Granite Heights Winery
April 2013  
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April 2, 2013

Vol. VIIII, Issue No. 4

Dear Virginia Wine Lover,


Once again, it's wine time in Virginia. Grapevines are beginning to bud, last year's harvest is ready to bottle and the winery tasting rooms are preparing for visitors. April brings some popular annual festivals and favorite winery events.


Our Festivals of the Week this April include the Clarksville Lake Country Wine Festival on April 13 (be sure to enter below for free tickets) and Blacksburg Fork and Cork on April 27. The weekend of April 26-28 is a busy one with the Bloomin' Wine Fest on Friday and Saturday kicking off the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival and the Great Grapes Wine Festival at Reston Town Center on Saturday and Sunday. The April Events calendar includes listings of barrel tastings and other winery happenings.


Our April Winery of the Month is Granite Heights in Fauquier County. A fine example of Virginia farm wineries, Granite Heights specializes in small batch wine production, honey from the farm's own beehives and exceptional jams from its orchard. Beginning this month, the winery is open on weekends from noon to five.


Cheers and Happy Spring! Hope to see you along the wine trail.


Frank C. Britt 
franks signature blue







PS: Make plans to join us at the inaugural James River Wine & Music Festival on May 11 in downtown Lynchburg. Buy your tickets online and SAVE

- Granite Heights Winery
- Clarksville Lake Country Wine Festival
- Fork and Cork Festival
- Boar's Head Sweepstakes Winner
- Vino Info
- Events this Month




May 11, 2013

Downtown Lynchburg 

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A True Labor of Love
Located on a 225 acre farm in Fauquier County, Granite Heights Winery specializes in  small batch wine production, honey from the farm's own beehives and exceptional jams from its orchard. Owners Luke and Toni Kilyk believe that their homegrown products and handcrafted wines reflect the personal care and devotion they have put into the winery every step of the way.
The Kilyks, each of whom has a full time profession, are not only the owners, they are also the winemakers and do most of the vineyard and farm work themselves. According to Toni, "You would be amazed at what two people can accomplish when they are in love with what they do."
 With the help of renowned viticulturist Lucie Morton and the philosophy that great wine is grown in the vineyard, the Kilyks have developed a vineyard tailored to the production of high quality wines. The winery has 10 acres of high density plantings with 2000 vines per acre, including Chardonnay, Barbera, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Vermentino. What distinguishes Granite Heights is the effort the owners put into choosing the type of vines (French clones) to plant, the planting system to use and the high  end grape/wine processing equipment they chose. The determination to put quality ahead of everything else has allowed them to make the exceptional wines they have been producing since 2008. (Read More)
Click Here for Recipe from Granite Heights Winery


April 13

Clarksville on the Lake


A great opportunity to see friends and meet new ones. Relax on historic lawns in downtown and taste some 100 varieties of fine Virginia wines. This year's Lake Country Wine Festival features 17 Virginia wineries, artisan vendors, wine accessories and great pairings of cigars, chocolates and gourmet Virginia peanuts. Food will be provided by Cooper's Landing Inn/Traveler's Tavern & Lamplighter Restaurant.



Tickets are available online, at the Chamber of  Commerce, Cooper's Landing Inn & Traveler's Tavern, Century 21 on the Lake and Galleria on the Lake. Tasting tickets in advance are $20; $25 at the gate, and include souvenir wine glass. Non-taster/DD tickets in advance are $10; $15 at the gate. The festival is for those 21 years of age and over only, and it is a rain/shine event.  Festival proceeds will benefit the Town's Chamber of Commerce to go towards future projects.


For list of participating wineries and additional information: / 800-557-5582







April 27

First & Main Shopping District, Blacksburg


Fork and Cork is the award-winning food, wine and art festival in the New River Valley, showcasing a variety of Virginia wineries, local restaurants, and talented regional artists. Lively entertainment, along with a full day of culinary demonstrations and wine pairings will add to the excitement on a beautiful spring day in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

 In addition to enjoying "The Cork"- sampling and learning about wine from fantastic Virginia vineyards, festival attendees will tap into their inner foodie in "The Fork" areas of the festival. Mouth-watering cuisine will be abundant, and attendees will have the opportunity to view local celebrity chefs showcasing their talents at the
Chef 2 Chef, Chef Showcase, and Everyday Gourmet demonstration tents.






Returning this year is Can Do!, a canned food sculpture competition and food drive.  Local teams will create awe-inspiring structures using canned food and their imagination. Leading up to the festival is a new week-long tasting event called "Taste the Town" with wineries, specialty grocery stores, the Blacksburg Farmers Market, and offering succulent surprises for foodies of all ages from Saturday, April 20 to Friday, April 26.      


Tasting Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at gate.


Ages 13-20 $5. Free for 12 and under. 









chili The Barksdales had the winning entry in the 2013 Great Wine Lover Chili Contest.

When she submitted their entry, Libby said, "My husband and I love cooking chili and drinking wine. After many years of experimenting and tasting, we came up with our favorite chili recipe."

The Barksdales will "love drinking wine" at the James River Wine & Music Festival to which they won four tickets. The inaugural festival will be held in Lynchburg on May 11.



CLICK HERE for Barksdale Chili Recipe

Virginia Wine Lover to
Spend Weekend at the
Boars Head Inn


The response from wine lovers to the Boar's Head Inn Sweepstakes in February was overwhelming. The lucky entry was Yolanda Mejia of Richmond.


Yolanda and a companion will spend a special weekend at the Boar's Head in Charlottesville. Among the amenities included in this fabulous package are two nights' accommodations, a three-course dinner for two in The Old Mill Room, daily breakfast for two and full access to the Sports Club.

Congratulations Yolanda!


What magazine recognized Virginia as one of the 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations of 2012?



Click Here for answer



Source: Virginia Wine Council






Congratulations to Len Thompson

Grower of the Year

 Len Thompson was honored by the Virginia Vineyards Association as Grower of the Year  for 2012. The award was presented by Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture, at the Association's recent annual meeting. Thompson's vineyard on the Amherst County side of Piney River, is one of the 400 in Virginia that produces grapes for the state's 230 wineries.


Len and his wife Kay are well known throughout the Virginia wine industry. Len serves as vice president of the Virginia Winery Association and was a former vice president of the Virginia Vineyards Association. To quote J. Rock Stephens, chair of the Virginia Wine Board, "Len Thompson is one of the unheralded heroes behind the success of the Virginia Vineyards Association. He helps other growers and aspiring growers while producing grapes that have been utilized in wines that have won awards in international competitions."


Sermons from the Vine

April 7 - Barrel Oak Winery

April 14 - Breaux Vineyards

April 21 - Philip Carter Winery

Beginning in April on Sunday mornings at 11 am, itinerant vineyard preacher Kim J. Ciftci delivers a scriptural, spiritual message at one of several Virginia wineries. The vineyard sermons derive from the many Biblical references to wine, grapes, the vineyard, or the processes involved in winemaking.



Barboursville's Octagon Named Top Virginia Wine for 2013
Just in case you missed the article about the Governor's Cup winners in the March newsletter, we are repeating the list here. In addition to Barboursville's 2009 12th Edition Octagon, the other 11 wines forming the Governor's Cup Case include:

  • Cooper Vineyards - 2010 Petite Verdot Reserve
  • King Family Vineyards - 2010 Meritage
  • Lovingston Winery - 2009 Josie's Knoll Estate Reserve (Meritage)
  • Philip Carter Winery - 2010 Cleve (Petite Verdot, Tannat)
  • Pollak Vineyards - 2009 Cabernet Franc Reserve
  • Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery - 2010 Richland Reserve Heritage (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Petite Verdot)
  • Rappahannock Cellars - 2010 Meritage
  • RdV Vineyards - 2010 Rendevous (Meritage)
  • RdV Vineyards - 2010 Lost Mountain (Meritage)
  • Sunset Hills Vineyard - 2010 Mosaic (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot)
  • Trump Winery - 2008 Sparkling Rose (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir)

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


April 6:  How to Throw a Wine Tasting Party

Gray Ghost Vineyards (Amissville)

Amy Payette teaches the fine nuances of throwing a wine tasting party...logistics, themes and execution. Fun and educational, with lunch and glass of wine. Reservations.

April 6-7:  Spring Vertical Tasting

Barboursville Vineyards ( Barboursville)

A rare opportunity to focus on valuable older vintages, along with traditional sampling of new Octagon from barrel. Artisan cheeses and fresh breads to refresh the palate.

 April 6-7:  April Fools Wine Festival

   James River Cellars (Glen Allen)

Two day festival with six wineries including Cooper, Grayhaven, Lake Anna, Mattaponi, and Weston Farm along with James River. Live music, craft and food vendors.

April 7:  Wings Over Wine Country

DuCard Vineyards (Etlan)

Featuring big winged birds with sharp beaks (raptors) from VA Wildlife Center and presentation on efforts to rehabilitate Virginia's injured wildlife. Donations matched by DuCard.

April 7:  Sunday Brunch

Prince Michel Vineyards (Leon)

Breakfast favorites combined with Italian specialties prepared by About You Catering. Pair with fruity Merlot or crisp dry Riesling.

April 13:  White Wine Release Park

Delfosse Vineyards and Winery (Faber)

Five course dinner paired with newly released white wines. A festive evening with live music and dancing. Reservations.

April 13:  Fly the Skies Weekend

Philip Carter Winery (Hume)

Join the Kite Club at PCW. Demonstration and exhibition flights, history and safety instructions. And, a kite contest. Bring a kite and receive 3-bottle discount.

April 13:  Clarksville Lake Country Wine Festival

412 Virginia Avenue, Clarksville

Seventh annual festival in historic downtown Clarksville on the Lake. Featuring 17 Virginia wineries, live music and some fine food. Enjoy a great spring day by the water.

April 13:  5K Race

Peaks of Otter Winery (Bedford)

Off-road course over the hills and through the blossoms. You can run, jog, walk or crawl, all to support the Oncology Cancer program at the Bedford YMCA.

April 13:  Oyster-BBQ-Wine-Whiskey-Art Fest

Little Washington Winery (Washington, VA)

Wine and food pairing with Shindig White, best oyster pairing wine on the East Coast. And Grand Slam award winning BBQ with Shindig Red. Just pay for what you consume.

April 13:  Nebbiolo Vertical

Breaux Vineyards (Purcellville)

Sample and discuss various vintages of Nebbiolo and enjoy three course gourmet meal with each selection. Pourings of eight wines. Reservations.

April 13:  Oyster Crawl

General's Ridge Vineyard (Hague)

Chesapeake B Wine Trail Oyster and Wine Event. Each of the 12 wineries along the trial will have a different Oyster dish to pair with their wine.

April 13:  Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest

Windsor Castle Park (Smithfield)

Favorite Virginia wineries and brews. Organic Village with sustainably or organically produced county wines. Culinary delights, upscale retail vendors and live entertainment.

 April 13:  Beaverdam Wine Festival

John Lewis Thompson Learning Center & Pop's Country (Beaverdam)

Wine tastings, hot air balloon rides, live music, food vendors, jewelry crafters. Free admission to Pop's Country Store Museum and Depot.

April 13-14:  Masters Golf Chip-Off

Paradise Springs Winery (Clifton)

In honor of the Masters golf tournament, a makeshift golf hole will be set up for the chipping contest at 4:00 each day. Closest to the hole win prizes.

April 14:  First Annual Celebrate Budbreak

Ankida Ridge Vineyards (Amherst)

Brilliant purples of Redbuds and Dogwoods in white profusion, along with budding vines surround the winery. Music, tours and hayrides. Bring a picnic. Reservations.

April 19-20:  A Celebration of the Vine

Chesterfield County Government Complex

A large festival with 18 Virginia wineries and music by Casper. Space has been expanded with room to sit and listen or dance to the music.

April 19-20:  Mountain Adventure Weekend

Chateau Morrisette (Floyd)

Hike Buffalo Mountain or Rock Castle Gorge, skeet and trap shooting, fishing, horseback, exhibits, game dinners and wine receptions. Reservations.

April 20:  Spring Planting of the Grapes

Wisteria Farm & Vineyards (Stanley)

The holes will be dug and waiting to be planted. See how the whole wine making process starts and enjoy a day in the country. Volunteers get discount on purchases.

April 20:  Rubber Duck Race

Three Fox Vineyards (Delaplane)

Pick a favorite duck and watch him race down the rapids of Crooked Run. Lots of fun and prizes and good wine.

April 20:  Oysters and Bubbles

Barboursville Vineyards (Barboursville)

Sample the newest release Sparkling Cuvee 1814 Brut and Rose with fresh Rappahannock River oysters. Ticket includes six oysters and clam chowder.

April 20:  Murder Mystery Wine Dinner

Paradise Springs Winery (Clifton)

Food, wine and mystery all in one entertaining evening. Join in the one of a kind interactive murder mystery wine dinner. Reservations.

  April 20:  Farmville Virginia Wine Festival

Riverside Park (Farmville)

Enjoy a fabulous day in scenic, historic downtown Farmville sponsored by Meals on Wheels. Premier Virginia wineries, fabulous food, arts and entertainment.

April 20:  Spring Barrel Tasting

Ingleside Vineyards (Oak Grove)

Experience the future of Ingleside straight from the barrel. Tour, tasting, wine glass, live music and light fare.

wine and chocolate  April 20-21:  A Taste of Shenandoah Wine Festival

Augusta Expo Center (Fishersville)

What a way to break out of winter. Enjoy tastings by 10 Virginia wineries, 30+ artisans and crafters, food vendors, music by Jeremy Staubus and the Dam Town Boys.

April 20-21:  Princess Anne Wine Classic

Back Bay Farms Princess Anne Rd. (Virginia Beach)

Sample the best Virginia wines as horses roam in adjacent fields. Music, food, local craft beer and local artists. Bring a picnic basket, chair and blanket and enjoy the countryside.

April 20-21:  20th Annual Spring Barrel Tasting

Autumn Hill Vineyards (Stanardsville)

Taste full range of wines with assortment of special international cheeses. Vertical tasting of Cabernet Franc wines. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the deck.

April 20-21:  Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival

Constitution Park (Waynesboro)

Cast a line and sip some wine. Largest fly angling event in Virginia with attendees coming from all over to learn where, when and how to fly fish.

April 21:  Winemaker's Sunday Brunch

DuCard Vineyards (Etlan)

An elegant outing with exquisite four course brunch by Chef Mark Gresge of Charlottesville's L'Etoile Restaurant and harp music by Vicky Lee. Reservations.

April 21:  Table Topping Techniques

Prince Michel Vineyards (Leon)

Experts Brad and Jamie demonstrate the basics of flower arranging, creating an attractive buffet and setting a modern tablescape. Reservations.

April 21:  Meritage Vertical Tasting

King Family Vineyards (Crozet)

Tasting of Meritage from the years 2006 through 2011 accompanied with cheese and charcuterie. Seating limited. Reservations.

April 26-27:  Bloomin' Wine Fest

Historic Old Town Winchester

Kicks off 86th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. A great wine festival with two wine gardens showcasing 20 Virginia wineries, two stages with continuous live music, food vendors, and much more.

April 27:  Oyster Festival

DuCard Vineyards (Etlan)

Premium steamed and raw oysters and crab cakes by Rappahannock River Oyster to enjoy with a nice bottle of DuCard Viognier. Add Jazz by Trius and breathtaking views for a day made in heaven!

April 27:  Blacksburg Fork and Cork Festival

First & Main Shopping District (Blacksburg)

A great day in Blacksburg! Local restaurants, premier Virginia wineries, regional artists and multiple music groups. Can Do! Returns for the popular canned food sculpture contest.

April 27:  HOVA "Go Green" Festival

Cooper Vineyards (Louisa)

Going Green for Arbor Day with Heart of Virginia Trail's four wineries in Cooper Vineyards' new "green" Tasting room. Food available for purchase from Smokin' Eddies.

April 27-28:  Great Grapes

Reston Town Center (Reston)

Uncork the Fun with Rich Flavors & Simple Pleasures. New location on Market Street with over 200 Virginia wines, wine and food pairings, hands-on demos in the gourmet tent, live music, crafts and kids' activity area.

About Events:  As our information comes from many sources, we recommend you verify dates and times, as well as costs and reservations that may be required.  (We are not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate information.) 


If you would like to submit an event, send details (what, where and when, as well as contact information) to no later than the 10th of the month prior to the event.  




Virginia Wine Expo

February 19-24 - Richmond

Wine lovers converged on Richmond for the week-long celebration of Virginia wine, with opportunities to learn about, taste and buy Virginia wine, to meet the winemakers and to mingle with friends. Of course, the centerpiece of the Expo was the Walk-Around Grand Tasting with 60 top Virginia wineries participating. Next year's Expo will be held on February 18-23.


Wineries Unlimited

March 12-14 - Richmond

One of the largest and longest running wine industry events in the United States returned to Richmond for the second year, with hundreds of companies exhibiting goods, services, and the latest innovations. Eric Trump of Trump Winery was the featured speaker for the Wine & Dine Gala.

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

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