December 2014 
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December 2, 2014

Vol. IX, Issue No. 12

Dear Virginia Wine Lover,

We are excited to announce the 2014 Visitor's Choice Awards for your Favorite Virginia Tasting Room! Over 5,000 Virginia Wine Lovers participated in this prestigious annual competition in which subscribers cast their vote for just one Tasting Room to prevent duplicate voting.

Congratulations to Chateau Morrisette! The winery was the top vote getter and your selection as Virginia's Favorite Tasting Room. They are also featured in this issue as Winery of the Month.

Virginia's top 10 Tastings Rooms (including Chateau Morrisette) selected by Official Virginia Wine Lover readers include Cooper Vineyards, Doukenie Winery, Pearmund Cellars, Veritas Winery, Early Mountain Vineyards, Potomac Point Winery, First Colony Winery, Barboursville Vineyards and Hill Top Berry Farm. Thanks to all who participated.

We appreciate your continuing interest in the Official Virginia Wine Lover in this year and in the one to come. With this final newsletter of 2014, we wish you the happiest of holidays and peace in the New Year. Cheers to 2015!

Frank C. Britt 
franks signature blue





Virginia's Favorite Winery Tasting Room
Chateau Morrisette


 February 17-22, 2015

Click Here


For 15% Discount

Enter Promo Code: frank15


Wine Festival & Winery Consulting,
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The results are in!  We received over 5,000 responses from readers voting on the Friendliness of Staff, Attractiveness of Location, Staff's Knowledge of Wine, Proximity of Winery and Price of Tasting.

Congratulations to Chateau Morrisette 
and All the Top 10 Vote Getters!

Chateau Morrisette
Barboursville Vineyards

Cooper Vineyards 

Doukenie Winery 

Early Mountain Vineyards

First Colony Winery

Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery
Pearmund Cellars
Potomac Point Winery
Veritas Winery



Floyd, Virginia


Chateau Morrisette is located along the crest of the Blue Ridge at 3,500 feet above sea level in beautiful Floyd County. Just a short distance from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Chateau Morrisette features 38 acres of estate vineyards, a 33,000 square foot cellar and tasting room, as well as a four-star restaurant named one of the top 100 restaurant views in America by Open Table.

William and Nancy Morrisette, along with their son David, planted the first vines in 1976 and opened their first winery in Woolwine, Virginia in 1978. In 1983, the winery moved to its current location and construction of the cellar, one of the largest reclaimed timber structures in America, got underway in 1997.

Chateau Morrisette produces about 70,000 cases annually of 34 distinct wines, some of which are the very popular sweet wines such as Red Mountain Laurel, White Muscadine and Sweet Mountain Apple. However, Chateau Morrisette also produces a diverse selection of Virginia varietal wines as well as several sophisticated blends, including the brand new Archival 1, a delicious blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The winery recently hired Brian Cheeseborough as the new oenologist and winemaker. Having produced wine in California, France and Argentina, Cheeseborough brings a touch of the old-world to his very new-world style of winemaking at Chateau Morrisette.

A Recipe from Chef Sterling Steffens
Chateau Morrisette



CLICK HERE for recipe

Holiday Pairing


By Brian Cohen

As I mature, there are fewer ways to make me look good without a lot of effort. Wearing a pair of well-molded jeans (with just enough room to sit comfortably), having my beautiful wife on my arm, and presenting a braised dish for dinner are my go-to's for ego enhancement.


Why braising? Because it's the easiest method for showing off the flavor and tenderness of your meat and poultry. Basically, it's a two-step process: sear and caramelize the surfaces, then pan-roast in hearty sauce for rich flavors and tender mouth-feel. As leaves, rain and snow fall outside, the house warms up and smells wonderful as a Dutch oven performs magic. Upon the first bite, everyone sings praises to me. What can I say? I like the strokes.

So, as an early November cold front imposed its chill on Crozet, a town at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it seemed a good time for my family to bring a warm, savory feast featuring a braised pork shoulder with apples and brandy to friends to mark the beginning of autumn and the holiday season. I had also prepared garlic mashed potatoes and green beans sautéed in ginger butter.


Virginia Holiday Wine Specials


By Stewart Reynolds, Owner


Virginia Wine of the Month Club is celebrating 26 plus years of delivering award-winning Virginia wines directly to your doorstep. Monthly Selections include carefully hand-selected reds, whites and sweet wines from around the state so that members can savor a variety of Virginia's best!  You can select one or up to eight wine packs per month.  It's a great way to try new wines.  And, to give outstanding gifts for every occasion and every reason.   

15% discount on holiday specials


 - Wine of the Month for You


 - Sampler Packs


(For details and to order,CLICK on your choice above and enter Coupon Code: frank15) 


The Cellar Reserve leverages our 26 year relationship with the very best wine producers in Virginia to bring you wines that have these special characteristics:  They are not available for retail purchase; nor are they available in tasting rooms.  The Cellar Reserve wines are old vintage from single barrel production.  They include Gold Medal winners from the Virginia Governor's Cup, the San Francisco and Finger Lakes International Wine competitions.          


20% discount on the Cellar Reserve

(For details and to order,CLICK above and enter Coupon Code: 

By Melanie & Brian Simpson, Owners

Raise your hand if you like saving money. Now, raise your glass if you like saving it on wine! As we know, Virginia Wine Country boasts amazing artisanal wine with some of the country's most exciting tastes, varietals, and subtleties in flavor. Wine tasting and touring in Virginia is a must for every wine lover; now, with the Virginia Wine Pass, this experience can be had for less.

The Virginia Wine Pass is a one calendar year savings card that offers its members, and a guest, exclusive deals and perks at over 70 of the premier wineries and cideries across Virginia.

Our members enjoy complimentary wine tastings for two, half price tastings, discounts on bottle purchases, upgraded experiences, free tours, and more!

For example, a Virginia Wine Pass member and his/her guest receive:

     - Complimentary tastings for two at Grey Ghost Vineyards

     - Half off tastings at The Winery at Bull Run

     - 10% off bottle purchases at 868 Estates

     - Complimentary Tastings for two at DuCard Vineyards

     - A free bottle of wine with the purchase of 3 bottles at AmRhein's Cellars

     - Buy one get one tastings at Chateau Morrisette

With the holidays quickly approaching, consider the Virginia Wine Pass for the wine lover on your list. It makes a great stocking stuffer for family and friends...and it's ideal for co-workers or that hard to buy for gift exchange. 


Visit for all the details and to browse our catalog of partner wineries. 



As a rule, we do not include open houses in monthly events.  Because of the number of wineries sending us information about a December Open House, we have included them here.  Some are only one day, so check websites for exact dates.




Barren Ridge Vineyards (Fishersville)

Breaux Winery (Purcellville)

Chateau Morrisette (Floyd)

Hickory Hill Vineyards & Winery (Moneta)

Ingleside Vineyards (Oak Grove)

Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery (Leon)



Blacksnake Meadery (Dugspur)

Cooper Vineyards (Louisa)

Gray Ghost Vineyards (Amissville)

Hickory Hill Vineyards & Winery (Moneta)

Ingleside Vineyards (Oak Grove)

Virginia Mountain Vineyards (Fincastle)



Hill Top Berry Farm & Winer(Dugspur)
James River Cellars (Glen Allen)

Morais Vineyard (Bealeton)

Three Fox Vineyards (Delaplane)

December 4:  Holiday Card Workshop 

North Gate Vineyards (Purcellville)

Create one of a kind watercolor holiday cards.  Includes all supplies and instruction, glass of wine, music and hors d'oeuvres.

December 4:  Holiday Event

Rebec Vineyards (Amherst)

Enjoy with friends, hors d'oeuvres, music and 15 wines to taste and purchase for your holiday gifts.

December 5:  Grand Illumination

CrossKeys Vineyards (Mt. Crawford)

Carolers, mulled wine, holiday treats, special wine gifts and the illumination of the winery.  A free event.

December 6:  Winter Fest

Veramar Vineyard (Berryville)

Winter Fest Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 pm.  Christmas music, mulled wine and cookies.  Special gift discounts.

December 6:  Holiday Wine Dinner & Cabaret

Dry Mill Vineyards Winery (Leesburg)

Chef Becky Jordan pairs delicious fare with favorite wines including 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Norton.  Musical review for your entertainment.  Reservations.

December 6:  Annual Winemaker's Dinner

8 Chains North Winery (Waterford)

Toasts, good cheer and gourmet delights along with great wines, live music and tasty cuisine by Grandale Restaurant.  Reservations.

December 6:  A Taste of Science

Doukenie Winery (Purcellville)

Extensive winery and vineyard tour includes scientific and technical details of winemaking and vineyard management.  Reservations suggested.

December 6:  Annual Weihnachtsmarkt

Bluestone Vineyard (Bridgewater)

Festive holiday market with local vendors, artisans, food and wine.  Bring non-perishable items for local food drive.

December 6:  Book Signing 

Greenhill Winery and Vineyards (Middleburg)

Exclusive debut collaboration with Chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve.  Limited availability and tickets required.

December 6: Fête de Noël!

Ankida Ridge Vineyards (Amherst) 

Hayrides, live music, food, vineyard tours and wine tastings.  Enjoy wide-open views of the mountains in wintertime.

December 6:  Meet the Artists

868 Estate Vineyards (Purcellville)

Featuring the abstract works of Color8, a collective of eight artists from Fairfax and Loudoun.   Meet the artists.

December 6:  Christmas in Middleburg

Middleburg Events Studio

Christmas Parade viewing party sponsored by Greenhill Winery & Vineyards, 11 to 3 pm.
Reservations required.

December 6-7:  Sparkling Wine Tastings

Paradise Springs Winery (Clifton)

Taste all three sparklings from Paradise Springs plus unique Pineapple Sparkling from Maui. Discount for tasters.

December 6-7:  Red & Gold Tasting

Fox Meadow Winery (Linden)

Tastings of Gold Medal Award winning wines of more mature vintages and the 2012 FMV le Renard Rouge (Meritage).  Light fare and mulled wine available for purchase.

December 6-7:  Christmas Cork and Cheese Celebration 

Gray Ghost Vineyards (Amissville)

World's largest cork Christmas display.  Wine and cheese tasting, desserts, live music, tours and a collectible glass.

December 6-7:  Jingle Bell Wine Trail

Heart of Virginia Wine Trail Wineries

A weekend of wine tasting, munchie grazing, prizes and souvenir glass.  Passport ticket to Cooper, Weston Farm, Grayhaven, James River Cellars, Mattaponi and Lake Anna.

December 6-7:  Wine & Soup Weekend

Veramar Vineyard (Berryville)

Warm up from the inside out.  Relax by the fire with freshly prepared soup, warm baguette and a glass of wine. Reservations suggested.

December 7:  French Crepe Day

DelFosse Vineyards and Winery (Faber)

Select from menu of five to eight savory and sweet crepes.  Wine by the glass or bottle available. Reservations suggested.

December 7:  Barrel Tasting

Breaux Vineyards (Purcellville)

Flight of six wines from the barrel paired with three-course gourmet meal prepared by Grandale Farm Restaurant.  Meet the new winemaker Heather Munden.  Reservations.


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.  


November 15, 2014

Poplar Forest, Forest
On a crisp November day, wine lovers flocked to Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest for an afternoon of tastings by Virginia's finest wineries. 

Once again, the father of Virginia wine, Gabrielle Rausse, and Thomas Jefferson (aka Bill Barker) engaged in interesting conversation about food and wine.  Festival goers enjoyed music, as well as unique craft and food vendors.

November 10, 2014

Morais Vineyards & Winery, Bealton


On Monday, November 10, the Virginia Wineries Association met for their 2014 Annual Meeting at the picturesque Portuguese inspired Morais Vineyards & Winery in Bealeton.  

It was an informative and successful meeting with record numbers attending. Lunch was provided by R&R Catering.    


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

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