Loading...

Blog


Ideas, trends and inspiration.

Virginia Vineyards Bring Wine to You


March 26, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

Your grape-to-glass experience may look different when you are sipping at home, but it can still be deliciously local. Here is a list of some area wineries in the Monticello Wine Trail, Loudon County Wine Trail, Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail and nearby that are shipping bottles (often with free delivery!), or doing delivery or take-out.

Whether you’re looking for a buttery Chardonnay to pair with a seafood dish, a light-bodied Pinot Noir to pair with grilled steak or a Rosé to pair with a light summer salad, our exceptional Virginia vineyards have something amazing for you.

You can also enjoy virtual shopping and curbside pick-up at our Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop, where we offer wines from many of these Virginia wineries along with local artisan foods, spa items, Dubarry, garden kits, art, gifts and more.

Please let us know if there is someone to add. We want to help support as many amazing makers in our community as we can and help keep local businesses strong! Offers are determined by each individual winery and are subject to change.

Virginia Wineries Easing the Process During COVID-19

868 Estate Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Afton Mountain Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Barboursville Vineyards
SHOP HERE

The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Blenheim Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Bluemont Vineyard
SHOP HERE

Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery
SHOP HERE

Castle Hill Cider
SHOP HERE

Chestnut Oak Vineyard
SHOP HERE  

Chisholm Vineyards at Adventure Farm
SHOP HERE

CrossKeys Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Cunningham Creek Winery
SHOP HERE

DelFosse Vineyards & Winery
SHOP HERE

DuCard Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Early Mountain Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Fabbioli Cellars
SHOP HERE

Flying Fox Vineyard
SHOP HERE

Gabriele Rausse Winery
SHOP HERE

Grace Estate Winery
SHOP HERE

Horton Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Jefferson Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Keswick Vineyards
SHOP HERE

King Family Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Knight’s Gambit Vineyard
SHOP HERE

Loving Cup Vineyard & Winery
SHOP HERE

Lovingston Winery
SHOP HERE

Michael Shaps WineWorks
SHOP HERE

Mount Ida Reserve
SHOP HERE

Pollak Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery
SHOP HERE

Septenary Winery
SHOP HERE

Stinson Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Veritas Vineyard & Winery
SHOP HERE

Wisdom Oak Winery
SHOP HERE

Bluemont Vineyard
SHOP HERE

Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery
SHOP HERE

Stone Mountain Vineyards
SHOP HERE

Stone Tower Winery
SHOP HERE

Tarara Winery
SHOP HERE

The Winery at Bull Run
SHOP HERE

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.

Meet Your Neighbor: Artist Meg West


March 24, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

Together with local plein-air Painter Meg West, we encourage you to embrace the gorgeous spring season as plants and landscapes begin to bloom all around us. Featured in Book 2 of Wine & Country Life, Meg West is captures all that a landscape exudes. We encourage to read on for some of the original article from the print issue.

“Although there’s a spacious studio in the charming, art-filled and wood-stove-heated house where Meg West and her husband, David, have lived for over 30 years, West’s artistic interest lies outdoors. A plein-air painter, she is part of an important tradition, in both Europe and America, of artists who engage with the landscape outside the studio, marking the flow of the day and of the seasons. ‘To me, plein-air painting is such a difference. You are breathing, you are in the senses … you have to deal with the elements. But the difference as the art goes is enormous. To me, they’re better paintings.’

So, West’s studio at the end of the hall serves mostly for preparing canvasses and working on smaller elements of their creation. Normally, she loads up her specially rigged minivan and sets herself up outdoors, painting with the custom easel her husband made for her. And when the weather’s very cold … she can be seen painting in her grown son’s old snow pants—not wanting to miss an opportunity for a perfect setting. Her home is ideally situated, so she doesn’t often have to roam far for an auspicious view; and, West can always find a place to go on her five-acre property. If she does begin a painting in her studio, she takes it outside to finish in natural light.  

West is familiar with too many local spots to choose a favorite, but Chiles Peach Orchard is right across the street from her house. She paints there in every season—so often that the orchard workers know her and recognize her van. She also tries to paint at Monticello at least once a year, where her preferred views include the vegetable garden. West does like vast views, which are a logical match for her larger canvasses. ‘I am a sucker for the long distant views that are available from any of the mountaintop areas … the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive, but even up on the hillside of Chiles Peach Orchard or Buck’s Elbow behind my house off the top of Jarmans Gap. Painting the distant views down a river also gives that same feel that speaks of peacefulness and nature. The interesting thing about plein-air painting is, even if you have painted at the same location before, a different season and time of day can produce an entirely different feel and emotion on the landscape.’

West’s path to professional painting is an empowering tale. At what many would consider to be a busy stage of life, with a part-time career as a graphic designer, and raising two teenage boys, West took stock on her 45th birthday. ‘I asked myself what it was I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and the answer was like a lightning bolt.’ She took classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College and the University of Virginia and decided to give herself a year to get back into painting, which had been her minor at Philadelphia College of Art. Almost immediately, her work began to sell, and West has made a living as a painter ever since.   

While she loves the local landscape and has made a name for herself as a localist painter, West and her husband travel extensively. They do one big trip a year; 2016 took them to Colorado and Wyoming. The year prior, they went to the San Juan Islands and took the kind of camping trips that most people only fantasize about. They load up the van with materials to hold and protect Meg’s oil paintings and, literally, head off to the hills. They often travel close to home but have ventured to Mohegan Island and Acadia National Park in Maine, the Smoky Mountains and Florida.

Going forward, West is looking at other opportunities to immerse herself even more in her work. ‘I love the idea of concentrated time and energy—to do and think of nothing else but painting.'”

Text Excerpts from Book 2 of Wine & Country Life by Catherine Malone

Photography by R. L. Johnson

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.

Remembering Chuck Kraft


March 11, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

Remembering Chuck Kraft

We at Ivy Life & Style Media and Wine & Country Life would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Kraft family upon the passing of Chuck Kraft.

Throughout the country, and in certain angling circles worldwide, Chuck Kraft’s name was synonymous with highly effective fly patterns. When asked why and how he designed these works of art, he responded, unfailingly, “I did it out of necessity.”

Kraft began his life’s journey in fly fishing at the age of 5, cutting his teeth on Virginia’s famed Jackson River, a short bike’s pedal from his native Clifton Forge. It was there that he developed his first success—the CK Nymph—in 1961.

Shortly after moving to Charlottesville in 1985, Kraft went into business as a fishing guide and quickly established a presence on waters throughout the Commonwealth. It wasn’t long after that he recognized a barrier to his envisioned success. “Everyone was using the same flies as I was, and that’s all the fish were seeing,” he says. “I had to come up with new flies to keep my clients catching fish.”

Kraft’s answer was a lineup of easy-to-fish flies with a distinguished reputation for fooling large fish, many of which are now staples in the fly boxes of guides throughout the mid-Atlantic.

Kraft’s almost-exclusive use of synthetic materials was a signature reflective of his design philosophy: A “perfect” fly is durable and has a profile and movement that mimics the prey species that predatory fish key in on.

After experimenting with countless different materials on the quest for “perfect,” Kraft was introduced to ultra-suede, a material used in upholstery. The workable material allowed him to create the consistent, rigid profiles he was after and served as the main material in most of his patterns.

It could be argued, however, that Kraft’s foremost fly-tying material was his own punctiliousness. Only after years of observation, trial, error, testing and manipulation did he feel comfortable releasing his patterns publicly and declaring them “done.”

“There’s a certain pride in doing something well and right,” he said. And that attitude has shone through in his success as a fly tyer.

There is no denying that this master artisan will be missed. But, we are so thankful that Chuck shared his wealth of knowledge and experience with others, and are certain that his artistry will carry on for future generations.

Photos by Aaron Watson Photography

Text Excerpts from Wine & Country Life by Matthew Riley

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.

Virginia Governors Cup 2020 Awards


February 26, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Virginia Governor’s Cup Case Winners

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

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

Virginia Governor’s Cup Winner

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

Carl DiManno accepted the award on behalf of the vineyard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Engaging Winter Wine Weekend in the Shenandoah Valley


February 25, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

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

Hotel Madison’s Second Annual Winter Wine Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more articles on CrossKeys Vineyards here.

Discover more about Veritas Vineyards & Winery here.

Explore the many delights of Barboursville Vineyards here.

More about Michael Shaps Wineworks can be found here.

Read more about Keswick Vineyards here.

Find out more about the happenings at Cardinal Point here.

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

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

An Inside Look at the Caspari Living Floral Event


February 24, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

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

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

Beautiful Blue & White Caspari Decor

Beautiful Blue & White Entertaining Inspiration with Caspari

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

Beautiful Pink Entertaining Inspiration with Caspari

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

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

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

Caspari Garden Decor inside the Charlottesville Caspari store

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

Catering by Jayme Naughton

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

Meet Margot Shaw, Author of Living Floral

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy Living Floral by Margot Shaw

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

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

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.

Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Virginia Wine Expo


January 14, 2020 | Wine & Country Life

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

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

The rest of the expo’s scheduled events will begin on Tuesday, March 3, and will take place in and around Richmond. The week’s signature events will be held at the beautiful Main Street Station, while other foodie and pairing events will take place at local restaurants and venues, giving attendees a chance to explore the city. Each year, the expo’s events showcase the best of Virginia wine, as well as another guest region from the United States and abroad. Along with hundreds of Virginia wines, this year’s selections will include wines from the International Guest Region Bordeaux and Loire Valley, France and the 2020 National Guest Region Washington State.

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

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

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

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

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

Photos Courtesy of the Virginia Wine Expo

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

Talks with an Investment Manager: Tips for Investing in 2020


| Wine & Country Life

Did financial goals make your 2020 resolutions list? When it comes to growing wealth, investing is one of the most tried-and-true methods, but knowing where and how to invest is tricky. So, we asked Sean Miller of Miller Asset Solutions in Charlottesville to share some insight into the practice.


“There is no secret to investing (this is the secret). It really comes down to not making a great deal of investment errors coupled with investing in good companies. That’s It … 100 percent,” says Miller. “That could be the whole article—don’t screw up and invest in companies that do well (or even moderately well). It is simple to say but difficult to practice and implement.” 

When investing, Miller recommends keeping the following points in mind:

  • Investment models will only get you so far and will often mislead you. The more complex the investment model/spreadsheet, the more likely you are to lose money. Analysts and investors often get lost in the micro details when it is the big picture that truly matters.
  • It is better to be approximately right, rather than precisely wrong when making investment decisions. Making decisions with less than perfect knowledge is often necessary, and you are often rewarded for bearing the risk of uncertainty. It is impossible to know everything about a security, so do the best with your current knowledge and experience.
  • No investment points are awarded for difficulty or complexity. Simple strategies can lead to outstanding returns. 
    • The success of indexing is evidence that the most simple investment approach can be successful and profitable. 
    • Or, you invest in a well diversified company like Corning (GLW – one of my favorites) that does well in three different areas:  technology (Gorilla Glass), automotive (catalytic converters and filters) and science (specialized glass and filters). 
    • Finally, it is perfectly acceptable to avoid securities you do not understand. Many famed investors like Warren Buffett call this putting investments in the “too hard” pile, and it has saved them both money and mental anguish. 

“The point is: investing is simple but not thoughtless. One must commit to making investing simple by NOT making overly complex investment models and avoiding investments they do not understand,” adds Miller. “Complexity is often used as a sales tool by banks and investment managers where they show off “the better investment mousetrap” via the use of leverage or complicated investment products. My experience is that the simple approach always outperforms the complex when thoughtfully implemented.”


You can also find more investment and financial insight in previous posts from our informative series with Miller. Just search for “Talks with an Investment Manager” in the blog’s search bar. For more information on Miller and Miller Asset Solutions, LLC, you can visit his website. 

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.