A fashion evening with a recipe for success in any ladies book! Thursday evening Early Mountain Vineyards introduced the winery to fashionistas from Northern Virginia all the way down to Central Virginia. The attraction was an event called Sip and Shop featuring designs from Urban Chic, Splendalla Personal Shopping services, complementary appetizers from Early Mountain and Thibault-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay! Scene stealer: the prosecco poured over wild hibiscus flowers served in champagne flutes, as beautiful as it was delicious! Capitalizing on the interest of wedding planners, fashion consultants and fashion bloggers, I foresee potential bridal fashion shows here or perhaps even a guys’ night with tuxedos and cigars on the patio accompanied by a robust red or smokey port? Just my thoughts….
Besides the lovely apparel including denim from 7 For All Mankind, Citizens For Humanity and J Brand in addition to the dressier items (a taupe lace overlay dress that I reeeeally wanted) it was just fun shopping and reconnecting with friends. Bonus, meeting other lady bloggers. I met Dana Holler of Cville Fashion for the second time in a week, (other encounter at Cville SheBlogs ) and her good friend, Jeannine of Small and Chic Home having a good time as well.
Eric Kelley was on site photographing for EMV’s soon to be launched new website. Love to see his photos! Thanks to Peter, Eric, Wendy, Michelle, Heather and Margaret for the attention to everyone’s comfort and enjoyment!
Along that vein, the remaining portion of this post is devoted to photography, the pictures speak for themselves…
Many of you have already heard the accolades about Ankida Ridge’s Pinot Noir, but for those who aren’t familiar with this East Coast Pinot, today is the day. Recently opened, Madison’s Early Mountain Vineyards (heretofore, EMV) features (in addition to their own wines) select estate wines from around Virginia. From the onset, EMV is committed to excellence and selling Ankida Ridge’s Pinot enhances their wine list. Due to the small scale production at Ankida Ridge, this wine will be sold at EMV, but not available for tastings…except this afternoon. 2-5pm… Christine and Nathan Vrooman will be there to visit with old friends and new as they pour their 2010 Pinot Noir and 2011 Chardonnay (its first public appearance!) It should be a fabulous afternoon!
The Vroomans, owners of Ankida Ridge, planted tightly spaced vines of Burgundian grapes, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, at an elevation of 1800 ft, amongst the rocks and steep narrow rows of vines. The result according to Dave McIntyre of The Washington Post picks Ankida Ridge’s 2010 Pinot Noir near the top of his favorite regional wines of 2011! Esteemed wine writer, Richard Leahy, posts this review of our Pinot Noir! … “The new, small, Burgundian-style winery Ankida Ridge high in Amherst County is not only focused and passionate, but has done their homework from the ground up, hiring viticulturist Lucie Morton and paying attention to every detail in the process. The result is the most remarkable pinot noir I’ve had from the Eastern U.S.“….
Recently a small group of friends have started a book club and our selections are leaning towards a wine mystery genre. Reading Ellen Crosby’s series has been fun, especially because the setting is right here in Virginia. The series begins with The Merlot Murders and has historical facts about Virginia interjected into the story line. References to Charlottesville and the scenic landscape of Loudoun County tempt you toward weekend excursions in both locales. For oenophiles, the detailed process of growing grapes and winemaking add to the romance and authenticity of the novels. It also can de-romanticize the process explaining the critical timing of each step to yield an excellent wine. This would be a fun event for Ellen Crosby and DuCard fans combining the elements of wine, scenery and intrigue. Saturday, July 7, 6:30: Murder in the Vineyards! It’s a Murder Mystery Dinner and Show at DuCard Vineyards! Can you solve the who-done-it mystery in the vineyard? Come enjoy dinner and the show by the Mystery Dinner Playhouse and see if you can sleuth your way to the answer better than Sherlock or your dinnermates. $69 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Limited seating, advance reservations required. This will be a truly unique experience that should not be missed! Call or email now (540-923-4206 540-923-4206 marty@ducardvineyardscom) to make your reservations today!
Two other events worth attending are the annual art show presented by the Firnew Farm Artists Circle on Sunday, June 10, 12-6: Also, the Tucker Hill Art Scholarship Award will be presented to a budding young local artist. Live music and nibbles will be on hand so come and enjoy the beauty of the mountains, local artisans, and DuCard wines.
Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17, 11-6: Father’s Day Weekend – cigar pairings and wine specials. This Father’s Day Weekend come enjoy cigar and wine pairings by Panacea Cigars on Saturday and live music on Sunday. Wine specials offered all weekend. Show Dad how to really enjoy the weekend!
Planning something entertaining for family in town this coming weekend? Check out some of the featured events at Virginia wineries. Whether you have friends or family visiting for weddings, graduations or considering moving to our lovely Central Virginia; here are some excellent wineries to consider:
King Family Vineyards & Roseland Polo
Current Match Status: The 2012 season will begin on Sunday, May 27th.
This Sunday! Polo Season kicks off at King Family. This is an extremely well-attended event so you may want to arrive early. Check out King Family’s website for tips to enjoy the afternoon. Best Tip: Bring some form of umbrellas for shade! Polo matches are held every Sunday from Memorial Day weekend through mid-October, weather and field conditions permitting. Matches begin at 1:30 pm and typically last about 1 1/2 hours. Matches may be cancelled depending on field conditions, rain, excessive heat or any number of reasons.
May I recommend the lovely venue listed below- Afton Mountain Vineyard boasts beautiful views and soft breezes due to their location just below the mountain pass. With the large pavilion complete with ceiling fans and now with a bar to purchase wine, bring your picnic basket and head towards the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Nelson County. Weather forecast says we’re going to be HOT this weekend.
Afton After Hours at Afton Mountain Vineyards
Live music from 6:30pm to 8:30pm featuring Eli Cook.
Glass and bottle sales only – no tastings.
Bring a chair, bring a picnic and blanket, and enjoy a beautiful evening in our beautiful vineyard setting! Light picnic fare available in the tasting house. (Inclement weather: music will be held under cover in our Pavilion!)
Glass House Memorial Day Weekend Tailgate Also, if you love tailgates, creativity and a fun crowd, head to Glass House and sharpen up your culinary and artistic flair for a winning wine weekend. YES! There are prizes and everyone wins just by virtue of a great time in the “Tropics of Free Union” This Sunday afternoon starting at 12 p.m. Reservations highly suggested.
Prizes Awarded For:
Best Display of ‘GHW Team Spirit’ (strong focus on GHW & GHW WINES)
Best Single Pairing Food With a Glass House Winery Wine
Best Indoor/Deck Spread (table set-up)
Best Outdoor Spread (car-tailgating set-up – B.Y.O.-grill)
Judging based on decoration/theme, food, entertainment, and overall spirit.
Winery tour for four with barrel tasting, 1 Bottle of GHW Wine,
1 GHW T-shirt, and 4 GHW etched logo glasses.
Two tickets to the June 12th “Taste This!” at the Boar’s Head Inn,
1 Bottle of GHW Wine, 1 GHW T-shirt, and 4 GHW etched logo glasses.
1 Bottle of GHW Wine, 1 GHW t-shirt, and 4 GHW can koozies.
1 Bottle of GHW Wine, 1 GHW t-shirt, and 4 GHW can koozies.
Contact Linda Hahn, Events Director at email@example.comRESERVATIONS SUGGESTED:Email to Events@glasshousewinery.comInclude name, phone number, table size for indoor tailgate (4’x4’ or 4’x8’) or number of cars for outdoor (tent space available behind cars, byo-tent)
2012 Festival of Wines in Wintergreen, VA on May 26 and 27
On Saturday, May 26, Virginia wines will be featured, and on Sunday, May 27, international wines will take center stage. Celebrate the Memorial Day Weekend at Wintergreen Resort on the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Proceeds support the extensive performance and educational activities of Wintergreen Performing Arts.
Location: The Evans Center at Wintergreen Resort
Dates: Saturday, May 26, 2012 – Virginia Wines and Sunday, May 27, 2012 – International Wines
Time: Noon-5:30 pm both days
Ticket Price: $20 per day includes souvenir glass; Two-day pass: $35; food will be available for purchase
Phone: (434) 325-8292 or visit: www.wintergreenperformingarts.org
Saturday, May 26 only
Oh, no! A conflict (unless it rains of course!) between spending time in beautiful Nelson County at the Blue Ridge Oyster Festival or heading to our own Charlottesville nTelos Pavillion for the first ever Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival. Two totally different experiences and I guess one could attend both but the idea of relaxing and being in the moment as compared to rushing to make both events leads me back to selecting only one. Sunday is the rain-date for the Blue Ridge Oyster Festival in case you want to gamble on rain.
On Saturday April 21st, the Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Wine Festival – Presented by Brown Mercedes-Benz, will take place at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall from 2-6 p.m. Special early VIP entry from 1pm – 2pm.
Attendees will be able to sample from over 90 wines from 24 Trail members.
For $75 Special VIP packages include parking, early access, exclusive catered lunch provided by C&O Restaurant, opportunity to sample select wines not available to general public and a chance to mingle with wine-makers. For $25 VIP Designated Driver tickets are available.
The wine education classes offered in 30 minute segments by Wine Made Simple look very interesting! Wine Made Simple specializes in unique wines less than $20, wine education classes and special events. The shop opened last year and is located at the Townside Center on Ivy Road in Charlottesville.
Reading a Wine Label - 2:30
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but there’s no better place to start. The graphic designs, photography and illustrations on a wine label are the first thing to catch your eye, but they are the least important. The important stuff is all there on the label and you’ll learn how to discern the information that you will need to make an informed decision and find a wine that suits your palette.
Tasting and Describing Wine – 3:15
You don’t have to be a wine expert in order to taste and evaluate wine properly. We all have out personal tastes, but objective standards for determining the quality and character of wine are helpful. Learn the seven key characteristics of wine, and improve your tasting skills and descriptive vocabulary.
Old World vs. New World Winemaking – 4:00
The “Wine World” can be divided in two important poles: Old World Wines and New World Wines. Tradition and terroir in each style produces very different wines. For instance, New World vineyards are generally in hotter climates and the grapes tend to be riper, more alcoholic and full-bodied.
Pairing Wine with Food – 4:45
You need not always heed traditional advice, i.e., white wine goes with white meat and vice versa. Wine and food from the same region are meant to be enjoyed together, remember….what grows together, goes together. Discover the general rules that will help you make the best pairings and impress your guests.
The Relevance of Price When Selecting Wine – 5:30
The selling price of a bottle of wine is not necessarily an indication of its quality or of its potential to be enjoyed. Understand the economic and marketing issues that underscore the prices we pay for the wine we drink, and the many sensibly priced and affordable wine options available.
Author Richard Leahy
I think this is really cool! Richard Leahy will be selling and autographing newly published copies of Beyond Jefferson’s Vines, a hardback book with over 200 pages detailing the history of Virginia wine since 1619 but focuses on the last decade, with visits to wineries statewide. I met Richard at the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference just prior to the book going to print. Hmmm, Mother’s Day Gift idea? Wink!
Proceeds will benefit Jeffersonian Wine Grape Grower’s Society. Event sponsors: Brown Mercedes-Benz – NewsRadio 1070 WINA – C&O Restaurant – redstar Merchandise – Monticello Wine Trail.
$29 – Advance $35 – Day of Event
$75 – VIP $25 – VIP Designated Driver ticket
$10 – Designated Driver ticket
$10 – Ages 13-20 Kids 12 and under FREE
- Afton Mountain Vineyards
- Blenheim Vineyards
- Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery
- DelFosse Vineyards & Winery
- Early Mountain Vineyards
- First Colony Winery
- Flying Fox Vineyard
- Gabriele Rausse
- Glass House Winery
- Horton Vineyards
- Jefferson Vineyards
- Keswick Vineyards
- Kilaurwen Winery
- King Family Vineyards
- Lovingston Winery
- Mountfair Vineyards
- Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
- Prince Michel Vineyards & Winery
- Stinson Vineyards
- Sugarleaf Vineyards
- Trump Winery
- Veritas Vineyard & Winery
- White Hall Vineyards
- Virginia WIneworks/Michael Shaps Wine
The Wildlife Center of Virginia had literally flown under my radar until recently. Via social media, my attention was called to the fundraiser “Wings Over Wine Country”. Combining a love of wine and the beauty of the powerful raptors, Bill Sykes, Outreach Ambassador, brings the birds out to the wineries to promote interest and encourage contributions to the wildlife center. Prince Michel Winery and DuCard Vineyards have already played host to the charity this year.
As a child in Germany, we lived near a falconry and observed the Peregrine Falcons in action, hunting for food. The image has been imprinted in my brain for ages and seeing these remarkable birds brought the whole experience back to life. Through friends, we were able to tour one of the world’s leading teaching and research hospital for wildlife and conservation medicine. Bill (Sykes) guided us through the 5,700-square-foot state-of-the-art facility. It is fully equipped with gas anesthesia, critical care equipment, surgery, radiographic and fluoroscopic equipment, laboratory facilities, inside and outside holding areas, and flight cages. At any time there may be from 80 to 250 animals on the premises.
Later we headed outdoors to meet some of these amazing bird. The rehabilitation center cares for thousands of injured native wildlife. Animals unable to be released back into the wild can become educational animals or “Ambassadors” for the center. starting with the diminutive Pignoli, the Eastern Screech Owl. She is pictured at the top of the page, showing us her one good eye and her striking russet colors.
Junior, the Golden Eagle, was very engaging and hopped over to a perch to greet us. Junior will join Wildlife Center President and Co-Founder Ed Clark at Pollak Vineyards in Greenwood, Virginia for a very special event to benefit the Wildlife Center of Virginia on April 7th from 5-7 p.m. Tickets to this event are available through Pollak Vineyards for $25 per person. Pollak Vineyards will donate $15 of every admission to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
Grayson is a fiercely beautiful Broad Winged Hawk and regularly accompanies Bill on outings to the wineries and breweries. She is one of the patients that was unable to be released back into the wild. These rehabilitated birds can become educational animals or “Ambassadors” for the center.
The program “Caring fo Critters” is a great way to educate children not only about the center, but how we as human beings impact wildlife in even small ways. Through this program, you can sponsor an animal and as part of the adoption packet you will receive:
- The sponsored animal’s biography
- A photo of the animal
- Detailed information about the characteristic of the animal’s species, and
- A personalized certificate of sponsorship
Several events have been scheduled this year so there will be many opportunities to learn about the animals and birds that have been rehabilitated at the center.
Wings Over Wine Country & Kickoff of National Parks Week Sunday, April 22, 2012, 2-6 PM Bill Sykes from the Virginia Wildlife Center will be here with live raptors - hawks, owls and other ‘ambassadors’ and talk about their efforts to rehabilitate injured wildlife in Virginia. There’s no charge for visiting the Shenandoah National Park during this Week, so it’ll be a great day to take a hike too. Contributions welcome, with matching by DuCard.
Special thanks to Paulette Musselman for introducing me to Bill and of course, to Bill Sykes for the time he shared with us and his passion for these amazing birds.
2012 VA Wine Expo Pre-Sale Special!
Planning on attending the Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond on Feb. 24-26? We have a deal for you! We will be offering ALL of our wines (including wines not being tasted at the Expo!) for a special 15% off discount if you order between now and noon on Thursday Feb. 23rd! Minimum purchase is two bottles. You can pick them up at our booth at the Expo and save on any shipping! Wines currently in stock include (see website for details: http://www.ducardvineyards.com):
–2010 Signature Viognier
–2010 Gibson Hollow White
–2009 Sweet Virginia Vidal Blanc
–2009 Cabernet Franc Vintner’s Reserve
–2009 Popham Run Red (Bordeaux blend)
–2009 Petit Verdot
To pre-order, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your desired order, name, email address, and phone number and we’ll back with you to confirm your order and get your credit card info. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Looking forward to seeing you at the Expo! (www.virginiawineexpo.com)
By the way, on display (and for sale) in the Tasting Room this month is the beautiful photography of local artisan, Carl Zitzmann (http://www.pixdigitalimaging.com/ducard/). Check it out!
Congrats to DuCard Vineyards for being a co-winner of the Virginia Green Travel Leader Award! Read about DuCard’s green efforts here (http://vwg-online.com/?p=3596)!
Thank you for your interest and support!
Co-Winner: Virginia Green Travel Leader Award
Open Friday – Sunday, plus holiday Mondays, 11 AM – 6 PM. And by appointment. Follow us on
Last weekend my husband Bob and I met at Dave Matthews‘ Blenheim Vineyards with Nick Attaway, VP of Artist Development for Vagrant Records, formerly employed by RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT/ATO RECORDS, ARISTA. Nick and his partner, Justin Billcheck are coordinating the 2nd Annual Blue Ridge Oyster Festival, along with Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company and Cerberus Productions , benefitting the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The event will be held in Nelson County, VA on the 21st of April, 2012. Looking forward to this since I missed it last year.
Our mission was to select a wine to be released in conjunction with the festival that pairs well with oysters. Accompanying Nick was his wife, Dominique Attaway, a professional photographer and oenophile. Nick arranged for us to do a barrel tasting with Blenheims’ winemaker, Kirsty Harmon.
I had visited Blenheim several times without prior notice, but never had the opportunity to meet Kirsty personally. Gracious and serious about her wines, it was apparent that she was determined to bottle wines with a clean crisp quality and not intended to win competitions just because they appealed to the judges. The three that we sampled were a 2011 Table White: 2/3 Viognier and 1/3 Chardonnay, a Rose: a blend of Cabernet, Mourvedre and Merlot all in stainless steel and a Chardonnay with 25% aged in French, Hungarian and American oak barrels.
The Table White was crisp, vibrant and would pair well with oysters and seafood. The Chardonnay was creamier- nice with a minerality and not overly oaky, and the Rose ideal, chilled for sipping on a warm Spring day. I think it was pretty obvious which wine would be chosen and after some deliberation, it was the Table White.
If you want to see some excellent photography, check out Dominique’s website and some of the shots she captured. We had a similar vision but her pictures were certainly better than mine.
I think Kirsty’s personality came across as sweet, serious and humble, committed to quality and I look forward to her future wines.
I noticed something that had eluded me on past visits to Blenheim, the diamond reflection from the ceiling of the tasting room floor to the barrel room.
I thought it was kind of cool! Thanks for the invitation to Blenheim!