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Book Nine





We are Purple Cherry Architects, an award-winning full service residential architecture and interior design firm specializing in exceptional homes and luxurious estates throughout the East Coast. For nearly 30 years, our studio has been dedicated to creating homes that are beautifully built, emotionally inspiring and yet incredibly functional. We believe in stunning architecture. Every one of our projects results from intentional, mindful collaboration and sensibilities derived from a true love of the craft. Our architecture and interiors are responsive to our clients’ expectations, and no two clients are alike. We approach each project without preconceptions. At Purple Cherry Architects, we truly love the journey of bringing together our clients with stunning properties where they can build the home of their dreams. With established offices in Annapolis, MD, Charlottesville, VA, and Middleburg, VA, we are excited to announce Greenbrier, WV is now our fourth home!

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A Distinctive and Luxurious Addition to Kingsmill Resort The 7,000-square-foot, four-bedroom private estate features exquisite views of the James River through expansive walls of moveable glass, a spacious patio and infinity pool, private Estate Chef and luxury amenities including exclusive access to two luxury SUVs and two customized golf carts. The Estate Manager is also on hand to make arrangements for private jet skis, private spa services, personal shopping, laundry service, personalized music selections and menus for additional costs.

In addition to the luxury amenities, guests can enjoy the rare opportunity of experiencing both the sunrise and the sunset from the same location, as you gaze over the majestic James River. Experience the historic landscapes first seen by British settlers in 1607, where Pocahontas once walked and where America was born. Contact 888.334.4856 to enquire about this once-in-alifetime opportunity or visit for more details.


P U B L I S H E R S | Robin Johnson-Bethke, Jennifer Bryerton C R E AT I V E D I R E C T O R | Robin Johnson-Bethke E D I T O R - I N - C H I E F | Jennifer Bryerton T E C H N I C A L D I R E C T O R | Peter Bethke G R A P H I C D E S I G N | Robin Johnson-Bethke, Barbara Tompkins S E N I O R E D I T O R | Sarah Pastorek O N L I N E E D I T O R | Madison Stanley E D I T O R I A L P H O T O G R A P H Y | Adam Barnes, Emily Ann Bolden, Elisa Bricker, Amy Nicole Cherry, Jen Fariello, Chip Henderson, R. L. Johnson, Jack Looney, Rachel May, Sera Petras, Robert Radifera, Beth Seliga, Aaron Watson W R I T I N G & E D I T I N G | Jennifer Bryerton, Caroline Hirst, Jody Hobbs-Hesler, Caroline Hockenbury, Olivia Jackson, Hannah Kaufman, Catherine Malone, Abby Meredith, Elizabeth Morgan, Sarah Pastorek, Mandy Reynolds, Dave Stallard, Madison Stanley, Jennifer Waldera S E N I O R A DV E R T I S I N G C O N S U LTA N T | Susan Powell A DV E RT I S I N G C O N S U LTA N T S | Carter Schotta, Jenny Stoltz B O O K K E E P I N G A D M I N I S T R AT O R | Theresa Klopp O F F I C E A D M I N I S T R AT O R | Christine DeLellis-Wheatley


Wine & Country Life™ is published in print biannually by Ivy Life & Style Media and has a companion website and social media. Although every effort has been made to present correct information, we do not in any way accept responsibility for the accuracy of information or for the performance or goods of businesses and organizations presented herein. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written consent of the publisher. Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. Ivy Life & Style Media is proud to work with a Certified Green Press. Wine & Country Life™ is printed on 100% of recycled materials with up to 10% post-consumer waste (PCW) using only soy-based ink and supporting responsible forestry. You can find our paper-free digital edition online as well at, and please do recycle. Printed in the United States of America.

A WARM WELCOME To crest a hill and catch a wide vista of stunning vineyards with a Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop is a common occurrence in Virginia. Tasting the most amazing farmto-table cuisine al fresco followed by an art exhibit or perhaps a concert of a local up-andcoming band is another. It is these everyday charms we love about our region that have inspired us to take pen to paper to celebrate the people and stories in our communities. Grounded in centuries of history as the beloved home of some of our nation’s most prominent Founding Fathers, we are now also becoming known as a vibrant tastings region with a thriving wine industry that is complemented by a growing number of beer,

cider and spirit makers as well. Many towns in Virginia have found the perfect balance of tradition and innovation with a unique style all their own. From equestrian to artsy and foodie to historic, you can discover all that is wonderful here. In Wine & Country Life, we seek to feature the fresh on-trend style and culture of our tastings region. You will find not only the spirit of a landscape but also the inspiration for elegant, wholehearted living, celebrating those in our communities who inspire the true meaning of authenticity. We invite you to explore our personal passion for this place and its people along with the sheer beauty of this land— Virginia Tastings Country.




30 MEET THE WINEMAKER | Benoit Pineau



Afton Mountain Vineyards Celebrates 40 Years



44 SAUCE MAKERS | Bone Doctors


52 MEET THE CHEF | Ryan Arensdorf

The Nelson County Brewery That Made it Big

56 LOCAL FLAVORS | Leni Sorensen






Celebrating the E q uinox with Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

LIFE & S T Y LE 62 COUNTRYSIDE FÊTES | Tailgating at Montpelier Races


74 OUTDOOR PURSUITS | Ballooning the Blue Ridge 80 CERAMICS ARTIST | Hawkmoth Arts 102 DESIGNER & SEWER | Lineage Goods 104 THINGS WE LOVE | W&C Style




Honing Skeet Shooting Skills in Virginia’s Countryside




Famed Designer Charlotte Moss Helps Bring Her Niece’s Dream Wedding to Life




Expansive English-Inspired Gardens Merge


with Gracious Interiors

Cover image photographed by R. L. Johnson. Portrait of Robin Johnson Bethke and Jennifer Bryerton photographed by Robert Radifera.



1 2 8 THE ARTS SCENE | The Fralin Museum of Art 1 3 4 CULTURE NOTES 1 4 0 TRAVEL LOCALLY | A Renewed Boar’s Head





Beatrix Ost Shares Her Life & Views Through Various Mediums




Three Childhood Friends Rise to Stardom With Their Pop-Infused Music




Explore The History & Culture of Western Europe’s Oldest City





Stay in touch

Proud to be a partner with Virginia Vineyards Association, Virginia Wine Council & Monticello Wine Trail


Jennifer Bryerton has been our co-publisher and editorin-chief since 1998 and has a master’s in education. Her writing can be found in many of our publications.


Jody Hobbs Hesler’s fiction, book reviews and other writing appear in a variety of publications. She holds an MFA from Lesley University and teaches at Writer House in Charlottesville. You can learn more about her work at

Caroline Hockenbury is a multimedia journalist, editor, copywriter, tutor and poet who holds degrees in media studies and poetry writing from UVA. Her work can be seen in Virginia Quarterly Review, Virginia’s Best Emerging Poets, CharlottesvilleFamily and more.

Olivia Jackson is a recent graduate of UVA with a degree in media studies, who interned at Ivy Life & Style Media and enjoys writing about the art, wine and culture of Charlottesville.

Hannah Kaufman is a senior at James Madison University and interned with Ivy Life & Style Media. She has been a babysitter and nanny for Charlottesville families for seven years.

Catherine Malone has written for Wine & Country since its inception. She has been an instructor at William & Mary, UVA and Virginia Commonwealth University, where she is currently pursuing her Ph.D. She lives in Charlottesville with her three daughters.

Abby Meredith is an attorney who splits her time between Charlottesville and Washington, D.C. As a Double Hoo, she loves writing about Charlottesville and all things UVA and equestrian.

Elizabeth Morgan, who has degrees in English and business management, is a Charlottesville native who loves the diverse community and really enjoyed her interning experience at Ivy Life & Style Media.

Sarah Pastorek, our senior editor, has degrees in English and journalism and a master’s in HR. Her work can be seen in many of our publications.

Mandy Reynolds has a master’s in arts management and a bachelor’s in history, enjoys the written word and is an avid traveler. She also worked as a digital officer for the Edinburgh International Festival while studying in Scotland.

Dave Stallard has been writing about music in the Southeast for over 15 years for Blue Ridge Outdoors. A fifth-grade teacher by day, he lives in Southwest Virginia with his wife and three children, and is an avid road cyclist, mountain biker and appreciator of craft beers.

Madison Stanley, our online and social media editor, has a degree in media studies from UVA and enjoys working in the community she fell in love with while studying here.

Jennifer Waldera shares her hunger for, and curiosity about food, travel and drinks as a freelance writer for numerous mid-Atlantic publications. Read more of her work at

CONTRIBUTORS Robert Radifera has been creatively photographing weddings, interiors and portraits for over two decades. His interior work has been published in Southern Living, Southern Home, The Cottage Journal and Home and Design, as well as many other local and national publications. He was also the official photographer for the Charlottesville Design House project from 2009–2016.

Jen Fariello has been taking beautiful photographs since 1996, specializing in journalistic, fine art wedding and portrait photos. Jen’s work has been featured in many regional and national publications like Time, People, Rolling Stone, Southern Weddings, The Knot, Weddings Unveiled, Southern Living and Wine & Country Weddings. Adam Barnes specializes in capturing and creating fine art images of all things related to love. He founded Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography in 2005 after working many years as a counselor for children and adolescents, and combines his love of others with a passion for capturing images that will remain for generations. His work is featured in many of the industry’s leading publications, including Southern Weddings, Inside Weddings, Grace Ormonde, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Brides, People and Wine & Country Weddings.

Elisa Bricker calls Charlottesville home, but her work has taken her to France, Great Britain, New York, California, Charleston, Mexico, Puerto Rico and many places in between. With a background in art, music, theater and dance, she enjoys capturing moments that can be cherished for a lifetime. Her work can be found in many regional and national publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Town & Country, Brides Magazine, The Knot, Wine & Country Weddings and more.

R. L. Johnson is our co-publisher and creative director, Robin Johnson Bethke, who began her career as a professional photographer in Los Angeles before moving into graphic design and art direction when she relocated to Charlottesville in 1994. As our company’s co-founder and visionary, she enjoys all aspects of the publishing process from story conception to graphic design to photography. Her work is often seen in many of our publications.

Rachel May is a Virginia-based photographer who enjoys adventuring across the globe with a passion for beautiful light, impeccable composition and moments filled with joy. Her deepest desire is to deliver a genuine document that is well balanced between fine art, documentary and classic portraiture— preserving her client’s most valued relationships, moments and experiences. Rachel’s work has been featured in Southern Living, Brides, Southern Weddings, Wine & Country Weddings and many more.

Beth Seliga of 3 Cats Photo began her photography career with the exhilarating rush of photographing professional cyclists from the back of a motorcycle. Her work was featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today and Pro Cycling, among other international publications. The recipient of multiple Recognition of Merit awards and a 2nd Place award in the senior category, presented by the National Association of Professional Child Photographers, she focuses on fine art wedding, portrait and senior photography.

Amy Nicole Cherry has been photographing stories of life and love for 10 years. The simple moments of life endlessly inspire her, and she’s thankful to call Charlottesville home after spending some time in Nashville. Her work has been featured in National Geographic Traveler, The Washington Post, Nashville Lifestyles and countless wedding publications like Southern Weddings,, Style Me Pretty and Wine & Country Weddings. Aaron Watson, a wedding and portrait photographer, incorporates a unique combination of storytelling and lifestyle photography that captures the emotion, personality and beauty of the setting. His work has been featured in HGTV Magazine, Huffington Post, Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Brides, Wine & Country Weddings and many more publications.

Sera Petras is a wedding and portrait photographer whose classic style captures the honest, in-between moments as well as timeless portraits. She sees the beauty in the everyday and is inspired by her client’s love and laughter. Sera’s work has been featured in The Knot, Southern Living, The Local Palate Magazine, Wine & Country Weddings and many more. | 13

TASTING Remembering David King The Virginia wine industry suffered a loss last May, with the passing of King Family Vineyards’ founder, David King. King’s commitment to great wine is evident in the vineyard’s garnering of the 2019 Monticello Cup Award for its 2016 Mountain Plains vintage. After retiring from law in Texas, King (seen here with his wife and sons) moved with his family to a farm property in Crozet. Though a vineyard was not in mind when they purchased the 327-acre Roseland Farm in 1998, the Kings became intrigued when approached about leasing land for growing grapes. After much research and designing the winery “on the back of a napkin”, King Family Vineyards opened on October 1, 2002 complete with a polo field as David was an avid player. Their exhibition polo matches are now one of the area’s most popular attractions. Since the beginning, King’s leadership and influence in the wine industry stretched throughout the state. Locally, he helped guide the growing industry through standards, zoning hearings and more, while also serving as chairman of the Virginia Wine Board. King played a prominent role at the state level as an advocate for agriculture and agritourism, helping shape legislation for the Farm Winery Act and the Virginia Wholesale Distribution Company. His family will continue to build on his success for years to come, further carving out his special place in the story of Virginia wine. Photo by Aaron Watson.

Monticello AVA in USA Today After being selected by a panel of experts as one of the country’s top 20 American Viticultural Areas (AVA) and wine regions, Central Virginia’s Monticello AVA won sixth place in USA Today’s popular 10 Best Wine Region category. As of 2019, the United States is home to 244 AVAs, so having the Monticello AVA voted in the top 10 in the country— the only Virginia wine region in the final 10—is a tremendous honor. Today, the well-respected Monticello Wine Trail includes 35 member wineries, and was the first established AVA in the state. In conjunction with the 10 Best contests, King Family Vineyards, situated in the heart of the Monticello AVA in Crozet, Virginia, also won eighth place in the Best Winery Tours category. King Family began on eight acres in 1998. Since then, they have expanded to producing just over 10,000 cases per year and have garnered many awards under the leadership of winemaker Matthieu Finot. Photo by R. L. Johnson.


Harvest 2019 From vineyards to cideries, much of what influences how a vintage will turn out is dependent upon the weather. After last year’s wet weather and impact on production, viticulturists across the state appear to be happy with the 2019 harvest. In 2018, grapes struggled to mature properly due to excessive rainfall, but this year’s overall moderate summer with sufficient amounts of rain earlier in the season complemented by hot dry spells should deliver an exceptional harvest. Vineyards, on average, were roughly 10 days earlier on the harvesting schedule than in recent years. When asked what makes a great harvest, Emily Pelton of Veritas Vineyard & Winery and Flying Fox Vineyard in Afton, Virginia, said, “When you have the perfect alignment of rainfall, sun, wind and weather, the quality of your grapes [will be] the highest you’ve seen in a really long time.” From Doug Fabbioli of Fabbioli Cellars in Leesburg, “Our Cabernet Franc is looking very good. The Merlot and the Petit Manseng are all doing exceptional this year.” One of the most crucial times each year during the harvest season is from August to October. This year, everyone fortunately missed having any significant rainfall. That coupled with a spring and summer of warm days and slightly cooler nights and no late frosts in the spring all led to 2019 being a great year. While winemakers and vineyard managers have done a fantastic job adapting to the area’s climate, the end result of many harvests can be out of their control due to the grapes’ ripeness levels, which are measured by each grape’s sugar content, also known as “brix.” Under-ripe grapes can lead to less desirable flavors in a finished wine, while full ripeness can allow a grape to fully express its varietal character and flavors. The key is to find the perfect balance between what the weather gives you, and how you process the grapes and age the juice. ~

New & Noteworthy Albemarle CiderWorks (North Garden) celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Dover Hall (Manakin-Sabot) planted grapevines in July.

Altered Suds Brewing (Warrenton) opened.

Hark Vineyards (Earlysville) recently opened.

Slater Run Vineyards (Upperville) opened its new tasting room.

Aslin Beer Company (Alexandria) opened its new brewery and taproom.

Great Country Farms, owner of Bluemont Vineyard and Dirt Farm Brewing, added Henway Hard Cider (Bluemont).

Tap 29 Farm Brewery (Leon), Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery’s new brewery opened.

Barking Rose Brewing Company & Farm (Warrenton) recently opened.

Powers Farm & Brewery (Midland) opened.

Lost Boy Cider (Alexandria) recently opened.

Waterbird Premium Distilled Spirits (Charlottesville) just opened its tasting room.

Capstone Vineyards (Linden) Tasting Room now open by appointment.

Mt. Defiance Cidery & Distillery (Middleburg) recently opened.

Wheatland Spring Farm + Brewery (Waterford) recently opened.

CrossKeys Vineyards (Mt Crawford) welcomes new winemaker Steve Monson and has opened a large new facility.

Old Ox Brewery (Ashburn) opened a second taproom, beer garden and food truck in Middleburg.

White Hall Vineyards (Crozet) celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019 and is under new ownership.

Dogtown Brewing Co. (Richmond) opened a multi-level brewery and restaurant.

Old Trade Farm Brewery (Brandy Station) has added a cidery.

Wisdom Oak Winery (North Garden) planted 10,000 vines at nearby Bramley Farm. | 15

TASTING Virginia’s Largest Ale Trail After launching in 2015, the LoCo Ale Trail in Loudoun County, Virginia now has more craft breweries than any other county in the state, with tasting rooms located on farms, industrial parks, mountain tops, historic downtowns and right off the bike trail. More recently, the trail incorporated a Passport Program, where visitors can collect stamps at the more than 30 breweries for the chance to win prizes. “Visit Loudoun created the LoCo Ale Trail as a way to support the ever-expanding craft beer scene,” says Visit Loudoun Director of Media Relations Jennifer Sigal. Beer lovers are guided to all of the breweries, which are broken down into clusters, including Farm Breweries, Purcellville Gateway, Downtown Leesburg and the Dulles Corridor, giving an experience that speaks to Virginia’s growing craft beverage scene. Photo by Mason Thibo.

True Heritage Winery With over 20 years of Virginia winemaking experience, the Hodson family have formed a collective of historic Virginia estates, to launch an innovative new winery, True Heritage. Just as Virginia defined the founding of our nation, early Virginia’s agricultural estates defined the original wine region in the United States. The goal is to create a national Southern wine brand that is accessible in both price and availability by breaking the traditional Virginia tasting room model. True Heritage is a direct-to-consumer winery distributed online, in restaurants and as retail. The first 8 acres of vines were planted at Castalia Farm in Keswick and produced a line of 2017 vintages of Viognier, Chardonnay and Petit Verdot. Since then, they have expanded the acreage to 50 at both Castalia and Ben Coolyn Vineyard, with plans of joining forces with more properties to plant an additional 100 acres. The wines grown in these soils have an integrity to their expression and embrace Virginia’s wine history; True Heritage will further expand the reputation of our wine region.


Winemaker Emily Pelton With Pup Finigan

Award Winning Wine is a Family Affair at Veritas w w w.v e r i t a s w i n e s . co m

TASTING Zero Proof In the heart of Virginia’s tastings country, a growing wave of alcohol alternatives is on the rise. Zero-proof cocktails, also known as mocktails, embrace the art and innovation of mixology. While these drinks skip the booze, they celebrate fun and bold flavor combinations. Menus may include seasonal mixed lemonades or simply virgin forms of popular cocktails. At their most elegant, bartenders are concocting original blends that are sophisticated and incorporate fresh ingredients for a uniquely flavorful beverage meant to be enjoyed just as they are, sans alcohol. These drinks pair especially well with the upcoming Dryuary, an increasingly popular month-long hiatus from alcohol in January to kick off the new year. An appealing complement to healthful resolutions, Dryuary does not mean an absence of drink options, but rather a tasty alternative for DDs, expecting mothers, alcohol-free drinkers and more. Fresh new mocktails are a delicious way to raise an alcohol-free glass to a variety of flavor concoctions.

Moonshine In the early 1600s, the Rev. George Thorpe sent a letter to England from a plantation near Jamestown, Virginia, describing a drink they had made from Indian corn. With that line of thinking, Thorpe and his colonists are credited as creating America’s first whiskey. Following suit, Scotch-Irish immigrants settled in what is now known as Appalachia in the hills of Virginia and began distilling whiskey, but with barley rather than corn. Nearly 400 years since the first American whiskey was created, Belle Isle Moonshine, just 30 miles up the river in Richmond from where the first distilled spirit was made, is producing unaged corn whiskey, aka moonshine. Today, in the modern spirit world, moonshine is identified as unaged, clear corn whiskey. For Belle Isle, their use of organic corn base, organic juices and locally harvested products like honey, which the distillery uses for its honey habanero flavor, puts a spin on a product that was once bracing. Photo by Elisabeth Edelman.


Proud winnerof the Governor’s Cup2019

6399 Spotswood Trail, Gordonsville, VA

(540) 832-7440






n a cool September morning, we watched as the team at Afton Mountain Vineyards in Nelson County, just outside of Charlottesville, processed several tons of fruit from the 2019 harvest. Deep red Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, stems intact, slid down the sorting table as owners Elizabeth and Tony Smith helped remove any remaining leaves or debris before the grapes dropped into the destemmer. It was inspiring to see the owners and winemaking team work side-by-side— something you see more often than not at our Virginia wineries. “During my first harvest with Elizabeth and Tony, I didn’t expect them to be handson with the harvest,” says Winemaker Damien Blanchon. “But, I’m forever grateful for this opportunity to work alongside such wonderful people and for the freedom they allow me to have over the winemaking process.” It has been this way for the past 10 years— an in-sync rhythm between winemaker and owners. No matter whether it’s in the wine cellar processing grapes or in the barrel room sampling the current vintages, the team at Afton Mountain Vineyards is a “family.” | 21

For Elizabeth and Tony, thoughts on starting a vineyard began in the early 2000s, when they had property on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. “We first looked into growing grapes there, but we were too busy at that point to actually do anything with the idea,” she recalls. A few years later, the couple was splitting their time between Charlottesville and Tidewater, which led to their attending a University of Virginia (UVA) symposium in 2008. “I had had knee surgery not too long before that, and I recall that when we visited Afton [winery] as part of that weekend, Shinko, the owner of Afton at the time, offered me ice for my knee. That was our


first meeting,” Elizabeth adds. “After that weekend, we began to take the oenology and viticulture classes at PVCC [Piedmont Virginia Community College]. That’s when we became serious about our second careers in the wine industry.” A vision that they expected to take a few years to come to fruition suddenly became a reality within a few months. The Smiths became the proud new owners of Afton Mountain Vineyards in 2009, taking over the reins from Tom and Shinko Corpora who had owned the winery since 1988. Paired with their passion for making wine was the excitement of “coming home.” After living away from

For this Frenchman, each new HARVEST calls for a NEW RECIPE, something that excites his inner artist.

the Charlottesville area for approximately 22 years, the Smiths had been looking to move back to the beautiful place they grew up. Graduates of Albemarle High School and UVA, it was always part of the plan to come back to where their lives began. Fulfilling their dream, their winery home is also the home to some of the oldest European vines in Virginia, planted over 40 years ago in 1978 and 1979, making Afton Mountain one of the state’s first farm wineries. With the vineyard sitting at just below 1,000 feet elevation on an isthmus between a lake and creeks, the acres under vine are protected from serious frost. Located between the Rockfish and Humpback Gaps, the constant breezes

also help minimize moisture issues. Since that first transitional year, the Smiths have doubled the acreage to 25 acres under vine, and increased production to over 3,000 cases annually, all on 100 percent estate-grown vinifera grapes. With no current plans to increase their acreage or production, the team is instead focusing on its current projects. The Bollicine, which is Italian for “tiny bubbles,” is Afton’s dry sparkling blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that gives off “notes of biscuit and apple.” “It’s [Bollicine] aged in our cave for almost two years in the bottle using the traditional méthode champenoise,” winemaker Blanchon shares as he hand-riddles the | 23

BLANCHON introduced an HERBAL SPRAY PRACTICE, where he DECOCTS TEAS like chamomile and oak bark, along with dandelion... and then sprays them onto the vines. bottles, an old method that includes turning, or rotating, the bottles in stages 1/8 or 1/4 of a turn at a time. By doing so, you loosen the sediment that is thrown off during the second fermentation. In riddling, known as “remuage” in France, the sediment collects in the neck of the bottle as it prepares for disgorgement—the ejecting of the sediment under pressure that will leave the wine perfectly clear. But, that’s only one of many practices that Blanchon employs from his French training. For this Frenchman, each new harvest calls for a new recipe, something that excites his inner artist. Blanchon has been making wines for the Smiths since 2011. However, his interest in viticulture stems all the way back to his childhood, when he worked on his uncle’s vineyard in Beaujolais,


a historical province and wine-producing region in France. After growing up in the wine industry, he went on to study viticulture and enology in France. Out in the vineyard, his practices focus around sustainability by using fungicides sparingly and avoiding the use of insecticides. It was approximately five years ago when Blanchon introduced an herbal spray practice, where he decocts teas like chamomile and oak bark, along with dandelion, nettle leaf and milfoil grass, among others, and then sprays them onto the vines. “This practice is one that is popular in France. It takes a few years to see how the vines will accept the sprays and how they will impact them,” Blanchon adds, “but so far, it’s helped us minimize the number of times we had to spray the vines in one season.” | 25

“It’s about ENHANCING and SHARING THE HISTORY through the wine,” Elizabeth explains.

In addition to this organic practice, he believes in letting nature take its course. Around the vines, the team has planted wildflowers in an effort to attract bees and spiders, which in turn keep fruit flies away. In the winery, Afton Mountain is the state’s first gravity-flow facility, constructed on multiple levels built into the hillside. The practice of gravity-flow winemaking isn’t as common as you might think. Those that do use it believe the process better preserves the fragrance and flavor, as it allows for the movement of grapes and wine from upper levels of a facility to the lower ones while keeping oxygen contact and aeration to a minimum. The lowest point in the facility is a 100-foot-long barrel cave where the wines are aged at a constant 58–62 degree natural temperature without the need for any heat or air conditioning. Speaking to the process, “It’s about enhancing and sharing the history through the wine,” Elizabeth explains. That history and its significance are things the Smiths use as driving forces. For instance, the Smiths decided to name their red blend, Bacco, after the original vineyard on the property that was called Bacchanal Vineyards. “We found a copy of that original logo in some old files and brought it back to life for the artwork on the first red blend we created.” The blend, which is comprised of 27 percent Sangiovese, 58 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 percent Petit Verdot and 5 percent Tannat, begins with the aging of each varietal wine separately in barrels before blending them together prior to bottling. Producing quality wine is no struggle for this team,


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For a vineyard already steeped in its HISTORICAL ROOTS, it’s only fitting that the Smiths and Blanchon have their sights set on, at least, ANOTHER 40 YEARS. whose first Governor’s Cup gold medal came in 2011 for their 2009 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon— the Smiths’ first vintage. That gold was the only one given to a Sauvignon that year, an impressive feat for the then new members to the Virginia wine industry. In the 2019 Governor’s Cup awards, Afton Mountain’s 2016 Tradition also won a gold, and was one of six wines by Afton that medaled. The Tradition is a Bordeaux-style red blend that merges the best of the reds—one-third Cabernet Sauvignon, one-third Merlot and one-third Petit Verdot. The smooth tannin structure gives a fresh finish and lingering mouthfeel. Among the 11 varietals they grow, Afton Mountain produces Rosé, Gewurztraminer, Albarino, Chardonnay,


Merlot, Petit Verdot, Vin Doux Naturel—a port-style wine made from Malbec and Tannat grapes fortified with brandy distilled from their own grapes—and Cabernet Franc, which is being fermented in concrete tanks for the first time this harvest. Looking forward, the Smiths and Blanchon are excited about what’s next. Just this year, goats were added to the family, and through their grazing and daily habits, they are helping maintain the property. Future plans may include expanded farming activities and more livestock. For a vineyard already steeped in its historical roots, it’s only fitting the Smiths and Blanchon have their sights set on, at least, another 40 years. ~

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Benoit Pineau Growing up near Tours in the Loire Valley, a well respected wine region in France, certainly had an impact on Benoit Pineau. He is now the winemaker for Stone Tower Winery, which has 85 acres under vine in Leesburg, Virginia. With a focus on Bordeaux varietals, his experience spans from France and Australia to California and even Guadeloupe, where his interest in the distilling process led him to a stint of making rum. When he first landed in Virginia in 2005 at Kluge Estate Winery, the land and its potential captured his heart, keeping him in Virginia for the past 14+ years. Prior to taking the position at Stone Tower, Pineau was the winemaker at Pollak Vineyards in Greenwood, Virginia, for approximately 7 years, giving him experience in making wine throughout the heart of Virginia’s wine country. Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in the Loire Valley of France in the small wine appellation of Jasnières, which only has 161 acres. The area is known for its white grape varietals of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, as well as the Pineau d’Aunis, a red grape variety. Here, everything happens slower and is more hands-off; wine takes longer to age because of a colder climate. What inspired you to become a winemaker? I grew up working next to my grandfather. He was a small farmer, raising animals, and growing cereal ingredients and grapes to make wine. My grandfather inspired me to study viticulture and oenology in Bordeaux, Burgundy, and then obtain my Enologist degree at the University of Toulouse. What was your first job in the industry? My first experience in the industry was in Saint-Rémyde-Provence at Château Romanin, which is owned today by Jean-Louis Charmolüe, the former owners of Château Montrose. While in France, I learned some memorable lessons from flooding. There was one time I remember when it flooded so badly that it lasted probably a week. We had to work on saving any areas that received too much water.

Who have you learned from along the way? With no hesitation, I learned a great deal from Stephen Pannell in McLaren Vale, Australia back in 2003. I was trying to find a job at the time and Stephen was taking over a winery that was abandoned. It was a big winery and a challenge, but one I’m thankful for. How does the terroir at Stone Tower influence your winemaking? The elements composing the soil at Stone Tower are complex; they vary extremely from one block to another. It influences my winemaking by impacting when to harvest as well as with acid reduction. What current project are you excited about? We spent the last two years studying and preparing our 2021 planting at Stone Tower. I’ll admit I am impatient and excited to watch the eight acres of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grow in this future block. I enjoy blending varietals to create better products and to get better complexity in the wine. How are Central and Northern Virginia grape seasons different? Grape-growing seasons are around 15 days apart at bud break. The Charlottesville area tends to be warmer, but Northern Virginia (NOVA) is catching up, and the | 31

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time difference at harvest is reduced to between seven and 10 days. How do you compare the Charlottesville and Middleburg AVAs? I can’t say I know the Middleburg AVA enough! Not yet, at least. What is your biggest challenge as a winemaker? Rain, lluvia, pluie, or whatever you call it, in the vineyard, without a doubt. Last year was a prime example. On the East Coast, you have to deal with water and rainfall when growing grapes. On the flip side, you have to figure out how to handle the ambient humidity when it’s not raining. What do you enjoy most about winemaking at Stone Tower? The people. From the owners to the employees, we are a family, and each brings their own professional expertise to the business. Do you cook? And, what do you enjoy making for your family? When time allows, yes. I enjoy making pastries; cannelés are my favorite. My mom cooked all of the time when

I was younger. She does everything. For me though, I really enjoy baking. I met my friend pastry chef Serge Tortois at Fleurie and then again at a restaurant in D.C. We talk about baking when we see each other. What is your favorite local food? In Leesburg, the Wine Kitchen always amazes me with the offerings. I couldn’t pick a favorite there, when I have never been disappointed with a dish. I’m new to the area so I’m excited to venture around some more. When I visit Charlottesville, which I do often, I enjoy the city market and MarieBette Café & Bakery. There are so many great places sourcing locally. What will you be eating/drinking for dinner tonight? I’ll be drinking Vouvray, Domaine Bourillon Dorléans, cuvee [meaning a type, blend or specific batch] Saint Martin 2015. What local bottle is open in your kitchen right now? A bottle of Chardonnay from Ox-Eye Vineyards in Staunton, Virginia. Do you have any advice for wine consumers? Don’t listen to people’s opinions, but rather try new wines to find out which ones you like. ~ | 33





hat began as a brewpub quickly grew into a weekend go-to destination for travelers and locals alike. Since Steve and Heidi Crandall began Devils Backbone Brewing Company in 2008, it has become a sought out destination for beer lovers up and down the East Coast. The brewery has even welcomed beer connoisseurs from as far as Scotland and China. As Heidi aptly describes the atmosphere, “You can walk through the doors and nobody blinks twice about who you are or what you do. You can strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger and become friends. Nobody feels insecure, they just feel welcome … like part of the family.” Similar to many family-run craft breweries, this enterprise has grassroots beginnings. The name Devils Backbone is the same name that surveyors, including Thomas Jefferson’s father, named the mountain region almost 300 years ago. The idea for the brewery took root during the Crandall’s ski trip in the Alps, where they tried their first craft beer—a German Weisse. “People did tell Steve he was crazy,” Heidi shares. “He bought a book on how to build a brewery and, of course, one of the things it outlined was that you needed a certain density of population. We opened the doors right when the economy crashed and it just unfolded.” But, the response was surprisingly heartening. In even the worst of times, people find a way to go out and have a | 35

meal or two; and, beer is affordable. “Even in the worst of the economy, it’s a happy environment, with people coming together,” Heidi adds. “Over the years, it’s become a beautiful thing.” It seems that what the couple had stumbled upon was the perfect recipe of success for a then fledgling industry. The ingredients included: chance, timing, entrepreneurship and, of course, quality beer. At Devils Backbone, every single beer has its own unique recipe and brewing process. With a focus on the traditions of Germany, Belgium and England, the team still uses the Germandesigned Zieman-Miyake system they began with in 2008. That process pumps out a substantial amount through its 120-barrel fully automated, high-tech German Rolec brewing system. With products being sold in 13 states in addition to Washington, D.C., Devils Backbone also has its American IPA available in major grocery retailers across the United Kingdom. As one of the most recognizable craft breweries in the country, Steve credits the reason for the explosive growth to “winning three national titles and one international title as the best brewery for the size as we’ve grown.” He adds, “We pride ourselves in quality beer and we specialize in lagers; we try to be the best at what we do.” What they do seems to be working. Working so well, in fact, that they caught the eye of industry powerhouse Anheuser-Busch InBev, to which after much thought and discussion, they sold in 2016. “It was the right decision for us,” Steve shares. They can still manage all of the operations, while also being able to expand in ways that they couldn’t have before. “Our plans just sat, and we put our funding where priorities needed it. Then, we were approached by InBev and we had a dream list, you know, a vision of what we wanted to see completed,” he adds.


Every single beer has its own UNIQUE RECIPE and BREWING PROCESS. With a focus on the traditions of Germany, Belgium and England, the team still uses the GERMAN-DESIGNED Zieman-Miyake system...

Since the acquisition, Steve and Heidi have been able to check a lot of things off their brewery bucket list including adding new offices, a fully equipped campground to the 92-acre grounds and their latest venture, an on-site distillery. Although still very much in its infancy, the Devils Backbone Distilling Co. has already started to produce award-winning spirits with the help of distiller Matt Casto, including Virginia Pine Gin and Nelly’s Apple and Pear Brandies. Ever the entrepreneur, Heidi has big plans for the distillery’s future, including collaborations with their beers, and a foray into aged spirits like whisky and rum, which Heidi refers to as “the browns.” The recent growth and expansion of the brewery

have made the business a multi-faceted getaway destination. Guests are now able to stay right on the property and enjoy food, spirits, music, cigars, hiking trails, beer and more without ever leaving the grounds. Alongside the many buildings on the property, some of which include The Oak Grill, the Outdoor Grill and The Shanty—are hoop houses and gardens, where the kitchen is able to grow vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbs. And, once guests are ready to explore Nelson County some more, Heidi suggests making your way down the Brew Ridge Trail, a system of breweries throughout the area. The Brew Ridge trail in Nelson County has been a model for people all over the country to follow—one that includes six breweries in the county, three or | 37

“All types of people from all over the WORLD come to Nelson County... That’s such a NEAT ASSET and just makes it such a UNIQUE PLACE.” four distilleries, and a dozen or more wineries. “It’s been a focused effort by the county,” Steve says, “and it’s created a ton of jobs and even more of a chance to visit with people.” On any day of the week, you can meet people at the establishments from all over the country, whether they want to try a brewery or two, or explore the county and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. In the past two years, visitors have grown in number and are more international than ever, many coming to the area for events like bike races, trail runs, festivals and live music. Devils Backbone hosts unique events that draw crowds from along the East Coast, such as its annual Hoopla event every fall, the Road, Ride & Ramble, and Music in the Blue Ridge. “What’s really cool is that InBev is a global company, so now, we get to collaborate with people all


over the world. We’re all behind a common cause and a common business and that’s really quite unique. It’s an amazing thing to get people to understand each other better,” Steve adds. “All types of people from all over the world come to Nelson County, which is a very rural county; they get to interact along with the community who maybe don’t travel as much. That’s such a neat asset and just makes it such a unique place.” With over 200 staff currently employed, the future of Devils Backbone is looking bright, with potential plans to open another location and bring some of the community spirit to other parts of Virginia. The goal is to create other similar outdoor environments, but more in the urban areas. “It would be great to touch more people than we already do,” Heidi says. “You see a lot of happy people in this business.” ~

Farm-to-Table CHAROLAIS BEEF AT GREENHILL WINERY & VINEYARDS Greenhill Winery & Vineyards, nestled in the heart of Middleburg, Virginia’s horse country, is not only producing wonderful wines but also raising cattle. With their iconic white fur, the heritage breed Charolais create a pastoral scene reminiscent of their origins in Burgundy, France. This beautiful breed is 30 percent larger yet less fatty than traditional steers. At Greenhill, the cattle rotate through the 50-plus acres of pastures and are fed a vegetarian diet free of hormones and antibiotics. They also enjoy a treat here and there of leftover grape skins from the crush. In the vineyard’s Farm Shop, guests can pre-order favorite cuts and portions of the beef. Committed to supporting community, the Greenhill Farm Shop also stocks local produce, art, gourmet foods and honey from its apiary. Image by R. L. Johnson.

WINE & CHEESE IN MIDDLEBURG Chrysalis Vineyards at The Ag District in Middleburg now offers visitors artisanal cheeses from Locksley Farmstead, its new state-of-the-art creamery. Although Loudoun County was once home to 60 active dairies, there are now only two. On the 400-acre vineyard and farm, the dairy cows roam the pastures unsuited for growing grapes. The cows, along with gardens, chickens, a greenhouse and sustainable practices like a riparian barrier to protect the watershed, are key components to restoring the ecosystem. Jennifer McCloud started the vineyard a little over 20 years ago, specializing in native Norton grapes that, at the time, were only grown in Virginia by Gordonsville’s Horton Vineyards. Now, the Locksley Farmstead Creamery produces seven types of cheese, including Friar Tuck Fromage Blanc, Little John Cheddar and Maid Marian Camembert for cheese pairing plates. You can also order a pizza with house-made mozzarella from the vineyard’s Little River Bakehouse. Image courtesy of Chrysalis Vineyards.


FOOD NETWORK WINNER No matter whether he is using his vast culinary experiences to win Food Network’s “Guys Grocery Games” or using them at the charming Farm Bell Kitchen at the historic Dinsmore Boutique Inn in Charlottesville, Chef Jabari Wadlington is giving Southern cuisine a new twist. He draws on his experiences from the Culinary School at Johnson & Wales University in North Carolina, an apprenticeship with Tom Wolfe in New Orleans, and his time at The Inn at Little Washington and The City Club of Washington, where he was the youngest executive chef ever. At Farm Bell Kitchen, Wadlington has crafted a truly interesting “New Southern” menu. Going beyond rustic farm dishes and soul food, he also incorporates Haitian, French and modern elements that are all part of the rich Southern culinary heritage. The menu reflects his vision for fresh ingredients and a youthful sense of fun and adventure. Image by R. L. Johnson.

FIRE, FLOUR & FORK FESTIVAL Recently recognized as one of the top 3 food festivals in the country by USA Today, Fire, Flour & Fork Festival returned for its sixth celebration in Richmond this year. More than 25 themed dinners, tastings, talks and unique behind-the-scenes experiences centered around the theme of “Celebrating Living Links to Land, Legacy and Larder.” Highlighting the area’s rich culinary landscape and showcasing innovation, chefs, winemakers and craft beverage artisans came together to create amazing experiences that ranged from a costume dinner at The Jefferson Hotel to a unique take on wine tasting, where guests chatted with winemakers in an event akin to speed dating. Not only did the festival feature up-and-coming Virginia favorites, but also guests like 2019 James Beard: South chef winner Vishwesh Bhatt from Oxford’s Snackbar, and Michelin Star Chefs Patrick O’Connell, Noah Sandoval and Joe Kindred. Next year’s festival is November 5–8. Image by Caroline Martin. | 41



Six Virginia farms have established a growing collective in Nelson County that produces up to 10,000 pounds of chestnuts in a typical year. Harvested from midSeptember through October, these nuts grow three to a prickly burr and have a sweet taste. Although high in carbohydrates, chestnuts are much lower in oil than many other nuts and can even be ground into naturally gluten-free flour. Chestnuts can be ordered online to roast yourself or are available at regional events, including weekends at Dickie Brothers Orchard in Roseland. Fans can take their chestnut commitment to the next level and purchase starter saplings to plant. The American chestnut was once the most important food and timber tree species in the Eastern hardwood forest. It was almost entirely destroyed by a bark fungus accidentally introduced from overseas in 1904—one of the largest ecological disasters in American history. Now, blight-resistant hybrids are growing well and creating a new harvest for the future.

Sharing their vision to bring the land back to its agricultural roots, the historic Airlie Hotel and Berkshire Farm in Warrenton, Virginia, offers garden and farm tours in addition to resort activities that range from tennis and fishing to skeet shooting on its rolling 300 acres. The property is also Green Seal certified—one of only two hotels in Virginia to earn the designation— and, impressively, they use no pesticides or herbicides. Seventy-five of the acres are under pasture for Berkshire pigs and Angus cattle, producing 12,000 pounds of beef and pork annually for their signature restaurant, Harry’s, and for sale as specialty cuts. The farm grows fresh fruits and vegetables, too: 20 acres are dedicated to supporting the Airlie kitchens and their hyperlocal menus as well as providing bountiful donations to the area food pantry. A thriving apiary produces honey, and fresh flowers are always in ready supply from the many walkable gardens. When asked what the future holds, the grounds team enthused about adding pastureraised chickens and growing hops in anticipation of their farm brewery plans.

AFTON’S NIXTAMAL TORTILLAS Made with certified organic and non-GMO corn, tortillas from Afton-based ULA Tortillas are crafted using a process called nixtamalization, which was invented in ancient Mesoamerica over 3,500 years ago. The process boosts flavors and maintains the nutrients and proteins of the original corn in the final product. Nixtamalized corn has an amazing aroma and flavor, which is why a tortilla doesn’t taste like plain cornmeal. The process involves cooking and soaking the corn in a solution of water and lime (calcium hydroxide) overnight that causes the skin of the kernels to peel off. After rinsing, the corn goes into the stone grinder, producing a fullflavored masa. Masa is the dough that is then made into tortillas. ULA Tortillas newest product is tortilla chips that are uniquely cooked in coconut oil for a healthy flavor. You can find ULA corn tortillas and chips at city markets or many regional Whole Foods stores.


NEW COOKING STUDIO For over 40 years, the popular Happy Cook boutique has supplied foodies in Central Virginia with high-end tools and tabletop, and now also a new fully-equipped cooking studio that includes 10 cooking stations for partners. Complete with an induction burner and prep space on a durable white quartzite worktop, the studio was created in partnership with Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. Upcoming classes include technique, ethnic cooking, baking and more, and feature both local chefs and famed experts from further afield. Also new this fall, The Happy Cook is partnering with the Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Cooking School. Certified teachers will lead classes emphasizing simplicity and respect for ingredients using the popular home cooking method.

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Artisans and chefs curate their crafts with deft hands and precision to produce the highest quality products. Two orthopedic surgeons, Dr. David Heilbronner and Dr. Bruce Wilhelmsen, have taken the science of culinary practice to new lengths with their creation of Bone Doctors Barbeque Sauce. David and Bruce met over 35 years ago as orthopedic surgeons working in the heart of Charlottesville. As both of their careers progressed and their children grew up, the two shared a love of food and creativity. David’s barbeque origin began on the sidelines of a soccer field. When his daughter’s soccer team needed funding for a trip to Italy, David began his own barbeque cookout to raise money for the tournament. Every weekend, soccer fans would queue up along the sidelines until the exceedingly popular barbeque inevitably ran out. Bruce helped evolve the enterprise into a barbeque sauce business after a patient gave him a packet of spices that helped to inspire the idea that is now Bone Doctors Barbecue Sauce. As doctors, the two entrepreneurs dedicated surgical precision to create the perfect blend of spices and

balance of flavors for their sauces. “We played around with recipes for two years, torturing friends to taste our sauces, approaching it from a scientific perspective,” David says. “We worked with flavors—sweet, sour, tart, salt—trying to get the right combination.” The journals they kept reflected each trial and error, and suggested revisions with incredible specificity. Every detail of the process was thoughtfully curated. Even the rustic label on the Original Barbeque Sauce, which features General William Hammond, the first General Surgeon, is a nod to the doctors’ unique background. Navigating regional differences that lay claim to what is “real” barbeque, the doctors decided to offer a variety of sauces. For pulled pork, they recommend adding a dash of Carolina Bold Barbeque Sauce—the slight tartness of the vinegar-based sauce will provide the perfect cure for the common barbeque. And, when eating ribs, the doctors prescribe a combination of the Original Barbeque Sauce mixed with the Sweet & Spicy Barbeque Sauce for a unique blend of peaches and cranberries with a zesty kick of peppers that will leave you wanting more. ~



Farm to Fork




osting a fall equinox wine dinner focused on the farm-to-table movement was the ideal way for the founders of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, Dean Andrews and Lynn Easton, to celebrate the harvest. Passionate about sourcing locally, the couple created an evening of tours and demonstrations that concluded with a sumptuous meal outdoors. The equinox, the day when daylight is equal to nighttime all over the planet, signals the change in season and made for an exciting celebration with the community. Pippin Hill in North Garden has won numerous awards for its wine and is well known for its beautiful property, delicious foods and workshops ranging from flower arranging to cookery. In addition to hosting live music events, the vineyard helps support sustainable agriculture through its Farmer Fridays, when a local purveyor is welcomed to share their work with guests. On this warm fall evening, participants were greeted with a refreshing glass of 2018 Sparkling Rosé redolent of fresh raspberry, strawberry, lilac and violet. From there, everyone took turns visiting four stations—the gardens, the apiary, the grill and the vineyard. As they toured the beautiful property, there was a bounty of wine tastings and harvest canapés. From vineyard-totable, fresh, local, sustainable and delicious is always the goal at this culinary winery. At the abundant vegetable garden, certified horticulturist Diane Burns shared stories of growing greens and tomatoes, squash and sweet potatoes, and how the produce, including eggs from their chickens, all goes directly to plates at their height of freshness. Guests were treated to a canapé while she shared tips on seed starting and seasonal tasks that are currently underway in the garden. Burns manages the extensive gardens that include an herb garden, espaliered fruit trees and flower beds as well as the many other plantings. Working closely with the gardeners, the team at Elysium Honey, Diego DeCorte, Brook Savage and Carrie Hodgkins were on hand to share their knowledge of beekeeping. Because grape reproduction is selffruitful, bees are not necessary for fertilization, but the | 47


At the wine station, guests sampled GRAPES freshly clipped FROM THE VINE and enjoyed a tasting of the FRESH CRUSH as well as a few finished wines while discussing the balance of acidity and sugars... bees are able to use the pollen created by grapes. And, of course, bees are essential to the health of the overall ecosystem. With bees in mind, Pippin Hill has allowed meadows to grow a little bit wild and adjusted some of their vineyard husbandry to support the bees’ habits and life cycle. Guests were invited to sample different types of honey and marveled at the variety of flavors. DeCorte, who learned beekeeping as a young man growing up in Italy, enthused, “Honey, like wine, expresses terroir—the soil, the plants and the weather all combine to make the honey. You can see it in the color, the smell and the taste of the unique flavors of each region. Everywhere you travel, you should seek out real, local honey … you will love it!” At the cooking station, Executive Chef Ian Rynecki emphasized freshness as he ground herbs with his mortar

and pestle for a sauce to season the steak he prepared. His menu is inspired by what is coming in from the garden and farm. The beef, cooked in a Big Green Egg ceramic grill, was done to perfection then allowed to rest for five minutes to lock in the flavorful juices. Guests sampled a piece of the meat while meeting farmer Matt McCaskill of nearby Seven Oaks Farm, who talked about sustainable practices and pasturing—a respectful way to raise animals that improves their health as well as the flavors and nutrients of the meats. Viticulturist Chris Hill has been part of the Pippin Hill team since the very beginning when he helped to select the land for its unique properties and southern exposure. The vineyard manager, Brooks Hoover, shared details on how they sited different grape varietals in blocks that best suited their growing needs. At the wine | 49

“The PEOPLE behind our wines and food are FARMERS. It’s a miracle how it all COMES TOGETHER, and it’s lovely to encounter especially during the harvest season...” shares Andrews. station, guests sampled grapes freshly clipped from the vine and enjoyed a tasting of the fresh crush as well as a few finished wines while discussing the balance of acidity and sugars as the grapes move from veraison—the onset of ripening and color change—through the harvest. Guests strolled from station to station chatting comfortably with the founders, vineyard staff and one another, creating a sense of community that could be felt at this celebration of the land and the harvest. “The people behind our wines and food are farmers. It’s a miracle how it all comes together, and it’s lovely to encounter especially during the harvest. We love tending and growing exceptional vines and vegetables that, in turn, enhance flavors in food and life,” shares Andrews. As the sun dipped low behind the Blue Ridge Mountains, the meal began with the first oyster harvest of the season from Rappahannock Oysters. Guests enjoyed oysters in a crushed flower mignonette paired with the 2018 Sparkling Rosé. It was followed by a salad of heirloom tomato, grilled local peach and house-


made burrata, seasoned with “Ugly” tomato vinaigrette and paired with 2017 Chardonnay Reserve. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 Viognier were then served with Black Sea Bass and Seven Hills short rib, hen-of-the-wood mushroom, pine nut emulsion and a flavorful caper salsa verde. Guests were delighted by the surprise of an exquisite coriander ice cream served with stonefruit upside down cake and lemon shortbread paired with 2014 Petit Manseng that hints of apricot, honey, melon and white peach on the palate. It was a delightful conclusion to a magical evening at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. Even once the meal had concluded and Chef Rynecki had been applauded, guests lingered, chatting under the starry skies at tables beautifully decorated with flowers fresh from the garden, grape vines, romantic candles and petite squash. On the way out, guests were treated to a gift box with two petite jars of Elysium honey. The breathtaking views, intriguing demonstrations and delicious foods all combined for a memorable celebration of this special place. ~

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Ryan Arensdorf Kansas native Ryan Arensdorf brings a new take to Middleburg’s Salamander Resort with his 10+ years of experience. Before becoming the resort’s executive chef, Arensdorf worked extensively in Chicago’s food scene with renowned chefs like Todd Stein, whom he helped in opening Cibo Matto at the Wit Hotel, and Martial Noguier, as well as at notable establishments including Bistronomic, Michael Jordan’s One Sixtyblue and Café des Architectes at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. Upon completing his culinary degree at Chicago’s Kendall College, he pursued his passion for food and began his career at Chicago’s Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse. What are some of your favorite ingredients? I would have to say that one of my favorite things to add to dishes is ramps [wild leeks] that are wild foraged. Other favorites of mine are chanterelle mushrooms and herbs from the garden. We also focus a lot on serving local. If the greens aren’t plucked from our garden, they are brought in from neighboring farms, whether it’s from Whippoorwill Farm, Mrs. Johnson’s [founder of Salamander Hotels & Resorts] farm or Farmstead Creamery & Café, among many others. When did your interest in cooking begin? My grandmothers taught me to cook for sure. My dad’s mom taught me about preserves and how to make homemade fried chicken, while my mom’s mom focused on baking and pies. My sister thought I was being punished when I was kept inside to help my grandmothers in the kitchen, but, actually, my dad was very wise and could already tell cooking was what I loved to do, even when I was young. There’s a family photo of me at age 2 helping make a cake for my sister’s birthday; it’s a favorite snapshot of mine. Do you incorporate any family recipes into the menu? I actually do use some of my grandmother’s recipes like her sour cream shortbread cookies. I’m the only one who can make them like she did, and it’s because I use the right sour cream. You have to start with the best ingredients. What new projects are in the works? Last year, I oversaw the re-launch of Market Salamander, which was exciting. I’m also currently studying the FDA guidelines so we can jar our own preserves. I want to be able to jar everything in the garden, such as blackberry smash preserves with bourbon, strawberry with pinot, pickles and hot sauce. More recently, we’ve started delving into the wonderful

world of koji, which is the starter to things like soy sauce, miso and sake. Koji is now being utilized as one of the most versatile mediums in the culinary industry. Our first project with Koji is with dry-aging duck. What’s a preference you’ve adopted along the way? After working in Chicago steakhouses and training in French American cuisine, I feel strongly that steak should always have a sauce and that each dish has four elements: steak, sauce, a vegetable and a garnish. What is your favorite local place to eat? My favorite place to eat is Field & Main in Marshall, Virginia. It’s a small world … Anthony Nelson, the chef there, grew up near me. I’m influenced by other cooks, and what I love most is to just taste their food and try to discern their greater vision. What do you enjoy doing on your time off? At home, my favorite things include smoking something on the Big Green Egg, enjoying a good cup of coffee and playing with my dogs—a beagle/cattle dog mix male named “Sous” and a beagle/lab mix named “Chef.” Can you speak to those who have influenced you? The first chef I worked under was a woman, Chef Laura Piper, and to this day, I still look up to her. That is also reflected here with our staff being about fifty percent female. I really admire Francis Mallmann, open-fire cooking icon, and love that we have an outdoor rotisserie here that I get to cook with. Also, Yotam Ottolenghi, as I admire his use of vegetables in all of his cooking and own all of his cook books. They really help me with flavor profiles and stepping outside my comfort zone. ~ | 53

Duck Breast with Figs Courtesy of Executive Chef Ryan Arensdorf with Salamander Resort & Spa

“We love this dish for the fall, as it utilizes the first fruit of the season … figs. Overall, this dish matches the season itself, as the weather cools and we all prepare for winter. ”

INGREDIENTS Duck Breast 4 (each) Alina duck breasts (Hudson valley is a good substitute) 3 tablespoons butter Garnish


DIRECTIONS Recipe serves 4 guests. 1. Sprinkle the halved figs with a healthy amount of sugar. Using a

blowtorch, caramelize the sugar to a light golden brown. Reserve and let cool to room temperature.

2. Lightly score the duck breast with a cross-hatched pattern. Be careful not to cut through the skin to expose the meat. Season generously on

6 (each) black mission fig, halved

the skin side with salt. In a cast iron skillet over low heat, add the

Granulated sugar, as needed

duck breast, skin side down. Increase the heat to a medium low,

Miscellaneous Kosher salt Olive oil Black pepper

cooking slowly on the skin side until most of the fat has rendered and the skin is golden brown. The rest of the breast at this point should be rare. Increase the heat to medium and add 3 T butter and the roasted mushrooms. With a medium spoon, baste the duck breast with the melted butter, about 1 minute. This will cook the breast to medium rare. Set aside the duck breast and mushrooms on a paper towellined plate. Allow to rest for 5–7 minutes. 3. Once rested, cut the duck breasts in half, on the long side, through the skin. Place the duck on the plate then top with 3 pieces of figs each. Serve immediately. *For the full recipe see


Luca Paschina, Winemaker

Top 100 American Wines 2018 JAMESSUCKLING.COM




Food Historian

Driving through the windy back roads of Western Albemarle County, it might be easy to miss the hidden gem that is Indigo House, home to food historian Leni Sorensen. Sorensen’s contribution to the discovery of education on the area’s history through food exploration makes Indigo House a worthy destination point. On the property, visitors can spot 27-year-old yellow rose bushes, gardens of berries and vegetables, a cherry tree, chickens and her pigs named Pork Chops and Prunes. When you look at all Sorensen has accomplished, her experiences and knowledge stand far above the rest. In addition to previously being the African-American Research Historian for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, she is an expert in 18th- and 19th-century cooking methods, particularly those used by Virginia housewives and slaves, including those who cooked


Sorensen was quick to become involved with food, given CARTE BLANCHE to cook in the kitchen since she turned 9 YEARS OLD. for Jefferson. More recently, she was selected as the “Virginia Female Chef” in USA Today’s article featuring 50 female chefs—one from each of the 50 states. Today though, Sorensen, an avid reader and a natural storyteller, utilizes her home with its book-lined walls and spacious kitchen to host home provisioning classes, historical dinners and cooking classes, and all while exploring the historical context of the food with particular regional relevance to Thomas Jefferson’s kitchen. Born in 1942, Sorensen was quick to become involved with food, given carte blanche to cook in the kitchen since she turned 9 years old. From chili to pork chops, and other simple, yet hearty and nutritious food, Sorensen fed the family. “I always enjoyed feeding people,” says Sorensen. When she arrived in Virginia in 1983, she began working at James Monroe’s Highland (Ash Lawn Highland at the time) doing interpretive history lessons on spinning and cooking. Eventually, she narrowed in on


her passion that continues today—exploring the history of Jefferson’s kitchen alongside issues of food justice, cooking, food production, farming and food life skills. To pursue that passion, Sorensen enrolled in the Adult Degree Program at the Mary Baldwin College and graduated with a bachelor’s in History in 1992. She continued her education at the College of William and Mary earning her master’s in 1997 and a doctorate degree in American Studies in 2005. “I want to help teach people to do what they need to be able to provide for themselves, feed their family and feed themselves,” Sorensen says. From bread and corn chips to hummus and mayonnaise, her home is stocked with the foods she has prepared. As we sampled her most recent batch of mayonnaise, a delightful creamy version that’s an obvious upgrade on any packaged product, she says, “Having meals that have been fully seasoned so they hit all of the places in your mouth makes it satisfying. When it’s satisfying, you’re not jonesing for dessert and other food later.”

European-Inspired Fare Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee, & baked goods.

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Whether you are spending the afternoon at a vineyard, enjoying a festival or tailgating at a steeplechase, we can outfit you with everything you need for elegant countryside events – from luxury picnic hampers, gift sets and linens – to Dubarry attire.

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With such a strong stance on the importance of food preparation, it’s only natural her classes focus on home provisioning. There are a number of other themed classes where guests gather to prepare flatbread and yeast bread, tamales, Southern foods and dairy products like ricotta, yogurt, butter and ghee. In addition to teaching active cooking classes, Sorensen hosts historical dinners with four-course meals most often prepared from the 1824 cookbook The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph, the older sister of Jefferson’s son-in-law. “I aim to create an experience,” Sorensen says. To create that experience, Sorensen uses both the cookbook as well as documents and other information of that time to understand which foods and methods of cooking were available then. Once each course is served, Sorensen shares the historic nature of the dish before preparing the following courses. While some of Sorensen’s dinners are already

organized to explore specific historical context, like February’s Black History month and March’s Women’s History month, diners can also enjoy seasonal menus with dishes like okra soup, escovitch fish and spatchcock chicken, or Harriet Harry’s tomato soup, decadent oyster loaves and roast duck, among other seasonal dishes. With so much already accomplished and established at Indigo House, it’s hard to believe Sorensen has more to add to her proverbial plate. She has recently begun publishing her own cookbooks with two available on her website: Through the Seasons: A Baker’s Dozen of Breads and Sweets: Recipes from The Virginia House-Wife and Through the Seasons: A Garden of Recipes from The Virginia House-Wife, both collections of 12 recipes. Additionally, she is dabbling into options for expanding her classes on social media, as well as attracting more individuals and families interested in home provisioning. To enroll in any of Sorensen’s classes or history dinners, visit her website at ~ | 61





As the seasons change and fall settles in, Virginia horse country is the epitome of beauty. With the crisp breezes and the trees putting on a gorgeous show of colored leaves, it’s only fitting to enjoy it with a festive tailgate at the horse races. Every fall, events such as the annual Montpelier Hunt Races at James Madison Montpelier—now celebrating its 85th year—call on equestrian fans to don their best ensembles and host stylish tailgates. In addition to a day filled with races, an everpopular hat contest is the talk of the dress code. From white tents and linens to handmade throws and printed tablecloths, it’s an elaborate day filled with themed tailgates, fall décor, spectacular attire, special food and homemade drink recipes, and cheers around the track on these historic grounds.


When deciding on DÉCOR for your tailgate, a popular pairing is COMPLEMENTING your crystal and silverware with handcrafted wood serving boards and festive EQUESTRIAN ACCESSORIES. Keeping in line with a day of friendly competition, mirroring that of the jockeys and their horses on the track, equestrian lovers set up tailgates and feasts fit for epicures and kings. People bring with them heaping platters of food to share and enjoy all day long. Participants in the tailgating contest are judged on taste as much as presentation and creativity. Food connoisseurs from around the state also come to participate in the highly competitive Tailgating Competition at the Montpelier Hunt Races, sponsored by Wine & Country Life. In honor of Marion du Pont Scott, who founded the first race in 1934 and then married movie star Randolph Scott in 1936, this year’s tailgating theme is “Hollywood Heydays of the 1930s.”


When deciding on décor for your tailgate, a popular pairing is complementing your crystal and silverware with handcrafted wood serving boards and festive equestrian accessories. From roasted pork loins and Virginia ham to trays of locally made cheeses, buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, shrimp and grits, dips and fabulously decorated desserts, foods fitting each year’s “theme” sit atop picture-worthy spreads. The day at the Montpelier Races is an all-around experience, just as the steeplechase races at Foxfield and Virginia Gold Cup are each year. Lining the track’s rails or gathered near a radio, you’ll be immersed and holding your breath as the race unfolds. It’s a tradition that continues year after year, and we hope to see you there once again. ~

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ne of the great things about living in Virginia is the ability to enjoy each season as a distinct, separate entity, and most seasons make it easy to appreciate their respective gifts. Whether it’s skiing at a local resort in the winter, hiking one of the many trails in the spring or kayaking on a favorite river in the summer, it’s these kinds of rituals and activities that help us connect to the land around us. For these friends, autumn is the perfect time for partaking in a decades-old sport—skeet shooting. Ready to test their skills, this trio made their way to the field near the tasting room at scenic Mount Ida Farm & Vineyard—a multifaceted venue in Scottsville, Virginia, popular for both their outdoor pursuits as well as their estatemade beer and wine. Per a family tradition, one of the trio brought along a 1969 Browning Citori Lightning shotgun that had been passed down from his grandfather. A sport that extends back to the early 1900s, | 67

A sport that extends back to the early 1900s, SKEET SHOOTING was originally invented as a way to DEVELOP SKILLS for hunters. The concept was quickly adopted by the military as a TRAINING EXERCISE... skeet shooting was originally invented as a way to develop skills for hunters. The concept was quickly adopted by the military as a training exercise, where the clay target, a round dish-shaped target, gets launched into the air from a station—or in today’s age from a “trap”—at a variety of angles and heights, meant to simulate bird flight. When a target is hit, shattering it into many pieces, it’s announced as a “kill” or “dead,” while a miss is referred to as “lost” or “zero.” Back in the day, this activity was originally called


“shooting around the clock.” But, in 1926, a competition was held with the intent of naming the activity, only to be won by Gertrude Hurllbutt of Montana, who offered up skeet—an old Norwegian word meaning “shoot.” Just as many sports and past-times evolve, today, skeet shooting is a competitive sport that has earned a spot at the Olympics. Fans of the sport might even share the remarkable achievement of skeet shooter Kim Rhode, who became the first American to medal six times at the Olympic games.

Unlike actual hunting, skeet shooting offers GUARANTEED TARGETS and can be more FAST-PACED and exciting.

Here in Virginia, universities offer skeet shooting as a club or organized sport, where teams compete for high-caliber championships. George Mason University in Fairfax, Radford University in Radford and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg are three Virginia universities that offer such a program. Members of the Virginia Tech Clay Target Team compete in a number of different events during the fall and spring semesters, including Trap, Skeet, International Trap, Olympic Skeet and Sporting Clays. And, the Trap and Skeet Club at George Mason competes every year in the ACUI Collegiate National Championships held in San Antonio, Texas, as well as in other championships, and was even recognized in 1995 for winning its tenth consecutive national shooting title. The Virginia Skeet Shooting Association (VSSA), created to promote the sport throughout the state, has over 300 active members that participate regularly in competitive skeet shooting in Virginia as well as nationally. Unlike actual hunting, skeet shooting offers guaranteed targets and can be more fast-paced and exciting. Experienced sportsmen favor using a doublebarrel shotgun to give themselves an extra chance to hit the disc before gravity pulls it down. This group took | 69

When READY for the clay to be released, the shooter yells “PULL,” already PREPPED with his or her shotgun AIMED in the general direction that the disc will fly.

turns shooting single and double. For the novice, shooting double refers to two discs being released simultaneously from a single trap, one from each “arm” as they are called. When ready for the clay to be released, the shooter yells “pull,” already prepped with his or her shotgun aimed in the general direction that the disc will fly. There were more than a few hits on this fall day, each equally celebrated, and when everyone felt satisfied with their efforts, they adjourned to the outdoor patio at Mount Ida’s tasting room to toast to a wonderful afternoon in the beautiful countryside. There, they enjoyed the venue’s locally crafted beer and wine, as well as a delicious charcuterie spread of crostini, crackers, cheeses, meats and fruit. At Mount Ida Reserve, a 7,000-acre sanctuary in the rolling hills of High Ridge on the outskirts of Scottsville, visitors can enjoy an array of activities year-round. Mountain views provide the perfect backdrop for everything from



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In the end, it’s about EMBRACING the area’s BEAUTY and HISTORY, something all Virginians will have in common for years to come. spending a day on the white-sand, lake-front beach to excursions across the property. In the warmer months, you’ll see groups spending the day floating on the water, swimming, paddle boarding, or playing volleyball or tennis. While in

the cooler months, you can set up a horseback riding adventure, skeet shooting session or a lesson on fly fishing. In the end, it’s about embracing the area’s beauty and history, something all Virginians will have in common for years to come. ~

Venue, Libations & Cuisine: Mount Ida Farm & Vineyard at Mount Ida Reserve | Models: Andrew Loving, Gray Ritter and Sarah Pastorek | Her Attire (Ear Warmer, Boots, Boot Liners & Jacket): Dubarry from the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop


THE MILL R OOM R EIMAGINED Serving up lasting memories once again! With completely reimagined accommodations, the legendary Mill Room Restaurant is reborn as a highlight of Boar’s Head Resort and the go-to destination in Charlottesville. An ingredient-driven menu offers fine fare amidst all-new interiors that convey a sense of optimism and warmth while keeping guests returning time after time. Always elegant yet never pretentious, this is the perfect destination for any occasion, whether a special celebration or “just because.” Reserve your table: www.BoarsHeadResort/Dining or (434) 972-2230

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BlueRidge When you look up into the sky and catch sight of a hot air balloon moving across the skyline, you can’t help but smile. Sights such as these are a frequent part of the magic of living in Virginia: a glimpse of one dotting the Blue Ridge landscape has the power to turn the most quotidian drive to the grocery store into something special. As for riding in one, it’s even more magical to see the landscape from up above, no matter how familiar it may feel from the ground. Hot air balloon rides are a popular tourist activity, but one every person should also experience. Like other wonderful things that rely on the properties of air, such as croissants and champagne, hot air balloons were first invented in France in the eighteenth century, with the first free flight carrying a human taking place in 1783. As for America, its first manned hot air balloon was launched from Philadelphia


Hot air balloons were the first way humans became AIRBORNE... they have a MAJESTY and MAGNIFICENCE that results in their placement on many people’s bucket lists. in 1793. Hot air balloons were the first way humans became airborne, and while they’ve been used as a mode of warfare observation, espionage and scientific research, they have a majesty and magnificence that results in their placement on many people’s bucket lists. Hot air balloons have a fairly simple design, all based around the principle that heat rises. The pilot and passengers stay in the basket, which is connected by cables to the balloon, also called the envelope. Above the basket, the propane burner sends flames into the mouth of the envelope, which is composed of sections of nylon or polyester fabric called gores. At the top of the envelope is a vent that allows air to be released in order to control ascent and descent, something that can be controlled to a surprising degree. For sightseeing rides, the balloon may go up as high as 2,000 feet above ground, but it usually stays below 1,000 feet. While the height can be controlled from the basket, direction is determined by the wind. This reliance on wind means that the best time for a hot air balloon ride is near sunrise and sunset, when the sun’s effect on the winds is at its lowest point. For Charlottesville icon Rick Behr, hot air ballooning is both his occupation and fascination. Behr has been a licensed hot air balloonist since 1974. “Yeah, it’s balloonist,” he says when asked what he’s called. “Or someone full of hot air!”





• Gates open at 10am, first of six races at 12:30 • Gates open at 10am, first of six races at 12:30 • Races run rain or shine. • Races run rain or shine. • Pari-mutuel betting, bring bring your your • Pari-mutuel betting, • Questions, please please call 540.347.2612. • Questions, call 540.347.2612. | 77

There’s a certain CAMARADERIE that is created when the balloon lands, with people GATHERING to help load up the balloon... A well traveled man who has spent time in a number of wonderful locales, including serving as crew on a schooner to the Bahamas and flying balloons over the Alps, Behr favors the countryside in our own Virginia. He began Boar’s Head Ballooning in 1981, and today, he leads morning flights in the summer and fall, when the weather is most cooperative. He’ll do a few flights in springtime, but it’s been increasingly rainy, as well as a few afternoon flights in October—the magic month for hot air ballooning. The day Behr and I spoke, there were south winds, so he’d taken off for a springtime flight with a group from Chris Greene Park. But, when the group got up in the air, a front came through and ended up sending the group north and east, where they eventually came down at Barboursville Vineyards—a ride Behr has only done about five times in his years of ballooning. In the kind of serendipitous moment that marks much of life


here in Charlottesville, I’d seen Behr’s balloon that morning driving down Route 20 from Ruckersville, heading east, and wondered how beautiful it must be to be up there. Behr assured me it was at least as wonderful as I’d imagined. “We have the most beautiful countryside in America,” Behr says, citing flying over Monticello, near the Blue Ridge and in Orange County as favorite rides. But being airborne is only part of the experience. There’s a certain camaraderie that is created when the balloon lands, with people gathering to help load up the balloon, little kids jumping on the envelope to help pack it up and, sometimes, a short-tethered ride for those accommodating the balloon landing on their property (something nobody seems to really mind). It’s a great way to celebrate both the beauty and the community of our area, and Behr knows it. “I’ve made my living for 46 years giving joy to people.” ~

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HAWKMOTH ARTS Ceramics Artist

The first hummingbird moth Sandy Gray Murray ever met hovered across the chorus of a Paul Curreri song: “Big-eyed hawk moth, rise you up and hang where you may.” When she finally stumbled upon the elusive insect dubbed the “hawk moth,” she sensed her own energy in the delicate dance of its wings. Eventually, the moth fluttered its way into the name of her studio—Hawkmoth Arts. From an early age, Sandy understood art’s power to capture “the fabric of a whole experience.” Identifying herself as “a lifelong artist,” Sandy’s affinity for sketching cats in elementary school swelled until she ended up at The Maryland Institute, College of Art, where her grandfather earned a degree in painting. From there, Sandy went on to earn a master’s in education before teaching various art programs across Maryland. Today, Hawkmoth Arts operates in conjunction with Arterra Wines in Fauquier County, her husband’s winery and vineyard, and the businesses work in tandem to offer an honest expression of terroir, or “art

of the land.” Guests at the winery can often see Sandy handpicking grape leaves in the vineyard that she will later press into clay, and many enjoy participating in one of her Sip, Sculpt and Glaze workshops in the tasting room. If asked, her fascination with the natural world is just “built into the fabric of [her] DNA.” While she specializes in ceramics, her talents have also taken root in paper drawing, acrylic and encaustic painting, barrel carving and low-relief copper repoussé. At Hawkmoth Arts, Sandy also leverages her expertise as an educator. Her adult classes invite students to unleash their creative potential and expose them to new artistic approaches. Although it took time for Sandy to spot her first actual hawk moth, the primary encounter was a whisper of permission, ushering in a multitude of meetings. Each greeting from there on out was a nod of confirmation; she was pressing in the right direction. “If you keep that perfect distance, nectar pulses through. It was a good day! I knew just what I knew.” ~








he Virginia autumn season offers an array of delights from the Blue Ridge Mountains painted with the amber tones of its changing foliage to the crisp evenings that inspire warm fires and soft candlelight. Fall’s beauty and charm can not only provide the perfect backdrop for a celebration but also be incorporated into entertaining décor. No matter whether you choose to host an event outside or indoors, embrace the colors and seasonal aspects of fall to create a romantic and elegant take on

the graceful simplicity of the natural world. Professional tennis player Treat Huey and Charlotte Moss held their November wedding at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in North Garden, Virginia, overlooking the rows of grape vines and trees adorned with rich autumn colors. The couple always knew they wanted a fall celebration, and with Charlotte growing up in Charlottesville and eventually working at the University of Virginia as a registered nurse, hosting their wedding here held sentimental value. They wanted to capture


The walls, LINED with branches of trees, TOWERED over the tables and seemed to grow from the vaulted beams. The colorful hues of the leaves ENCHANTED the space into a WOODLAND FAIRY-TALE... the season’s simplicity and create a dreamy, elegant atmosphere with muted amber tones. As November in Virginia can see both warm and chilly days, the couple decided to host their dinner reception indoors to ensure guests would be comfortable. Charlotte consulted with her aunt—renowned interior designer Charlotte Moss—to plan the wedding of her dreams. Moss, who grew up in Richmond’s West End, has received numerous awards for her interior designs and is the author of several books, such as A Flair for Living, Winter House, Garden Inspirations and The Poetry of Home. Also a Trustee of the Thomas Jefferson


Foundation at Monticello, Moss is known internationally for her gracious style of entertaining and ability to bring any vision to life. Together, Charlotte and her aunt ensured all the right elements were in place to bring their fall celebration to life. The reception was held in the Granary, a large space with two-story vaulted ceilings. Her aunt, along with Event Planner Kennon Ibbeken and Shawn Cossette of Beehive Events, transformed the room into an autumn oasis full of greenery and soft light. The walls, lined with branches of trees, towered over the tables and seemed to grow from the vaulted beams. The colorful hues | 85

For Treat and Charlotte, EVERY DETAIL that was carefully chosen helped make it a NIGHT TO REMEMBER.


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of the leaves turned the space into a woodland fairytale as guests dined on tables draped in earthy green tablecloths, resembling the charm of forest moss. Overflowing with layered plates, lush floral arrangements, gold flatware and crystal goblets, the table settings were romantic with a touch of old-world. The perfect complement to the florals’ muted tones of pink, red and orange, the arrangements kept with the fall theme and contrasted with the cool green tones of the leaves. The head table featured elegant green taper candles ascending from the foliage that matched the linens, while the guest tables had glowing white votives that encircled the floral arrangements. The white dinner plates with a patterned trim added a lovely, brighter component to the romantic moody tables, while the salad plates were adorned with colorful pheasants that harmonized with the other colors. Dancing in the candlelight, the crystal glasses— classic with a gold trim—and gold flatware coordinated perfectly with the golds in the salad plates and overall palette. Completing the tables were vineyard dining chairs, whose dark wood color added to the organic atmosphere. For Treat and Charlotte, every carefully chosen detail helped make it a night to remember. After the delicious meal, guests enjoyed a threetiered cake. The creation was ruffled with a few touches of flowers and greenery, tying it into the décor. Guests spent the remainder of the evening on the dance floor celebrating with the couple. No matter if you are planning a wedding, a holiday party or just looking for a reason to bring people together, there is so much to learn and integrate from the season. So, don’t be afraid to let the time of year inspire you. Be sure to also look for this gorgeous wedding in the upcoming Book 5 of Wine & Country Weddings. ~ Design & Styling: Kennon Ibbeken | Photography: Elisa Bricker | Venue & Catering: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards | Cake: Kathy Watkins, Favorite Cakes | Rentals: Festive Fare & La Tavola Fine Linen | Florals: Shawn Cossette, Beehive Events | Bride Attire: Carolina Herrera dress & veil, Jimmy Choo heels | Videographer: Ian Atkins, Ian’s Creations | Officiant: Dave Norris | AV/Lighting: Blue Ridge Event Production | Stationary: Bella Figura | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo – Alanna in Marigold | Hair: Lucas Shaffer | Beauty: Stephanie Parker | Transportation: Albemarle Limousine, Ambassador Limousine & James River Transportation | Music: Plum Blossom String Quartet & Steel Toe Stiletto




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Waterperry HISTORIC



hen Katherine Kane and her husband, Olin West, first viewed the property that is now Waterperry Farm, Kane’s creative side took the lead. “I knew I would make a garden here. We loved the mountains and the age of the house, but there was only pasture in all directions, hardly any trees,” she shares. Like many artists and designers, Kane found the “empty canvas” of the land to be inspiring. Coming from Katonah, New York, where lush landscapes are common, she saw the opportunity to transform a somewhat tired working farm into her dream country house, complete with

winding drive and pond, garden rooms and borders, and hundreds of trees. With that vision in mind, the couple purchased the 65 acres in 1990, and 29 years and 30 additional acres later, the dream is still developing. Entering the East-facing main house, antiques and artwork immediately draw the eye. Off the foyer sits the library, where an antique Serapi rug complements the rich green walls that are lined with novels and treasures, and an extensive collection of garden and home décor books. Many eclectic art pieces, a few of which were done by Charlottesville collagist Shelby Fisher and painter Cynthia Burke, fill the room. The


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custom wall color, now named “Waterperry Green” by a Charlottesville paint store, provides the perfect setting to cocoon yourself while reading. Moving into the family room—a light-filled room with two sets of French doors—Fortuny fabrics and English antiques decorate the space. A balafon, a Malian gourd-resonated xylophone, sits in one corner while masks and paintings fill the walls. Global touches and antique rugs give the room a worldly calm, but what’s really telling about this couple’s passion lies through the far set of French doors. A welcome improvement the year they moved in, Kane added a conservatory onto the main house to bring the garden indoors. The full-glass structure is a sunny reprieve in the winter and gives Kane a year-round place to raise orchids and tropical plants like Plectranthus Mona lavender. Today, Waterperry Farm may be visited by many garden lovers and photographers, but in the first year

or two when the couple’s two sons were still very young, the only outdoor project was the rose garden, which is located to the south of the main house and visible from both the conservatory and kitchen. “The soil there was dark and fertile,” Kane shares, “as that was where the bull had lived. It was a good place to start.” The boxwoods enclosing the space are now tall, and the sandstone wall (one of many on the property built by Chuck Metz) has aged well with moss and lichen. Last year, the metalsmith, Dale Morse fabricated a vineembellished iron fence and gate, adding grace to the entrance. Since the rose garden’s planting in 1991, the overall garden is now over 10 acres in size, growing out as the pasture once had in all directions. In the contemplative yew garden sits an amazing central fountain, a collaborative project between Kane, Architect Jeff Bushman and Fabricator Steve Brownell. Additionally, | 93

the property welcomes a 21-square-foot reflecting pool, a long shrub border, a pollinator garden, a Japanese-inspired stream and water garden, a conifer hill and, recently imported from England, an Alitex greenhouse. The long-awaited addition of the greenhouse has made it possible for Kane and her team to propagate annuals and edibles for planting in the spring, when the property is very enchanting. Kane’s inspirations come from many sources, both visited and read about, especially the great European and Persian gardens. Her love of combining rectilinear and curved shapes, even within a single formal planting, is a welcome sight, as are the many arches and inviting places to sit. As visitors tour the grounds, they travel across grass lawns and down gravel paths, enjoying the plants and trees casting ample shade everywhere. Kane’s collection of Japanese maples alone numbers more than a hundred. “It is on my list to one day label all our specimens,” Kane shares. “People are always asking, ‘What is this plant?’” Perhaps the most lingered-over features, though, are those of water. “It is pure magic, especially in a garden. Water brings half of the world down to us.” Even the swimming pool with its dark gunite floor reflects the sky, and gives visitor a chance to enjoy perspectives and angles otherwise missed.


Kane ... also decorated the OUTDOOR ROOM using Farrow & Ball colors and natural materials, such as PECKY CYPRESS for the ceiling and a Pennsylvania BLUESTONE FLOOR. | 95

Perhaps the most LINGERED-OVER features, though, are those of WATER. “It is PURE MAGIC... Water brings half of the world down to us.” A pool house with an open-air design and screenedin walls adjoins the pool. The epitome of comfort, it houses a full-size kitchen, gas fireplace, bath and outdoor shower, and offers plenty of room to lounge and dine. Kane, who assisted in designing the building with Architect Bahlmann Abbot, also decorated the outdoor room using Farrow & Ball colors and natural materials, such as pecky cypress for the ceiling and a Pennsylvania bluestone floor. And, above the fireplace hangs a piece by Sandra Lawrence, another Charlottesville artist and dear friend. All who visit the property are stunned to learn that Kane was not formally trained in either landscaping or interior design. “I came to Virginia as a writer, so I love a blank page. Much of design is one art. It’s about space and how it makes you feel. And, living with gardens or anything beautiful has a healing power,” she says.


In order to better share this healing power, Kane and her husband have begun to offer luxury accommodations to visitors through the vacation rental management company Stay Charlottesville. In addition to the gardens and upscale rooms, guests can enjoy use of the tennis court, pool and pool house. A short distance from these amenities sits the Carriage House, one of the two buildings available to rent. Originally designed in 1990 by Architect Henry Browne as a guest space and writing studio for Kane, the house has recently undergone renovations and additions with the help of Jeff Bushman of Bushman Dreyfus Architects. Kane decorated the two-bedroom space with antiques and luxury furnishings from all over the world as well as with many original artworks, including four oil paintings by Charlottesville artist and teacher Dean Dass.

Ashcr ft A new perspective on life.

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What was originally the center of the building and served as an open-arched breezeway where a car or carriage could pull in has been enclosed with Euroline glass and steel doors, and heated brick flooring. Sitting in the middle of the space is a custom-made walnut ping-pong table with a leather net, doubling for dining. The bronze door handles were fabricated by Edward Pelton of Pelton Metalworks. Kane has even lined an outer archway with New Dawn and Zephirine Drouhin roses. To one side of the breezeway in the Carriage House sits an English-style library painted in the forenamed Waterperry Green. While to the other side sits a sleek urban kitchenette with modern features of live oak shelves, limestone flooring and everything necessary for escaping the chaos of everyday life. Down the hall from the kitchenette, guests are welcomed with the luxe downstairs suite and full bath—an oasis with heated


floors, a sculptural tub and a stunning, framed wallpaper panel from Gracie in New York City. The bedroom, with its two wide walls of glass, opens onto a shaded deck overlooking the one-acre pond, a significant addition to an already beautiful place. After the pond was installed, Kane worked with Ron Bush of Virginia Pond and Irrigation to shape a rock-edged stream from a small spring at the top of the hill. A cascade of re-circulated water courses through a series of pools and falls, then gathers into a bog before spilling to the pond below. With the bedroom sliders open, the sound is wonderful and serene. It’s an envious escape, spacious and modern with a sumptuous Savoir bed that was originally made for the Savoy Hotel in London. Above it hangs a striking curly-willow chandelier, created by Charlottesville artisan Rebekah Graves. In addition, window treatments throughout the building were done by the talented Designer Alana Woerpel, and

the white oak ceiling was pickled in English wax fashion by Michael Keith. Upstairs, the second bedroom suite includes a full bath with sky-light, another Savoir bed, a screenedin balcony overlooking the pond and, perched up an additional flight of stairs, a sunroom reading nook that any book lover would envy. With plush daybeds and 360-degree windows that let in natural light and gorgeous mountain views, this “tower room” also offers a small deck. On the other side of the property from the Carriage House is another, larger rental building called the Farmhouse. With its five bedrooms, the Farmhouse, too, is chic and upscale, and offers the farm’s best views and a 60-inch copper fire pit. A verdant Virginia property with a history that dates back to the early 1800s, Waterperry Farm— formerly called Braeburn—has Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire, England, as its namesake. From 1932– 1971, the Waterperry School of Horticulture served as a residential horticulture college for women. Today the world-class gardens, museum and nursery welcome


thousands of visitors every year. “I just loved the sound of it, and the fact that women by the hundreds back then were getting to enter the field. Plus, it felt apt. I’ve pretty much been making a life-long study of horticulture, haven’t I?” Kane adds. Visitors to Waterperry Farm are always amazed by the lush variety that welcomes them. What was originally a working farm with a milk house, bull and bullpen is now home to well over 500 different plant species, two ponds and stunning gardens with year-round interest. Amidst all of the additions and updates, Kane’s team embraces every change. Trey Kent, the farm manager, Ben Kent, the assistant farm manager, and Ray Brooks, Kane’s fulltime arborist, work side-by-side with gardeners Bianca Riehn-Kent and Beth Shoemaker. ”None of this could happen without them,” Kane says shaking her head. Looking forward, she and her team are excited for their next project: a new kitchen garden that will overflow with vegetables, fruits and herbs. It will be the perfect addition to an already poetic property, one that has the power to inspire. Learn more about the property at ~

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After failing to find the perfect diaper bag that was functional, utilitarian and elegant, new father Paul Hansbarger took to creating his own. Having a background in sewing, he began constructing a waxed leather tote with thick leather straps and inside pockets. The bag he created in 2015—now known as the Mountain Laurel Tote—was the beginning of Lineage Goods, a business specializing in durable waxed canvas and leather goods. In early 2018, Paul opened up a brick and mortar store in charming downtown Harrisonburg, located in the Agora Downtown Market, a historic brick building that was once a car dealership but now features an open concept space, featuring seven boutiques and a coffee shop. Sewing machines, leather working tools and cutting tables sit right behind the counter, while beautiful antiques meld seamlessly with custom-designed, industrial-inspired display shelves in the mercantile. “We wanted to achieve a really tactile shopping experience. A lot of things we carry are handmade and have an emphasis on design and different materials, so we wanted the space to incorporate that, too.”

When selecting the name “Lineage,” Paul realized that it actually holds a double meaning. Many of the bags are named after Virginia rivers—Shenandoah, Rivanna, James—so the name represents the way these are linked together, as well as being inspired by family. “The idea was to create heirloom quality bags using really simple age-old materials like canvas and leather and traditional sewing methods. Lineage was inspired by making products that are built to last and could be handed down generation after generation.” In addition to the handmade Lineage bags, Lineage Goods also carries items for the home, apparel, apothecary goods, art and, most recently, a line of candles. Paul and his wife spent the summer learning the candlemaking process before debuting them this September. The rest of the products come from local artists or other wholesale vendors, with an emphasis on smaller name brands that have a unique story. All items are ones that Paul stands by and uses himself. Paul also hosts events and workshops at the store, ranging in topics of hand-lettering, calligraphy, spoon carving, jewelry making and more. ~


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nique in her own right, Beatrix Ost’s journey with art goes back to the mid 1900s. Having achieved success in Europe, she looked for gallery representation in New York. “I struggled finding a gallery. It was a harsh world for women painters,” Ost shares. Max Ernst, a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist and poet, told Ost that she was a great artist and could attain a greater level of fame. “But you have to wear a big hat,” Ernst had said to her—she would need to draw as much attention to herself as to her artwork. Prior to moving to America in the 1970s, Ost had long been a painter and sculptor of some renown, studying with the famed Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka, and exhibiting her work in Europe. But upon making the move, she opted instead for a different life, in the service of her family and Estouteville, focusing (as, it must be said, Ernst never did), on her inner life. “If the emotional life is taken care of, everything else is enormously easy. I can write the article, do the creative work, cook for 15 people. Clearing out the emotional house is the first step to make what comes next an easier task.” This devotion to her well being is Ost’s first source of inspiration, an admirable response to the difficulties she has faced in life. The end result is a sense of calm introspection infused in her conversation, artwork and actions. I witnessed this sense of calm introspection and more one Monday morning, when she and I met over | 115

“If the EMOTIONAL LIFE is taken care of, everything else is enormously easy. I can WRITE the article, do the CREATIVE work, COOK for 15 people. Clearing out the emotional house is the first step to make what COMES NEXT an easier task.”


coffee. Dressed in carefully curated clothes and jewelry, Ost left me in awe. Not only did her attire exude that of an artist’s hand but her careful contemplation of her matcha green tea latte resembled that of an art lover admiring a painting on the wall at a gallery. I am also taken by Ost’s absorption of her surroundings as she taps the sugar onto her drink, stirs and takes a few sips, concentrating completely before looking up at me, ready to begin. Here, in this instant, the word “Gesamtkunstwerk” leapt to mind. Translating to mean “total work of art,” the word was the only term I could come up with to describe her talents as a painter, writer, sculptor, interior decorator and hostess, among many others. Ost is somehow entirely modern and out of time; she could easily be transplanted from contemporary Charlottesville into Gertrude Stein’s Paris salon, any New York art gallery opening from the past half-century, or into the front row of a very haute fashion show.

For over three decades, she lived in Estouteville, an early nineteenth-century estate half an hour from Charlottesville. A gesamtkunstwerk of its own, Estouteville is well known not only in Virginia but also amongst artists, writers and bon vivants around the world. In this historically significant house, Ost created and collected art, carefully curated the interior of the house, and held salons, parties and other events like her annual Easter-egg hunt, all of which are remembered in detail by all who attended. Ost describes her experience in the house modestly, focusing on describing the house’s visual power. “I was mesmerized by the proportions and symmetry of the house,” she shares, “and also the sensual experience of living there.” The design [by James Dinsmore, who was Thomas Jefferson’s carpenter] was another point of attraction for Ost. In such a perfect and historic home, Ost says, “There is nothing to change.” She shrugs, and then remarks, “We added outside.” When I | 117

Like Ost herself, the work is OF THE MOMENT, full of rich, saturated colors, careful ATTENTION TO FORM and draws its energy from a SENSE OF STILLNESS. mention to her the enormous responsibility of owning such a home, she is quick to amend my statement. “Responsibility, yes, but absolute luck.” The delight she took in creating such an extraordinary home has transferred to her new home, a spacious apartment in downtown Charlottesville. Currently, she is devoting much of her time and energy to this apartment, where she is slowly moving a few carefully selected pieces from Estouteville, but mostly reveling in the new spaces, making sure they are welcoming to her sons and grandchildren. More than 40 years after coming to the Charlottesville area, Ost is still very much in love with her adopted hometown. “I am flabbergasted by


the quality of life here. We have the most absolutely delicious restaurants!” Having just returned from a trip to Venice, she compares the two by saying, “Venice is the same [as in unchanged] kitchen! Charlottesville came out of nowhere … and, the absolutely magnificent American wines. I feel lucky I landed here. It’s a small town, but it doesn’t feel provincial … very good art is created here.” In referencing her own painting style, she seeks to answer questions through her artwork that are very different from her teacher Kokoschka, an Austrian Expressionist painter known for his psychological intensity. Ost’s paintings have focused on form and color without the emotional fraughtness that marks



“I have to adjust my MIND AND BODY, and figure it out. It has to be PASSIONATE for me to work.” Expressionism. Like Ost herself, the work is of the moment, full of rich, saturated colors, careful attention to form and draws its energy from a sense of stillness. That kind of contemplation is also a hallmark of her writing. Ost has written about her early years in Bavaria under the shadow of the Nazis in her memoir, My Father’s House: A Childhood in Wartime Bavaria. In her writing, she is able to sit with a moment and explore it closely, deeply, without rancor. She credits her childhood for her broad perspective. Growing up during the war, Ost says, “The whole country was gone, with its culture. You had to create it yourself; there was nothing to be bought.” Perhaps this explains her skills in so many different areas—practical work, of course, but also an interest in the philosophical issues


and interpersonal relationships that correspond to her artistic questions. While Ost is in between projects, she is still deeply engaged in art. Her answer to my questions regarding her next project is that she doesn’t know. “I have to adjust my mind and body, and figure it out. It has to be passionate for me to work.” She is considering more painting, more written words or, she muses, painting that incorporates the written word. Then she gives me a fascinating metaphor for how she’ll know when she’s ready to create: “I do want to come from a meadow of peace.” For Ost, the notion of emerging from a particular place, a meadow, full of verdant growth, activity and openness, is so appropriate to her visual intelligence. She pauses for a moment, and then concludes with, “I do think I will paint.” ~






rom the onset, Parachute was unapologetically a pop band. Will Anderson, Charlottesville native and front man for the group, summed up that early inspiration pretty simply. “We were this young band, and we always liked pop music. There was never a moment where we thought we wouldn’t play pop music. We were writing songs to try to get the college kids to come to our shows,” he shares. That stick-to-your-guns commitment made them the exception to the rule among the bands regularly playing in Charlottesville. The early 2000s downtown scene had a crunchy, organic vibe, with venues in and around Charlottesville overrun with folky acoustic and bluegrass bands, blues, world music ensembles, and the like. But bands churning out slick pop music with sing-along hooks? Groups like those were few and far between. But, being the outlier served the band well, as Parachute fell in with an eclectic group of bands, often playing with a country band one night and a funk band the next, all the while drawing inspiration and wisdom from experienced musicians who were quick to offer the group a supportive word, constructive criticism and warnings of pitfalls that they, too, might experience along the way. “That fact that these bands supported us, even | 123

when we were doing the total opposite of what they were doing, was really cool. I think they saw in us a young Charlottesville band that was eager to run.” And run they did, growing from local darlings to national notoriety in just a few years. Before that fame, Parachute traces its earliest days to the childhood friendship between Anderson, drummer Johnny Stubblefield and keyboard player Kit French. The band would meet in Anderson’s basement to jam, a time Anderson notes must have been trying on his mother. “We were just so excited to be making sounds together. We would play the same song over and over, and my mom would go crazy. But, we were so pumped about what things sounded like and what it felt like to be making music in a room together.” Those early basement practice sessions led the teenage trio to eventually scoring a gig at The Outback Lodge, what used to be a longtime Charlottesville staple for both touring and regional bands. “The owner there liked us and was always really nice. He got us this opening slot with some other local bands. I remember that we were so awkward. Not nervous. We were just trying to concentrate on playing the songs. And that first time, we knew that this was what we wanted to do. We also got some encouraging claps from our


The INSTINCTUAL SENSE shared by the bandmates in their songwriting, a by-product of a LIFETIME OF FRIENDSHIP... has also helped Parachute avoid the minefields... parents,” Anderson adds with a smile. Parachute is now some 13 years removed from that earliest performance, with five full-length records and countless shows behind them. The band’s latest record, the self-titled “Parachute,” was released in the spring (2019), and was a project driven by Anderson’s songwriting skills and the camaraderie shared between him and his bandmates. “This record was just me alone in my living room writing. I was living in San Francisco and didn’t really know too many people. So, I just wrote. It was very isolated and very natural. I’ve always done it that way. And then, I sent the songs to the guys in the band and they got their own ideas. We’re on such a similar

wavelength that once we came to the studio we knew what we wanted to do. It was very easy in that sense. We got out of our own way and let the songs do the speaking.” The instinctual sense shared by the bandmates in their songwriting, a by-product of a lifetime of friendship shared by Anderson, French and Stubblefield, has also helped Parachute avoid the minefields that have been the demise of so many other bands. “Knowing these guys for so long helps. For some bands, it might hinder them. But, meeting each other that young, we just know each other’s rhythms really well. We know how to not annoy each other, and when to push things and when to back off. Now, it feels like we | 125

“We were a PART OF THIS PLACE that had a lot of heat on it, and our success is a TESTAMENT to the other bands we played with. There was nothing but ENCOURAGEMENT, and everyone was so accepting...”

are on the same page, especially musically. The dynamic feels the same now as it did then. If we had met when we were in college, it would have been a different story. But having met so young, we feel like brothers, not so much like friends who formed a band.” Looking back, Anderson also counts it as a godsend that Parachute’s formative years were spent in Charlottesville, despite the differences between his band and their contemporaries.


“We were a part of this place that had a lot of heat on it, and our success is a testament to the other bands we played with. There was nothing but encouragement, and everyone was so accepting. I can’t think of anyone who treated us poorly. We just wanted to sing songs that people would sing along to. There’s something about Charlottesville that is just so welcoming. We had no grand ambitions. We just happened to break out with pop music.” ~





A short walk from the University of Virginia’s (UVA) Rotunda sits the Fralin Museum of Art in Charlottesville. It’s red brick and neoclassical grandeur radiate with Jeffersonian style. Since its construction in 1935, the building has undergone many changes, but much has remained original, such as the elegant marble stairs leading to the upstairs galleries and the tile floors on the first level. “Museums today are some of the most dynamic spaces in our community,” says Fralin Director Matthew McLendon. With a permanent collection boasting nearly 14,000 objects, the Museum regularly serves 40 departments across the University community, and between 60–70 college student volunteer in the Student Docent Program each year. Programming at the Fralin engages participants of all ages, and entrance to the museum and to its unique programming is free. Originally envisioned as an arm of the art


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“You need to SEE YOURSELF in some way in the museum to know that YOU’RE IMPORTANT to it,” McLendon says. department, the museum closed during World War II, then again when the architecture school needed space for expansion, before re-opening in the 1970s. Fulfilling Jefferson’s ideals of the Academical Village, the Fralin identifies as more than UVA’s art museum. “We are Charlottesville’s and Central Virginia’s museum,” McLendon says, “determined to extend the museum beyond the walls and Grounds.” One way it does this is by selecting visiting exhibitions and featuring art from the permanent collection that speak to the issues of the day. “You need to see yourself in some way in the museum to know that you’re important to it,” McLendon says. These efforts toward visibility and inclusivity yield dynamic results. In the fall, the Fralin will host Time to Get Ready: Fotografia, a photography exhibition of images of the American South from the 1960s through the 1980s by MacArthur fellow and Mexican-American artist Maria Varela. Varela’s civil rights activism with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s kicked off her pioneering photojournalism career. Through the summer, the Fralin displayed Pittsburgh artist Vanessa German’s provocative installation. Temporary walls, painted black, created an entrance hallway, with quotations from African-American novelists printed along the way. As you entered, a wedge of glittered gold (10 pounds of glitter to be exact) pointed at you, and headless figures marched toward you, their clothes and bodies formed from tied-off rags and miscellaneous items with images | 131

“We like to think of the museum as a place for CIVIL DISCOURSE and CIVILITY which is lacking so much in our society today,” McLendon says. of appropriated and/or stereotyped black bodies and faces. The statues’ heads appeared in the connecting gallery, bedecked with objects such as plants and antlers. “We like to think of the museum as a place for civil discourse and civility which is lacking so much in our society today,” McLendon says. “We have the opportunity to use art to help mediate those conversations.” Other ways the Fralin reaches out is through programs like the Writer’s Eye, which welcomes thousands of youth submissions. After three decades, McLendon says, “Now, we have the children of parents who went through Writer’s Eye when they were in school, making it very clear the intergenerational impact the museum is having.” Meanwhile, the Clinician’s Eye brings art and science together. Museum educators lead thirdand fourth-year medical students through exercises of


close observation meant to enhance diagnostic skills. Additionally, the Early Visions program pairs trained student volunteers with children from the Boys & Girls Club for art activities. Among the Fralin’s most popular offerings are its Meditative Art Tours, which involve, “a lot of silent looking coupled with, at times, incredibly moving conversation,” says McLendon. His first chance to participate in one of these tours fell on the anniversary of the attacks of August 11 and 12. “The people there that day,” he says, “came to the Meditative Art Tour as a way of processing that very dark moment in Charlottesville history. It was one of the most powerful moments I’ve experienced in 20 years of working in museums.” The Fralin Museum of Art is alive with art and inquiry. Step inside, and that mistaken notion of dusty old museums will disintegrate before your eyes. ~

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Shakespeare at the Ruins Returns The historic Barboursville Ruins came alive once again this past July with the magic and prose of Four County Players’ production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The ruins were once a mansion owned by James Barbour, who, at the time of construction in 1814, was Governor of Virginia. The design was based on those created by Barbour’s close friend, Thomas Jefferson, and included an octagonal drawing room and portico similar to those at Monticello. Unfortunately, the mansion burned down in 1884 on Christmas Day, leaving only remnants of the brick walls and columns. Today, the ruins are an integral part of the historical estate of Barboursville Vineyards, purchased in 1976 by Italian Oenologist Gianni Zonin, recipient of the Wine Enthusiast Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award. Zonin


Co., founded in Italy in 1821, is now under the direction of the seventh generation of Zonins and continues to influence winemaking in the United States, especially Virginia. Italian winemaker Luca Paschina, leads the day-to-day operations of Barboursville Vineyards and continues to help the Zonins produce award-winning, internationally recognized wines. Four County Players, Central Virginia’s longest operating community theater, used the ruins as an outdoor stage for their plays from 1990 until 2006, when renovations stopped the productions. Thirteen years later, Shakespeare at the Ruins once again transformed the remains of Barbour’s estate into a realm of fantasy and wonder, where dreams and reality blurred together. Photo by R. L. Johnson.

Baldacci’s New Character The #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci does it again. One Good Deed is another novel with an unforgettable character. When Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison and sent on parole with strict guidelines on what is and isn’t permitted, he quickly learns that the town he is in is far more dangerous than his years serving in the war. With his future at risk and his being the suspect of another crime, Archer realizes he must solve the mystery to save himself. Baldacci began writing as a young boy, when his mother gifted him a notebook to write down the stories he couldn’t help but tell. Since publishing his first novel in 1996, he has published 38 adult novels and seven novels for young readers. All of his adult novels have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. This Virginian has degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia, and is a devoted philanthropist who began the Wish You Well Foundation that supports both family and adult literacy. Photo by Guy Bell.

UVA Prof. Receives Heinz Award University of Virginia (UVA) film professor Kevin Everson is the recipient of the 2019 Heinz Award in the Arts & Humanities, receiving a $250,000 cash prize.This photographer, sculptor, painter and filmmaker not only has taught at UVA for 18 years, but also was the first African American to receive the Cavaliers’ Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the university’s most prestigious teaching honor. Everson has had many of his over 200 films shown at famous venues and film festivals, including Sundance, Berlin, Toronto and New York, as well as at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Tate Modern in London. With several more projects in the works alongside a full semester of teaching, the Mansfield, Ohio, native is looking forward to sharing more films about the lives and experiences of working-class African Americans. Photo by Tom Daly. | 135

culture Torpedo Factory Celebrates 45 Years In Alexandria, Virginia, history and art come alive at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. It is hard to imagine that the century-old building where, today, artists create and display their work, was once the site where destructive weapons of war were created. The Navy opened the building in 1919 with the purpose of producing torpedoes during World War II. After the war ended, the government used the building for storage, where it housed Nuremberg Trial documents, dinosaur bones and government records. Former state legislator and president of The Art League, Marian Van Landingham, saw the factory’s potential and pitched the idea to the City Council. The factory’s doors opened once again on September 15, 1974, revitalizing the industrial building with color and creativity. Today, the Torpedo Factory houses over 165 artists who work and sell their art, and the building is the nation’s largest publicly accessible artist studio under one roof. The art center continues to be Alexandria’s creative hub and serves an essential role in promoting the arts in the city and beyond. Photo by Geoff Livingston.

Wiley’s First Public Sculpture The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond welcomes Kehinde Wiley’s first monumental public sculpture in December 2019 as a permanent installation. The bronze sculpture “Rumors of War” has been in New York City’s Times Square. Through this equestrian portraiture—a young African-American male dressed in urban street wear astride a horse—Wiley aimed to pair visual rhetoric of warfare with heroism, inspired by Richmond’s equestrian monument of Confederate General “J.E.B.” Stuart. With a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, an MFA from Yale University and an honorary doctorate from Rhode Island School of Design, his work has been featured worldwide. In 2015, Wiley was honored with the Medal of Arts by the U.S. Department of State and his portrait of Barack Obama is in the Smithsonian Museum. Photo by Brad Ogbonna, Courtesy of Sean Kelly.


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Downtown Charlottesville


culture UVA Alumna’s Newest Bestseller This past May, University of Virginia (UVA) alumna, Mary Beth Keane released her third novel, Ask Again, Yes. The acclaimed author is a New Yorker born to Irish parents who earned her MFA from UVA in 2005. Keane is also the author of The Walking People and Fever and was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” in 2011. Ask Again, Yes traces the lives of two neighboring working-class families living in the suburbs of New York City over many decades. The two fathers, Francis and Brian, initially work as New York police officers in the same Bronx district in 1973 but are not close. However, when a bond forms between Francis’s daughter, Kate, and Brian’s son, Peter, the families’ relationship becomes complicated, especially when a violent incident drives them apart and the young couple must fight for their relationship. The novel has been named a June Indie Next Pick, and appeared at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list. Photo by Nina Subin.

New Exhibit by D.C. Artist Until January of 2020, Joan Danziger’s glass sculpture titled “Canter & Crawl” will be on display at the National Sporting Library & Museum in Middleburg, Virginia. Danziger’s wire and glass-shard sculptures combine animal strength and the beauty of nature with that of the human spirit. For this solo show, she compiled sculptures inspired by the merging of a horse’s spirit with the jewel-like nature of insects. “The use of animal imagery as a metaphorical and psychological subject has great potency for me,” she shared in an interview. “It gives my sculptures a life of their own and creates a magical world.” With a BFA from Cornell University and time spent at the Arts Students League in New York City as well as the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Danziger’s sculptures can be seen in many museum collections, such as in New Jersey and New Orleans, as well as in the National Museum of American Art and the National Museum of Women in Arts in Washington, D.C. Photos courtesy of National Sporting Library & Museum. | 139





On the outskirts of Charlottesville sits the Boar’s Head Resort, a property that embodies the true meaning of Southern hospitality. The almost-600-acre resort offers a getaway experience for guests, one that offers every amenity you could want, from fine dining, sports and outdoor activities, to charming suites and a renowned spa. Since its opening, Boar’s Head has continued to grow in size and offerings. It’s most recent renovations revamped just about every aspect of a guest’s experience. Owned and operated by the University of Virginia (UVA) Foundation, the resort is located a few miles


The Trout House SATISFIES all taste buds with its recent addition of a hydroponic garden... that provides FRESH PRODUCE for all the resort’s restaurants, including the popular Mill Room. from UVA’s grounds. With Blue Ridge Mountain views, the resort is also located near many other historical establishments, including Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. The inn’s rich history dates back nearly 300 years, when the resort was part of Virginia’s first land grant in 1734. Originally named Terrell’s Ordinary, the inn was first opened in 1759 as a resting place for westward travelers. In 1800, Thomas Jefferson’s friend Eliza Trist and her son, Horé Browse Trist, purchased the land, named it Birdwood after an English vicar Horé had met and took up residence on the property. It wasn’t until

October 31, 1989 that the UVA Foundation acquired the property as a gift, turning the facility into the resort it has become today. A popular attraction of the resort is its fine dining experience. The Trout House satisfies all taste buds with its recent addition of a hydroponic garden—a partnership with Babylon Micro-Farms that provides fresh produce for all the resort’s restaurants, including the popular Mill Room. “There’s nothing better than knowing that the salad presented to you came freshly picked from the Trout house that morning,” says Joe Hanning, the marketing | 141

Even the HARDWOOD FLOORS are ORIGINAL from the 1800s, and hold the possibility that THOMAS JEFFERSON, himself, walked on the same floors. and communications manager for the resort. This unique addition to the resort supplies lettuce and other vegetables to the on-site kitchens and is a staple for running the entire operation. “Sourcing locally is one of my top priorities in this role,” says Dale Ford, executive chef at the resort. Ford’s passion for creating mouthwatering menus each season is evident in the menu options. This past summer, Ford was inspired to add in Southern comfort foods like shrimp and grits as well as seasonal favorites like salmon. Today, the resort has 168 guest rooms and suites as well as 22,000 square feet of property available for its guests, including many spaces to host events. Each grouping of rooms is spread out across the property, offering different selections of scenic views and rolling landscapes. Guests have the option to awake to a view


of the property’s lake or enjoy a room with an overview of amazing greenery. Touches like the wood-beamed ceilings are what enrich guests’ stay, bringing to life the history and natural wonder of the property. Even the hardwood floors are original from the 1800s, and hold the possibility that Thomas Jefferson, himself, walked on the same floors. On a warmer day, there is nothing better than enjoying a round of 18-holes at the Birdwood golf course. The course, which is currently under construction until the summer of 2020, is being created with the help of professional golfer Davis Love III, who has won 21 events on the PGA Tour, including one major championship. Additionally, Love is helping to create a six-hole putting area for families and children of all ages and skill levels. The resort’s sports club and childcare services


VIRGINIA FOOTHILLS LESS THAN 30 MILES FROM CHARLOTTESVILLE SITS YOUR GATEWAY TO THE VIRGINIA FOOTHILLS. Discover James Madison’s Montpelier, home of the Father of the Constitution. Explore winding forest trails to The Market at Grelen’s tree nursery, garden shop and cafe, then relax with a glass of wine at scenic Barboursville Vineyards. Spend the night at the 5-star Inn at Willow Grove, and don’t forget to stop at every foodie’s favorite, The BBQ Exchange. Your foothills escape is closer than you think. VAFOOTHILLS.COM


The Inn at Willow Grove

ORANGE Montpelier The Market at Grelen

BARBOURSVILLE Barboursville Vineyards


The BBQ Exchange

Some of the resort’s other popular SPECIALTIES are those offered at the SPA. Here, guests can enjoy services ranging from FACIALS to CRYSTAL CHAKRA balancing massages. are also extremely sought after. At the Sports Club, highly skilled staff can train both children and adults in a variety of activities, such as golf or tennis. Boar’s Head’s nationally acclaimed tennis program was recently ranked as one of the top 25 tennis resorts in the world by Tennis Resorts Online, and its world-class McArthur Squash Center is shared by the University of Virginia NCAA teams. Some of the resort’s other popular specialties are those offered at the spa. Here, guests can enjoy services ranging from facials to crystal chakra balancing massages. Signature massages are also inspired by different aspects of life in Virginia, such as the signature Monticello Garden massage which brings to

life Thomas Jefferson’s focus on well being with an oil blend especially prepared by a master botanist. The spa is an amazing option for those looking for a luxury escape in the heart of wine country. Recently recognized by Conde Nast Traveler as one of “The Top 20 Resorts of the South,” the Boar’s Head Inn offers many amenities that allow guest to experience the rich history and culture of the community, while still being conveniently located to both the charming Downtown Mall and airport. And, the multitude of natural trails and outdoor opportunities allow for locals and visitors alike to renew their body, mind and spirit in a memorable and relaxing getaway. ~

Images pages 140–142 by Chip Henderson | Image at left page 144 by Chip Henderson; Image at right page 144 by Jack Looney




n o b Lis





agic unfolds in an array of small discoveries in Lisbon, from the colorful azulejo tiles that decorate the building façades to the Fado music that reverberates in the evening streets. The simple pleasures make “a vida Lisboa” that much sweeter. Lisbon’s coastal position at the mouth of the Tagus River made it a thriving commercial center, bustling with merchants who traded spices and silks for gold and other valuables. The Praça do Comércio, Lisbon’s principal square, faces the Tagus River and once served as the gateway to the city. The plaza’s vibrant yellow buildings enclose the square on three sides, contrasting with the lush blue water that abuts it. Still one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks, the Arco da Rua Augusta towers over the square, symbolizing not only Lisbon’s power but also its revival after the devastating earthquake in 1755 that destroyed much of the commercial center and downtown areas. Aside from its beautiful architecture and spectacular view of the Tagus, the square is home to many cafés, galleries and shops as well as the Cais das Colunas, where the remnants of the royal palace’s marble steps meet the Tagus. In Lisbon, shopping is a cultural experience. Visitors travel from far and wide to set foot in historic stores like the tiny “Luvaria Ulisses” glove shop and “Casa das Velas do Loreto” for candles. While visiting, be sure to venture to Embaixada, the former palatial residence from the 1800s that has since been converted into a store. Here, you can roam the two levels and find an array of lifestyle products from Portuguese designers and brands. Also, every Saturday and Tuesday mornings on the Mercado da Ribeira (waterfront), a colorful market of fresh produce attracts locals and visitors alike. | 147

The Belém district is also famous for its PASTEIS DE NATA, a traditional PORTUGUESE egg custard pastry that was first made by the MONKS at the Jerónimos Monastery. The shipyards and docks on the northern bank of the Tagus River in Belém were the launching point of some of the world’s most influential explorations to India and the Americas. The imposing Padrão dos Descobrimentos (The Discoveries Monument) is impossible to miss as you stroll along the riverside. The monument resembles the bow of a ship departing Belém’s harbor with 33 of Portugal’s most influential figures, including Prince Henry the Navigator leading the voyage. The tower, initially built to strengthen Portugal’s defense of its shores, is now one of Lisbon’s most famous attractions, where visitors can explore the historic fortification and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its beautifully ornate exterior is a prime example of Manueline architecture and features Moorish arched windows and delicate details. The Belém district is also famous for its pasteis de


nata, a traditional Portuguese egg custard pastry that was first made by the monks at the Jerónimos Monastery. The light flaky crust and rich, creamy center is simple yet delicious, making it a notable favorite among locals and visitors alike. The heart of Lisbon lies in the Baixa district, where the streets are always bustling with shoppers and diners. The lively downtown area, with five main plazas, is abundant with local shops selling everything from azulejos tiles to souvenirs and restaurants offering local seafood and delicious Portuguese wines. With a wine growing tradition dating back to Roman times, hillsides just outside the city are dotted with vineyards, making a winery visit an easy daytrip. Best accessed via car, many travelers choose a luxury tour for exclusive experiences. Further away lies the Douro Valley, a must-see for wine lovers. An official wine

Photo: Jeff W. Morgan

Photo: Meredith Sledge

Visit us and Be Inspired garden tours


weekend stays


photo sessions (434) 270-0041 Photo: Katie StooPS

Photo: Jeff W. Morgan

demarcated region and UNESCO World Heritage site, the breathtaking terraced hillside quintas (wine estates) cascading to the riverbanks produce the famed Port wine that takes it’s name from the nearby coastal town. Whether you visit a winery itself or explore the historic Port wine cellars of Porto, you are assured a memorable experience. Lisbon’s streets are a torrent of colors, from the rich hues of the azulejo tiles on buildings to the flowers adorning window boxes. The tradition of vivid blue azulejo tiles can be traced back to the Moors, who brought the ceramic tiles to the Iberian Peninsula, and they are common throughout Lisbon and other Portuguese cities. The tiles are an important part of the city’s culture and art scene and can be found on both the inside and outside of churches, monasteries, bars and shops, making beautiful geometric designs as well as depicting historical and religious scenes. A maze of narrow medieval streets awaits you as you journey from the city center to the historical district of Alfama, where time appears to stand still. In Alfama, cobblestone lanes and passageways remain as they were in medieval times. It was one of the few areas of the city left unaffected by the earthquake. The winding streets and steep steps make it a bit difficult to navigate, but behind each unexpected turn lies a discovery. Adding to the charm is a Remodelado tram from the 1930s, which one can ride through the narrow passageways. The historical fortress, St. George’s Castle, stands on the highest point in Lisbon and is one of the city’s oldest and most emblematic structures. Alfama distinctly captures Lisbon’s rich past along with its timeless beauty and spirit. If you listen carefully while walking up the steep streets, you can hear the faint sounds of Fado music playing in a nearby bar or restaurant, the distinct culture and identity of the Portuguese captured in each note of its soulful tune. No matter where you decide to venture to while visiting, you’ll be engulfed in history and magic that is distinctly Lisbon. ~



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The Tuleyries

Oak Spring Dairy/Upperville

Federal style mansion with grand rooms and 14 ft. ceilings, extensively renovated on 406 acres in 3 parcels. Included is the mansion, 3 tenant houses, 12-stall stable with completely renovated 3 bedroom apts., and numerous historic structures. Wonderful land for horses and cattle. Easement Potential.

Idyllic 156-acre hunt country property consisting of 3 houses and a converted dairy complex. Historic Goose Creek frames this farm anchored by a log cabin restored by the late Bunny Mellon for her friend Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Conservation easement permits building new main house with spectacular views. Barns, springhouses, silos, stonewalls and chestnut fencing. Abounds with wildlife.

Thomas & Talbot Real Estate John Coles (540) 270-0094 $5,000,000 For full details, please visit:

Thomas & Talbot Real Estate Cricket Bedford (540) 229-3201 $4,950,000

Foxcroft Farm

Viewmont Farm

This 25 acre horse property in Keswick is ideal for horses with two barns, a heated tack room, wash stall, numerous three board paddocks, and a fenced ring. Adjacent to the Keswick Hall & Golf Club and only minutes from town yet very private.

An exceptional 875 acre Carter’s Bridge estate 10 miles south of Charlottesville. A perfect mix of cropland, pasture and hardwood forest with long frontage on the Hardware River. A custom 6,000 sq. ft. residence is sited to take in the natural beauty of the farm and surrounding estates.

Justin Wiley — Wiley Real Estate (434) 981-5528 MLS#596165 $1,375,000

Peter A. Wiley — Wiley Real Estate (434) 981-5528 MLS#594930 $8,750,000







Garth Road Estate

522-acre private sanctuary in Southwest Mountains and heart of Keswick—a renowned estate area just east of Charlottesville. Property features: impressive grounds, exquisite manor home built circa 2008 with the highest quality craftsmanship, unique materials, and great attention paid to every detail. Over 14,000 finished sq.ft. of elegant living space with two other homes and a barn.

Priced near tax assessment, magnificent Georgian residence, copper roof, over 6,500 finished sq.ft., superb quality details and expert craftsmanship. Offering gracious style on 21 private acres in quiet, pastoral setting 5 miles west of Charlottesville. Features 10 ft. ceilings, hardwood floors, custom cabinetry by Jaeger and Ernst, 5 large ensuite bedrooms, main-level master. Private setting, Blue Ridge Mountain views, saltwater pool, and lake.

McLean Faulconer, Inc. Jim Faulconer (434) 981-0076 MLS#595091 $6,700,000 For full details, please visit:


McLean Faulconer, Inc. Jim Faulconer (434) 981-0076 MLS#586392 $1,975,000


Emerald Hill

Bloomfield Road

Luxurious 140-acre estate property located within minutes of the University of Virginia and 9 minutes to airport. Dramatic entry leads to 60-room brick manor home, Palladian in style, offering superior quality and details throughout. This magnificent estate property includes multiple residences, pool, formal gardens, brick walkways, pavilion, tennis court, barn and several ponds.

Renovated one-level, 4,000 sq.ft. home in desirable closein neighborhood only minutes west of Charlottesville. Over 18 acres, with pool, barn and garage. Property is surrounded by a 500-acre farm affording unique privacy and tranquility. Open land for horses and other animals. Under conservation easement with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation with the possibility to build a second home.

McLean Faulconer, Inc. Steve McLean (434) 981-1863 MLS#594254 $7,500,000 For full details, please visit:

McLean Faulconer, Inc. Steve McLean (434) 981-1863 MLS#583224 $2,495,000 | 159



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Charlottesville, VA 434-245-2211

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Wine & Country Life Fall 2019  

Life and Style in Virginia's Tastings Country

Wine & Country Life Fall 2019  

Life and Style in Virginia's Tastings Country