March 3, 2015

  Vol. X, Issue No. 3


April 25, 2015
Forest, VA


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March 4-5, 2015


May 30, 2015

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Richmond, VA




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publetterDear Virginia Wine Lover,
Frank C. Britt Publisher
With any luck, the Winter of 2015 will soon be behind us. Winery tasting rooms will be reopening and weekend events will start to move into high gear. It's Virginia Wine & Dine Month with restaurants and wine shops across the state promoting wine by the glass together with culinary dishes. Let's all join in by asking for a glass of Virginia wine when you're dining out.

We attended the Governor's Wine Awards gala at the end of February when the winners in the annual competition were announced. Our congratulations to Muse Vineyards which received the 2015 Governor's Cup for Clio. For a complete list of winners, click here

Our March issue includes articles on the growing popularity of Mead, and on Tannat, a varietal relatively new to Virginia. The recipe from Tastings Restaurant in Charlottesville is divine, and we hope you enjoy.

Cheers to Virginia Wine and to Virginia wine lovers!

Frank C. Britt
2009 Clio is 2015 Governor's Cup Winner
photo by Jay Paul

Governor Terry McAuliffe awarded the Virginia Wineries Association's 2015 Governor's Cup to Muse Vineyards for their 2009 Clio, a Bordeaux-style blended red wine. The Award was announced on February 24 in Richmond at the Governor's Cup Gala. Muse Vineyards is based in the Town of Woodstock in Shenandoah County. 

Clio is a blend of 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot, and 25% Petit Verdot. Winemaker Robert Muse, in consultation with Matthieu Finot of King Family Vineyards in Crozet, employed a non-interventionist approach to the fermentation, an option made possible by optimally ripe grapes from the 2009 vintage. Following de-stemming and a light crush, the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc were fermented separately with daily punch-downs. The wine was racked directly into 50% new and 50% neutral French oak barrels where it aged for three years before its bottling.


This Week:  March 4 -5

Richmond Convention Center

The annual event (formerly Wineries Unlimited) is sponsored by Vineyard & Winery Management. Craft Beverages Unlimited serves producers of wine, as well as craft beer and spirits. Hundreds of new and returning exhibitors will showcase products and services for the three industries. They will also offer networking opportunities for attendees and vendors, with beverage tastings and lunch featured on the trade show floor. 

One of the highlights of the conference is the two-day workshop presented by Dr. Bruce Zoecklein, enology professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, and winemaker Clark Smith, whose "Postmodern Winemaking" was hailed as Wine & Spirits magazine's 2013 Book of the Year. 

For complete program and schedule information, visit 
By Kimberly Allen Pugh

Mead is the drink of our ancestors. A bold statement but odds are, no matter where your ancestral roots are or what branches are in your family tree, you come from ancient people who held mead in high esteem.

What is mead? By definition, it is an alcoholic drink made from honey, but it is more than the definition suggests. It's the world's oldest alcoholic beverage with a history so intertwined with that of mankind, it's hard to separate legend from fact.

Some historians actually believe mead predates the wheel. That makes sense because long before people settled down to become farmers, ancient hunter gatherers weren't growing their food but they could gather honey from a wild bee hive. Across Europe and Africa different cultures at various times throughout history attributed mythical powers and healing qualities to mead. In the Americas, before Christopher Columbus, the Mayas drank a form of mead believed to have been flavored with agave. 


Recipe from Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery
TO BE...OR TANNAT TO BE.  varietal
By Matthew Brown

After decades of experimentation, Virginia has developed a diverse wine industry with rich variation in grapes and wine styles. However, we can all recognize a few grape varieties as having become Virginia staples: Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are just a few of these. It is easy for us to focus in on these successful few and to overlook some of the exciting stars rising up from the Commonwealth's vineyards. 

Perhaps the most interesting variety to make a grand entrance on the viticultural stage is Tannat. In 2014, two Virginia Tannats earned gold medals in the annual Governor's Cup competition and two more made the gold medal cut for 2015, as well. This places these wines among the best in the state even though the variety itself is not commonly known to the casual wine drinker.  


Tastings Restaurant, Charlottsville



March 1-31, 2015


Love by the Glass: Virginia Wine and Dine Month highlights Virginia wines and great culinary dishes together at participating restaurants and wine shops across the state. Special events throughout the month along with Love by the Glass travel packages give Virginians and visitors to Virginia a lot to love.

March 4 - 5: Annual Wineries Unlimited

Greater Richmond Convention Center

Starts tomorrow! 39th Annual Conference and Trade Show at Greater Richmond Convention Center. Wine industry event includes craft brew program, four days of sessions and two-day trade show. The premier industry event of its kind in the region, produced by Vineyard & Winery Management.

March 7:  Sip-n-Dip!

Desert Rose Ranch & Winery (Hume)

Painting class by Lindsey Raye includes wine glass to paint and keep, pain, brushes and glass of your favorite wine. Limited space; reservations.

March 7:  Artist Reception

868 Estate Vineyards (Purcellville)

Current art exhibit features Jan Sherfy who interprets her outdoor adventures in abstract paintings if vivid hues and lush neutrals.

March 7:  Merlot Vertical

Breaux Vineyards (Purcellville)

Sample and discuss various vintages of Merlot with winemaker David Pagan Castano. Enjoy three-course lunch paired with selection of eight wines.  An exclusive reservation-only event.

March 7:  Living History Event

The Winery at Bull Run (Centreville)

Unveiling of the new Reconciliation Wine and presentation of the Benson/Rice story, a true saga from opposite sides of the Civil War.

March 7:  A Taste of Science

Doukenie Winery (Purcellville)

Learn scientific and technical details of winemaking and vineyard management from winery geologist.  Wine tasting follows in barrel room. Reservations suggested. 

March 7:  Benjamin Franklin Visits

Fox Meadow Winery (Linden)

Enjoy award winning wines and stimulating conversation with one of the Founding Fathers of our country, Benjamin Franklin.

March 7-8:  The Art & Science of Wine

Philip Carter Winery (Hume)

Explore young wines in the making with knowledgeable wine educators.  Sure to leave a thirst for great Virginia wine.  Reservations recommended.  Every weekend in March.

March 7-8:  Wine & Soup Weekend

Veramar Vineyard (Berryville)

Sit and relax in front of the fireplace with a freshly prepared bowl of soup, warm bread and a glass of wine.  Reservations suggested.

March 8:  Art & Wine Show

Boonsboro Country Club (Lynchburg)

A fun afternoon of wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres and art for sale by members of the Lynchburg Art Club.  3:30 to 7:00 pm


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.  


Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival
FUTURE WINE FESTIVALS futurefestivals2
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Festivals.  Festivals. Festivals! Virginia Wine Lovers love festivals.  Buy tickets for your favorite festivals at "Early Bird" Savings.  It's easy.  CLICK HERE to select the festival(s) and follow link to purchase tickets.  

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Official Virginia Wine Lover™ is not affiliated with or published by Virginia Wine Lover Magazine 
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