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Look for our magazine on newsstands in May!

Celebrating the good life.

In This Issue
Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Premiers in May
Women in Wine
April Festivals & Events
Bed & Breakfast of the Month
Virginia Wine Marketing Office Opens
Wine Reviews
Le Mousseux Sparkling Cider
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Chrysalis Vineyards expand acreage.
Gray Ghost to present at American Wine Society conference in Sacramento.
Vol. III, No. 4
April 2008  
Springtime is Winetime!

Dear Friend of Virginia Wine:       

Spring is definitely in the air!  You can sense it in the blooming tulips and daffodils and in the fruit trees dressed in lacey blossoms.  The byways and hillsides are changing from brown to green, inviting visitors anxious once again for warm weekend excursions to Virginia's wineries... all 141 of them and counting!
In this issue of Virginia Wine Lover, you can read about April winery events as diverse as a redbud celebration and a fly fishing festival.  Enjoy articles about the Foster Harris House B&B; Le Mousseux Sparkling Cider; Wine Reviews by Cork & Fork; Veritas Vineyard and Winery's winemaker; and much more.
And, as the countdown continues for VIRGINIA WINE LOVER magazine's launch date, we tell you more about what you can expect from the state's largest lifestyle publication.  Cheers!
Frank C. Britt

P.S.  First time subscriber to the newsletter?  Please share this issue with your friends and associates...just click on the Forward to a Friend button below.  Feel free to e-mail us your comments at info@vawinelover.com.

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Anticipation and excitement grow as we inch ever closer to the May launch.  The magazine's official release will occur during the opening night festivities at the 2008 America's Polo Cup when the Gold medalists in the first ever Virginia Wine Lover  Competition will be announced. 
This two day event is sponsored by Land Rover and features an exciting contest between the U.S. Polo Team and Italy's best polo players.  It will be held at historic Morven Park in Leesburg on May 9 and 10.  For more information on the Polo Cup, go to www.americaspolocup.com.
If you have not already done so, we urge you to Subscribe Today to VIRGINIA WINE LOVER so that you receive your first issue right on time!
Click here to subscribe!
"Women in Wine"
by Andrew Hodson

Emily Hodson PeltonThe spotlight is on Veritas Vineyard & Winery and their outstanding winemaker, Emily Hodson Pelton.  One of a relatively short list of female Virginia winemakers, Emily recently received the prestigious Best of Show award in the 2007 National Women's Wine Competition with her dessert wine Kenmar.  This is quite an honor as Emily competed with over 1900 entrants from across the country who were judged by 30 of the leading women winemakers, buyers, writers, and critics in the United States wine industry.  One of the frequent comments heard during the awards was surprise that a wine so high in the awards circle came from Virginia.  Emily was proud to accept this award and offered assurance that "they will continue to be surprised."

Veritas has been producing consistently high quality wines from its inception when it was established in 1999 by Andrew and Patricia Hodson with the help of their eldest daughter Emily.  The vineyard consists of 25 acres of vines from which Veritas has been producing 90 tons of grapes which translates into 8,000 cases of wine ranging from bubbling, sparkling, wine to opulent port styled wines. 

Emily Pelton was hooked from the beginning.  As a self confessed "city girl" before arriving in Virginia in 1999, she was amazed at how at home she felt in the fields.  She decided she wanted a career in winemaking and completed a Masters in Enology at Virginia Tech during the first two vintages at Veritas.  Emily and father Andrew have been a winemaking team ever since, relying on each other to create wines that are true to the grape, and true to their place. 

The name Veritas derives from the Roman historian, Pliny the Elder, who observed: "in Vino Veritas" ~  "In Wine There Is Truth".  Emily takes this statement very seriously in each step of winemaking and strives to accentuate the truth of their wine in the vinification of high quality, varietally, and geographically correct wines. 

Veritas Vineyard & Winery
145 Saddleback Farm - Afton, VA 22920

The staff of Veritas Vineyard & Winery
March 29:  Jazz and Chocolate
11am - 5pm at Cooper Vineyards in Louisa
Eat and drink your weight in chocolate from local chocolatiers and the chocolate fountain, as well as Cooper's Noche Chocolate. 
Redbud FestivalApril 5:  Redbud Celebration at Hickory Hill Vineyards & Winery
11am - 5pm, Moneta
Toast the first blooming trees of spring with Hickory Hill's Smith Mountain Lake Redbud wine.
April 5: Danville Wine Festival
11am - 7pm, Community Market
Phone: (434) 432-1063
Events at James River Cellars WineryApril 5-6: April Fools Wine Festival at James River Cellars
11am - 5pm, Glen Allen, VA
Join Cooper, Grayhaven, Green Springs, James River Cellars and Lake Anna for a two day wine festival on the Grounds of James River Winery. Live music, craft and food vendors: B & B Seafood (crab cakes, BBQ, or hot dogs). Picnics welcome.
Phone: (804) 550-7516
Jefferson Vineyards WineApril 12-13:  Jefferson Vineyards Reserve Wine Tastings
In celebration of Mr. Jefferson's birthday, the cellars are open to explore older vintages and reserve wines.  Select wines available for purchase.
Reservations:  800-272-3042
April 19:  Fondue at Willowcroft Farm Vineyards
1pm - 5pm, Leesburg
Sip award-winning wines and dip into The Melting Pot's wonderfully famous cheese and chocolate fondues.
Monticello Wine & Food Festival
April 19-20: Monticello Wine & Food Festival
11am - 5pm, on Route 33 one mile west of Route 29 intersection at Ruckersville.  Fine wines and gourmet foods, artisan craftsmen & musicians.   Festival entrance on left side of Route 33.
Phone: (866) 339-9363
Virginia Fly Fishing FestivalApril 19-20: 8th Annual Wine Tasting & Fly Fishing Festival
On the banks of the South River at Constitution Park in Waynesboro.
Phone: (540) 836-9367
April 26:  Lake Country Wine Festival
12noon - 5pm, Downtown Clarksville
Second annual Clarksville Lake Country Wine Festival in historic downtown Clarksville.  Virginia wines, delicious food and live music. Stroll through unique downtown shops and enjoy the local restaurants.
Phone: (434) 374-2436
April 26:  Wintergreen Winery Anniversary Celebration
10am - 5pm
Toast the winery's 15th anniversary with live music, wine and gourmet food tasting, shop specials and door prizes.  Light picnic fare and scenic riverside picnic area.
Great Grapes! Wine, Arts & Food Festival
April 26-27: Great Grapes! Wine, Arts & Food Festival
Reston Town Center, Reston
Tantalize Your Taste Buds with over 100 diverse and flavorful wines!  Gourmet Live! cooking demonstrations, unique artists.
April 26-27:  16th Annual James River Wine Festival
James River Wine FestivalSat. 11am - 7pm; Sun. 12pm - 6pm. at Innsbrook Pavilion, Richmond
Include 22 well-known wineries, live music both days, great food, arts and crafts and free parking.

Set For April 9th In Virginia Beach
Tasting Wine
Virginia Wine Lover Magazine is coordinating a wine competition in conjunction with the Land Rover America's Polo Cup in May.  All Virginia wineries producing wine for commercial sale are invited to participate with an entry fee of $125 for up to five labels.  The event will be held at the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center on April 9.  Wineries interested in participating should contact Patrick Evans-Hilton for entry forms: patrick@virginiawinelover.com.
Woman and wine glassesA panel of outstanding judges will conduct the double-blind competition.  Considered the best in their field of Enology and Sensory Evaluations of wines, the panel includes Dr. Andrew Waterhouse, Chair, Viticulture and Enology Dept., Univ. of California Davis; Dr. Roy Williams, Chemistry Professor Emeritus, Old Dominion Univ., Norfolk; Jim Barker, President, Washington Wine Academy, Alexandria; Peter Coe, Taste Unlimited, Virginia Beach; Marcel Desaulniers, The Trellis Restaurant, Williamsburg; Ben Eubanks, The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond; Cindy McGann, Vintage Tavern & River Stone Chophouse, Suffolk; Marc Sauter, Zinc Brasserie, Virginia Beach.

The judges will award bronze, silver and gold medals for White Wines, Red Wines, Late Harvest & Dessert Wines, Rosé, Blush & Pink Wines, and Sparkling Wines.  Gold medal winners will be announced on Friday night at the America's Polo Cup at Historic Morvern Park in Leesburg on May 9 and 10.

Foster Harris House
By Jack North, Pres., B&B Assn. of Virginia
Foster Harris House
Foster Harris Serving WineNestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains just minutes from fine Virginia wineries and the world-renowned Inn at Little Washington, the Foster Harris House offers comfortable, refined accommodations in an enchanting country setting.  Each of the five guest rooms has exquisitely soft linens, spa robes and private bath with a rainfall show or a whirlpool tub.  Most rooms have expansive views of the perennial gardens, meadows and surrounding mountains.
Inn owners, Diane and John MacPherson, offer scenic driving routes to area wineries, including Rappahannock Cellars, Oasis Winery, Linden and Sharp Rock Vineyards and Gadino Cellars.  For those who want a more exhilarating excursion, they have bicycle rentals for days trips or all-inclusive epicurean cycling tours complete with guides and van support.
At the Foster Harris House, you'll be treated to complimentary Virginia wine, beer or non-alcoholic beverages while enjoying the breathtaking views from the garden.  Crisp evenings are spent relaxing with a glass of port by the warm glow of the living room fire. Breakfast is a lavish, unhurried four-course meal with such favorites such as fresh baked ginger scones, roasted red pepper and gruyere soufflé and hickory-smoked bacon glazed in raspberry chipotle sauce.  Finish with blueberry cheesecake crêpes or "Cinnamon Liebchen" drizzled with spiced vanilla bean sauce.  Yum!
Foster Harris House
189 Main Street - Washington, VA 22747
Richmond, Virginia
by Annette Ringwood Boyd, Director, Virginia Wine Marketing Office
Virginia Wine Marketing Office

Yes, Virginia, the Virginia Wine Marketing Office is now open!  Manned by Annette Ringwood Boyd and Amy Ciarametaro, the office is funded by the Virginia Wine Board and charged with coordinating several marketing initiatives to promote Virginia's wine industry, including:

  • Designing the new 2008 Virginia Wine Map
  • Updating the www.Virginiawine.org website
  • Coordinating industry surveys for marketing needs
  • Developing a comprehensive marketing plan for the industry
  • Answering requests for information about the industry

"We have had overwhelming response since we opened our doors in December," said Annette Ringwood Boyd, executive director of the Wine Marketing Office.  "There is a tremendous amount of interest in Virginia wines, and our office has been able to point people in the appropriate direction depending on what information they need.  We are especially proud of the current Virginia Wine Guide (See Below) which will lead many new folks to visit Virginia wineries this year."

Annette Ringwood Boyd is president of Ringwood Boyd Marketing LLC which received  the contract to operate the office on behalf of the Virginia Wine Board.  Several years ago, Annette headed a Virginia wine marketing program under the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services where she gained experience with many of the same tasks now charged by the Wine Board.

Amy Ciarametaro is marketing coordinator for the Wine Marketing Office.  Formerly, she worked with the Navy Exchange corporate buying office in Virginia Beach as a merchandise planner.  "I love my new job and have a deep appreciation for Virginia wine.  Every day I get to work with a constituency of passionate people producing an excellent product.  I look forward to helping develop marketing initiatives that can make a difference."

Got a question about the Virginia wine industry?  Call the experts in the Wine Marketing Office...Annette and Amy.

Virginia Wine Marketing Office
1001 E. Broad Street, Suite 140 - Richmond, VA 23219
E-mail:  information@virginiawine.org

Virginia Winery Guide
by Antoinette Landragin, Owner, Cork & Fork
Wine Review

About Cork & Fork
A place for wine and food lovers, Cork & Fork in Gainesville, Virginia, stocks the most sought after Virginia wines, as well as an extensive selection of the world's finest wines.  It is located in the "Gateway to Virginia Wine Country" and neighbors a few of the scenic wineries in the area.  This opportune location provides Co-owner and Manager Antoinette Landragin the opportunity to feed her passion for Virginia wines by frequently visiting and tasting barrel samples of the wines 'in-progress'.  Antoinette is proud to present two of her best selling springtime wonders, Linden Seyval Blanc and Barboursville Rosé. These are two wines that are must haves for the warmer months. 
Linden Seyval Blanc, 2006 ($16.99)
Widely known and recognized for their reds, Linden has been bottling some outrageously good whites, giving Jim Law the reputation as a well-rounded wine producer.  This small production winery uses the highest quality grapes, finest oak, and most up to date machinery to craft their wines.  The dominating citrus fruit of the 2006 Seyval Blanc has been calmed by bottle age, and is now wonderfully counter balanced by an unexpected flush of creamy tropical fruit structured by notes of delicate oak.  This is a fantastic must have white for year-round enjoyment.
Barboursville, Rosé 2006 ($15.99)
The versatile 2006 Barboursville Rosé has an incredible length of character, round body, and a commanding presence.  When first released, this blush wine was noted as one of the first European styled rosés to come out of Virginia.  Made from the finest Nebbiolo and Sangiovese grapes the vineyard produces, winemaker Luca Paschina created a rosé that has a life span far beyond expectations, with the 2006 proving to be still as lush and brilliant a year into bottle age as it was when first released.  The bright and fleshy components of this wine make it great for a lunch aperitif, and its complex form melts well with light courses consisting of succulent shrimp or creamy crab cakes.
Cork & Fork
7333 Atlas Walk Way - Gainesville, VA. 20155
Excerpted from an article by Sharon Bradshaw - Partner, La Provençale Cellars

Le MousseuxLe Mousseux Sparkling Cider, promoted as the Ultimate Alternative, is the brainchild of Tomas Rodriguez, partner in La Provençale Cellars in Woodstock, Virginia.  

As a sales and marketing executive for a prestigious French Champagne and spirits importer, Tom traveled many miles throughout the Mid-Atlantic area, including the Shenandoah Valley where he admired the extensive apple orchards. He remembers idly wondering if anyone was producing sparkling cider similar to the lightly alcoholic ciders he had enjoyed in Brittany and Normandy.  Years later, he spent some time in his adopted state of Virginia, working with wineries in marketing their products.  He gained a new outlook on the production end of a local product, recognizing that the growers and producers were not a continent away but in-house, and the marketing effort was not always a sales force, but frequently the same person who was wearing several hats.

After a couple of years, Tom founded La Provençale Cellars (named for his French mother-in-law's favorite vacation spot) and was successful in filling a niche market for excellent wines from several wine producing regions of the world.  He became aware that fine restaurants needed a non-alcoholic beverage to offer alongside wine and began researching the idea of a sparkling apple cider.  Remembering the apple orchards he had seen years before in the Shenandoah Valley, he began working with a couple of apple experts and put together a blend of seven different apple varieties to create an elegant, dry, sophisticated cider reminiscent of those in western France. 

The blend includes Granny Smith for crisp freshness, Macintosh for its distinctive apple aromatic and taste components, Jonathan for the cinnamon and nutmeg overtones, Fuji for its juicy sweetness, along with others to round out the blend. Carbonation is the final addition to create a fresh fruity beverage that is at home in a champagne flute on its own or with dinner.  The sparking cider was named Le Mousseux, French for the bubbles or the effervescence, and became an instant hit as an alternative beverage to serve in a wine glass or flute with dinner.

Tom sold his import business and concentrated on the wholesale market for sparkling cider. He worked with distributors to move his cider to market and quickly realized that he had to take responsibility for creating demand by the public.  He investigated various venues and found that wine festivals were an ideal market for introducing the Ultimate Alternative. Since the late 1990s he has been invited to participate in festivals from Boston to South Beach, Florida.  Vintage Virginia, the Virginia  Wine Festival and numerous other events in Virginia are on the schedule.  Recognizing that he needed a more varied product line when selling directly to the public, Tom added apple butters and spreads based on his West Virginia grandmother's hand written apple butter recipes.

Tom's association with his partner, Sharon Bradshaw, started in 1994 when she served as floor manager for his first "International Wine Festival", an event held on the grounds of a Virginia winery.  Sharon had been a viticulturist and co-owner of a Virginia winery, served on the board of the Fredericksburg Area Wine Festival and was an active wine educator. It took a few years and occasional assistance at a several more festivals for the relationship to go beyond a casual friendship. At this point Tom and Sharon are partners in La Provençale Cellars, Ltd. and in life. They relocated three years ago from Fredericksburg to Woodstock, in Shenandoah County.  (Copyright, 2008 Sharon Bradshaw)

La Provençale Cellars
P.O. Box 573 - Woodstock, VA 22664

 Washington D.C. Food & Wine Festival
Washington D.C. Wine & Food Festival
February 29-March 2, 2008
By Dezel Quillen, www.myvinespot.com
The 9th Annual Washington D.C. International Wine & Food Festival brought together a plethora of budding wine enthusiast and food lovers from near and far. Some 200 international and domestic producers showcased over 800 different wines, and food vendors offered samples of their gourmet delights, making this not only one of the most popular, but one of the largest wine events in the DC Metro area. Virginia wineries  included Corcoran Vineyards, Fabbioli Cellars, Pearmund Cellars, Winery at La Grange, Horton Vineyards, Oasis, Barboursville, Tarara, Tomahawk Mill Winery, Mediterranean Cellars and Kluge Estate Winery. This select group of local producers represented the Old Dominion well, as I listened to very positive comments from tasters familiar, and not so familiar, with Virginia wines. There were also a number of informative wine seminars and cooking demonstrations hosted by industry professionals and celebrity chefs and providing  great learning opportunities for the wine novice or expert and gourmet recipes to pair with your favorite bottle of  "Virginia" wine. This global adventure returns next year, so be sure to mark your calendars and plan to attend.
Travel and Leisure Magazine names Virginia one of the top five new travel wine destinations in the world - July 2007.
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