters—when soaking, drainage ensures that your containers do not become overly full. 

Tips for Planting Seeds.

As a general rule, Bryars recommends that seeds be planted at a depth equal to three times their diameter. This means that smaller seeds should be planted at a shallower depth than larger ones to ensure that each seed is getting the proper amount of nutrients it needs. Once you make your indentations for each cell of your container, place two seeds into each. Planting two seeds together increases the likelihood of each cell yielding a germinated plant on the off chance a seed doesn’t take to the soil. 

Finishing the Planting Process.

After placing your seeds at an appropriate depth, lightly cover them with dirt to refill the container to its previous capacity. Rather than using your watering can to soak the soil on top of the seeds, use the spray bottle. This prevents the seeds from moving and soaks the soil while maintaining the work you did in placing the seeds. 

How to Care for Your Seeds.

Once finished, place the container somewhere warm. Until the plants have broken the surface, the amount of light reaching them does not matter, so most locations in your home work great. Then, move to a sunny window and continue watering them every day until they grow enough to be moved outside or into a larger container, then watch them grow into delicious vegetables for you and your family!

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.

Wine and Dine Wednesdays with Tavola Pasta


April 8, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

With a quarantine keeping the whole family inside, now is the time to break out some new recipes. That’s why we’re so excited that local restaurant Tavola released a cookbook with all their favorite Italian recipes. The great thing about pasta-based recipes is that you can buy dry pasta from the store to keep on your shelves so you always have the ingredients, or you can turn the process into a fun project and make homemade pasta with the kids or your significant other!

Pappardelle Alla Ragu

Fresh pappardelle pasta with braised pork, red wine and San Marzano tomatoes. (Serves four!)

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. fresh pappardelle pasta (Keep scrolling to see how you can make it yourself!)
  • 4 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 6 oz. dry red wine
  • 2 28 oz. cans San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs sage
  • 8 leaves chopped basil
  • ¼ tsp. toasted, ground fennel seed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Instructions

Cut pork shoulder into one- to two-inch chunks. Season with salt and pepper, and brown in a sauté pan over medium to high heat. Remove the pork from the pan, add two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, onions, carrots and garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft.

Pour the tomatoes from the can into a bowl and crush by hand, removing undesirable pieces. In the sauté pan, add tomato paste, cook for two minutes, then deglaze with red wine and add canned tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and add herbs.

Slow cook until the pork is tender, about three to four hours. Cook pasta al dente. Strain, add desired amount of pork ragu to noodles, and stir together to coat. 

Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano and sprinkle with chopped basil.

Fresh Homemade Pasta

Yields 8 ounces.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup 00 semolina flour
  • ⅓ cup No. 1 semolina flour
  • ⅛ tsp salt

Instructions

Sift flour onto the work surface and make a well in the center. Add the egg yolks into the well, then slowly incorporate them into the flour with a fork. Keep going until the dough is smooth.

When the dough comes together into a ball, knead it for about 10 minutes until it’s a cohesive, smooth mass. Cover with a damp towel, and let it rest for half an hour.

Divide the dough into two balls. Flatten them slightly and dust with flour. Using a pasta machine on the widest setting, feed the dough through three times. Adjust to the lowest setting and put the dough through again. The sheet should be thin. 

Fold the sheet over three or four times for cutting, then slice by hand to inch-wide noodles. Unroll to separate and loosen before cooking.

Click here to purchase your copy of the Tavola cookbook from our Wine & Country shop. Want to add a bottle of your favorite local wine to pair with a pasta dish, call The Wine & Country Shop at 434-984-4713 for curbside, no-contact pick-up.

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.

How to Pair Wine and Chocolate


March 25, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

Turn your kitchen into a culinary classroom with our Farm-to-Table inspiration! Today, let’s brush up on our pairing skills with Tim Gearhart of Gearharts Fine Chocolates and savor some of life’s most loved pleasures as we learn How to Pair Wine and Chocolate.

“Walking into Gearharts Fine Chocolates, you don’t have to be a chocolate lover to stop and appreciate the heavenly scents drifting from the kitchen or the countless racks filled with over 20 varieties of free-standing chocolates. It’s what you would identify as a true mingling of your senses. You can hear the enjoyment of others biting into their treat nearby while smelling the bittersweet scents as different flavors of ganache are cooked and coated. The anticipation of tasting any one of the mouth-watering selections would lift anyone’s mood.

What chocolate flavors pair best with wine?

Gearharts uses the cream in each chocolate as the base for flavor, adding an array of ingredients before molding into the ganache. The ganache is made a day or two ahead of time, so as to set before it is coated and rolled in extra bittersweet. There are many different ingredients, from macadamia nuts, candied ginger, dried apricots soaked in French cognac, earl grey tea and natural cacao nibs to vanilla bean, dried Michigan cherries, cinnamon, Ancho chili, orange, pistachios, toasted coconut, dark rum, whiskey, wine, and so many others. 

‘I don’t think I could choose one chocolate as my favorite,’ the artisan admits, ‘but the Malted Hazelnut is always a go-to.’ A local staple, the Taj incorporates candied ginger, cardamom and rose into its bittersweet chocolate ganache. ‘Another of my personal favorites is the Mint Julep. The creamy milk chocolate infused with fresh mint and Kentucky bourbon before again being dipped in milk chocolate is one to reckon with he says. One of the different chocolates, the Maya, is started with rich, bittersweet chocolate ganache flavored with cinnamon, Ancho chili, and orange before being dusted with cocoa.

Which Virginia wines pair best with chocolate?

A popular collaboration of Gearharts is the pairing of chocolates with wine. The Pod & Vine assortment includes wine-infused chocolates created with three Charlottesville vineyards. Barboursville Vineyards was the first to partner with this line, pairing their Cabernet Franc with the dark chocolate morsels and plum preserves. Jefferson Vineyards’ Petit Verdot fills another dark chocolate morsel along with raspberry jam and currants. The final local wine is King Family Vineyards’ ‘Seven’ (Port Style) paired with hazelnuts and natural vanilla in delicious dark chocolate. When balancing the sugars in both wines and chocolate, two strong catalysts, it is not always easy. They are alike in aromatics and create a ‘battle on the palate,’ also known as a ‘palate power-play,’ Tim explains. Thus, when integrating a chocolate with wine, it is key to pair robust wines with robust chocolates and sweeter wines with the sweeter chocolate, such as white chocolate.

Pro Tips for How to Pair Wine and Chocolate

When enjoying chocolate, your first tasting should have the lowest percentage of cocoa, allowing you to work your way up from white chocolate to milk chocolate to dark chocolate. In line with his advice, Gearhart recommends three local pairings sure to tempt any wine and chocolate connoisseur. 

The Vanilla Bean Brulee, a white chocolate ganache infused with vanilla bean and ‘torched’ sugar caramel before being dipped in more white chocolate, pairs well with the Reynard Florence Vineyard’s Petit Manseng Monticello. This white wine has an upfront richness with toasted pear and honey—balanced by bright acidity. Gearharts’ Dark Chocolate Caramel—soft caramel infused with rich cocoa, a touch of balsamic vinegar and cracked black pepper, coated in dark chocolate and finished with smoked sea salt—is another delicious match with Michael Shaps Wineworks’ Cabernet Franc, whose aromatics of red/black fruits are framed by spice and pepper. Gearharts’ Michigan Cherry, semi-sweet chocolate ganache with Kirsch and dried Michigan cherries dipped in dark chocolate, pairs perfectly with King Family Vineyards’ Meritage and its layered flavors of cherry and raspberry alongside oak spice and tar.

The most intense experience with chocolate undeniably is taste. Chocolate’s flavor components are initially trapped in the cocoa butter. However, as the chocolate melts, similarly to what it does in your mouth, the aromas are released and thus…heaven.

Falling in love with chocolate isn’t hard to do, and eating the cocoa-infused treats will give anyone a new appreciation for the science and the craft that go into making these delicious morsels.”

Text Excerpts from Book 3 of Wine & Country Life by Sarah Pastorek

Photography by Jen Fariello

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.

Winter DIY Pizza with Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards


January 20, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

‘Tis the season for warm comfort foods. And, whether you want to entertain the kids or host a date night at your place, the winter weather makes it the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and stay in for a homemade pizza night. So, we were thrilled when Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards shared their Executive Chef Ian Rynecki’s beloved pizza recipe! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Pippin Pizza Dough

*This recipe is by weight, which will yield the best results for your dough. Yields 2 pizza doughs.

Ingredients:

  • 153 grams all-purpose flour
  • 153 grams 00 (doppio zero) flour
  • 200 grams lukewarm tap water
  • 8 grams salt
  • 4 grams of olive oil
  • 2 grams of instant yeast

Method:

In a bowl, thoroughly blend both of the flours, yeast and salt. Then, add the water and, with your hands, mix thoroughly.

Transfer to a bowl rubbed with EVOO, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise at room temperature for 24 hours, or until it has more than doubled.

Flour a work surface and scrape out the dough. Divide it into 9 oz portions and shape them.

Mold the dough into a neat circular mound. The mounds should be slightly sticky, so add more flour as needed when rolling out. Allow the dough to double at room temperature.

Once doubled in size, roll out using your hands to a 14-inch round. Cook on a pizza stone in a 450-degree oven with your favorite toppings.

Photo Courtesy of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

Pippin Quick Red Sauce

Yields about 1 QT of sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups San Marzano tomato (crushed or whole peeled)
  • 8 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly diced
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Method:

In a small saucepan, sauté the garlic for 30 seconds over medium heat.

Stir in the tomatoes, salt, sugar, basil and oregano. Then, bring to a simmer.

Turn down the heat and let the sauce reduce for about 30 minutes.

Blend using an immersion blender until smooth.

Photo by Elisa Bricker, Courtesy of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

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.

CrossKeys Harvest Dinner


December 12, 2019 | Wine & Country Life

Wine-paired harvest dinners are a beloved part of the fall season in Virginia’s tastings country. They not only are a great way for local vineyards and wineries to show off their various vintages and wines but also offer guests the opportunity to better learn about staple wine and food pairings, while also enjoying a farm-to-table meal. Plus, many of these dinners offer guests the exclusive chance to meet and interact with the winemaker. Here is an inside look at one of these celebrations held at CrossKeys Vineyards last month.

On November 1, CrossKeys hosted their annual Harvest Dinner, featuring a five-course, locally sourced dinner. The dinner was held in CrossKeys’ Key Room, where 55 guests were seated at one long table decorated for the season with a maroon runner, pumpkins and fresh greenery.

The meal began with a sweet potato bisque topped with crispy capicola and vanilla crème fraîche and paired with 2018 Fiore. The second course featured cedar-wilted spinach, warm brie dressing, meyer lemon zest and brulée strawberry, alongside a 2017 Chardonnay. The third course followed with bacon-wrapped pork loin, butternut squash mousseline and prosciutto wrapped squash, which was completed with a 2016 Petit Verdot. Next, guests enjoyed pan-roasted trout, cinnamon apple spoonbread and fried brussels paired with a 2017 Pinot Noir. The delicious meal concluded with blood orange bourbon crème brulée paired with a 2016 Tavern. 

During the meal, Winemaker Steve Monson spoke and told guests about the wonderful harvest season CrossKeys had this year. Alongside expressing how the weather was optimal for both harvesting and winemaking, Monson provided industry insight into the various wines the attendees were enjoying throughout the meal.

Guests left the CrossKeys Vineyards‘ harvest dinner full from a delicious farm-to-table feast and excited for the wines that will come from the 2019 grape harvest. If you consider yourself a wine connoisseur or a foodie, we definitely recommend partaking in this seasonal tradition at one of your favorite vineyards next year. You can also see another recent harvest dinner at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in our latest issue, Book 9!

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.

Make Your Holiday Dinner a Farm-to-Table Experience


November 12, 2019 | Wine & Country Life

For many families, an integral part of the holiday season is a large family meal, from Thanksgiving supper to Christmas Day dinner and every celebration in between. During the season of giving, one way to give back to the Earth is to support local, sustainable farming practices. Family-run Timbercreek Farm embodies these holiday values year-round, supplying Charlottesville chefs and food connoisseurs with ethically produced meat while maintaining the land’s sustainability with practices such as raising the farm’s animals on “stress-free” pastures.

Zach Miller and his wife, Sara, returned to Charlottesville in 2006 to the 600-acre farm that Zach’s grandparents had owned since the late 1970s. His grandparents used the farm largely as a hobby farm, but Zach was inspired to utilize it to produce products and goods under a biodynamic model. The couple moved forward, creating a farm with a mission-driven purpose of preserving the land, providing a high quality of life for the farm’s animals, and creating an environmentally responsible and sustainable farm and business model. The property’s evolution is the story of an entire family making an impact on the farm, and vice versa. Zach’s parents, while not involved in a direct role, are supportive, and Zach and Sara involve their three children on the farm, too.

Through it all, Zach is consistently committed to ensuring Timbercreek Farm adheres to their vision of using the biodynamic agricultural model of permaculture. The concept revolves around developing an ecosystem on the farm that is entirely sustainable. Using a rotational grazing method, they breed grass-fed cattle as well as chickens, turkeys, pigs and, sporadically, ducks. Chickens move daily, and cows move at least every two days with other animals being rotated accordingly, all the while ensuring that all are provided with fresh forage. In return, the land benefits from the rotation and is not exposed to re-grazing for at least six weeks. Erosion and soil depletion are minimized while the fertility of the land is preserved.

“I like to call it a domesticated ecosystem. It’s a fully functioning ecosystem that sustains the farm,” Zach explains. His farming method has afforded Timbercreek Farm the advantage of remaining free of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones. While grain-fed beef can be produced in significantly less time, Zach believes grass feeding has a positive impact on the sustainability of the environment, as well as on the quality and taste of their product. “Fundamentally, we’re grass farmers because the quality of the animal is a direct result of the forage. The grass management is the foundation for the flavors to be expressed.”

Grass-fed beef is significantly leaner, and the Millers espouse the superiority of its substance. “What you’ll notice primarily in grass-fed beef, especially in Virginia, is an iron-rich beefy flavor that has a lot to do with the soil. Texture, in chicken, has more substance from developed muscle textures because they haven’t just been lounging around. You can also taste the natural forage—nutty flavors—in the pork and chicken.”

Knowing the farm’s operations are successful is a source of pride for the Millers, but ensuring that the livestock is both satisfying and accessible for consumers is also important. “What we have believed since the beginning is that the product has to sell itself by being delicious.”

Timbercreek Farm’s sustainable farming practices celebrate the natural flavors in their ethically produced meat, creating a healthy ecosystem that the Millers and their consumers can feel good about. The Timbercreek Farm website allows their customers to place holiday orders, available for pick up at select stores in the Charlottesville area. Whether you are looking for a free-range turkey for your Thanksgiving table or a antibiotic- and hormone-free ham for your holiday table, Timbercreek is a great local source.

Prefer to eat out during the holidays? You can also find a list of local restaurants that use products from Timbercreek on the farm’s website!

Read more about Timbercreek Farm in Book 7 of Wine & Country Life. Original words by Jennifer Waldera.

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.

Cassoulet with Oyster Mushrooms Recipe


October 30, 2019 | Wine & Country Life

The former Blackthorne Inn in Upperville, Virginia, is currently in the process of being reimagined by Easton Porter Group, who bought the property in 2016. Projected to open in 2021, the inn promises to become a place of relaxation, refreshment, and inspiration. Organic gardens are being developed in order to supply the property with the freshest produce, herbs, and flowers—a signature priority of Easton Porter Group. Additional goods and ingredients will be sourced from local vendors and purveyors. This farm-to-table and local sourcing initiative can be seen in practice at other properties under the group, including Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards.

Ahead of the inn’s reopening, we asked the group to share a few dishes similar to those we can expect the inn’s restaurant and pub to be serving. In the coming months, we will be sharing a few of these delectable recipes that encapsulate Easton Porter Group’s commitment to gourmet and locally-sourced fare, as we eagerly await the inn’s official menu debut in 2021. Enjoy!

Cassoulet with Oyster Mushrooms

By Ian Rynecki  – Corporate Executive Chef – Easton Porter Group

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound                      Tarbais beans, dry (or cannellini)
  • 3 tablespoons             Salt
  • 6 ounces                     Slab bacon, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 pound                       Boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 1 pound                       Fresh pork sausage, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 each                         Onion, large, finely diced 
  • .5 pound                      Oyster mushrooms, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 each                         Cloves
  • 2 each                         Bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs                       Thyme
  • 4 sprigs                       Parsley
  • As needed                   Butcher’s twine
  • 1 each                         Carrot, peeled, cut into 3-inch sections
  • 2 stalks                        Celery, cut into 3-inch sections
  • 1-2 each                      Cloves elephant garlic
  • 1  28 –ounce can        Peeled tomatoes
  • 1 quart                         Chicken stock, plus more as needed to rehydrate
  • 4 pieces                       Duck confit, cleaned into large chunks, bones reserved

Procedure:

To begin, cover beans with 3-quarts water and add 3 tablespoons salt. Stir to combine and let sit at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse the beans, set aside.

Using a wide stainless steel pot, sear the bacon over low heat, rendering out the bacon fat, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan. Sear the pork shoulder in the same pan, cook for 5 minutes until the pork begins to brown. Flip over and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the pan.

Sear the sausage, cut side down, for about 2 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove sausage from the pot and set aside with the remainder of the cooked meat.          

Add onions and mushrooms to pot and cook for 5 minutes. Tie the clove, bay leaf, thyme and parsley together using butcher’s twine. Add the bundle to a pot with drained beans, carrot, celery, garlic, tomato product and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce to low, cover pot and cook until beans are almost tender, about 45 minutes.

Remove the aromatics (carrots, celery, bay leaf, clove, and parsley mixture). Add bacon, pork shoulder, duck confit, and sausage to pot, stir. Transfer to a 300-degree Fahrenheit oven and cook, uncovered, until a thin crust forms on top, about 2 hours, adding more chicken stock as needed. Continue to cook for an additional 2 hours, until a nice brown crust has formed on the top.


And what is any meal without its complementing wine? Corporate Executive Chef Ian Rynecki recommends pairing this dish with Easton Blue from Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, noting “In this dish the earthy mushrooms demand a fruit-forward tannic wine like our Easton Blue.” 

Photos by Kate Greer, Courtesy of Easton Porter Group

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.

Boars Head Resort Debuts Reimagined Mill Room Restaurant and Hotel Lobby


May 22, 2019 | Wine & Country Life

Earlier this month, AAA Four Diamond Boar’s Head Resort reopened its Mill Room Restaurant and hotel lobby, showcasing extensive renovations to the elegant resort’s main building and an overall more modern ambiance. The multi-million dollar project took 15 months to complete and was part of the resort’s larger renovation plan, which also includes the 18-hole 72 par Birdwood Golf Course that is being redesigned by Davis Love III.

The resort’s new entrance and lobby space, pictured below, now welcomes guests with a wall of windows providing more natural light and a beautiful view of the manicured grounds, new furnishings, local art and thoughtful details, like the lobby’s collection of Jefferson and Charlottesville-inspired books.

The new Mill Room Restaurant, formerly the “Old Mill Room,” salutes tradition by retaining the vintage wood beams, which pre-date the resort’s original opening in 1964, as well as the room’s original fireplace and hardwood floors. More contemporary dining chairs, fresh light fixtures and unclothed tables, are just a few of the other touches that add a more modern feel to the historic restaurant.

In addition to the new dining area, the new Mill Room Restaurant now also includes a sleek new glass-backed bar, where guests can order wine, beer, liquor and cocktails. The restaurant has also debuted a fresh farm-to-table menu that utilizes greens grown in a Babylon Micro-Farms hydroponic indoor garden on the resort’s grounds.

The additional dining spaces surrounding the main dining area also were revamped during the project, and guests can now enjoy an updated 1834 Room, Porch Dining and Terrace Dining during their visit.

Congratulations to the Boar’s Head Resort on the reopening of their beloved restaurant and lobby. We know guests will enjoy the new spaces and and the delicious locally-inspired menu. We are excited to see the other upcoming projects the resort has in store for its grounds and buildings. Be sure to check our blog and upcoming editions of the magazine as we continue to cover all these exciting developments!

Photos by Jack Looney, Courtesy of the Boar’s Head Resort

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.

Embracing the Season with Flower Arranging at Pippin Hill


July 13, 2018 | Wine & Country Life

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 more water when sitting 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.

 

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.