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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.

Remembering David King


May 4, 2019 | Ivy Publications

We at Ivy Publications and Charlottesville Wine & Country Living would like to extend our deepest condolences to the King family upon the passing of King Family Vineyards’ founder, David King. We’d also like to express how thankful we are for his influence on the growth of our local wine country, as is evident in the vineyard’s garnering of the 2019 Monticello Cup Award earlier this week at the 28th Annual Competition for their 2016 Mountain Plains vintage.

David met his wife Ellen King at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, before marrying her in 1977. After graduating from law school and retiring from a successful Houston law practice, King and his wife moved to Virginia in 1995. Having played polo since 1980, King wanted a field here so he could continue to enjoy the sport in Virginia, so he set out to find property with at least 12 acres of relatively flat land. Though a vineyard was not part of the plan when they purchased the 327 acre Roseland Farm in Crozet, King became intrigued when a young man named Tom Vandenberg approached him in 1998 asking to lease 10 acres for winemaking. Curious to learn more, King hired a vineyard consultant and visited a nursery in California for inspiration. After designing the winery on the back of a napkin and launching the full-fledged construction project, King Family Vineyards opened on October 1, 2002.

David’s leadership and influence in the wine industry were far from confined to even our own Monticello AVA during his career. In addition to serving locally to help guide the growing industry through standards, zoning hearings and more, he also served as chairman of the Virginia Wine Board. King played a prominent role at the state level and worked tirelessly as an advocate for vineyard agriculture and agritourism and with our state lawmakers in Richmond, shaping critical legislation including the Farm Winery Act and the Virginia Wholesale Distribution Company that have been instrumental to the success of Virginia winemaking. His influence will be long felt.

 

With King’s vision and commitment to excellence, the King Family Vineyards popular polo field is now surrounded by 31 acres of stunning vineyards that produce just over 10,000 cases per year of some of the area’s most sought-after wines. His three sons, Carrington, Stuart and James, serve as full-time staff with the support of their wives and children, making the business a true family affair. There was nothing King loved more than being surrounded by his seven grandchildren on the property, who could often be seen cheering him on during his polo matches or manning the scoreboard.

Specializing in the production of premium wines that showcase the remarkable terroir and quality of the Monticello AVA, a visit to King Family Vineyards encapsulates all King hoped it would be—a unique experience with wines uniquely expressive of beautiful Virginia. No matter the visitor, King loved to spend time connecting with his customers, hoping that a trip to the tasting room, polo field or event space always felt like coming home.

We are so grateful for David King’s pioneering work and passion for both polo and winemaking. His wife, sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren will continue to build on his success for years to come, as will all those in the industry who have been inspired by his vision and leadership, further carving out his special and revered place in the story of Virginia wine.

 

 

 

Family Portrait & Motorcycle Photo by Aaron Watson. All others by RL Johnson.

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.

Seasonal Pairing Ideas: Seafood and Local Craft Beverages


April 2, 2019 | Ivy Publications

For many of us, our summer fare often includes seafood, whether we are visiting one of our favorite beaches on the Atlantic Coast, or are enjoying a locally prepared dish. While most of us know that seafood frequently pairs well with white wines, choosing the right white wine isn’t always easy. So, check out this mussels and wine pairing/beer suggestion from the Tasting Room and Taphouse at Mount Ida Reserve for a little help the next time you are enjoying a local seafood meal or are packing your favorite local wine for a little beach getaway.

For this pairing, Chef Nathan Hatfield, the Executive Chef at the Tasting Room and Taphouse at Mount Ida Reserve, prepared Prince Edward Island Mussels by cooking them in a fragrant red sauce with roasted garlic and onions and scallions. The dish was completed with a toasted baguette.

“We always recommend something lighter and refreshing [when pairing] with one of our From the Sea specials,” said Assistant Manager Catie Richards. She recommends one of three drinks to complete the dish:

  • Light Beer, like the Full Moon Pilsner. Described as “crisp, clean and light,” a light beer like the Pilsner would be a refreshing addition to the plate.
  • Sparkling Wine, like the Bell Mount Blanc De Blanc. This wine’s clementine, fresh apricot, white flowers, and honeysuckle notes pair well with not only mussels, but also other seafoods, like oysters and roasted fish.
  • Chardonnay, like the Bell Mount Chardonnay. The wine’s fewer aromatics allow the mussel’s flavor to be better showcased during the meal.

Love seafood? The Tasting Room and Taphouse at Mount Ida Reserve’s pairing menu includes a “From the Sea” feature with a daily seafood dish. Recent “From the Sea” selections have been fresh oysters on the half shell, pan seared red snapper, and crispy prawns. Seafood lovers should also look out for the upcoming spring and fall oyster festivals at area vineyards!

Want more pairing ideas? Check out these southwestern pairings from Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, Book 5, and keep an eye on the blog for more food and craft beverage posts!

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.

 

Judging the Best of the Monticello Wine Trail


March 13, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Yesterday, over 58 wines within our local Monticello Wine Trail were judged to establish whose wines will take home one of the Top 6 medals and who will win the prestigious Monticello Cup for the 29th Annual Monticello Wine Trail Wine Competition.

Every year, prior to the beginning of the Monticello Wine Trail Festival, the 33 vineyards that make up the Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA), a subsidiary of the Jeffersonian Wine Grape Growers Society, are asked to submit their top three wines to the competition. This year, 20 of the wineries submitted wines. Under the direction of the Virginia Wine Academy for the second year in a row, 14 judges came together at Veritas Vineyard & Winery for a day of wine tasting and scoring.

Over the course of the day, Chris Parker and Andrew Hodson, the founders of the Virginia Wine Academy, took the two panels of judges (7 on each panel) through the judging process. In flights of five wines, judges sat quietly and analyzed each varietal placed before them in a blind tasting. The judges were given five minutes to taste and “grade” each wine on a tasting rubric, knowing only whether the wine was a Chardonnay, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, etc.

The tasting rubric that these judges use is extensive and takes them through the varying steps of tasting a wine—visual, aromatics, taste and overall conclusion. The visual category is where they identify the clarity, intensity and color of each wine. From there, the judges move on to looking at the aromatics, from the condition and level to the aroma (fruit, floral, spice, oak, etc.). Before scoring a wine in its entirety, judges look at its taste—sweetness, acidity, tannin, texture, body and flavor.

Andrew Stover, a sommelier consultant from Washington, D.C. who was invited to be a judge, shared, “The quality has been quite high, even though I’ve only tasted the first 10 wines.” Since becoming certified in 2006, Stover has judged in dozens of competitions around the country, sharing that this was the first “niche” competition of which he has been a part, and that he was impressed by the wines being produced by our boutique industry. “Overall the competition showed a very high level of quality across all of the categories—a level of quality that really shows that Monticello is producing some of the top wines in Virginia in my opinion. Because it is a very small group of wineries, the quality is overall higher than in other state wide competitions I have judged in other states (not Virginia),” said Stover. When asked what stood out for him during the competition, he noted that “The skin-contact Viogniers were very distinctive.”

Once both panels of judges scored all 58 wines, they re-judged those that made the top 40%, which comprises those that scored the highest in three categories: balanced, complexity and drinkability.

On April 29, the seven-day festival, presented by Mercedes-Benz of Charlottesville, will kick off with the Monticello Cup Awards at Vault Virginia, when the winning wines will be announced to the public. From April 30–May 2, a series of collaborative dinners will be hosted by local restaurants and wineries, followed by the 3rd Annual Rose Lunch, winery tours and tastings, and a Spirited Wine Trail Reception, all on May 3. The popular Grand Tasting at the Sprint Pavilion, on May 4, will feature more than 25 local wineries and live entertainment, and is always a great opportunity for wine enthusiasts to sample some of their favorite varietals. Concluding the festival will be the 4th Annual Sparkling Brunch at Veritas Vineyard & Winery. For all event details and locations, click here.

A big thanks to this year’s talented judging panel, and we can’t wait to hear who was chosen for the 2019 Monticello Cup Award!

2019 Judges:

Whitney Berry
Beth Chan
Robert Harllee
Megan Hereford
Ryder Kenerson
Richard Leahy
Priscilla Martin
Jeff Ottaviano
Lindsey Parris
Mike Potasnik
Justin Ross
Andrew Stover
Erica Vorhauer
Neal Wavra

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.

Monticello Wine Trail Takes 2019 Cup and Multiple Golds


February 27, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Last night, the 2019 Annual Virginia Governor’s Cup Gala was held at Richmond’s Main Street Station. After 102 wineries submitted more than 500 wines, an esteemed panel of 18 judges selected 68 Gold Medal winning wines to be celebrated at this year’s gala. Locals, Afton Mountain Vineyards, Barboursville Vineyards, DelFosse Vineyards and Winery, Early Mountain Vineyards, Horton Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards, Keswick Vineyards, King Family Vineyards, Trump Winery, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, Brix & Columns Vineyards and Virginia Wineworks all made the prestigious list, showcasing the true talent coming out of our local wine region.

Twelve of these Gold Medal winning wines were selected for the 2019 Governor’s Case after outscoring all the other entrants on appearance, aroma, flavor, overall quality and commercial suitability. Seven of the wines selected for the case were from our very own region, including Barboursville Vineyards’ 2017 Vermentino Reserve, Early Mountain Vineyards’ 2016 Eluvium, Horton Vineyards’ 2016 Petit Manseng and King Family Vineyards’ 2016 Mountain Plains and 2016 Meritage.

During the awards presentation, a video was shown outlining the process of the judging, including interviews with a handful of judges like local Sommelier Erin Scala and highly noted wine authority from London, Steven Spurrier, who in the video compared Virginia’s wine region to that of Europe, and which elicited an excited and thunderous applause from the crowd. After announcing the highly regarded Governor’s Cup Case, Governor Ralph Northam awarded the 2019 Governor’s Cup to local Horton Vineyards for their 2016 Petit Manseng. Not only was the Petit Manseng one of a few select white wines to ever win the cup, but also was the first Petit Manseng to ever receive the award.

Horton’s win was particularly touching after the passing of the vineyards’ founder and winemaker Dennis Horton last June, and it shows the vineyards’ and Horton family’s continuation of Dennis’ pioneering legacy and passion for winemaking. Their second Governor’s Cup, the Horton family also won the cup in 1993 for their 1990 Cabernet Sauvignon, which was produced from the vineyards’ first crop and crafted at Montdomaine Cellars. Horton’s wines have also gained regional and national recognition over the years, including the awarding of the Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award to Dennis at the Virginia Governor’s Cup in 2011, and more recently, the showcasing of Horton Vineyards at a Smithsonian Winemakers’ Dinner. Dennis’ wife Sharon, daughter Shannon and granddaughter Caitlin, who are now continuing the family business, were all present to accept and celebrate the award. During her acceptance speech alongside longtime business partner Joan Bieda, Sharon Horton credited the vineyards’ win to her hardworking vineyard team, including Vineyard Foreman Tony Baeza Cruz who has been with Horton for 20 years.

Throughout the evening, Shannon poured some of their vineyards’ award-winning wine for gala attendees. In a tearful moment, she expressed how proud her father would have been of the prestigious recognition for their work from the Virginia Wineries Association. The winning wine is 100% Petit Manseng and characterized as having sweet tropical fruits, wiped clean by a fierce blaze of blinding acidity—a beautiful, sumptuous, golden wine.

Horton Vineyards was featured in the recent edition of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living. Learn more about Horton’s history in Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, Book Seven.

That evening, the talented members of our local wine industry proved once again how much our region has to offer wine connoisseurs around the world. The innovative and creative spirit that drives the Monticello Wine Trail continues to advance the industry and its wine production, impressing wine lovers along the way. We would like to sincerely congratulate Horton Vineyards on their Governor’s Cup win, as well as all of the other vineyards who highlighted our region with gold medals and for being selected for the Governor’s Case. We cannot wait to try all of the award-winning wines and to see all that these talented people have in store for our wine country!

Below, top left, Winemaker Luca Paschina of Barboursville Vineyards congratulates neighbor and Horton Vineyards’ Co-Founder and Viticulturist Sharon Horton. Below, right, gala attendees are able to try some of the spectacular wines from this year’s Governor’s Case, including Early Mountain Vineyards’ 2016 Eluvium. Below, bottom left, the team at Brix & Columns Vineyards celebrates their Gold Medal winning wine. Congratulations to all from your biggest fans here at Charlottesville Wine & Country Living!

 

 

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.

 

Wine and Calligraphy: 5 Tips for Learning the Craft


February 21, 2019 | Ivy Publications

There has always been something so romantic and timeless about the handwritten note. Whether you are writing “thank you” notes, sending invitations or perhaps creating name cards for your next dinner party, having beautiful script can elevate both your versatility and entertaining artistry. So, when we heard Early Mountain Vineyards was hosting a calligraphy workshop with Jen Maton of local If So Inklined, it is safe to say we were pretty excited. Ahead of the class, we asked Maton to share a few of her tips for getting started in the beautiful art of calligraphy.

  1. Take a deep breathe and relax. A glass of wine helps with that!
  2. Remember that when you press down on the pen, you will create thick lines. And when you lift up, you will create thin lines. Another way to put it is: the upstroke = thin, and the downstroke = thick.
  3. Use only high quality tools and materials. A little extra money spent goes a lot further. Cheap pens will result in frustration. The upcoming class teaches what different tools you can use to achieve modern brush lettering and where to buy them.
  4. Practice makes perfect! Practice sheets are the key to success.
  5. Have fun! The upcoming class is structured to teach you brush lettering in a low key (stress-free way).

The Modern Brush Pen Calligraphy class with If So Inklined will be this Sunday, from 1–3pm at Early Mountain Vineyards. Tickets can be purchased here. You can learn more about Maton and If So Inklined by visiting her website here and seeing her in Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, Volume 2.

 

Lead Images by Rachel May Photography

Photo of Jen Maton by Rachel May Photography

Photos of calligraphy course booklets courtesy of If So Inklined

 

 

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.

 

Cheers to the Virginia Wine Expo


February 20, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Calling all of our fellow wine lovers! The Annual Virginia Wine Expo is February 26–March 3! This six-day event in nearby Richmond highlights not only Virginia’s premier wines, but also the best in state and national spirits, cider and cuisine with special dinners, brunches, seminars and tasting events. The expo’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. We love attending this event each year and seeing our talented local vineyards, craft brewers, distillers and cideries showcased! A few popular locals you can look for at this year’s event include Barboursville Vineyards, Bold Rock Hard CiderCastle Hill Cider, CrossKeys Vineyards, Early Mountain VineyardsHorton Vineyards, and Veritas Vineyard & Winery. Here is a little round up of what you can expect at this year’s expo.

©2018 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.

Tuesday through Friday, attendees can enjoy a plethora of foodie and craft beverage events at various locations around Richmond. Many of our local vineyards will be included in wine-paired dinners, including the Buckhead’s Chop House Signature Wine Dinner, which will include Barboursville Vineyards‘ Malvaxia Reserve, on Tuesday, February 26, and Virginia’s Past, Present & Future Signature Wine Dinner at Acacia Mid-Town, which will include a 2017 Early Mountain Vineyards Rose, on Thursday, February 28. You can browse the full schedule of events here.

Love spirits and/or craft brews? Be sure to check out the SMOKED! event on Friday, March 1. This tasting event will feature food from at least 14 different barbecue restaurants, as well as craft beers and ciders, over 50 different whiskeys, and of course… wine.

©2018 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.

Saturday, March 2, is the expo’s most packed day with the popular Walk-Around Grand Tasting event, seminars and other experiences, like a special vertical tasting with local Keswick Vineyards. The Walk-Around Grand Tastings (one in the afternoon and one in the evening) will include over 10 of our local vineyards, as well as two local cideries and distilleries. Plus, we will be in attendance, sharing our most recent issue of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living!

©2018 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.

The expo will conclude on Sunday, March 3, with a sparkling brunch, wine seminar and Walk-Around Grand Tasting. Whether you are a foodie, wine or craft beverage lover, or love all three, there will be plenty to enjoy and explore during this year’s Virginia Wine Expo! Each year, the expo includes more exciting events, and we cannot wait to see all that the 2019 expo has in store for participants. We hope to see you there!

If you need to brush up on your wine-tasting skills before the Virginia Wine Expo, be sure to also check out our recent blog post with Valley Road Vineyards about proper wine tasting technique.

 

All photos: ©2018 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc., Courtesy of the Virginia Wine Expo

 

 

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.

Wine Tasting 101


February 13, 2019 | Ivy Publications

With over 40 local wineries to visit for a tasting, learning to expand your palate has never been so easy—or so pleasurable. Whatever you desire—flowery, fruity, smoky or light—you are sure to find the perfect wine. However, when it comes to wine tastings, the experience should involve more than just your taste buds. We asked Stan Joynes, owner and CEO of local Valley Road Vineyards, to share some tips on how to properly taste wine. Joynes recommends the “5 S’s” of wine tasting—Seeing, Swirling, Sniffing, Sipping and Savoring.

Joynes’ breakdown of the “5 S’s:

  • See the Wine.
    Taste wine in a room that is well-lit, and if you can, hold the wine up to a white background to examine the color and clarity.
    Tip:
    The intensity of the color will hint to how the wine is likely to taste, and, generally, depth of color will signal intensity of flavor.
  • Swirl the Wine.
    Swirling the wine in your glass helps release the hundreds of aroma compounds that wine contains. They are so small that they float on evaporating alcohol into our noses.
    Tip: The easiest way to start swirling is to place your thumb and forefinger at the base of a stemmed wine glass while it’s sitting on a flat surface. Then, while gripping the base, move the glass in small circles. As you become more adept, try swirling without a hard surface under the glass.
  • Sniff the Wine.
    Smell is the principal sense used in wine tasting, so sniffing the wine before the initial sip is essential. The “bouquet” of a wine is the total aromatic experience it produces, and assessing a wine’s bouquet can reveal not only its strengths but also its faults, such as oxidation due to age or cork taint. Experiencing the wine’s bouquet assists you in anticipating the wine’s flavors. 
  • Sip the Wine.
    Thoroughly tasting a wine requires recognizing its full array of taste and mouthfeel attributes which involves the combination of the wine’s textures, flavors, weight and overall “structure.” To get the most out of your tasting, start by holding a sip for a few seconds just inside the front of your mouth. With lips pursed, draw in a breath and let the oxygen pass slowly over the wine. The aromatics will be excited by the body heat inside the mouth and will be transferred to your olfactory receptor site.
    Tip: To get the fullest experience of the wine’s attributes, take a larger sip and let it flow into the whole of your mouth, coating the tongue.
  • Savor the Wine.
    The “finish” refers to the sensation you get from swallowing the wine, and it is defined principally by the length of time the wine taste stays with you after you swallow. The finish sometimes provides a sensation noticeably different from the taste you got on your palate. Items to look for include an alcohol taste, which is not desirable, and tastes that dominate in a way that renders the wine unbalanced. 

Ready to put your wine tasting skills to the test? Check out Valley Road Vineyards’ Blind Tasting Event on February 16!

 

Lead Image: By Skip Rowland

Second Image: By Skip Rowland

Third Image: Courtesy of Valley Road Vineyards

Wine Tasting Notes: By Stan Joynes

 

 

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.

Celebrate Love Wine and Country Style


February 6, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Wine almost always comes to mind when we think about Valentine’s Day—whether you are looking for the perfect bottle for toasting with your candle-lit dinner, want to plan a romantic afternoon at a vineyard or perhaps are looking for that special vintage that takes you back to the early days of a relationship. And, what better place to celebrate than in our local wine country, where you can always find the perfect award-winning local wine for any occasion.

In fact, our local vineyards can do much more than just serve as the source for wine. They also make for a lovely location for a romantic outing. Plan a picturesque afternoon at a local vineyard and stroll the vines hand-in-hand. Or, attend one of the many pairing events at a local vineyard and try something new with your beau.

Tip: The vineyard and Blue Ridge Mountain vistas make for an idyllic backdrop for gift giving. Spread out a picnic blanket among the vines (on warmer days) or cozy up by a tasting room fire for an intimate gift exchange. We suggest gifting something locally and/or hand-crafted like the beautiful Ana Cavalheiro ring given at a special Barboursville Vineyards outing below.

If you prefer a more elegant Valentine’s Day, consider attending a local vineyards’ multi-course wine-paired dinner, like the Valentine’s Day Celebration at Barboursville Vineyards, and enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner with exquisite wine pairings. Some area vineyards even offer quaint cottages, inns and bed & breakfasts that overlook the rolling vines, perfect for turning a romantic evening into a mini getaway or staycation. The couple below spent a romantic weekend at Barboursville Vineyards, strolling along the vines, visiting The Ruins and staying at The 1804 Inn (a must-visit historic inn with luxury suites). Looking for an elegant gift fitting for a vineyard affair? Visit local Schwarzschild Keller & George Jewelers for timeless pieces like the stunning layered “Siviglia” necklaces completing the woman’s chic look below.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, there are many local ways to make it memorable. Here are a few of our top vineyard picks:

Looking for other ways to celebrate? Check out these local ideas:

You can also check the Charlottesville Welcome Book website for a calendar of more exciting local events, as well as find inspiration for a romantic weekend at Barboursville Vineyards in Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, Book Five. To complete your plans, stop by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop for local wines, artisan-made jewelry and more perfect gift ideas.

 

 

Image Credits:
Photography: Rachel May Photography 
Venue, Catering & Wine: Barboursville Vineyards
Florals: Tourterelle Floral Design 
Clothing: Verdigris & Brooks Brothers
Jewelry: Ana Cavalheiro Fine Jewelry and Schwarzschild Keller & George Jewelers
Table Setting & Chairs: MS Events
Hair: Brianna B. Adams LLC
Makeup: Gohar Makeup
Female Model: Noelle S., Modelogic
Male Model: Patrick K., Modelogic

 

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.