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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.

Behind-the-Scenes of the Boninti Home and the Historic Garden Tour


April 19, 2019 | Ivy Publications

The brand new Book Eight of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living features the delightful Boninti Home, a charming cottage on this year’s Albemarle-Charlottesville Historic Garden Week Tour. Be sure to pick up a copy of the newly released magazine for a special inside look at the cozy home and its’ lush gardens before the April 28 tour. In the meantime, enjoy this sneak peek!

Nestled at the bottom of a hill, the home exudes the “hygge” lifestyle before you even enter the residence. Surrounded by lush greens and vegetation, the home feels supported and welcomed by the landscape. Purchased in 1981, the naturalized gardens have been a passion project of owners Fran and Andrew for over four decades.

Upon entering the home, the cottage charm greets guests with warm colors, sweet antiques and homey spaces. The decor is a fusion between the owners’ love of 19th century collectibles and cottage charm, like the antique stationery cabinet below which houses a colorful assortment of tea cups and servers, pitchers, framed photos and collected treasures.

With a large wooden island, wooden cabinets and a gas fireplace, the kitchen embraces the home’s “hygge” theme. One could easily imagine a pleasant afternoon enjoying a cup of tea with a friend.

Outside, exploring the expansive garden’s stone paths, there are many scents, colors and textures to enjoy. A charter member of the Jefferson Chapter of the Native Plant Society, Fran’s master gardening and passion for nature are showcased in the landscape. One feels as though they have stumbled upon a beautiful secret garden.

You do not want to miss this enchanting home on the 2019 Historic Garden Week Tour from April 27–May 4 throughout Virginia. Homes and gardens in our local Albemarle County and Charlottesville will be showcased on Sunday, April 28, from 10am–4pm. This tour is only accessible via shuttle, which will be picking up and dropping off visitors at the tour headquarters at the Greencroft Club.

If you plan on attending our local tour, be sure to also stop by our new Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop—just a two-minute drive from Greencroft! We will be open all day with local wines, foods, artisan-made goods and all your favorite garden/botanical pieces, like garden statuary, Maria Pace designs and home goods from our brand new Lara Gastinger Collection. We hope to see you soon!

 

Interior Photos by Andrea Hubbell

 

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.

Dress to Impress: Your Guide to Spring Horse Race Fashion


April 16, 2019 | Ivy Publications

It’s already April, and that means the start of the spring horse race season. Some of our favorite local and regional events are coming up at the end of the month. Depending on the race you attend, you could see anything from sundresses with sandals to cocktail dresses and heels for the women, and button-down shirts with chino shorts to sport coats and ties for the men.

Check out this breakdown of the dress codes, as well as our lists of ensemble must-haves for the upcoming Foxfield Spring Races (April 27 in Charlottesville) and the Virginia Gold Cup (May 4 in The Plains, Virginia) so that you are ready to enjoy a day at the races in proper spring fashion.

The Look for the Ladies
  • Foxfield Spring Races: Preppy and dressy casual. Women often don colorful spring dresses, sandals and sun hats.
  • Virginia Gold Cup: “Afternoon dress.” These are “Sunday Best” dresses often paired with flats and a sun hat.

The Must Haves from The Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop:

  1. A bag to carry necessities like sunscreen and any souvenirs you collect at the races. (The French Backpack.)
  2. Chic accessories to complete your ensemble. (Pink Opal Teardrop Bracelet and Pink Teardrop Earrings by Harriet & Vee.) 
  3. Odes to spring. You will see these intertwined into the outfits of many racegoers. (Rabbit Pin.
  4. A Colorful Scarf. (English Garden Hat Scarf.)
  5. A sun hat and colorful scarf or a fascinator. Not only is this a dress code must, but it will also protect your face from a day in the sun! (The Polo Hat.)
  6. A comfortable sun dress. We recommend a dress that is easy for you to move around in. There is plenty to see at horse races with vendors, tailgating and competition. You want to be able to walk around easily in the grassy areas and to be comfortable standing and sitting down. (Dolce Vila Dress by Effie’s Heart from Verdigris.) 


The Look for the Gents
  • Foxfield Spring Races: Preppy and dressy casual. Men often sport button-down shirts and chino shorts or kakis with sport coats and ties (often bow ties).
  • Virginia Gold Cup: “Afternoon dress.” A slightly more formal event, shorts are not considered appropriate at these races. Men most often wear sport coats with dress shirts and dress pants.

The Must Haves from The Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop:

  1. A light button-down shirt. This will give you a neat, dapper look while keeping you from getting too hot in the April/May sun. (Stone Rose Shirt from Verdigris.) 
  2. A bow tie. These are especially popular at The Foxfield Races, and make for the perfect finishing touch for any formal outfit. (The Prince’s Paisley Blue Ridge Bow Tie.) 
  3. A slim wallet. Carrying a money clip or a pocket wallet will take up less space in your pockets, and force you to only carry the essentials—which also means there is less for you to lose during the festivities. (Gator Money Clip and Ostrich Pocket Wallet by Chuck Pinnell.)
  4. A key fob. If you are driving, this is a great way to keep up with your keys during a day of celebrating. (Barrons-Hunter Suede Tassel Silk.) 
  5. A dependable belt. You want to be comfortable, and a belt will finish your look with a tucked-in shirt. (Hoof Pick Belt by the Wiley Brothers.)

These annual horse races are always a fabulous and social time with stylish outfits, tailgating and, of course, watching the thrilling competition. If you have any questions about the dress codes for the upcoming events, be sure to visit the Foxfield Spring Races and Virginia Gold Cup websites, as both events address dress code in the FAQ portions of their site. If you are planning to tailgate at either event, be sure to visit the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop for chairs, corn hole boards, picnic baskets, linens and more!

We will see you at the races!

 

Photo Credits:

Lead Image by Richard Clay, Courtesy of the Virginia Gold Cup

“For the Ladies” Lifestyle Images: Photos by Jen Fariello | Styling by Taz Greer & R. L. Johnson | Makeup by Rouge 9 | Hair by Top Knot Studio | Jewelry by Ana Cavalheiro Fine Jewelry | Drink by Exchange Events

“For the Gents” Lifestyle Images: Photos by Sera Petras | Styling by Marisa Vrooman of Orpha Events | Sunglasses from Primary Eyecare | Jewelry from Andrew Minton Jewelers | Beverages from The Bitty Bar | Catering from The Local | Desserts from Kilwins & Paradox Pastry | Transportation from Mercedes-Benz of Charlottesville

 

 

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.

4 Questions You Should Ask Your Investment Manager


April 10, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Choosing a financial advisor is an important decision. Not only do you need to be able to trust this person, but you also want to make sure their qualifications and practices fall in line with your needs and financial goals. So, we asked local Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager for Miller Asset Solutions LLC, Sean Miller, to share a few important questions to ask during your search for a financial manager. Here are his suggestions:

  • Can you please explain your investment strategy in simple terms? Your investment manager’s approach should be both simple to implement and simple to explain to you. Complexity has proven to be problematic in the form of excess leverage, inverse (expensive) investment products and the inelegant use of option strategies.
  • Can you please explain all the fees charged to my investment assets? The industry standard is to charge clients 1% on investment assets. This equates to $1,000 per $100,000 of assets or $10,000 of fees per $1,000,000 of assets. Trading fees, mutual fund management fees and exchange-traded fund management fees should also be added up. Banks are typically charging for the 1% management fee PLUS the mutual fund management fee on that bank’s proprietary mutual fund. Thus, fees can exceed 1.75%-to-2.00% at banks which is simply too high for marginal investment management.
  • Do you act as a fiduciary when managing my investment assets? A fiduciary is simply someone who places your needs above theirs. Registered Investment Advisors, such as me, are legally required to act as fiduciaries at all times. Brokers (also known as Wealth Managers, Vice Presidents, Relationship Managers) are not required to be fiduciaries. You want to know who you are dealing with and understand how their goals align with yours.
  • Who selects and implements the investments for my assets? In some firms, the Relationship Manager or Vice President you may speak to initially is not the one who actually selects and implements (trades) your investment assets. The Portfolio Manager is the title given to folks who invest assets, and they may even be working in another office in another city or state. You want as few people between you and your assets as possible because each person is a cost. Truly efficient management is speaking to the person (the portfolio manager) who actually manages your assets (Registered Investment Advisors like me are portfolio managers as well).

Miller recommends finding investment managers that manage “in the most simple, low-fee, efficient manner possible with an absolute adherence to fiduciary best practices.” For more information on Miller and Miller Asset Solutions, LLC, you can visit his website. You can also find more investment insight from our new Investment Series with Miller in the coming months. 

 

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.

Mardi Gras for a Cause


March 4, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Over the weekend, Mardi Gras was celebrated in fabulous fashion in Downtown Charlottesville to benefit nonprofit Wigs For Kids. Owner of local Alternative Hair Solutions Jean Brickwedde hosted the party to raise funds for this great organization. Through her business, Brickwedde (seen below in top left image, standing on far right) works with children and adults suffering from hair loss from a variety of conditions, including cancer. 

The fun affair was thoroughly enjoyed by all and featured food by The Catering Outfit, dancing, a photo booth and a silent auction with an array of terrific items generously donated by local businesses, including us at Charlottesville Wine & Country Living. We were proud to participate!

Brickwedde has been a hairdresser in Charlottesville for over 25 years. While she still works with her regular clientele, she has also taken on the mission of specializing in services for those suffering from hair loss because of the great need. While serving clients who are terminally ill, she is able to provide a service that brings them joy in their last days.

In her endeavor to help those suffering from hair loss, Brickwedde has been especially moved to work with children through Wigs For Kids. She was touched from the outpouring of community support for this special nonprofit during her Mardi Gras party over the weekend. You can learn more about Wigs For Kids here. And, you can check out Brickwedde’s important work through Alternative Hair Solutions here.

 

 

 

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.