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Vol. VII, Issue No. 11
November 2012
Dear Virginia Wine Lover, 


There is lots of exciting news about Virginia's wine industry, and its scope and reach was brought home recently at the Governor's Wine Summit. International wine expert and keynote speaker, Steven Spurrier, offered kudos for Virginia wines with the comment sure to be heard around the world: "Virginia makes the kind of wine I like to drink."


The results are in from September's Visitor's Choice Awards. Thousands of our readers voted for their Favorite Winery Tasting Room. Congratulations to Cooper Vineyards, our Winery of the Month, for coming in on top with the greatest number of votes. If you haven't seen Cooper's spectacular tasting room, this is the month to visit.


Recognizing the growing interest in hard cider, November 9 through 17 has been designated Cider Week in Virginia. Also this month are two popular festivals you won't want to miss. Shenandoah Uncorked is on November 10 and the Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival on November 17. There are wine related events across the state, from the Colonial Harvest Wine Dinner at Stratford Hall on November 3 to the Madrigal Dinner and Tree Lighting at Chateau Morrisette on November 30


We give thanks this month for many things, including your continuing interest in the Official Virginia Wine Lover. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Cheers to Virginia wines and wine lovers!



  franks signature blue

Frank C. Britt 







NOVEMBER 10, 2012


    NOVEMBER 17, 2012











*Winery of the Month
*Visitor's Choice Awards 2012
*Festival of the Week
*Wine & Cheese Shop of the Month
*Virginia Wine Summit
*Events of the Month
*News Briefs
*We Were There...Were You?


  Colonial Harvest Wine Dinner

November 3, 2012





Visit On-Line or In-Store




Shenandoah Uncorked

 November 10th, 2012





Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival

 November 17th, 2012






February 19-24, 2013




for 2012 Wine Guide  

Wine Festival & Winery Consulting,
Winery Marketing, Vendor Finder,
Ad Design... and More!
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2012 Visitor's Choice Favorite Winery Tasting Room 



 Cooper Vineyards in Louisa County has been voted by our readers as their Favorite Winery Tasting Room.  They were selected for the friendliness of the Cooper staff, the architectural design of the tasting room and of course, for the fine wines they serve.  Two complete walls of glass extend up two stories giving the impression that the surrounding vineyard is part of the room inside. The visitor's experience is that of an "indoor/outdoor" space, regardless of the weather.


Cooper Vineyards offers a variety of wines to fit a variety of tastes. Visitors enjoy daily wine tastings and weekend complimentary acoustic music on the deck or in the tasting room year round. The winery room is open 11:00 to 5:00 every day.


Owners Geoff Cooper and Jacque Hogge started the winery in 1998, and the new "Green" facility opened in April 2011.  It includes the elegant and spacious tasting room, large covered deck with wonderful views of the existing vineyards and pond, outdoor bar, private tasting room and deck for parties of up to 25 guests, as well as a covered 40'x 60' wedding/event area.  This summer the winery officially earned the coveted LEED Platinum certification, which is awarded only to construction projects that meet the highest-rated standards in green building technology. (Read More)




Marie's Noche Chocolate Cake



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Winery Visitors Vote for Favorite Tasting Room
The results are in from our September poll asking readers for their Favorite Virginia Winery Tasting Room. Thanks to all who participated.  Some 3,000 responses accounted for the top 25 winners selected from Virginia's 220 wineries with tasting rooms. Selections were made on the basis of Friendliness of Staff (39%), Attractiveness of Location (37%), Staff's Knowledge of Wine (19%), Proximity (3%) and Price of Tasting (2%).




1. Cooper Vineyards (Louisa)



2. Early Mountain Vineyards (Madison)



3. West Wind Farm Vineyards (Max Meadows)



4. Prince Michel (Leon)



5. Barrel Oak (Delaplane)




REMAINING TOP 20 (alphabetically)      

      AmRhein's Wine Cellars

      Attimo Winery

      Barboursville Vineyards

      Chateau Morrisette

      Fox Meadow Winery

      Glass House Winery

      Gray Ghost Vineyards

      Keswick Vineyards

      Horton Vineyards

      Mountain Rose Vineyard       

      Paradise Springs Winery

      Pearmund Cellars

      Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

      Pollok Vineyards

      Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery

      Rappahannock Cellars

      Twin Oaks Tavern Winery



Poplar Forest, Bedford VA


Thomas Jefferson called wine "...a necessary of life with me", and now the wine festival that bears his name is a necessity for thousands of modern day wine enthusiasts.  Toast the "Father of Virginia Wine" at his secluded retreat home and sip in style.


The Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival returns to Poplar Forest on Saturday, November 17, 11 am to 5 pm.  In its fourth year, the event has become one of Virginia's premier wine festivals.  The special retreat of the third President is located near Lynchburg, just 30 minutes off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and an easy drive from Richmond and Washington, DC.


The festival features 14 Virginia wineries along with artisans, local food purveyors and musical entertainment.  Mr. Jefferson, as portrayed by Bill Barker, will engage in a lively discussion of wine with Gabriele Rausse who revived Jefferson's grapes at Monticello and is credited with revolutionizing the wine industry in Virginia.  

The festival is held inside large,heated tents, so weather is not a concern.  This is an adult event and there are no children's activities available.  No outside food or drink.  Service dogs only. (Read More)


Purchase tickets online at:

$20 in Advance (highly recommended); $25 at the Door

$10 Non-tasting tickets (ages 12+).  Ages 11 and under are Free.
Tickets also available at:  Bedford Welcome Center (Bedford & Forest), Lynchburg Welcome Center, Poplar Forest Museum Shop, Aylors, The Basket Case (Lynchburg)


Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest
1542 Bateman Bridge Road - Forest, VA 24551





Culpeper, Virginia


    Jeffery Mitchell, Owner


Cheese from sheep.  Cheese from goats.  Cheese from cow's milk.  Locally made cheeses and cheeses from Virginia, around the country and the world.  On a typical day, the popular Culpeper Cheese Company offers over 50 varieties of cheese with selections ranging from soft to hard cheeses, lactose-free cheese, cheeses that can be grilled and a selection of washed rinds and blue cheeses.  On a recent Saturday, they were sampling a French Brie, a Bulgarian feta and a Spanish sheep's milk cheese cured in olive oil.


Formerly known as the Frenchman's Cellar, the five-year old business is re-branding itself as the Culpeper Cheese Company and has recently undergone an expansion that provides street frontage and much more retail space.  "Our lease was up and we had the ideal chance to grow in place.  We changed our name to reflect the growth in our products over the years," said Jeffery Mitchell, owner. "We are excited to feature even more of your favorite wines, beers, cheeses and add new selections." 


They also sell (in-store and on-line)  over 400 wines, including an excellent selection from Virginia, specialty and craft beers, ciders, cured meats, olives and crackers.  The shop's focus is on local producers and affordable prices for the "every day gourmet."  


Unique to the area, Culpeper Cheese Company offers a staffed counter with free samples to explain their cheeses, and according to the shop's cheesemongers, tasting before you buy is the best way to learn. They also maintain that fresh off the wheel is better than a vacuum seal, explaining their preference for fresh cut cheeses. 


The Culpeper Cheese Company in downtown Culpeper is open seven days a week:  Monday through Thursday 11 am to 6 pm; Friday 11 am to 8 pm; Saturday 10 am to 7 pm; and Sunday noon to 5 pm.




129 East Davis Street, Suite 100      

Culpeper, Virginia 22701      



"Virginia makes the kind of wines I like to drink."


 This is a quote from Steven Spurrier, the man who elevated California onto the world wine map. Keynote speaker for the first annual Virginia Wine Summit held in Richmond on October 2, Spurrier is the internationally acclaimed British wine authority who is most famous for his 1976 blind tasting in Paris in which French judges preferred California wines over some of the best from Burgundy and Bordeaux ("Judgment of Paris").  He is a consultant editor to Decanter magazine and president of the Circle of Wine Writers.  


The Summit was hosted by Governor and First Lady McDonnell who have championed Virginia wines around the world.  It brought together wine experts and industry leaders from around the country to taste Virginia wines and discuss key topics in moving the Virginia wine industry forward.


Spurrier also led the first session, the "Breakfast of Champions" which was a blind tasting of wines from Virginia and other globally recognized wine producing regions.  The tasting of 16 wines included two each of Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Bordeaux blends, Petite Verdot, Nebbiolo, Touriga Nacional, and hard cider. Virginia wines showed very well, decisively 'winning' seven of the eight match-ups with victories for: 


* Ducard Vineyards' 2010 Signature Viognier

* Barboursville Vineyards' 2009 Cabernet Franc Reserve 

* Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery's 2009 Heritage Richland Reserve

* Keswick Vineyards' 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

* Barboursville Vineyards' 2008 Nebbiolo Reserve

* DelFosse Vineyards and Winery's 2008 Petit Verdot

* Foggy Ridge Cider's Sweet Stayman Cider  


Read More

November 2-3: Urbanna Oyster Festival  

Downtown Urbanna

Spend some time tasting and learning about pairing Virginia wines with local oysters. Wineries include the Dog and Oyster Vineyard, James River Cellars, Lake Anna Winery and New Kent Winery. Also Virginia's wine artist Christopher Mize. Event includes "boutique" oyster tastings, oyster shucking contest, all kinds of foods, arts and crafts and entertainment. The Oyster Festival Parade on Saturday is the focal point of the weekend. 

November 3: Colonial Harvest Wine Dinner    

Stratford Hall (Stratford)

Dinner begins with a social hour where guests enjoy "colonial" hors d'oeuvres with rum or champagne punch. A multi-course dinner follows beginning with pheasant pate with fig and pistachio paired with 2007 Linden Rose. A Virginia wine accompanies each course. Overnight accommodations are available. Limited reservations.

November 3: Caledon Art and Wine Festival

Caledon Natural Area (King George)

Nature's tonic for the mind, body and spirit. Enjoy a full day at Caledon State Park and see what the area's finest artisans have to offer. Taste wines from regional wineries and enjoy some great food. Hay wagon rides.


November 3-4: Wine Festival & Antiques Appraisal Weekend  

Belle Grove Plantation (Middletown)

Sample a fine variety of Virginia wines and watch regional chefs demonstrate culinary and wine pairing skills. A panel of experts will offer detailed appraisals of antiques. It's Belle Grove's own version of the Antiques Road Show. House tours, food and craft vendors.



November 3-4: Heart of Virginia Harvest Wine Trail  

James River Cellars (Glen Allen)

Tour the Wine Trail wineries: Cooper, Grayhaven, Lake Anna and James River Cellars. Passport tickets include souvenir wineglass, tastings and munchies at each winery. Special promotions and craft vendors.









November 3-4: Fudge-apalooza IV

Fox Meadow Winery (Linden)

Taste six marvelous wines paired with six decadent fudges. A panel of judges has painstakingly researched which wines are to be paired with each of the six fudges. Reservations.


November 4: First Sunday of the Month Brunch

Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery (Leon)

Stop in for a delightful brunch buffet, along with wine tastings. Take a self guided or private tour and enjoy some great shopping in the gift shop. Menu available on the website.


November 4: Carytown Food and Wine Festival

Carytown (Richmond)

9th Annual. "A Taste of Carytown" is coming to the streets of Carytown to hail the finer things in life. The festival spotlights not only the great wines of the region, but the incredible food that is prepared by area restaurants. From the traditional to the exotic, this festival grows every year.


November 4: French Crepe Day

DelFosse Vineyards and Winery (Faber)

Delicious Savory and Sweet crepes available to purchase. Wine by the glass or bottle.

Reservations are not required, but helpful.


November 9-10: Wines and Chocolates...How Sweet It Is.

Veramar Vineyard (Berryville)

A sweet evening filled with tips on how to pair two of your favorite treats. Taste a variety of decadent artisan chocolates, each paired with a wine. Learn what makes a perfect match.


November 9-10: Oyster Roast at Cardinal Point  

Cardinal Point Vineyard 7 Winery (Afton)

Annual classic with plenty of oysters from the Rappahannock River Oyster Co. Music from The Cashmere Jungle Lords on Saturday and The Atkinsons on Sunday.

November 10: Shenandoah Uncorked 

Shenandoah Caverns (Exit 269 off I-81)

Indoor wine festival at The Big Yellow Barn, featuring 11 Virginia wineries and Old Hill Cider. A "simply local" event showcasing local specialty farms and purveyors of fruit, cheeses, organic meats and much more. Family friendly, with live entertainment, specialty foods, children's activities and wine related vendors. Festival admission is free.

November 10: Fall Barrel Tasting       

Ingleside Vineyards (Oak Grove)

With a chill in the air, warm up with premium wines direct from the barrels and see how they are maturing. Live music and light fare and a chance to stock up on your favorite wines for the holidays.




November 10: Discover Virginia Chili Cook Off

Greene County Community Park (Ruckersville)

Serving up some awesome chili and tasting Virginia wines. Watch the kids play and enjoy great music in a beautiful family friendly setting.


November 10: Wine Immersion Bootcamp

Little Washington Winery (Washington, VA)

Spend 2-1/2 hours learning about wine, and you'll be a wine aficionado. The session is a snob free zone in plain English about choosing, pairing, caring for, tasting and enjoying wine.   Bring a brown bag lunch and have fun finding a perfect pairing.


November 10: Winemaker's Dinner

Naked Mountain Winery and Vineyards (Markham)

Enjoy a fabulous gourmet dinner from chef Eric Stamer. Each course is paired with select Naked Mountain wines. Reservations.


November 10: Gray Ghost Gala Release Party

Gray Ghost Vineyards (Amissville)

This is the only time the winery opens the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, this from the incredible 2009 vintage year. Evening includes live music, open wine bar and buffet dinner. Reservations.


November 10: Winemaker's Dinner             

Keswick Vineyards (Keswick)

Keswick is partnering with the C&O restaurant, one of Charlottesville's most venerable fine dining restaurants, for a memorable evening of great wine, great food and great company hosted by winemaker Stephen Barnard. Dine under a beautiful tent surrounded by stunning views of the vineyard and mountains. Reservations.


November 10-11: Chili & Wine Weekend   

James River Cellars (Glen Allen)

Enjoy a bowl of chili and a full wine tasting. Tours and special promotions, along with ideas for great wines for the holidays.







November 14: Wine Tasting Class

Blenheim Vineyards (Charlottesville)

Learn about our senses of taste and smell, putting some meaning behind all of the words that are used in the world of wine. Put these skills to use by tasting wines from around the world. Two hour class is limited to 40. Reservations.





Join the Hard Cider Revival!  Virginia has a diverse and growing hard cider industry.

In fact, hard cider is becoming so popular that an entire week has been dedicated to it.  Enjoy cider dinners, pairings and mixology throughout the state during the first-ever Virginia Cider Week, November 9-17.  


Albemarle Ciderworks, North Garden 

Blue Bee Cider, Richmond

Bold Rock Hard Cider, Nellysford

CastleHill Cider, Keswick          

Foggy Ridge Cider, Dugspur           

Old Hill Cider, Timberville    

Potter's Craft Cider, Free Union



The first of three Shenandoah AVA road signs was recently unveiled at Veramar Vineyards in Berryville by Sec. Todd Haymore.  The signs are part of a new Virginia wine region program aimed at attracting more visitors to Virginia wineries.  On selected primary and secondary roads, the signs announce to travelers that they have entered a particular Virginia American Viticultural Area (AVA) or wine region. 


ATTIMO WINERY (Christiansburg)

Competing in the Wines of the South Competition, Attimo was awarded seven medals, including five Silvers.  Fifty wineries and 392 wines from 14 southern states were evaluated by professional judges.



Adieu, Gray Ghost's dessert wine was awarded "Best in Class" and Double Gold honors at the 2012 International Women's Wine Competition in Sonoma. It surpassed all other Late Harvest entries to capture top honors. 


Send information to by 10th of the month prior to month of publication.

We Were There Header   

October 6, 2012


Appomattox, VA


On a beautiful fall afternoon, the Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox (MOCA) hosted a wine tasting in cooperation with the Southern Virginia Wine Trail (SOVA).  Moliver Vineyards & Winery of Nathalie was the first winery to offer tastings of the "Local Crush" at a location on the museum property.



For more photos, Click Here


October 13 & 14, 2012


Rebec Vineyards - Amherst, VA


The 22nd annual festival provided a "stinkin' good time" for thousands of wine lovers.  Always a great event, and one of the largest on the east coast, there was garlic featured in every way imaginable, as well as over 150 specialty food vendors, artists and crafters.  The Garlic Cook-Off and Garlic Queen and Jr. Queen contests attracted young and old contestants.  Mark your calendar for next year's Garlic Festival on October 12 and 13.                                                                                                   


For more photos, Click Here

© 2006 Britt Marketing & Public Relations
Official Virginia Wine Lover™ is not affiliated with or published by Virginia Wine Lover Magazine 
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