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FALL FOR VIRGINIA WINES
Dear Friend of Virginia Wine: Cheers!
The grapes are
ripening on the vine, there is preparation under way for
the annual harvest and there is no better time to visit
Virginia's vineyards and wineries. This September
there are wine festivals and harvest events planned
throughout the Commonwealth from Virginia Beach to the
Blue Ridge Parkway, from Leesburg to Wintergreen and
everywhere in between. A number of these events
are listed in this issue of WINE LOVER, and you'll find
a complete listing at the Virginia wineries
It's obvious that Virginia's wine
industry is growing by leaps and bounds from the record
number of visitors to the wineries - almost one million
last year! The wine trails are well traveled (read
about the Blue Ridge Wine Way) and there are new wines
to taste (see the Wine Review and Wine of the Month Club
Selection). It's sure to be a great September to
"fall for Virginia wines!"
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VIRGINIA WINERIES WELCOME CLOSE TO A
|According to the Virginia Travel
Corporation, Virginia wineries played host to almost a
million -- some 950,000 -- visitors in 2006! The numbers are
based on visitors who traveled 50+ miles from home or
stayed in paid accommodations. Add to that the
numbers of locals visiting a nearby winery and the total
number of visitors soars far above the million mark.
Andrew Hodson of Veritas Winery
The statistics resulted
from a TNS research study called Travels America. As this was the
first time that VTC had subscribed to the study, it is
not possible to calculate a percentage increase over
previous visitation estimates. However, it
seems safe to say that Virginia wineries are seeing the
number of visitors increase by leaps and
|VIRGINIA WINE BOARD ELECTS NEW
The Virginia Wine Board met in
Charlottesville on Wednesday, August 29. Bill
Moses of Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard and current
board chair welcomed new board members, Ruth Saunders of
Silver Creek Orchards and Mills Wehner of Chatham
Vineyards and Winery.
David King of King Family
Vineyards was elected to succeed Bill Moses as board
chair. Re-elected as vice chair was Rock Stephens,
president of the Virginia Vineyards
King and Bill
Harllee, Market Street Wineshops in
corks have been the ideal closure for wine bottles for
over three centuries. Since they are highly compressible
they form an excellent seal, but the problem with
natural corks is that they are made from tree bark and
thus suffer from the faults of natural, organic
materials. In recent years, cork trees have been
infected with a fungus that, after the corks are
sterilized, forms a chemical called TCA when it contacts
wine. The chemical gives off an off-putting, stinky
rubber tire aroma that makes a wine unpleasant to drink.
All wineries see a spoilage rate of "corked" bottles in
the two to four percent range; many have seen this rate
spike in streaks of eight to 10% percent. An Italian
winery in Tuscany won a lawsuit against a cork producer
for ruining some 60% of its 1998 Brunello di Montalcino,
a shock turbo that charged the rise of alternate
closures for wine bottles, including synthetic corks,
screw caps and "glass corks."
Synthetic corks were the industry's first
alternative to natural corks. They were corks with which
consumers were familiar; they were inert; and they were
not screw caps. But they had two problems. First, the
initial materials used often bonded to Teflon coated
corkscrews and thus were difficult to remove from the
corkscrew. Second, they were not as compressible as
natural corks and often formed an imperfect seal that
allowed oxygen to enter the bottle and spoil the wine.
Newer materials have made these problems less prevalent.
Screw caps are a mature technology that
has been used for decades in the soda industry as well
as the wine industry. In the past, wine consumers
thought a screw cap to be a sign of low quality, but
that has now changed and many wineries are switching to
screw caps. Consumers have found through buying and
trying screw capped wines that they are not inferior. In
fact, savvy consumers now prefer screw capped wines
because the wine will always be fresh and uncorked. New
Zealand led the way in screw caps when its wineries
banded together in the "Screw Cap Initiative" to bottle
all their wines with screw caps. If you wanted a New
Zealand wine, you had to buy a wine with a screw cap.
corks, resembling the natural cork "T-Tops" used in Port
and Sherry bottles, are the newest and hottest closure.
Consumers think they are "cool" and easy to use.
Glass corks are the way of the future and coming to a
store near you.
As an advocate for consumers, I want them
to get a fresh, uncorked bottle of wine, tasting the way
the winemaker intended. Thus I support whatever closure
accomplishes that goal.
Street Wine Shop
311 East Market Street
230 Shoppers World Court
JEFFERSON'S WINE CELLAR AT
Sarafin, Monticello Dependencies Project
Because of his attempts to grow Vitis
vinifera at Monticello and his eager support for the
establishment of an American wine industry, Thomas
Jefferson has been described as America's "first
distinguished viticulturist" and "the greatest patron of
wine and winegrowing that this country has yet
Jefferson believed that "we could,
in the United States, make as great a variety of wines
as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds,
but doubtless as good." Though this vision never came to
fruition during his lifetime, Jefferson's reputation as
a wine expert is undisputed, stemming from his visits to
vineyards in Europe; his continuing pursuit of high
quality wines for importation; his role as wine adviser
to Presidents Washington, Madison, and Monroe; and his
Wine Cellar at Monticello.
Jefferson's cellar contained
bottles from France, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Germany
and Italy, and he served wine after dinner daily in the belief that it was good for the health.
Orders for casks and bottles of wine were made on at
least an annual basis. For example, in January 1820
Jefferson recorded receiving 382 bottles of various
wines and one cask of "Muscat of Rivesalte." The next
January, he noted that the Muscat "is out, to wit 62
gallons in 11 months." The cellar also featured
bottle-holding dumbwaiters that went through its ceiling
and into both sides of the mantelpiece in the Dining
Room above, which allowed wine bottles to be discarded
and replenished with minimal intrusion.
The Wine Cellar has recently
undergone archaeological study and is being further
investigated to determine the location or configuration
of period wine bottle binning or shelving arrangements.
After the shelves and bottles that had been installed in
the 1960s were removed, Monticello archaeologists began
their work. Findings from their test square confirmed
that the room's brick floor is original, but their work
did not yield any evidence of wooden or brick binning
structures. As expected, many shards of green wine
bottle glass were discovered. Removal of the
mid-20th century plaster ceiling revealed the original
beams above. These will be studied along with the
four interior brick wall surfaces for clues that might
indicate what type of wine storage method was used in
the space. Photographs taken in the late 1960s that show
the interior walls before sandblasting will be compared
against evidence that may still be visible
The Wine Cellar project is part of the Thomas
Jefferson Foundation's ongoing effort to restore and
reinterpret all of Monticello's dependencies - the
living quarters, work areas, and storage spaces located
beneath the house. The physical and interpretive
revisions planned for the Wine Cellar will represent a
more accurate view of how the space looked and
functioned during Jefferson's retirement years
(1809-26). Plans include conservation of the
original dumbwaiter, which will be more easily viewed by
visitors after the installation of a platform with
interpretive reader rails similar to those in the
restored Beer Cellar nearby. The reader rails will tell
the stories of those who were responsible for
maintaining the cellar and what types of activities and
tasks such responsibility entailed. The importance of
the Wine Cellar to the functioning of the Dining Room
above will be highlighted.
Since the Wine Cellar was last
furnished in the 1960s, much new research and
scholarship has been done with regard to Jefferson and
wine, including information about how imported wine was
shipped and how it was processed and consumed at
Monticello. Jefferson's detailed Farm Book wine
inventories reveal his preferences and illustrate
general patterns of wine provisioning and consumption.
Ongoing research will help determine the most
appropriate method of bottle storage, and new
furnishings such as reproduction glass bottles, casks,
and wine testing and tasting implements will illustrate
the processing of wine into vessels suitable for
transportation in the dumbwaiter and for table
The restoration and
reinterpretation of Monticello's Wine Cellar has been
made possible by the support of Howard P. Milstein, a
member of the TJF Board of Trustees, and The
VIRGINIA VINEYARD FOCUS (Second
in the Series)
Shenandoah Valley Region
by Randall Phillips, Cave Ridge
When Randy Phillips decided to develop a
vineyard and winery in Virginia, he took several years
to do his research. "I have always been involved
in some form of agriculture going back to when I was a
child, but I knew very little about growing grapes,"
said Phillips. "I had about 15 years of winemaking
under my belt but wanted to establish a winery that only
used estate grown grapes."
Phillips attended seminars, talked to
growers in different regions of the state and poured
over climate charts and soil maps. Although there
are many great areas to grow grapes in Virginia, he was
drawn to the Shenandoah Valley for two reasons.
The rainfall is some of the lowest in the eastern United
States, and it is one of the cooler growing zones in the
state. While that might seem counterintuitive, it
proved to be beneficial this year. The freezing
temperatures in April that killed back many grape vine
shoots from Charlottesville into North Carolina and
Georgia had no effect on many of the vineyards in the
Northern Shenandoah Valley because the buds had not yet
Cave Ridge Vineyard is one of many
vineyards and wineries that have been developed in
recent years based on extensive research of growing
conditions and potential markets. Phillips says
that the rapid growth in the number of wineries being
developed in Virginia is creating competition, which
will ultimately result in significant improvement of
wines available to consumers. The growing site and
the selection of the right varieties are becoming more
Cave Ridge grows viognier, traminette,
riesling, syrah, cabernet franc, chambourcin, and petit
verdot. Although some growers have abandoned
riesling, according to Phillips, in the right location
and with intensive management practices, it performs
well, and produces a nice wine.
All wine events at Cave Ridge involve some
level of education about growing grapes. "It all
begins in the vineyard, and I want people to understand
what it takes to produce a quality bottle of wine," says
Phillips. "So any event we have on the farm always
involves a guided tour (usually with a glass of wine) to
talk about all of the things we do in the
vineyard. We have about 10,000 vines and each one
gets touched at least seven times during the year.
That makes quite an impression on
In addition to managing and operating Cave
Ridge Vineyard, Randy Phillips serves on the Board of
the Virginia Vineyards Association, and he was recently
appointed to the board of the newly formed State
Corporation for Wine Distribution that will allow
Virginia wineries to once again distribute their wines
to stores and restaurants.
Cave Ridge Vineyard is located about 80
miles west of Washington, D.C., near Woodstock and Mt.
Jackson. To learn more about the vineyard and
their wines go to www.caveridge.com or call
By Antoinette Landragin of Cork &
|Cork & Fork stocks
select Virginia wines, as well as some of the finest
wines from around the world. According to
Antoinette, it is the first store of its kind in the
fast developing western part of Prince William County
where Gainesville is known as the "Gateway to Virginia
Wine Country" because of its proximity to a number of
Northern Virginia wineries. As our guest reviewer
for September, Antoinette recommends:
Seventh Edition 2004 ($39.99)
Winning award after award, the Octagon
continues to "Wow!" wine appreciators across the nation
by presenting an extraordinary propriety blend from one
of the finest vineyards in Virginia. This Bordeaux
style wine commands the attention of the New World with
its Merlot, Reserve Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon,
and Petit Verdot blend. There is great complexity
in this wine; the lush color gives hint of the fantastic
concentration and muscular tannins; the beautiful dark
fruit and cassis are voluptuous and enticing. The
Octagon has great cellaring potential, and is showing
Viognier 2006 ($19.99)
This fresh Viognier from Rappahannock Cellars
has already started to make a name for itself by blazing
through the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition,
winning Double Gold earlier this year. This wine
is one of the finest examples of a Virginian Viognier,
presenting a very crisp and clean demeanor.
Elements of orange zest, lemongrass and juicy peach make
it a scrumptious wine. Divine.
EAT, DRINK, & BE
MERRY...WINE & FOOD PAIRINGS FROM THE BOAR'S HEAD
Guests Share a Drink at the
Boar's Head Inn Bistro
We asked Pat Fleshman Burnett, Marketing &
Communications Manager at the Boar's Head Inn in
Charlottesville, to do some matchmaking . . . to give us
some of her favorite recipes along with suggestions for
Virginia wines that pair well with them. Here are
two perfect combinations, courtesy of the Boar's Head
Executive Chef, Mark Gallaudet..
Trout Fillets &
Barboursville Reserve Chardonnay, 2004
Rappahannock Reserve Viognier,
8 trout filets
6 oz. cashew nuts (lightly
10 oz. unsalted
1 oz. chopped
6 oz. mixed greens
1 chopped parsley
4 lbs. Idaho
Dash Salt &
Season fillets with salt and
pepper. Sprinkle with ground cashew nuts, covering
the fish. Sauté in clarified butter or vegetable
oil for two minutes on each side. Peel and grate
potatoes; cook and form into cakes. Sauté in
butter 3 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown
and hot through. Place 4 oz. butter in a sauté pan
over medium high heat and sauté mixed greens for 30
seconds and remove. Place chopped parsley in the
pan and set aside. Arrange plate by placing two
fillets on either side of potato cake with mixed greens
on top. Serves 4.
Boar's Head Inn Bread
Pair with Barboursville Phileo,
1½ c. milkBring milk and sugar to a simmer.
Slowly add to the eggs. Add butter and stir until
melted. Add vanilla and cool slightly. While
still warm, put a layer of bread into bottom of a 9"x9"
baking dish. Pour some of the custard mixture over
the bread and sprinkle with the fruit/nuts.
Continue to make layers until baking dish is almost
full. The bread should absorb most of the liquid
and be firm to the touch. Cover pan with foil and
bake in a water bath at 325 degrees F for approximately
1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes
out clean. Serve warm with Crème Anglaise.
Yields 12 1-oz. servings.
3 eggs, slightly
¼ c. sugar
¼ lb. butter
6 cups day-old bread cut into
1 c. fruit/nuts (Blueberries, Pecans,
Bananas, Coconut, Choc. Chips, etc.)
half and half
1 c. heavy cream
½ c. granulated
½ c. egg yolks (5 yolks broken)
vanilla (or ½ vanilla bean, split and
Bring the sugar, vanilla, half and half,
and heavy cream to a boil in a saucepot. Slowly
add ½ the hot mixture to the egg yolks, then the yolk
mixture back into the pot. Cook over low heat,
stirring constantly for 2 minutes. DO NOT
BOIL. Strain the mixture through a small-holed
strainer and cool in an ice bath, stirring
occasionally. Yields 12 1-oz. servings.
| Zippity Rabbit from
The Zippity Rabbit has a new hutch!
Newly packaged in either a red or black EVA storage
case, this sterling Rabbit Corkscrew from Metrokane
opens wine bottles with practiced ease. Finished
in brilliant chrome, the Zippity Rabbit comes equipped
with a foil cutter and extra spiral - and a 10 year
guarantee! MSRP $80. There is also a VIP
version, perfect for business gifts, that comes in a
THE BLUE RIDGE
A TRIP WORTH
September is one of the best times of the year to
travel Virginia's Blue Ridge Wine Way (BRWW), a truly
exciting trail of wineries where you can experience
first hand how the grapes are harvested and the wines
are produced. Conveniently located within an hour
of Washington DC, the Blue Ridge Wine Way is home to
nine of the Commonwealth's premier wineries, each with
its own unique personality.
meanders the Blue Ridge Wine Way, you will travel
through some of Virginia's most scenic countryside, past
farms, orchards and roadside markets bustling with late
summer and early fall produce; inns, B&Bs and superb
restaurants; historic towns with antique shops and
recreational attractions. But most of all, you
will experience internationally acclaimed and award
winning wines, luscious styles of whites including
Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Seyval Blanc; and an
equal number of reds such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet
Sauvignon, Chambourcin and Bordeaux blends (Ameritage).
The BRWW wineries also feature several dessert wines of
the Blue Ridge Wine Way, Gourmet Magazine wine
consultant, Michael Green declared Virginia "one of the
greatest wine regions in the country" and praised the
BRWW wineries for the "wonderfully Burgundian hands-on
experience" they offer. The wineries are situated
in Northern Virginia's Piedmont area of Fauquier, Prince
William, and Rappahannock Counties and are easily
reached from the Route 66 corridor between Haymarket and
Front Royal and along the Interstate 29 corridor via
Gainesville, Warrenton or Culpeper.
CELLARS. Off Route 211, between Little
Washington and Sperryville. Old World family
atmosphere. Italian inspired tasting room and
spacious sun splashed deck overlooking the vineyard and
the Blue Ridge Mountains. Focus is on small lots
from select vineyard blocks reflecting diverse growing
conditions and microclimates of Virginia's best
viticulture areas, as well as their own Rappahannock
vineyard featuring an Old Vines Cabernet Franc.
VINEYARDS. In Amissville, 11 miles west
from Warrenton on Route 211. Grapes are
hand-picked and the wine is aged in premium oak barrels.
Full bodied reds are unfiltered and lighter-styled wines
are fermented at lower temperatures to enhance fruit
character. Emphasis on quality resulted in being named
"Best of the East" by Vineyard and Winery Management
Magazine! Knowledgeable staff, southern
hospitality, beautiful picnic grounds and spacious
CELLARS. Near Warrenton, just off US 17N.
Rich in family wine making tradition and warm
hospitality - Mediterranean style! Small
scale winery in a picturesque setting offers intimate
wine tasting experience. If Papa Louie is not out
tending his vines, you will personally experience his
charm during a barrel room visit to taste the wines and
savor "Romance," a very special blend reminiscent of the
Greek Isles. Mrs. Papadopoulos serves a gourmet
selection of Mediterranean finger foods on
WINERY. In Hume on the western edge of
Fauquier County, off I-66 (take Marshall or Front
Royal exits). One of Virginia's oldest wineries
and voted one of the best by Washingtonian
Magazine readers. Featuring, romance, award
winning wines, simple escapes and catered picnics.
Visitors are most welcome guests sure to experience an
"OASIS" that is not a mirage, right here in Virginia!
Available for special events, weddings, corporate
retreats and VIP wine tours.
CELLARS. Off Georgetown Road in Broad Run
in eastern Fauquier County (take 1-66 from
Gainesville to Exit 43S). Family owned and
operated and featuring a unique 7500 square foot
geothermal winery. Explore and linger in the
Italian-tiled barrel room with its first-of-its-kind in
the US barrel stacking system. Warm, friendly ambiance
in the tasting room and picnic areas surrounded by row
upon row of vines and picturesque views of the 1743
vintage farm. Light fare, gifts, local artwork and
special children's corner.
WINERY. In Amissville seven miles west of
Warrenton on Route 622. One of the friendliest
wineries in Virginia. Picnic in the vineyard or
relax on the banks of the Rappahannock River.
Enjoy a glass of award winning Viognier or Meritage
Bordeaux blend as you sit on the deck overlooking a scenic
koi-stocked pond. Wine shop features unique and
hard-to-find wine accessories. Available for
weddings, corporate events and family re-unions.
CELLARS. Corner of Route 522 and Hume
Road, seven miles south of Front Royal (one
mile west of Oasis Winery). John Delmare moved his
family's winery from California to the Blue Ridge
Mountains of Virginia. With careful tending of the
vineyard and exacting knowledge of the cellar, they have
created award winning, rich, supple and elegant wines
dedicated to the winegrower's art. A truly
family-run winery and vineyard. Home of the 2006
VINEYARDS. In Hume, take I-66 to exit 18
at Markham to Route 688. Also family owned and
operated. Twenty seven acres of gentle rolling
hills support nine acres of vines and two ponds. Hand
crafted wines in a beautiful setting with views that are
second to none. Indoor and outdoor seating.
Gourmet cheeses, crackers and truffled fudges.
WINERY AT LA
GRANGE. In Haymarket just off I-66.
Picturesque setting with circa 1790
manor house tasting hall featuring artifacts and
southern hospitality reminiscent of bygone era. Winery's
stately elegance and graciousness are mirrored in the
expert craftsmanship of the winemaker, Chris Pearmund.
Monthly winemakers' dinners catered by some of the
area's most talented chefs. Available for social
events. Close proximity to some of Northern
Virginia's best golf courses.
For complete details
about the wineries of the Blue Ridge Wine Way, see the
2007 Virginia Wine Guide or go to www.virginiawines.org.
In addition, each of the winery web sites lists the many
special events happening during the month of
|THE VIRGINIA WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB SEPTEMBER
New Winemaker at Doukenie Winery,
Sebastien Marquet Samples this Month's
The Virginia Wine of the Month comes from Doukénie
Winery (formerly Windham Winery). The selection
includes NV Mandolin and 2005 Cabernet Franc.
One of Doukénie's more popular wines, the MV
Mandolin is a blend of Traminette, Vidal Blanc and
Chardonnay. The first two varietals were grown by
nearby vineyards and the Chardonnay is from the 2006
harvest of Doukénie's own estate vineyard.
The aroma is of rose petals, a floral nose with fruit
and spice. It is off dry with 1.5% residual
sweetness and balanced with good acidity for
structure. Intended to be consumed as a young,
fruity wine, it should be served chilled.
Just awarded a gold medal in the 2007 Atlantic
Seaboard Wine Competition, Doukénie's 2005 Cabernet
Franc has a taste described as similar to a Loire Valley
Cabernet Franc, with deep fruit, dark flavors and
elegance. One can detect a delicious smoky
raspberry-chocolate flavor and a great finish. It
is a winning blend of Cabernet Franc, Tannat and Petite
Verdot. It can age and improve for a minimum of
five years, but it is very approachable now. Serve
at cool cellar temperature, around 55 to 60 degrees.
1: DISCOVER VIRGINIA FOOD & WINE
Greene County. Showcases the
finest wines, foods and products Virginia has to
September 8: 13TH
ANNUAL ROCKBRIDGE WINE FESTIVAL
Theatre in Lexington. A day of wine samplings,
live music, food and local vendors.
VIRGINIA WINE FESTIVAL
Equestrian Center in Leesburg
The granddaddy of all
wine festivals! Includes 60 wineries, gourmet
cuisine, seminars, music, arts and crafts. Rain or
11TH ANNUAL NEPTUNE FESTIVAL WINE
Neptune Park at 31st Street on the
Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Sample the finest wines
Virginia has to offer.
19th ANNUAL SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE WINE
Lakeside at Bernards Landing in
Moneta. Features 26 wineries and 85 craft and food
vendors, plus live entertainment.
September 1: LAKE
LAST DAYS OF SUMMER JAZZ IN THE
LIVE LIKE "THE KING" ELVIS
Dress like Elvis, get 10% off. Sing
like Elvis, get 20% off. IF YOU ARE ELVIS, THE
WINE IS FREE.
ONE OF A KIND "VIVE LA
FRANCE" CELEBRATION. Stomp the grapes. Enjoy
fantastique bistro fare. Wear a beret and receive
free glass of wine.
HARVEST FESTIVAL &
LOBSTER FEAST. By reservation only: call
TASTE OF ITALY
Stomp the grapes to the music of
THE GREAT GRAPE WINE
For a complete list of winery
festivals and events, as well as directions to the
wineries, go to www.virginia.org.
|COMING NEXT MONTH!
next month, we will begin a new series featuring Bed and
Breakfasts around the state of
|If you would like to contribute
an article to our WINE LOVER e-newsletter, please send
information to email@example.com.
Virginia Wine Lover Magazine