IN JEFFERSON’S VIRGINIA
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O U R FA B T E A M
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 | Laura DeBusk, 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 | Daniel Addison, Adam Barnes, Jen Fariello, Clark French, Travis Fullerton, Shannon Gilbert, R. L. Johnson, Lahmann Photography, Paul Louis, Rachel May, Amy Nicole Cherry, Sera Petras, Robert Radifera, Beth Seliga, David Stover, Aaron Watson, William Wylie W R I T I N G & E D I T I N G | Jennifer Bryerton, Becky Calvert, Clark French, Jody Hobbs-Hesler, Caroline Hirst, Catherine Malone, Brian Mellott, Elizabeth Morgan, Avery Nunnally, Sarah Pastorek, Whitney Pipkin, Mandy Reynolds, Daniel Rocha, Erin Scala, Katharine Schellman, Dave Stallard, Madison Stanley, Jennifer Waldera, William Wylie 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 | Allison Muss, Carter Schotta, Walter Scott, 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 M A R K E T I N G C O N C I E R G E | Abigail Sewell
Charlottesville Wine & Country Living™ is published in print biannually by Ivy Publications, LLC 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 © 2018. All rights reserved. Ivy Publications, LLC is proud to work with a Certified Green Press. Charlottesville Wine & Country Living™ 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 CharlottesvilleWineandCountryLiving.com, and please do recycle. Printed in the United States of America.
A WARM WELCOME
o crest a hill and catch a wide vista of stunning vineyards with a Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop is a common occurrence here. Tasting the most amazing farm-to-table cuisine al fresco downtown with great, intellectual and creative people followed by a concert of a local up-and-coming band is another. It is these everyday charms we love about our community that have inspired us to take pen to paper and to celebrate the people and stories of our country-town. Grounded in centuries of rich history as the beloved home of the esteemed Thomas Jefferson and his University of Virginia, Charlottesville is the perfect
balance of tradition and innovation with a unique style all its own. The influence of Jefferson’s interests and passions surround us and mold us. In Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, we seek to express Charlottesville’s style, charming in its lack of pretense yet sophisticated. You will find not only the spirit of a landscape but also the inspiration for elegant, wholehearted living, celebrating those in our community 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—a region known as Jefferson’s Virginia.
W I N E & FOOD
18 TASTING NOTES
H O R T O N V I N E YA R D S
34 MEET THE WINEMAKER | Stephen Barnard
The Women at Horton Vineyards Carry On A Family Legacy
38 LOCAL FLAVORS | Food & Wine Pairings
50 HORTICULTURISTS | Farmstead Ferments
52 FARM-TO-TABLE NOTES
Charlottesville’s Micah LeMon Reinvents Custom Cocktails
66 MEET THE CHEF | Craig Hartman
A Family-Run Farm Shares Its Model for Sustainability
LIFE & S T Y LE 70 COUNTRYSIDE FÊTES | A Montpelier Tailgate 80 OUTDOOR PURSUITS | Vino and Vinyasa 94 BLADESMITHS, METALWORKERS & KNIFE MAKERS | Monolith Studio Knives 106 THINGS WE LOVE | CHO•ho Style
112 FARMERS & CROCHETIERS | Sorbie Farm Alpacas
Celebrating UVA in Elegant Fashion
ON THE FLY
Exploring the Area’s Vast Waters
A MODERN OASIS
A Tranquil Modern Home
86 Cover image photographed by Adam Barnes. Portrait of Robin Johnson Bethke and Jennifer Bryerton photographed by Robert Radifera.
114 A RTS & CULT UR E
1 2 8 THE ARTS SCENE | A Virginia Treasure 1 4 2 CULTURAL NOTES 1 5 2 TRAVEL LOCALLY | The Dinsmore Inn
ART OF THE HORSE
Martha Strawther Shares Her Passions for Painting & Horses
UVA’s First A Cappella Group Celebrates 65 Years
HONORING JEFFERSON’S LEGACY
UVA’s New President James Ryan Looks to the Past for Inspiration to Lead Into the Future
A DAY IN POMPEII
Discovering the Mysteries of The Ancient Roman City
Stay in touch
Proud to be a partner with Virginia Vineyards Association, Virginia Wine Council & Monticello Wine Trail
Becky Calvert is a licensed Realtor with an interior design background. She has written for a number of local weeklies and regional publications. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching cooking classes as well as the local wine scene.
Jody Hobbs-Hesler’s work appears in a variety of journals and regional award anthologies, and she holds an MFA in fiction from Lesley University. You can learn more about her writing at jodyhobbshesler.com.
Catherine Malone has graduate degrees in the history of art, and has taught at William & Mary and UVA. She has written about art and artists for many years, and enjoys exploring the many intersections of art and community in Charlottesville.
Brian Mellott has a master’s degree in education, and is a writer and photographer whose work shows his passion for food and the people who create it.
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 Publications.
Avery Nunnally is currently studying communications and Spanish at Boston College, interned at Ivy Publications and hopes to delve into a career in creative advertising upon graduating.
Sarah Pastorek, our Senior Editor, has degrees in English and Journalism and a master’s in HR, and enjoys sharing the personal stories of local artisans and influencers. Her work can be seen in many of our publications.
Whitney Pipkin, a Northern Virginia-based journalist, writes for The Washington Post, NPR, National Geographic and regional publications such as Virginia Living and Northern Virginia Magazine. She’s also a staff writer at the Chesapeake Bay Journal. View her work at whitneypipkin.com.
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.
Daniel Rocha recently graduated from UVA, interned at Ivy Publications and is working towards earning his master’s degree in English. He enjoys discovering and writing about the art, food and culture of Charlottesville.
Erin Scala, a wine writer and Richmond native, recalls harvesting Virginia grapes in her earliest memories. She owns In Vino Veritas Fine Wines in Keswick, writes the thinking-drinking.com wine blog, and contributes to the wine podcast “I’ll Drink to That.”
Katharine Schellman, a Virginia native, writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. You can find her work in publications including Cicada Magazine, Penman Literary, The Huffington Post and Business News Daily, as well as on katharineschellman.com.
Dave Stallard has been writing about music in the Southeast for over 10 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 jenniferwaldera.com.
CONTRIBUTORS Clark French is a writer, photographer and avid outdoorsman in Charlottesville. After earning a history degree from Ole Miss, 2011, he has spent most of the last decade exploring the southeast with a fly rod in hand. His work can be seen in advertisements for a couple of different companies and has appeared in Virginia Sportsman magazine. His writing and photography can also be seen in Southern Culture on the Fly magazine.
Beth Seliga of 3 Cats Photo began her career capturing 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 Recognition of Merit awards and a 2nd Place award from 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, Brides.com, Style Me Pretty and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings.
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.
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, Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings and many more publications.
Sera Petras is a wedding and portrait photographer whose authentic style captures her clients love in a timeless photograph. She sees the beauty in the everyday and is inspired by her clients love and laughter. Sera’s work has been featured in The Knot, The Local Palate Magazine and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings.
Adam Barnes is a wedding photographer who combines his love of others with a passion for capturing some of life’s most intimate moments. He founded Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography in 2005, and his work has been featured in Southern Weddings, Inside Weddings, Grace Ormonde, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Brides, People and Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings.
William Wylie, the Director of the Studio Art Department at UVA, has published five books of his work: Riverwalk, Stillwater, Carrara, Route 36 and Pompeii Archive (The Possibility of Ruins). His photographs can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art and Yale University Art Museum, among others.
Rachel May, a Virginia-based photographer, enjoys adventuring across the globe to find 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. Rachel’s work has been featured in Southern Living, Brides, Southern Weddings, Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings and more.
Jen Fariello has been taking beautiful photographs since 1996, specializing in journalistic, fine art wedding and portrait photography. 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 Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings.
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, Home and Design, as well as in many other local and national publications. He was also the official photographer for the Charlottesville Design House project from 2009–2016.
CharlottesvilleWineandCountryLiving.com | 17
TASTING Horton Honored at Smithsonian This year’s Smithsonian Museum of History’s Winemakers’ Dinner, an annual fundraiser for the American Food & Wine History Project, honored more than the work of the Rhône Rangers, a group of 100 U.S. wineries dedicated to strengthening the American Rhone wine movement. The event also celebrated the life of Horton Vineyards Owner/Winemaker Dennis Horton, who began his journey in the 1980s. While he cultivated a small home vineyard, Dennis studied varieties and growing techniques. His search took him to France’s Rhone Valley, where he and his wife Sharon learned more about the Viognier grape, which Horton Vineyards is recognized for bringing to the Commonwealth. In 1993 after their first crush, Horton Vineyards gained national recognition for their Viognier when it won first place at a California tasting competition. In 1994, the couple purchased more acreage and planted other varietals with some from the Rhone Valley. Dennis passed away at the age of 72 in June 2018. Dennis’ wife Sharon, their daughter Shannon, and granddaughter Caitlin will continue to build on Dennis’ success at Horton for years to come. Image by R. L. Johnson.
Belgium-Inspired Brews Brasserie Saison has partnered with Champion Brewing Company’s brew team to craft a house beer to fit their Belgian-inspired menu. Lead Brewer Josh Skinner, who has been with Champion since 2014, worked with Hunter Smith, owner of Champion and the visionary behind Brasserie, to coordinate a recipe in line with Belgian-style brews. The goal was to create a beer reflective of the signature style of beers that are traditionally brewed in the Wallonia region of Belgium. Together, they developed the Saison, the flagship beer and most popular drink since the restaurant’s opening. The Saison reveals a smooth and aromatic flavor that is reminiscent of Belgium’s iconic Saison Dupont, a coppery blond with the finest aromas and a strong bitterness. A lively level of carbonation contributes to its effervescence and plays up the aromas and flavors of pear skin, spice and the expected herbal funk of the classic Belgian yeast. With just enough bitterness, this brew finishes clean and dry. The Saison will soon be available throughout Central and Southwestern Virginia. Image by Jason Okusa of Champion Brewing.
Harvest Report A mild winter and a spring free of late frosts combined with early warmth ushered in flush growth and strengthened root systems in area vineyards. Yet, a wet spring meant a lighter fruit set for area vineyards and orchards, which turned out to be fortuitous as the seasons continued to be rainy and less fruit aided air circulation. This year, the harvest was early as everyone—staff, families, friends and wineloving volunteers—rushed into the fields to pick grapes ahead of Hurricane Florence. Fortunately, we were not hit by the storm as expected, but we did see significantly more rain this year compared to 2017. With each season comes different flavor profiles, and we are eager to see the final products. “Sugars weren’t as high, so we have to rely on our blending skill to craft dryer ciders,” says General Manager Craig Moore with Castle Hill Cider. “It will come to balancing sugars and tannins.” Winemaker Ben Jordan with Early Mountain Vineyards says, “More than any vintage in recent memory, 2018 required constant diligence throughout the growing season and straight into harvest. The white and rosé wines ended up being normal/classic, as we were relatively warm and dry in late August and early September. As the rains came in the second week of September, we were faced with the need to pick earlier than we’d hoped, which necessitated a shift in our approach in the winery. The result is that the majority of our red wines from 2018 will be in a fresh, fruit-driven style.” Image by R. L. Johnson.
New to the Scene The BREWING TREE BEER COMPANY opened in Nelson County with a different philosophy. When a customer purchases a pint, they receive a token to put in the jar of their favorite nonprofit. This “Pints with a Purpose” idea has 10 percent of each pint purchase going towards a cause.
FLYING FOX VINEYARD relocated its
tasting room to Critzer Shop Road in Afton.
JEFFERSON VINEYARDS converted
seven acres into forage for bees and established some 20 hives.
BRYANT’S CIDER, a farm cidery, opened
LOVINGSTON WINERY is running a
in Roseland (Nelson County).
satellite tasting room at the Batesville Market on weekends.
DEVILS BACKBONE DISTILLING COMPANY opened its distilling house in
MERIWETHER SPRINGS VINEYARD & BREWERY expanded its offerings and
Roseland, Virginia, on the same property as its brewery and restaurant. The brewery also won two awards at the World Beer Cup Awards in Nashville, Tennessee: a Bronze for The Outpost Brewing Team’s Danzig and a Silver for The Basecamp’s Alt Bier.
DUCARD VINEYARDS is now offering tastings paired with gourmet platters.
is now Central Virginia’s first vineyard and brewpub at one location.
MONTICELLO WINE CUP AWARDS, Veritas Vineyard & Winery At the 2018
was awarded the 2018 Monticello Cup for its Petit Verdot “Paul Shaffer’s 7th Edition” 2015. Other Gold Medal wines
included: Afton Mountain Vineyards’ 2016 Chardonnay Estate Reserve, Barboursville Vineyards’ 2015 Octagon, Flying Fox Vineyard’s 2014 Petit Verdot, Jefferson Vineyards’ 2014 Estate Reserve (Petit Verdot), Keswick Vineyards’ 2016 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve, King Family Vineyards’ 2015 Meritage, Michael Shaps Wineworks’ 2017 Rosie Rosé, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards’ 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Pollak Vineyards’ 2017 Viognier and 2014 Meritage, and Trump Winery’s 2012 Blanc de Blanc and 2015 New World Reserve.
MOUNT IDA RESERVE opened a new Tasting Room & Taphouse on their property where visitors can enjoy both wine and beer. REASON BEER TASTING ROOM AND PRODUCTION FACILITY opened in Charlottesville.
CharlottesvilleWineandCountryLiving.com | 19
TASTING 2018 Monticello Cup Winners The Monticello Cup Awards kicked off the 2018 Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival in May, celebrating excellence in local winemaking. Vineyard owners and winemakers came together to honor the exceptional quality of wines made in the Monticello AVA. Ten revered judges reviewed wines from the 33 wineries of the Monticello AVA and awarded 13 gold, 27 silver and 15 bronze medals. The 2015 Petit Verdot “Paul Shaffer’s 7th Edition” from Veritas Vineyard & Winery won the coveted Monticello Cup this year, emerging as the number one winner in the “Top 3 Red” category. Keswick Vineyards’ 2016 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve and Flying Fox Vineyard’s 2014 Petit Verdot were the other reds in this category, while Afton Mountain Vineyards’ 2016 Chardonnay Estate Reserve, Michael Shaps Wineworks’ 2017 Rosie Rosé and Trump Winery’s 2012 Blanc de Blanc constituted the “Top 3 Whites” category. These awards laud the area’s unparalleled aptitude for producing remarkable wines. Image by R. L. Johnson.
Virginia’s First Sake Brewery To the delight of sake enthusiasts and lovers of Japanese cuisine alike, North American Sake Brewery, Virginia’s first sake brewery, opened at IX Art Park in Downtown Charlottesville. Jeremy Goldstein, an awardwinning filmmaker and sake enthusiast, and homebrewer Andrew Centofante began the brewery to honor traditional Japanese cuisine while also introducing modern twists. After travelling the world to study under master sake brewers, Centofante and Goldstein are putting their years of research and practice into action crafting the unique brewery. Distinctive sakes like the “Big Baby,” a “brewer’s style” sake that emerges raw from a fresh batch, and the Rosaké, a rosé blend sake that draws on fruity and herbal flavors in the final stages of fermentation, demonstrate the innovative style of the brewery. The brewery features an attached restaurant that serves delicious dishes crafted by chef Peter Robinson, the two-time winner of Charlottesville’s “Best Food Truck of the Year” award, that pair perfectly with the brewery’s distinctive sake. Image courtesy of North American Sake Brewery.
TASTING Cider with A Twist Potter’s Craft Cider now offers the Guava Galaxy Cider, the second release of the “Bloom Series” that is kicking off Potter’s Craft first run of canned ciders. Guava Galaxy Cider is a deliciously dry drink made from Gold Rush apples fermented with pink guava and dry hopped with Australian Galaxy hops, adding complexity and aromas of citrus, peach and passion fruit. These playful blends intend to enhance the citrus and tropical aromatics that occur naturally with pressed Virginia Gold Rush apples. This fall, Potter’s will release their Cider Nouveau, which undergoes a cider soak, or maceration, with King Family Vineyards’ Petit Verdot skins. This process extracts color, tannin and aromatics, leaving in its midst a beautiful blushed, dry cider with notes of fresh strawberries. Potter’s Craft Cider started in Free Union, Virginia, seven years ago with its flagship cider, Farmhouse Dry, and has since worked to experiment with new local varieties, native yeast, barrel aging, hops and fruit infusions. Image courtesy of Potter’s Craft Cider.
Early Mountain’s Grand Vin At a recent release event at Common House, Early Mountain Vineyards’ debuted their new addition—Rise. The 2015 ultra-premium red blend combines 57 percent Merlot, 15 percent Cabernet Franc, 14 percent Petit Verdot and 14 percent Tannat from the winery’s flagship Quaker Run vineyard, which was acquired in 2014. With the rocky terroir influencing the texture and aromatic qualities of this wine, the varietal was crafted in the style of a Bordeaux grand vin, with Merlot at the heart blend. The Merlot contributes density and aromatic purity, and presence and persistence with fine grain tannin, while the Cabernet Franc drives aromatic complexity, and the Petit Verdot and Tannat contribute structure, depth and power. On the nose, the fruits are dark with Damson plum and wild blackberries accented by mint, cedar and wood spice. Using a wide array of barrel regimens, Early Mountain aged Rise in French oak barrique for 18 months and then another 18 months in the bottle prior to releasing. Image courtesy of Early Mountain Vineyards.
FARM TO TABLE
HORTON WITH AN EYE ON THE FUTURE, THE WOMEN AT HORTON VINEYARDS CARRY ON A FAMILY LEGACY
WORDS BY ERIN SCALA | PHOTOGRAPHY BY R. L. JOHNSON
s you approach Horton Vineyards, you are struck with pure admiration for the work and passion of this humble wineloving family. Identified as having greatly influenced the wine landscape of Jefferson’s Virginia, the Hortons helped jumpstart the area’s direction by planting the first Viognier and Norton grapes. “It all started from my husband’s dream to grow grapes,” says Sharon Horton. “After moving to Virginia,
he saw the potential in the area to grow certain kinds of vinifera varietals.” From that point on, Dennis Horton was determined to produce quality wine. “We wanted to start a winery and knew we had to have the right kinds of grapes to do so—ones that would give us consistent quality year after year,” Sharon shares. In Virginia’s often humid, ripening climate, sturdy grapes (thick skins) with natural airflow (loose
CharlottesvilleWineandCountryLiving.com | 25
...Just four years after opening Horton Vineyards, the Hortons gained NATIONAL RECOGNITION when their Viognier won first place at a California tasting competition, CHANGING THE COURSE of winemaking in Virginia. clusters) tend to do best. The Hortons hunted for grape varieties that might suit the climate. In the midst of their adventures, they travelled to the Rhône Valley and found a Viognier from Château Grillet that deeply impressed them. Approximately two centuries earlier in 1787, Thomas Jefferson visited Château Grillet and found the wines equally impressive. In 1983, Sharon and her late husband, Dennis, planted a hobby vineyard in Madison County. Dennis, a Missouri native, had enjoyed a successful career in business, while Sharon worked as a nurse. When Dennis planted their first vineyard, it inspired an intense desire for something larger—a commercial vineyard that would help anchor Virginia’s wine industry.
With his eye on the future of Viognier in Virginia, Dennis, who served as winemaker, and his business partner Joan Bieda planted a commercial vineyard in Orange County; and Horton Vineyards produced their first wine in 1991 at nearby winery, Montdomaine. After completing construction of the Horton Vineyards production and tasting room facility, which featured an underground winery, they crushed their first wines on site in 1993. This same year, the Hortons gained national recognition when their Viognier won first place at a California tasting competition, changing the course of winemaking in Virginia. In a 2015 interview, Dennis called 1993 “one of the great years. The ’93 Viognier
CharlottesvilleWineandCountryLiving.com | 27
The Horton Viognier, in both STILL AND SPARKLING versions, has been a POPULAR STAPLE for Horton Vineyards ever since. put Horton and Virginia wine on the map.” In addition to their wines receiving numerous awards and acknowledgements over the years, Dennis was awarded the Gordon W. Murchie Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, an award named after Gordon Murchie for his accomplishments and storied career in promoting the Virginia and Eastern U.S. wine industry. Many who helped with those early Viognier vintages would go on to make wine at other wineries and shape the early formation of Virginia’s current wine scene. Winemaking consultant Brad McCarthy worked with Dennis in the ’90s and recalls smelling those first tanks of Viognier, which were “fantastic.” Horton Vineyards 1993 Viognier captivated the local wine scene, garnered attention around the globe, and would ultimately lead to Viognier becoming the official “Signature Grape of Virginia” in 2011. The Horton Viognier, in both still
and sparkling versions, has been a popular staple for Horton Vineyards ever since. Working in the vineyards alongside Sharon today are Foreman Tony Baeza Cruz, who has been at Horton for 20 years, and Winemaker Andy Reagan, who joined the winery in December of 2017. Dennis and Sharon brought many other grape varieties to Virginia, some failed but others have since flourished. A few of the winners included Cabernet Franc, Tannat, Rkatsiteli and Norton. Grape varieties like Albariño and Petit Manseng did well at Horton, and many local wineries experimented with the grapes before taking the plunge to plant their own vineyards. Today, we see growth in plantings of both of these grapes throughout the state. Cabernet Franc has grown into an extremely important role in Virginia. Horton’s Cabernet Franc
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Horton Vineyards touched off a local pride for NORTON that spread FERVOR FOR THE GRAPE throughout the state... has been a staple glass pour at local Charlottesville restaurants, and a solid go-to wine at retail shops. It can be said that early experiments with Horton Cabernet Franc helped other winemakers hone in on proper clones, sources and rootstocks. In fact, most wine vines throughout the world are fruit-producing European species grafted onto American rootstocks, because native rootstocks are immune to phylloxera, an aphid-like soil pest that can destroy European grape vine species. And though native American grapes like Scuppernong, Norton and Delaware were famous for wine production in the 1800s, they fell out of favor after Prohibition. Today, they are used mostly as rootstocks although a movement to promote native species is well under way. A central theme in the legacy of Horton Vineyards is the tale of the Norton grape, a grape native to Virginia
since its first emergence in the 1820s. Dennis had noticed some old-vine Norton growing at Stone Hill Winery in his hometown in Missouri, where it has for decades enjoyed a quiet popularity among the local communities. When Dennis discovered Norton was originally from Virginia, he decided to reintroduce the grape to Virginia’s wine scene. As he would say, “It was a no brainer.” Horton Vineyards touched off a local pride for Norton that spread fervor for the grape throughout the state and could be pointed to as an early motivator in today’s movement to revive native American species, with Chrysalis Vineyard at The Ag District having the largest single vineyard planting. Tannat, a rich, high-tannin grape, also got a powerful start at Horton before becoming a go-to grape variety for some of today’s Virginia winemakers.
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PORTRAIT OF LADIES - “going forward”
The INVENTIVE SPIRIT at Horton, the willingness to fail paired with a greater WILL TO SUCCEED ... will continue to forge a DEEP LEGACY in Virginia’s wine story. Horton Vineyards has long been an important Virginia incubator of ideas, grape varieties and winemaking talent, and strives to continue to help lead the way into the future. With 67 acres of vines dedicated to 18 different varietals, the winery crafts a total of 45 vintages. Horton has been leading the way in the wine industry with their use of oak upright tanks and an open lyre trellis system since the beginning. “Our learning came from many different experiences,” Sharon says. “But the bulk of information, like what grapes to plant, was self-taught through reading, research and a lot of trial and error.”
With the passing of Dennis this summer, motherdaughter-granddaughter trio, Sharon, Shannon and Caitlin, are regrouping and ready for the challenges that lie ahead. As Dennis often said to his daughter, Shannon, “Keep swinging for the fences. No matter what you do, put in 200 percent.” And in doing so, the inventive spirit at Horton, the willingness to fail paired with a greater will to succeed, and the openmindedness towards outside-of-the-box grapes like Norton, will continue to forever forge a deep legacy in Virginia’s wine story. ~
WORDS BY MADISON STANLEY | PHOTOGRAPHY BY R. L. JOHNSON
Stephen Barnard Keswick Vineyards’ Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, Stephen Barnard, began his journey with wine in South Africa. After many opportunities, including studying Enology and Viticulture at Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, Barnard began an accomplished winemaking career, one that has helped Keswick Vineyards bring home an impressive list of awards over the last 12 years.
When did you know winemaking was your calling? Not sure about a calling, but I do love this industry. I really enjoy all aspects of what is involved. I started in the tasting room of the oldest winery in South Africa [Groot Constantia] and then had the opportunity to be involved in production. I needed to appreciate what goes into producing a bottle of wine, as well as the challenges producers, growers and owners face. At the end of the day, I just ferment grapes and put it into a bottle. But, I get to do it at a special place surrounded by an incredible team and with colleagues who are supportive and passionate. They force me to raise my game. What was it about your first job in Cape Town, South Africa, that hooked you onto viticulture? The people—the fact that people come together and enjoy this product that you work so hard in creating. At the end of the day, that is what it is all about … sharing and creating memories over a bottle of wine. I love the science and the art that goes into it, but it is who you share the wine with that is important. What experiences led you to Keswick Vineyards? I wanted to travel and experience something different. Virginia was such a young industry in 2002 when I came over, and Keswick had never made wine before, so that was a blank canvas, so to speak, to work with. I intended to be here a year or two, and it has turned into 16 wonderful years, working in an industry that in my opinion is making world-class wines.
How does your philosophy of minimal intervention come into play in the winemaking process? It all comes down to reflecting in a glass how the grapes were grown, not how the wines were made. If we get that part right, harvesting grapes that give us the opportunity to make unique wines, then we try not to overdo it. For us, that means fermentation using natural yeasts, putting very little new oak on the wines and bottling wines unfined and un-filtered. We need to promote our terroir [the soil, elevation, exposure], the very thing that makes this property so special. What is your favorite part of the job? The challenge of creating a consistent product despite all the challenges Mother Nature throws at you. Your job is not stagnant at all, but rather it’s always evolving and allows you to experiment and be creative. Which wine is your favorite to make? I really enjoy the challenge of making Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc for the pure fact that you really need to be particular in the vineyard, and Cabernet Sauvignon since everyone says you cannot really grow it and make a world-class wine. How is Virginia soil different than other areas you have planted grapes in? We deal with a lot of clay, and along with Virginia’s abundant rainfall, it makes growing grapes in that soil particularly challenging.
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You’ve been known to identify Virginia as a “vintage state.” What leads you to identify it as such? Simply, the quality of wine is determined by the quality of the grapes, which are affected by the growing season and year. Despite the best efforts of the winemaker, the best wines will always come from the best vintages in my opinion. Virginia’s climate is so variable, and as such, the wines will reflect that. Take 2010, when we had record heat and then drought followed by 2011 where we had 26 consecutive days of rain. The wines will inherently be different due to this climatic stress. What do you feel personally ties you to Jefferson? I love the entrepreneurial spirit of people who get into wine and the love that goes into it. I think Mr. Jefferson would be quite proud at the quality of wine being produced in Virginia at the moment, and made by people who are passionate and hell bent in promoting Virginia as a world-class wine producing and destination state. What bottle of local wine is open in your kitchen right now? King Family Meritage, RDV Rendezvous, Linden Hardscrabble and Early Mountain Eluvium, comparing
them to our Bordeaux blend Heritage. Our colleagues keep raising the bar, so it’s great to see how our wines stack up against these benchmarks. What do you feel adds to the success of a wine, such as with the 2016 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve that won a gold medal in the 2018 Governor’s Cup? This wine is a reflection of a lot of things that went right in the vineyard throughout the year, as well as the dedication of a fantastic group of people that had a hand in growing and making this wine. All we can do is make the best wine we can, ultimately, we have to be proud of our efforts and then present that wine to the public. I am so thrilled for the team that this wine was enjoyed and appreciated. In closing, do you have a new wine/project on the horizon? We have a few new wines that we are particularly excited about. Our vineyards have expanded; we now have various blocks of grapes that allow us to make three– four bottlings of Cabernet Franc for example. Each wine is different for a myriad of reasons, and we have the opportunity to create various wines and learn exactly how site, clone and rootstock affect the wine. ~
Modern Virginia Cuisine by Chef Harrison Keevil
(434) 202-7728 | commonwealthskybar.com | 422 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902 Located on the historic downtown pedestrian mall
PVCC HOSTS FOOD AND WINE PAIRING CLASS AT C&O RESTAURANT TO EDUCATE LOCAL WINE ENTHUSIASTS
FOOD & WINE
This collaborative “Pairing Food with Wine” dinner series provided participants with firsthand experience on how wine can both complement and enhance the flavors of food. The Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) and popular C&O Restaurant partnered together to create this wonderful series. In addition to helping carefully plan the menu, Sommelier Richard Hewitt, an author and professor of the Wine & Food Program at PVCC, and Erin Scala, owner of In Vino Veritas, delighted guests throughout the evening with details about exceptional wine and delicious cuisine. Hewitt, formerly of Keswick Hall, covered how to properly taste wine, prepare a menu and select wines
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with specific food items for any occasion. He also shared insight on how to serve wine, identified some wine faults and advised on a few wine-related dos and don’ts. Each meal in the series began with a starter dish that included either roasted scallop and cauliflower puree in a golden raisin-caper butter sauce paired with Stuhlmuller Chardonnay and Abbazi Novacella Kerner, a Virginia oyster chowder with smoked bacon and savory crackers, or a crispy tempura shrimp and potato puree with sesame-ginger butter sauce and scallions. Chardonnay wines are often more velvety
with a buttery tone than other whites, so the citrus flavors and notes of toasted vanilla paired well with butter sauces and seafood, as will an Abbazi Novacella wine. For the main courses, guests dined on duck confit risotto with thyme, parmigiano reggiano and an aged balsamic paired with Birichino Pinot and Michael Shaps’ Carter’s Mountain Vineyard Caberbet Franc, a Ragged Mountain trout with lemon-caper pan sauce, a pork tenderloin with grilled apples and cider jus, or a New York strip with local mushrooms
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The Winery at Seven Oaks Farm
Refining Nature’s Legacy Experience Septenary, a winery on the historic Seven Oaks Farm in Greenwood. Offering Bordeaux-style and Old World-influenced wines from the 2014 and 2015 vintages, Septenary offers bar & seated tastings and an exclusive area for wine club members. Tasting Room Hours: Friday - Sunday, 11am - 5:30pm
200 Seven Oaks Farm, Greenwood, VA 22943
Local food, local music, local artisan crafts Now home of Lovingston Winery’s Batesville Tasting Room
batesvillemarket.com (434) 823-2001
As the DELICIOUS series progressed, wine FLOWED, new friends were made and all ENJOYED themselves immensely ... and Madeira-peppercorn sauce. The medium-bodied Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir show a bit more fruit, so pairing those reds with meats such as duck, steak and pork made for a delicious meal. Concluding the meals were sweet treats like Caromont chevre and fig marmalade over warm baguettes paired with Tissier Sancerre or a crĂ¨me fraĂŽche panna cotta with
huckleberry sauce. The fruity aromas of the Sancerre complements desserts including ingredients like fig and marmalade. As the delicious series progressed, wine flowed, new friends were made and all enjoyed themselves immensely, as usually happens when pairing wines with locally crafted dishes. ~
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Mixology Master CHARLOTTESVILLEâ€™S MICAH LEMON REINVENTS THE IDENTITY OF CUSTOM COCKTAILS
WORDS BY MANDY REYNOLDS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ADAM BARNES 42
lthough it was a long and winding road, Micah LeMon, bar manager for The Alley Light and author of The Imbible, has firmly established himself as the go-to craft cocktail expert of Charlottesville. In The Imbible, LeMon shares two decades worth of knowledge so bartenders can execute classic cocktails and be inspired to create originals of their own. While LeMon has a wide reputation for his spirited concoctions and even a James Beard Nomination under his belt, his down-to-earth demeanor is remarkable. His unique combination of knowledge, experience and plainspoken mannerisms make him one of the most qualified and yet laid back individuals to grace the Charlottesville beverage scene. His success in the cocktail biz has been a haphazard path that he himself describes laughingly as a, “train wreck of lots of stuff.” Growing up in a teetotalling home, LeMon was first introduced to the world of spirits through a summer gig as a busboy for a local country club in college. “We thought it was bizarre that people drank all this stuff that we thought was terrible and bad tasting. And, that experience kind of stuck with me. How could you possibly make it taste good?” This seemingly throwaway gig clearly left a mark, as a lot of people who worked there with him are still in the beverage industry today. “It was kind of a jarring, eye-opening experience for a lot of us in a culture that we had never seen firsthand before,” LeMon admitted.
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Armed with his new ideologies of CODIFIED bartending, LeMon again returned to bar work … it was like, “FIGHTING an uphill battle to MODERNIZE and integrate techniques…”
When LeMon first came to Charlottesville in 2001, he began working at a biomedical research lab at UVA before realizing where his interest really laid. He turned to the familiarity of the food service industry, landing a job as a bartender at a local establishment. After graduating with a master’s in linguistics in 2005, and through a series of professional trials and tribulations, LeMon found himself once again returning to bar work in Charlottesville. “It was about the time the whole craft cocktail movement started popping up and getting some publicity, and I really started taking my work behind the bar a lot more seriously. It took eight to 10 years to think of it as anything more than a big party I was throwing, which, to be totally honest, was kind of fun at the time.” Flirting with the idea of going to culinary school, LeMon took a job as a line cook where he learned the tricks, trade and craft of gastronomy. LeMon says he quickly realized, “There was all this technique being used in the kitchen, but there weren’t really any that were codified or understood at bars.” Armed with his new ideologies of codified bartending, LeMon again returned to bar work, only to be met with resistance. He recalls that it was like, “fighting an uphill battle to modernize and integrate techniques into operations at established restaurants. But, my ideas were met with some kind of interest, and by that time, I felt I
When coming up with INSPIRATION for his cocktails, LeMon is a big fan of FARM-TO-TABLE ingredients. “The SEASONS are a big driver of what’s good…” had acquired a skill set that I could run a fancy cocktail bar.” Cue the entrance of innovative Will Richey, partner and founder of Ten Course Hospitality and no stranger to forward-thinking “cuisinal arts.” LeMon jumped on board, excited about the opportunity to implement his new ideas. Joining him was Chef Jose De Brito, who had established a reputation as being more than passionate about his dishes and had, in the words of LeMon, a “cultish devoted following” of customers. It was that fan following that would garner interest in the restaurant and launch them to success. Within the first year of opening, The Alley Light received a James
Beard nomination for “Best New Restaurant.” Despite the incredible success LeMon has experienced, he remains humble to the core, saying, “I’ve been really fortunate to land a dream job that’s really fun to do and only increasing in success.” And what is that recipe for success? Actualizing his theories on bartending technique. “There’s a way that chefs approach ingredients that’s starting to get a lot more attention recently, where essentially if you make a dish it has to have some kind of richness and seasoning that needs to be balanced by some third component. That’s also the same way with cocktails—
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“I think being unique is not nearly as important as being BALANCED AND TASTY. The challenge is to make something where the FLAVORS all really make sense.” the spirit base, the sweetener, and then balanced with something sour or bitter. Those sound like really obvious things and they’re really simple, but it’s the difference between a really bad meal and a mindblowing one.” When coming up with inspiration for his cocktails, LeMon is a big fan of farm-to-table ingredients. “The seasons are a big driver of what’s good, and chances are you can make some really good stuff with it.” His current project is ‘ramps’ … a wild onion that you can’t cultivate, only forage. Used in a dirty gin martini, he pickles the ramps with cucumbers and dill. Throughout the summer, local watermelon and peach top his list. In the winter, he enjoys using foraged
sassafras, birch sticks and his personal favorite, spruce sticks, which he uses to flavor gin. To LeMon, the difference between local goods and frozen or distantly procured ingredients is night and day. He says, “One is very sad, and one is just inspirational.” Despite his affinity for experimenting with ingredients and recipes, at the end of the day, it’s all about taste for LeMon. “I think being unique is not nearly as important as being balanced and tasty. The challenge is to make something where the flavors all really make sense. You want to recoil with pleasure when you taste something. Please innovate, but above all, make it taste good” ... a perfect mantra for a bar. LeMon’s philosophy is that a great way to judge taste
DAIRY MARKET OFFERS A PLACE TO GATHER & EXPERIENCE ALL THAT IS UNIQUELY LOCAL. Bringing the National Food Hall Revolution to Charlottesville.
“Minimalist COCKTAILS when proportioned and executed correctly become MORE than just a sum of THEIR PARTS. You don’t want it too boozy, too sweet, too medicinal or too bitter,” he states. is to order a minimalist cocktail. His go-to drinks are a Sazerac and a Daiquiri. “Minimalist cocktails when proportioned and executed correctly become more than just a sum of their parts. You don’t want it too boozy, too sweet, too medicinal or too bitter. Those minimalist cocktails are a good metric of the skill of your bartender, or at least they can be,” he states. While LeMon may be a titan of the industry in the Charlottesville area, he did reiterate one point that only reinforces his frank and realistic nature. “Running a cocktail bar in a small market is really difficult. You really have to train your talent and be a
lot more thorough. You really have to manage a lot of stuff. All the guys who run consistent cocktail bars in small markets, they have to cultivate and train all the talent they have. And while they’re doing that, they have to oversee the entire operation. It’s a lot of work, and it’s a lot of stress. There are definitely pluses and minuses of working a small market. I love the access I have to the people who make all the stuff we use. I’m friends with them, and I know all the products will be good.” So, aside from some of the drawbacks in a small market, LeMon doesn’t hesitate when he says, “it’s well worth it.” Cheers! ~
Food&Wine Pairing Join Charlottesville Wine & Country and Sommelier Will Curley in the elegant Library Room of Brasserie Saison for three special evenings discussing the pairings of reds and sparklings with amazing foods. Participants will gain a greater understanding of wines in general, with the first class taking us into the vineyard to learn directly from the winemaker about the process of making these beautiful wines. The course includes a Charlottesville Wine & Country Food and Wine Tote set with a wine opener, cheese board and cheese knife to use both during the classes and at wine tastings. For the newcomer to wines as well as the connoisseur, this course will touch on many aspects of these enjoyable wines.
Vineyard Class: Sunday, October 28 â€˘ Dinner Classes: Tuesdays October 30, November 13 & December 4 Space is limited, please reserve early. Visit CharlottesvilleWineandCountryLiving.com for details.
FARMSTEAD FERMENTS Horticulturists
When you enter Farmstead Ferments Mercantile in Scottsville, Virginia, the warm, earthy scents of garlic and fresh herbs envelope you. Along the aisles of this rustic store stand dozens of fermented goods, including pickles, krauts, juices and even fermented condiments. It is here that Dawn Story, founder of Farmstead Ferments, works tirelessly with her team to create artisanal fermented goods that nourish the body and feed the soul. Dawn began experimenting with fermentation over 10 years ago after her work as an herbalist consistently saw clients asking about health supplements for dietary issues. Coupled with a personal love of fermented foods and farming that began during her childhood in the country, Dawn took her deep resonance with the natural world and began fermenting produce as a probiotic, nutrient-dense resource to aid digestion. What began as a hobby transformed into a bustling business that now sells products at local farmer’s markets and health food stores in the Charlottesville
area like Rebecca’s Natural Food, as well as in more than 80 stores across the state. Produce is grown at their own Free Bird Farm, where they remain committed to producing ingredients “eco-locally” on their own ecofriendly farm or from local farmers. Because the team grows produce seasonally, new products are constantly introduced and rotated. “What is happening on the farm is what drives the products we make,” says Dawn. “It is so much easier to use the flow of Nature to our advantage instead of pitting ourselves against Her.” Each fermented good has its own distinctive flavor profile that draws upon the delicious tartness that comes from fermentation. The krauts are tangy and crisp. While, the naturally occurring brine allows for the vegetable to shine, giving it its sweetness, bitterness, tartness or spiciness, depending on the variety. Above all, the Farmstead Ferments team wishes “peace, love and farmentation” for their customers, promoting positivity and a love for nature’s bounty. ~
WORDS BY DANIEL ROCHA | PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NICOLE CHERRY
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Farm-to-Table A SAUCE BRINGING SWEET HEAT
40 YEARS OF FINE DINING
Charlottesville-based Mad Hatter brings the sweet heat with a delicate mix of habanero and pineapple that turns this sauce into a “super-condiment.” Using only pineapple, fresh habaneros, onions, garlic, spices and olive oil, this recipe packs an exciting punch that can revitalize even the blandest of dishes. Both gluten and dairy free, the sauce can be enjoyed on fish, pork and even eggs, or used as a cooking additive and dipping sauce. Created in 2011, this food manufacturing company prides itself on using only the finest ingredients to create the perfect consistency. The sauce has a pale appearance due to the lack of artificial flavoring, colorings and preservatives. With both an extra hot version that highlights the spiciness of the habanero and a milder version that relies more on the pineapple to combat the heat of the peppers, Mad Hatter has a way for everyone to feel the burn with a healthy and delicious sauce. Image by R. L. Johnson.
The Inn at Little Washington, recipient of two Michelin stars, celebrated its 40th anniversary with a gala at Mount Vernon. Chef-owner Patrick O’Connell hosted this extravagant dinner party in June to benefit the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and the Patrick O’Connell Foundation, which promotes culinary education and historic preservation. Over 300 high-profile guests, including French Ambassador Dérard Araud and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, among others, attended the gala.The menu featured some of O’Connell’s first dishes at The Inn, such as a crab-and-spinach timbale and foie gras with black-eyed pea vinaigrette. O’Connell concluded his celebrations by indulging his own Francophilia with a candlelit dinner party at Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte near Paris at the end of September. Guests feasted on a menu modeled after what Louis XIV, who once hosted a celebration at the site, would have eaten. These lavish celebrations reminisce upon the well deserved respect of one of the United State’s most revered restaurant. Image by Christopher Siebert.
MOUTHWATERING CARAMELS For those with a taste for confections, La Vache Microcreamery creates made-from-scratch caramels with locally sourced ingredients. Owner and confectioner Stephanie Williams uses traditional French techniques free of corn syrup or preservatives for her creations. In addition to the classic “fleur de sel” salted caramels, La Vache also offers unique flavors such as lavender & honey, sweet tea and milk stout that draw on the fresh taste of local ingredients for a delectable and sophisticated caramel. Seasonal flavors like molasses ginger and bourbon & vanilla constantly rotate and provide exciting twists. And for a sweet breakfast treat, the “Breakfast Candy” collaboration with Hudson Henry granola features maple pecan coconut granola layered over the awardwinning fleur de sel caramel. La Vache, which gets its name from the French expression for “holy cow,” is sure to have you uttering those same words with every bite. Image by Jen Fariello.
COFFEE RUB & BEEF PAIRING A hearty beef dish is the perfect fall culinary creation, and with The Spice Diva’s coffee rub, the deep flavor profile of locally roasted coffee will accentuate the rich, smoky flavor of meat. Ribeye steak, brisket and ribs will benefit from the salt-free rub, to which you can also add Applewood or Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt for an extra kick. Made with Aleppo chili, coffee, black pepper, brown sugar, mustard and chili powders, smoked paprika and ground ginger, the rub infuses beef cuts with a dark, complex flavor that draws on the bitterness of coffee to balance the smokiness of the spices. To draw out the flavors of the dried spices, baste the steak with butter before transferring the cut of meat to the oven. Pair the meat with fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme to add freshness. Image by Ron Rammelkamp.
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Come drink our award-winning ciders. Wander our gorgeous grounds. We trust youâ€™ll enjoy our rich history, and perhaps even create some of your own. We host special events like weddings, corporate parties, and small gatherings.
Castle Hill Cider and Event Center 434.296.0047 Book your next Wedding or Corporate Event.
Number #1 Top Rated Winery in Central Virginia
2016 Virginia Green Travel Star Award Green Winery of the Year
Farm-to-Table UVA’S BEEF-SHROOM BLEND
Wanting to create a better-tasting burger, Executive Chef David Mason with the University of Virginia’s (UVA) culinary team led the change of burgers at all dining halls across campus to being made partly from mushrooms. As part of the Blended Burger Project started by the James Beard Foundation, the culinary team partnered with Seven Hills Food Co. in Lynchburg, Virginia, to craft a blend made of 80 percent grass-fed Virginia beef and 20 percent mushrooms. The goal is to create a healthier and more sustainable burger that is still delicious. The culinary team found the mushrooms enhanced the beef’s natural flavors and retained more moisture. The burger blend is also helping the university maintain a lower carbon footprint while supporting Virginia farms and small businesses.
Made exclusively from Virginia wines, Setter Mountain’s wine jellies are giving grapes a new purpose. Crafted from fully fermented wine, the jellies feature both red and white Virginia varietals mixed with sugar and pectin, using no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Attractive to any wine lover’s palate, the jellies reflect the unique flavor profiles of the grapes grown and harvested in the state. You can find jellies for red varietals such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Meritage, Merlot and Norton, along with whites like Bubbly, Chardonnay, Manseng, Pinot Gris and Viognier. The jellies can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from serving as a glaze in tarts or flan desserts, a glaze on poultry or a spread on crackers with locally crafted cheese. Setter Mountain also makes fruit jellies, barbeque sauces, pasta sauces, dry rubs and marinades, among other items.
FROM SPUDNUTS TO PIE
From the ashes of Spudnuts rises Quality Pie run by Tomas Rahal, the former chef of Mas Tapas in Charlottesville. With a rotating menu of sweet and savory pies, artisanal breads and biscuits, mouthwatering pastries and creative sandwiches, Quality Pie has something to satisfy both a sweet tooth and savory cravings. From a grilled octopus banh mi, reminiscent of the Spanish flair of Mas Tapas, to a classic blueberry pie, Rahal continues to celebrate his love for the Belmont neighborhood by creating worldclass confections and savory plates perfect for any time of day. The chef still promotes the farm-to-table dietary approach by maintaining an on-site garden and partnering with Clark Elementary School to teach the significance of sourcing produce from local gardens and farms. No matter what you choose, you’ll surely be satisfied.
Every fall, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello hosts its Heritage Harvest Festival, bringing together notable vendors, head chefs, restaurant owners, authors and James Beard nominees, among others. This year, restaurant owners/chefs like Ian Boden of The Shack restaurant, hosted live food demonstrations utilizing local ingredients. Culinary historian, writer and teacher, Dr. Leni Sorensen hosted a session where she talked about tools in the historic kitchen as well as cooking strategies and lessons from the Monticello kitchen. Polyface Farm’s Joel Salatin, author, local food advocate and one of America’s most famous farmers, shared his family’s experience and journey towards building a farm that serves the local food systems. While, a presentation by Stock Provision’s Alex Import educated guests on everything from cuts and dry aging to barbequing tips and even slicing techniques.
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WORDS BY JENNIFER WALDERA | PHOTOGRAPHY BY R. L. JOHNSON
Timbercreek A FAMILY-RUN FARM SHARES ITS MODEL FOR BEING SUSTAINABLE
estled just over 15 miles north of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello on 600 lush acres of rolling hills, pastures and wooded land sits Timbercreek Farm. An embodiment of Jefferson’s vision of agriculture, the farm—some of which is rumored to have belonged to William Faulkner—supplies Charlottesville chefs and consumers with ethically produced meat while maintaining the land’s sustainability and the dignity of the farm’s animals on its “stress-free” pastures.
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Zach was INSPIRED to utilize the family’s farm to produce under a BIODYNAMIC MODEL. Upon entering Timbercreek, one will immediately notice the quintessential structures. Built in the mid1800s, the red Dutch-style bank barn is now meant for dry storage, though it was originally used for storing animals. The gray structure—a Kentucky racehorse barn—housed breeding horses years ago but has more recently been converted into working facilities. Settling in further, the cozy 1970s-built rancher-style homes with their sturdy brick facades face a driveway housing a Kelly green ‘92 Range Rover that Zach Miller personally customized to cater to the practicalities of running a farm. Similar to the transformation of the Range Rover, the Millers’ life in 2006 took a turn, when he and his wife, Sara, returned to Charlottesville. After Zach had
spent several years pursuing horse racing, the couple came back to the farm that Zach’s grandparents had owned since the late 1970s. His grandparents had used the land largely as a hobby farm, housing some horses and cattle. Although he had studied theology at the University of Virginia (UVA), Zach had developed an intense interest in environmental science, particularly in the role of agriculture’s impact on the environment. After hearing author, and owner of Polyface Farms, Joel Salatin, speak about his own practices, Zach was inspired to utilize the family’s farm to produce under a biodynamic model. The couple moved forward with that model to create what is now a farm with a mission-driven purpose of
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preserving the land, providing a high quality of life for the farm’s animals, and creating an environmentally responsible and sustainable farm and business model. “There’s a lot that you can’t learn other than by experience. I didn’t grow up in this type of agriculture production; I grew up with horses.” Zach, 35, reflects on the early years of the farm with laughter, noting a number of comical experiences as they learned the particulars of chicken and cow behavior. One specific evening, a new flock of hens provided just the form of comedy that he references. “We had been with my mother-in-law and my wife’s grandmother—we all had gone out to dinner and had just returned home,” Zach shares. “At the time, we had a new flock of laying hens, and they require training to get back into the laying house. They’ll come and gather around it, but some will roost on or around it and on
the gear. So, there might have been 50–60 birds that were under and around the house when we got home. Sara, who was at least six months pregnant with our first son, and I were running around after all of these chickens, trying to get them into the laying house while her mother and grandmother watched. There were certainly a few ‘raised eyebrows’ when we got back in the car!” The telling tales that Zach shares about the farm’s evolution is one of an entire family that makes an impact on the farm, and vice versa. Zach’s parents, while not involved in a direct role, are supportive, and Zach and Sara involve their children on the farm, too. “We find easy tasks the children can help with. Lately, their biggest contribution has been as quality control on the chicken line, picking out any feathers that have been missed. Through that, we’ve taught them about money,
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“I like to call it a DOMESTICATED ECOSYSTEM. It’s a fully functioning ecosystem that SUSTAINS THE FARM,” Zach explains.
given them firsthand exposure to death as part of the life cycle and shown them that they are making food.” Working with their parents on the farm has inspired the three children’s own interests and hobbies. Their eldest son is most interested in the machinery while his youngest son adores the outdoors and has a rapport with the animals. Their daughter has taken to horseback riding, and all three have even tended their own garden. “Of course I love that they take an interest, and it would be great if they grew to be successful farmers, but what’s really important is that, whatever their interests, they grow to be successful people.” Since the days of feverishly chasing flocking hens, the Millers have learned much about raising their animals and have fallen into regular routines. However, what might be expected is not the regular, Zach laughingly reveals. “A day in the life is so much different. I’m organizationally oriented right now, and behind the desk.” However, Zach says he remains engaged in the regular farm necessities. His morning still begins with checking on chickens and cattle and getting together with his farmhands to prepare for the day. Only after, he either settles into the more mundane business tasks
or drives north to Old Line, the slaughterhouse in Baltimore City that processes the farm’s beef. Through it all, Zach is consistently committed to ensuring Timbercreek adheres to their vision of using the biodynamic agricultural model of permaculture. The concept revolves around developing an ecosystem on the farm that is entirely sustainable. They breed grass-fed cattle as well as chickens, turkeys, pigs and, sporadically, ducks with a rotational grazing method. Chickens move daily, and cows move at least every two days with other animals being rotated accordingly, ensuring that all are continuously provided with fresh forage. In return, the land benefits from the rotation and is not exposed to regrazing for at least six weeks. Erosion and soil depletion are minimized while the fertility of the land is preserved. “I like to call it a domesticated ecosystem. It’s a fully functioning ecosystem that sustains the farm,” Zach explains. His farming method has afforded Timbercreek Farm the advantage of remaining free of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones. Knowing the farm’s operations are successful is a source of pride for the Millers, but ensuring that the livestock is both satisfying and accessible for consumers
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is also important. “What we have believed since the beginning is that the product has to sell itself by being delicious.” While grain-fed beef can be produced in significantly less time, Zach believes grass feeding has a positive impact on the sustainability of the environment, as well as on the quality and taste of their product. “Fundamentally, we’re grass farmers because the quality of the animal is a direct result of the forage. The grass management is the foundation for the flavors to be expressed.” While grass-fed beef is significantly leaner, they espouse the superiority of its substance. “What you’ll notice primarily in grass-fed beef, especially in Virginia, is an iron-rich beefy flavor that has a lot to do with the soil. Texture, in chicken, has more substance from developed muscle textures, because they haven’t just
Looking ahead, the Millers intend to focus on growing Timbercreek’s wholesale distribution. Their meats will still be sold at Market Street Market and Great Valu in Crozet. Additionally, the farm has partnered with CrowdCow, an online site that specializes in selling meats from sustainable farms at reasonable prices. With so much to manage, living life outside of the farm would seem to be a challenge. Zach attributes his ability to balance his work and family to being able to intertwine the two. “Doing this is our passion. That’s not something you can just get up and put on. You live it.” While the Millers continue to grow their base of consumers in Charlottesville and value the concept of producing and distributing locally, they have considered expanding distribution to become a regional supplier to areas like Richmond, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and even Baltimore.
“Fundamentally, we’re GRASS FARMERS because the quality of the animal is a direct result of the FORAGE. The grass management is the foundation for THE FLAVORS to be expressed.” been lounging around. You can also taste the natural forage—nutty flavors—in the pork and chicken.” Zach also speaks to the importance of collaboration in producing high-quality beef. Local cattle farmer, Irvin White, who is also one of his primary partners, has been an integral part of accelerating Timbercreek’s genetic program. Together, they have improved the herd while also reducing the amount of time it takes to finish the grass-fed beef from three years to 20 months. Equally important collaborators are the local chefs and restaurants that purchase and prepare the beef, pork and poultry from Timbercreek. “We pick a lot of good chefs and restaurants to work with,” Zach says. “Citizen Burger does a great job telling our story. We also have a great relationship with Will Richey, the owner of The Whiskey Jar, The Pie Chest, The Bebedero and Brasserie Saison [and in partnership with The Alley Light]. Harrison Keevil [Commonwealth] is thrilled to have our products in his kitchen, and Matthew Hart [The Local] does great stuff with our chicken.”
“We want to bring education through positive experiences with a product. We’re going to make the biggest impact by casting the net wider,” Zach says. In addition, “We are focused on getting better at what we are doing right, so we can increase efficiency and sustainability.” Zach also hosts two- to three-hour-long walking tours on the farm by appointment. Guests have the opportunity to see the farm and to learn directly about permaculture, and creating a sustainable ecosystem. Zach acknowledges that his work on the farm is not avant-garde but rather the opposite. In an era of largely commercialized farming and less sustainable practices, it is now rare. For now, he feels fortunate he has built a business that allows him and his family to remain on the land and be a part of the landscape. “Here, you wake up thinking that something good is going to happen every day. Sometimes, I will just sit, take a deep breath, look around and take in the sheer beauty of the place we are lucky to be a part of.” ~
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WORDS BY BRIAN MELLOTT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY R. L. JOHNSON
Craig Hartman Food historian Craig Hartman—owner of The Barbeque Exchange and Exchange Events & Catering—grew up in a home where food was served with love and dedication. Aside from attending The Culinary Institute of America and training some of the area’s most respected chefs, Hartman’s resumé captures 40 years in the food world and includes work at The Governor’s Mansion, the Mayflower Hotel, Keswick Hall, Clifton Inn and the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Tell me about your first food memories. I grew up in the Dutch Country of Pennsylvania, but I spent summers at the inn that my grandmother owned in Ocean City, Maryland. I remember eating breakfast down at Old Salt in Ocean City. We had fresh crab, peeled and sliced tomatoes, eggs, shad roe, bacon, sausage, scrapple, potatoes, melons and more. It was the most beautiful way to wake up! I can still smell the aroma. What shaped the way you think about food? It was definitely my mom and my grandmother. My mother was addicted to James Beard, Julia Child and Graham Kerr. She cooked each meal from that inspiration. My grandmother owned the Chantry House Restaurant in Salisbury, Maryland, which was known for its crab cakes. People drove all the way from Baltimore (a two-hour drive) to eat there. What I remember best is the love that they showed by selflessly toiling in the kitchen to serve up beautifully detailed, well thought out meals without a thought as to whether or not they would garner any praise. I try to approach my food with that same mindset. You are known for cooking “Virginia-style” barbecue. What do you mean by that? Virginia is as much about pork as much as it is crabs and oysters. The first known pit-cooked pigs in the country were done right here in Virginia. A simple mix of salt, vinegar, butter and cayenne were the first recorded recipe for basting, and it was done in Virginia. Other barbecue styles may have become more well known, but we are proud to continue this tradition and make people more aware of this important part of Virginia history.
How important are local ingredients to you? Having a connection to the farmers, the soil, the culture and the history of the area that you are working in is essential to being a chef. Without it, you may as well be living your life in mediocrity. What is your most essential ingredient, the one you can’t run your kitchen without? Salt … without question. It is the most essential and most beautiful ingredient. Some salts are ancient and mined, while others are skimmed off the sea water. I can’t even live without thinking about how sacred salt is and how important it is to the kitchen. What is your favorite ingredient to work with? Duck Fat! No words needed… What is your most embarrassing cooking moment? I was showing off my super-fast, eyes-closed chopping technique in front of a kitchen tour group at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. and nearly cut off my thumb. Blood spurt about 10 feet out. Epic fail! What do you do when you aren’t in the kitchen? My family is everything to me! I’ve worked 80 hours a week for 39 years, so I have had only one hobby, my family! They deserve it, and I can’t get enough of them. What do you like best about living in Central Virginia? I love the seasons, the air, the humidity, the green, the sunsets, the food, the culture, the history and the wine. ~
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Cheddar-Chive Biscuits with Virginia Ham & Fig Mustard
Courtesy of Craig Hartman with The Barbeque Exchange “Ham biscuits are the one dish that defines Central Virginia. You can find a ham biscuit at just about every wedding, graduation, family reunion, etc. I learned how to make biscuits from the ladies who worked in the bakery at the Pinehurst Hotel in Pinehurst, North Carolina. They taught me that you had to use your hands and that the whole success of making a biscuit has to do with how it feels like it’s alive in your hands.”
2 cups all-purpose flour
1. Place the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) in a large bowl.
1 tablespoon baking powder
2. Cut the super-cold butter into brunoise-size pieces and add to
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
the dry ingredients. Using your hands mix the butter into the dry
¼ lb unsalted butter (almost frozen)
ingredients until the butter is evenly distributed, and make sure there
1 cup buttermilk (cold)
are no large pieces.
1 cup grated cheddar
3. Add the cheddar and chives, and again, evenly distribute by hand.
½ cup thinly sliced chives
4. Pour the cold buttermilk over the dry ingredient mixture and mix by
1 ½ lbs thinly sliced Virginia ham
hand just until the buttermilk is incorporated. Do not over mix, as
½ cup fig mustard
the dough should be very delicate and just coming together unlike bread dough. 5. Roll the biscuit dough out on a floured surface to one-inch thickness. Cut into two-inch squares. 6. Bake at 425 degrees until lightly brown. 7. Cut biscuits in half, lightly spread the fig mustard on one side and fill with 1 ½ ounces of ham. Serve warm or room temperature! ‰ Yields: 24 1½ oz biscuits, 2 inch by 2 inch
OctOber 27, 2018 Great MeadOw, the Plains, VirGinia • Gates open at 10am, first of eight races at 12 noon. • Races run rain or shine. • Pari-mutuel betting, bring your cash. • Questions, please call 540.347.2612.
TAILGATERS PULL OUT THE CULINARY STOPS AND CREATE FABULOUS GOURMET SPREADS FOR THE MONTPELIER RACES
Fall in Virginia brings crisp breezes and a gorgeous show of colored leaves, and there’s no better complement to the season than a festive tailgate. Events such as the annual Montpelier Hunt Races at James Madison’s Montpelier, call equestrian fans to don their best ensembles and decorate their spreads with style. Similar to other steeplechase races that take place at Foxfield and the Virginia Gold Cup, an ever-popular hat contest also puts on a show for attendees. From white tents and linens to handmade throws and tablecloths, it’s an elaborate day filled with themed tailgates, special food and drink recipes, fall décor, spectacular attire and cheers around the track on these historic grounds. Pairing hand-in-hand with the show of competition from jockeys and their horses is the tailgate competition for epicures and their feasts. People come bearing a huge array of platters and spreads of food to share and enjoy. WORDS BY SARAH PASTOREK PHOTOGRAPHY BY R. L. JOHNSON
Tailgaters display mouthwatering dishes on CRYSTAL AND SILVER, and even use HANDCRAFTED wood serving boards for a COMPLEMENTARY touch. And the taste of these finger foods and dishes is just as important as the presentation. Food connoisseurs from around the state come to judge the highly competitive Tailgating Competition at the Montpelier Hunt Races, sponsored by Charlottesville Wine & Country. This year’s tailgating theme is “Racing Colors,” celebrating those of America’s First Lady of Racing, Marion duPont Scott—French blue, old rose and silver. From pickled green beans and Virginia ham to trays of locally made cheeses, buttermilk biscuits,
fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and homemade pies, foods aiming to please each year’s “theme” sit atop picture-worthy spreads. Tailgaters display mouthwatering dishes on crystal and silver, and even use handcrafted wood serving boards for a complementary touch. The day of the races, Montpelier is an all-around experience. Lining the tracks’ fences or gathered near a radio, crowds hold their breath as the race unfolds. It’s a tradition that has been running for 84 years, and we hope to see you there once again. ~
Saturday, November 3, 2018 World Class Steeplechase Racing and a full day of family fun www.montpelierraces.org
CELEBRATING UVA IN ELEGANT FASHION
Every autumn at the University of Virginia (UVA), tradition combines with school pride, creating amazing tailgating experiences. On game days, feelings of excitement and nostalgia waft through grounds like seasonal breezes carrying colorful foliage. An American tradition dating back to the 1890s, football season parallels the exciting start of fall and a new school year. Tailgaters clad in blue and orange, and many following the “guys in ties and girls in pearls” tradition, bustle to friend and family tailgates, following scents of fired-up grills and delicious spreads. Appropriately, many alumni and their families gather outside the classically beautiful Alumni Hall where UVA hosts
fall tailgating programs, complete with music, food, drinks and even academic talks. Whether you choose to tailgate in one of the parking lots on or around grounds or have the special opportunity to land a reserved spot at Alumni Hall, a stylish tailgate will lift spirits, set the tone and inspire others nearby. This affair exuded understated elegance with a mixture of vintage and chic décor. The group’s spread perfectly blended Charlottesville’s classic country vibe with UVA-themed paraphernalia. Here, Wine and Country’s custom gingham picnic linens complemented the natural texture of the picnic baskets. The personalized flask and bottle cozy are classic yet functional ways to add a little flare to the details of your tailgate.
WORDS BY AVERY NUNNALLY | PHOTOGRAPHY BY SERA PETRAS | ST YLED BY MARISA VROOMAN
CharlottesvilleWineandCountryLiving.com | 75
Just as these friends did, you can use florals in your team’s colors, such as Free Spirit Roses, Delphinium Light Blue, Delphinium Misty Blue, Queen Ann’s Lace and Umbrella Ferns, among others, to incorporate a variety of textures and color into your décor. Retro-style bunting was draped above the spread of pimento cheese and Virginia ham biscuits, caprese 76
skewers, and watermelon, mint and goat cheese small-bites. Finger foods are key at any tailgate. Marinated beef/chicken skewers with Vietnamese dipping sauce, garden gazpacho in cucumber cups, crispy shrimp with pickled ginger-black sesame aioli and a cheese platter decorated with crackers, fruits and seasonal garniture were other favorites these friends enjoyed together.
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And, what better way to CELEBRATE than with local products, HANDCRAFTED beverages and DELICIOUS foods and desserts. Throughout the afternoon, they sipped locally crafted wine and cider, along with Bitty Bar specialty cocktails. For a sweet treat, they tasted UVA-themed mini handpies filled with blueberry, blackberry and passion fruit curd, caramel apples and mini white butter cake cupcakes topped with Italian Mousseline buttercream. During the event, chatter of days past on the UVA lawn could be heard from one tailgate to the next, along with the occasional singing of the chorus of the iconic Good Old Song.
These friends dressed for the gathering in their favorite fall-ware, from boots, scarves and bow ties to sunglasses, a Wine & Country CHO-ho fedora and a linen shawlâ€”perfect for a chilly evening to come. After filling up on delicious bites, the group joined in a friendly competition of cornhole with custom-made blue and orange, gingham cornhole bags. What better way to celebrate UVA than with local products, handcrafted beverages and delicious foods and desserts. ~
Photography: Sera Petras Photography | Styling: Marisa Vrooman with Orpha Events | Venue: Alumni Hall, UVA | Models: Alex Flanagan, Fernando Gaston, Camara Glover, Chris Saunders, Stevie Solis, Destinie Thomas, Cecilia Twitchell | Caterers: The Local | Desserts: Kilwins & Paradox Pastry | Beverages: The Bitty Bar, Valley Road Vineyards & Bold Rock Cider | Rentals: Orpha Events & Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop | Florals: Tourterelle Floral Design | Sunglasses: Primary Eyecare | Jewelry: Andrew Minton Jewelers | Makeup & Hair Styling: A More Beautiful You | Transportation: Mercedes-Benz of Charlottesville
The Draftsman is a distinctive Autograph Collection hotel perfectly situated on West Main Street with easy and eďż˝cient access to UVA, The Corner and the Downtown Mall. With sprawling views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a restaurant featuring locally sourced ingredients with a passionate approach to food and more than 2,000 square feet of meeting space, The Draftsman is the perfect setting for a getaway, business meeting or special event.
CREATE A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE WITH FRIENDS AMIDST OUR AREA’S BREATHTAKING VINEYARDS
Vino Vinyasa AND
Two items sure to make anyone’s list of top 10— maybe even top five—relaxing indulgences are wine tasting and yoga. Recent trends in wellness have seen the two combined with vineyard-based vinyasa classes followed by wine tasting for a fun event that combines self-care, friends and indulgence. Several times a year, Veritas Vineyard & Winery hosts a relaxed vinyasa yoga class, followed by a sampling of their wines. The classes can be described in wine-tasting terms as light but full-bodied: the class moves through poses for each part of the body, and then, stretched and relaxed and feeling the yoga vibes, guests enjoy some wine to close out the session. On a beautiful evening in Afton, Virginia, yoga instructor Chloe Watkins and a group of willing yogisslash-oneophiles gathered outside at Veritas and placed their mats on an expanse of lawn in front of the vines that are home to the vineyard’s varietal grapes.
WORDS BY CATHERINE MALONE PHOTOGRAPHY BY BETH SELIGA 80
CharlottesvilleWineandCountryLiving.com | 81
As the group reached to the sky and bent toward the earth, they BREATHED in their surroundings: the VINES that framed them, the TREES that surrounded them, and the MOUNTAINS embracing them in the distance. In the last heat of the day, just before sunset, participants moved through a mellow yoga routine designed to connect them with the earth and their surroundings. As the group reached to the sky and bent toward the earth, they breathed in their surroundings: the vines that framed them, the trees that surrounded them, and the mountains embracing them in the distance. After a closing savasana, the traditional rest period at the end of a yoga practice, the group toasted the occasion with glasses of crisp rose wine. Veritas prides itself on this refreshing beverage, with its notes of raspberries and soft red fruits, and Watkins deemed it, â€œa perfect reward for practicing.â€? Lounging on their yoga mats, the attendees watched the sun set
over the Blue Ridge Mountains while sipping the wine. The magical evening was led by Watkins, the youngest child of Veritas owners Andrew and Patricia Hodson. Watkins grew up on the Veritas property and started working at the vineyard when she was only 12 years old. Her love and understanding of the landscape is rooted in her childhood adventures as well as her adult years working at Veritas as the project manager. In addition to her work at Veritas, Watkins owns Santosha Yoga in Crozet, Virginia, with her friend and business partner Ashley Holland. For Watkins, these combined yoga and wine-tasting experiences are an opportunity for her to come full circle, incorporating her two passions in life.
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For Watkins, both YOGA AND WINE are about a sense of community, a way to FOSTER TIME TOGETHER in our increasingly fractured world. The popularity of these events at Veritas shows that practicing yoga and drinking wine are complementary of the other. For Watkins, both yoga and wine are about a sense of community, a way to foster time together in our increasingly fractured world. “And, yoga is about feeling whole; wine drinking contributes to that! This is a healthy, relaxed way to spend an afternoon or evening,” she enthuses. Classes are offered throughout the seasons, intentionally scheduled to, “build your energy” for the
changing seasons, Watkins says. Whether it’s a prelude into longer days, or one around a holiday, “which is about finding rest, taking a break,” wine sampling is paired with the seasons. For instance, some of Veritas’ more full-bodied red wines are great to pair with holiday classes, while whites and roses might be more suitable for warmer months. Regardless of the season, when you have community and movement at a beautiful setting, the wine is as Watkins says, “the icing on the cake!” ~
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EXPLORING THE VAST WATERS WITH LOCAL FLY FISHERMAN CLARK FRENCH WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLARK FRENCH
or me, it all began when I was 8 years old. “Clarky, let’s go,” my grandfather said, opening the door to the garage. “I’m going to teach you a different way to fish today,” he explained. “This is a fly fishing rod. The fly is made from deer hair and chicken feathers, and is too light to be used with a regular fishing rod. The thick line will help get the light fly out to the fish when we cast back and forth.” When we reached our destination, the sun had begun to set. The sherbet sky reflected off of the mirrored surface of the green pond as my grandfather stripped line off of the reel. The reel made a zipping sound as he did. He began waving the rod back and forth with metronomic measure, showing me how to move the rod tip between 10 and 2, “like on the face of a clock.” “Once we have enough line out, we stop on the forward cast and let the fly land on the water.” The fly landed with a subtle but distinct plop right up against the cattails. He showed me how to strip the line in a measured paced resting for a few seconds after each strip. “Strip, strip, wait. Strip, strip, wait.” After the fourth strip the water boiled, and a bass inhaled the deer hair fly. An instant later, the water exploded as the bass launched itself out of the water shaking its head doing its best to shake the fly from the corner of its mouth. The rod bent and flexed as the fish fought to get back to the cover of the cattails. At that moment, I knew fishing would be my escape. As an avid outdoorsman, fly-fishing has taken over a large part of my life in the last six to seven years. Moving water has a way of calming me down. Time seems to slow down and everything becomes a bit
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more vibrant. After recently relocating to Charlottesville, my wife, Ellen, and I took to the waters only to find the fishing in Charlottesville is immensely different from what I had been doing in Charleston. Yet, the expansive marshes and mountain streams and rivers have a similar way of soothing the soul. My grandfather, who has lived in Charlottesville for nearly 20 years and has been fishing in the area since his childhood, has taught me more than I could share. I’ve even been fortunate to learn from one of his closest friends, Chuck Kraft, who is a local legend in fishing circles and a world-renowned fly-tier. There’s no question that the Charlottesville area is ripe with opportunities to chase all sorts of different fish with a fly rod. Over the past year, the smallmouth bass, native brook trout and musky fisheries have piqued
my interest. These three fish will keep you busy yearround and offer the opportunity to learn vastly different approaches and fishing styles. The Commonwealth has an excellent and underrated trout fishery. The state’s topographic elevation is limited, so you will never end up with the type of monster wild fish that you will find in other states. However, you can find, in my opinion, the most beautiful freshwater fish within an hour of Charlottesville. Native brook trout may not seem like a typical game fish target, as they only average 6 to 8 inches in local waters, but what they lack in size, they make up for in beauty and voracious appetite. When fall rolls around and water temperatures in the Shenandoah National Park drop below 67 degrees Fahrenheit, you can find me on any stream in the park with a bamboo four-weight and a pocket full of dry flies.
Moving water has a way of CALMING me down. Time seems to SLOW DOWN and everything becomes a bit more VIBRANT. The Shenandoah National Park has hundreds of ginclear trickling streams where native brook trout thrive, and these small streams are generally the first in the area to cool down due to their elevation. You can find these streams by simply looking for a blue line off the Skyline Drive on your favorite mobile map application. Look for ones with a nearby trailhead and parking lot for easy access, as you’ll have to hike downstream for a mile or two until you are ready to fish. Over the years, I have learned to begin fishing upstream, working each piece of water as you ascend. The brook trout tend to hang at the top ends of pools where water cascades in from the pool above. The little trout will smash your fly, and when you bring them to hand, you will understand the appeal and pull towards fishing. Their blue-green vermiculated flanks spotted yellow and dappled with blue-haloed spots of red give way to a fire orange underbelly and fins lined first in black and then white. The park is an immensely beautiful place, so it is only fitting that its waters hold such beautiful fish. Native brook trout can be caught from late September through late July, depending on the weather. When the weather and water really start to thaw out, it is time to chase the champ. Some of the best smallmouth bass fishing on the East Coast is right here in our own backyards. There is a reason the smallmouth bass is known as the pound-for-pound hardest fighting fish in freshwater. They are mean, angry predators that smash flies, jump like tarpon and fight like Floyd Mayweather until your thumb is in their mouth. The James, Shenandoah and Rivanna Rivers all hold smallmouth over 20 inches long. The best option for chasing “smallies” is to find a way to float one of the rivers. Covering as much water as possible is key to
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Their blue-green vermiculated flanks SPOTTED YELLOW and dappled with BLUE-HALOED spots of red give way to a fire ORANGE UNDERBELLY and fins lined first in black and then white. finding a large smallmouth. If you do not have personal access to watercraft, the next best options are to either call one of the local fly shops to book a guided trip or seek out wadable water near public access sites on the river. Flies should be cast towards the bank, with your target areas being where underwater structure is present, as they tend to hold a fish or two. Smallmouth can be caught from late February until mid-September. They feed on everything from floating beetles, grasshoppers and cicadas to frogs, crawfish and baitfish; fly selection should mimic the aforementioned.
As the temperature drops and the fishing slows down, the average fly angler will typically sit down at the vice to fill their fly boxes with new fly patterns to prepare for the spring season while the fire keeps them warm. The not-so-average angler will rig up their 11-weight with 450 grain-sinking line and tie on a 12”–14” articulated fly before hitting the James or Shenandoah in search of musky. Musky can grow over 40” and weigh over 20 pounds. They have a set of razor sharp teeth, which they use to feed on everything from other fish and reptiles to birds and rodents that make their way into the water.
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Musky fishing is a truly brutal sport that will test an angler’s physical endurance, mental fortitude and will to catch a real-life river monster. A musky angler’s expectations should be tempered; musky are known as the “fish of 10,000 casts” for a reason. It is commonplace to spend multiple trips casting without ever seeing a fish. But, when that wily old muskellunge appears out of the dark green water and inhales your fly five feet from the raft, it will all be worth it. For those looking to take on such an adventure, musky fishing must be done from a raft or drift boat, as covering vast amounts of water is key. Anglers should cast towards the bank and target areas of slow moving and/or deeper water, especially in areas with ledges and drop-offs where fish can hide while they wait for their prey. Musky are the apex predator on local rivers and are not boat shy. A tip is to strip nearly
all your fly line in on each cast and finish each retrieve with a figure eight. In many cases, musky will follow the fly all the way to the raft before eating it during the figure eight. Musky can be caught year-round, but late fall through early spring is the preferred choice of local fly anglers. Regardless of what fish you’re after in Virginia’s many waters, talk to your local fly shop to help with making fly pattern, rod and line selections. These three fish have kept me quite busy this year, and I’ve been fortunate to get to see the most beautiful parts of the area. Fishing is like any other outdoor pursuit, in that, every time you fish you will learn something new. Whether you are brand new to fly fishing or a seasoned angler, this place we call home has wonderful opportunities to catch beautiful fish. So, take full advantage of them. And, maybe, hopefully, I’ll see you on the river. ~
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MONOLITH STUDIO KNIVES Bladesmiths, Metalworkers & Knife Makers
As you observe the crafting of knives at Monolith Knives in Ivy, Virginia, you’ll see steady hands, sparks flying and passion in the eyes of its three craftsmen. For Zack Worrell, the founder and creative director of Monolith, knife-making came into his life unexpectedly. This self-taught artisan made three knives with a chopping block to decorate furniture at a show, and as fate would have it, the knives sold over the furniture. Zack hails from a line of craftsmen, so it’s only fitting that he now makes knives for culinary professionals and home cooks. His wife, Carrie, also plays a prominent role in the business, as she “oils the machine,” or in other words, runs all the operations. Joining Zack in the studio is Nick Watson and Ryan Evans who both came to Monolith with a life-long love of knives. For them, it’s about creating something that will last a lifetime and can be passed to future generations. Each work of art begins with a storied piece of wood and steel. Contradictory to industry-made items, almost every knife passes through the hands of all
three craftsmen. The team spends days on one knife alone and currently has a waitlist over a year long. Inspired by Japanese style knives, which are thinner in design, lightweight, ergonomic and extra sharp, Monolith uses four main steels: carbon and stainless steels, and carbon and stainless Damascus. As for the handles, wood is sourced from local historic properties, such as walnut from Monticello and osage orange wood from the farm once belonging to Meriwether Lewis, or can be customized out of just about anything. As soon as the team has a story and vision, the heating, hammering, stabilizing, sanding, beveling and buffing begins. Since beginning, Monolith has received numerous awards and national recognition for the quality and innovativeness of their products. Acclaimed chefs at local establishments as well as James Beard-winning chefs around the world tackle their cuisine with Monolith knives in hand. And, just as with all artisans, Zack says, “We have a possessive satisfaction with every knife that leaves the shop for its home.” ~
WORDS BY SARAH PASTOREK | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEN FARIELLO
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HOME & GARDEN
A LOCAL HOMEOWNER & ARCHITECT CREATE A TRANQUIL MODERN HOME
et atop a knoll at the end of a winding gravel driveway, this stunning modern home is sited to take advantage of Blue Ridge views as well as the breezes that sweep across the hilltop. Designed by Chris Hays of Charlottesville-based Hays Ewing Design Studio (HEDS), the three-story home seamlessly blends together indoor and outdoor living while achieving a net-zero energy house. The homeowner, a graphic designer, came to HEDS, “very well informed about the modern home they wanted,” says Hays, making for a collaborative project
between the two. An avid gardener with an interest in native plantings and sustainability, the owner is in the process of transforming the areas of the property’s 94 acres that were a formerly mono-cultured loblolly pine logging site to a working homestead with a native plant meadow, and an orchard, berry patch and organic vegetable garden. The two worked to create a home that would exude a peaceful tranquility and oneness with its environment. The exterior walls running north and south are clad in red cedar while the exterior and interior walls running
WORDS BY BECKY CALVERT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERT RADIFERA
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east to west are clad in Hardipanel and plywood. Bringing the exterior materials into the home helps create the connection to the exterior site, reflecting both Hays and the homeowner’s modern philosophy. The interior is warm with natural finishes like wood, stone and natural light, expressing a simplistic, clear and breathe-easy design. To boost an airy aura in the home, a ‘solar chimney’ ventilation system flows through south-facing low windows on the first floor to the highest north-facing windows on the third-floor observatory. Staying true to the minimalistic ideals of a modern home that less is more, a dual-sided tulikivi—a Finnish soapstone wood-burning stove—heats the home during cooler months, in conjunction with the passive solar heating. One side of the tulikivi is in the main living space, with a colorful slate tile wall behind it, while the other side is located in the first-floor master bedroom. A morning and evening burn cycle, in lieu of all-day fire, keeps the home comfortable at all times, while a baking oven, located in the portion of the
A VAULTED CEILING on the north end of the open space that encompasses the kitchen, dining and main living rooms opens up to the SECOND FLOOR via a hall that also acts as a BALCONY.
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Beautiful alberene soapstone from the NEARBY QUARRY has been utilized on the kitchenâ€™s countertops and EXPANSIVE ISLAND, complementing warm wood cabinetry.
stove in the main living space, allows for further use of heat. A blend of modern and antique pieces that have been handed down through the family furnish the home and allow the architectural elements to shine through. With three walls of large windows, the main living space has views of the woods to the east, the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west and the terrace to the south. Beautiful alberene soapstone from the nearby quarry has been utilized on the kitchenâ€™s countertops and expansive island, complementing the warm wood cabinetry. A vaulted ceiling on the north end of the open space that encompasses the kitchen, dining and main living rooms opens up to the second floor via a hall that also acts as a balcony. The stair-wall connecting the two floors was created by Peter Johnson Builders with vertical wood, reflecting the angles of the east-west vertical walls as well as the second-floor window at the top of the stairs.
....where EVERYONE CURLS UP to spend quality time together, reading or playing games, the designers helped bring PERSONALITY AND WARMTH to the space.
On the other side of the living room wall, a change in flooring as well as in ceiling height, helps set the tone of a more intimate space where the master bath and master suite are located. The master bedroom’s horizontal windows are intentionally placed low enough so the outdoors can be viewed in bed. According to Architect Chris Hays, the windows’ placement also allows views to be seen straight through the entire home, further connecting it to the site, while also being placed so they are appropriate to a room’s intended purpose. The master bath mixes together lofty ceilings, striking structures and remarkable materials for a luxurious and distinctive space. The second floor is home to an office that also serves as a gallery for the homeowner’s collections, along with two bedrooms and a striking second bath. The narrower third story features a meditation space that opens out onto a rooftop observation deck that faces west for stunning Blue Ridge views throughout the year. Here, the homeowner can bring in the serene elements of the outdoors while finding peacefulness within. Surrounding the home lay native meadows encouraging visits from wildlife. A few yards behind
The master bath mixes together LOFTY ceilings, STRIKING structures and REMARKABLE materials for a LUXURIOUS and distinctive space.
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...the NET ZERO home portion is complete with SOLAR PANELS on the south-facing standing-seam METAL ROOF...
the house sits the garden and berry patch. An expansive organic garden boasts a wide variety of vegetables, while a young orchard takes shape. The homeowner’s goal is to be self-sustaining in every possible way, with the orchard featuring an array of fruits and nuts—30 varieties of apples, peaches, pears, plums, among other edible perennials. An outdoor shower attests to the amount of time the owner spends cultivating and nurturing the surrounding acreage. While the entire vision of having a self-sustaining homestead is still a work in progress, the net zero home portion is complete with solar panels on the south-facing standing-seam metal roof that produce enough energy for the home to sell excess energy back to the electric company. The roof acts as protection from the weather’s elements, reducing heat gain by blocking some of the sun’s warmer rays while allowing enough of them in for wintertime passive heat gain. All around, this contemporary three-story abode has been elegantly envisioned and completed, and creates a zen-like oasis any homeowner would love to call home. ~
Architect: Chris Hays, Hays Ewing Design Studio | Builder: Peter Johnson Builders | Florals: Southern Blooms | Plants: Ivy Nursery
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S O R B I E FA R M A L PA C A S Farmers & Crochetiers
Although John Hanna grew up on a small farm in Ohio and his wife, Sara, in a dairy farming community in New York, they had never had an alpaca of their own. That all changed after attending Lake Anna Winery’s Renaissance Fair, where they saw their first alpacas. They soon bought three animals as an anniversary gift to each other, and Sorbie Farm Alpacas was born. Today, the Hannas have 30 Huacaya alpacas on their farm; all are named after friends, family and literary characters. Alpacas are approximately half the size of their well-known cousins, the llama, typically weigh between 100–200 pounds and live approximately 18– 20 years. They are highly intelligent and very friendly. Sara describes the animals as “small and gentle, soft, cuddly and cute. It’s almost as good as giving a grandchild a hug!” Since alpaca fleece is considered a specialty fiber, it’s common for alpaca farms to make clothing. The Hanna’s opened their own farm store in 2013, called The Alpaca Boutique...and More!, in downtown
Gordonsville, Virginia, to do just that. The store features a wide selection of alpaca apparel and products, including crocheted apparel made by Susan Oldham of Susan’s Designs with the yarn from the fleece of Sorbie Farm’s alpacas. She makes a variety of pieces, from sweaters and ponchos to gloves and hats. The store also carries imported alpaca apparel and products from Bolivia, Chili and Peru. While it’s similar to sheep’s wool, it has no lanolin and is therefore hypoallergenic. The “lack of itch” is the key difference between the two fibers. It’s also extremely lightweight, silky and exceptionally warm. It can be described as being “warm in the winter and cool in the summer, so it breathes.” Sorbie Farm welcomes groups and all ages to meet the animals year-round, but the most exciting time is during the annual shearing/fiber day, when each alpaca parts with four to eight pounds of their bulky fleece. If you’re lucky, you might even receive an “alpaca kiss” or hear them hum when they are especially content. ~
WORDS BY ELIZABETH MORGAN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BETH SELIGA
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MARTHA STRAWTHER SHARES HER FAVORITE PASSIONS
WORDS BY CATHERINE MALONE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY RACHEL MAY 114
“I was BORN horse-crazy,” Strawther remarks. “Some day, they’ll find that it’s a RECESSIVE GENE.”
wo passions that began in her childhood help guide Artist Martha Strawther through life. The first, horses, has played out in years of competitive riding, teaching horseback riding, and now, serving as the Executive Director of the Montpelier Steeplechase and Equestrian Foundation at James Madison’s Montpelier. As any horse aficionado knows, the passion for horses usually begins quite early, and can’t be tamed. “I was born horse-crazy,” Strawther remarks. “Some day, they’ll find that it’s a recessive gene.” Sitting in her office in the Montpelier complex, Strawther is surrounded by the trappings of Montpelier’s Hunt Races—files and papers galore, a framed poster advertising the races—and the signs of a serious equestrienne: a corgi at her feet and the barnslash-office cat curling around her desktop monitor. There, evidence of Strawther’s other passion, painting, is visible.There’s a framed work of a jockey on horseback on the wall and several canvases casually leaning on a table. Strawther’s integration of her equine and artistic passions continues outside of the workplace. She tells me that she uses the aisle of the barn at home, as well as her tack room, to dry her paintings. To have two such all-consuming interests requires a daunting level of commitment and energy. An early riser, Strawther starts her day on horseback, with a solitary ride on one of the two horses she and her husband keep. After her barn chores and her work for Montpelier’s Hunt Races in November, Strawther turns to painting
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“Horses KNOW when you’re sketching... You’re concentrating on them; they know there’s a CONNECTION, and they like that.” for at least an hour each day. Of course, this sometimes involves more horse time, as Strawther prefers to work outside. She’ll throw hay to the horses to get about 20 minutes of sketching time. “Horses know when you’re sketching; they really like it! You’re concentrating on them; they know there’s a connection, and they like that. So really, I’m killing two birds with one stone.” Even with such multitasking, which makes for full days, Strawther is inspired and energetic about every aspect of her work. She’s recently back from a weeklong painting intensive in Exmoor, England. There, with the amazing views of Exmoor National Park, she painted all day long. When she wasn’t painting, she was talking about painting and getting feedback from her Yorkshire instructor. This was her second year attending, and Strawther feels it has led to a real breakthrough for her. For years, she’s wanted
to paint landscapes but felt unable to make choices about what needed to be depicted and what elements didn’t contribute to the painting. This “editing,” as Strawther terms it, was beyond her grasp for a number of years, but now she’s begun working with a new technique, using a palette knife to layer on the paint, creating a strong impasto, a sense of the thickness and movement of paint. She’s working on small canvasses, which allow her to complete most of the work in a single session, but it’s a challenging decision to balance the depth of the paint and movement of the palette knife across such a small space. In the two landscapes that she shows me, Strawther has successfully negotiated this obstacle, with beautiful movement of light and color across hay fields. She may have been inspired by England, but these are clearly Virginia views.
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“Painting is like HORSEBACK RIDING, you have to do it to get better,” Strawther tells me. “And you have to be willing to MAKE MISTAKES.” The turn to landscape is interesting. Strawther grew up in Denver and lived in Southern California, two places known for both the majesty of their landscape and the quality of their light. But, it wasn’t until Strawther moved to Charlottesville in 1998 that she finally felt a sense of connection, as she describes it, to the landscape. “The landscape here tugs at me in a way that it didn’t in California and Colorado.” And, bravely, given that we are talking on a muggy August day, Strawther praises the Virginia humidity as diffusing the light in a way that makes painting easier for her. Finally, there’s the green—“so much green,” she comments excitedly, even though she’s lived in Virginia for over two decades. Her enthusiasm for the landscape is integral to her new work, because Strawther says she can’t paint anything well if she doesn’t love it. Fortunately, her love for horses and the landscape guarantees that she’ll have plenty of opportunities to be as prolific as she likes. If Strawther has a fault as an artist, it’s that she’s too modest about her abilities and the work she puts
into her painting. She’s amazingly dexterous, moving between watercolor, oil and acrylic, and impressively undeterred about trying something new. This confidence probably dates back to her early childhood when her mother introduced her to art. Though not a trained artist herself, she enjoyed teaching her daughter the basics of drawing. In high school, Strawther took a yearlong intensive class in fashion illustration, which is still evident in her work. “I got very comfortable with the figure,” she comments, and can still describe, gratefully, the experience of working with her high school teacher. The class required constant production across a range of media: pen and ink, watercolor, pencil and so forth. As a working adult, Strawther kept drawing and took the occasional art class, but it wasn’t until she and her husband acquired two horses that Strawther turned to what many think is the true test of the artist: the horse. For artists, a rendering of a horse is an opportunity to show off an understanding of anatomy, proportion
Strawther has a RIGOROUS UNDERSTANDING both of her subjects and painting techniques, and so the DEPICTION OF HORSES has been a natural evolution rather than a forced study. and overall ability. Though she is essentially self-taught, Strawther has a rigorous understanding both of her subjects and painting techniques, and so the depiction of horses has been a natural evolution rather than a forced study. Looking at some of Strawther’s paintings, depicting vignettes at the track or the hunt, I’m struck by how much she likes a moment of anticipation, such as the jockeys in line before the results are announced, the horse about to make the leap, or their landing. Her use of line to depict this kind of tension is an artistic challenge that she navigates successfully. In thinking through her next steps as an artist, Strawther wants to combine these new landscapes with her horses, making quintessential Virginia scenes. This will raise questions of proportion and scale, and refine her editing skills, but Strawther is up to the task. The way in which she’s visualizing these paintings is clear. It’s a careful next step for an artist
who is getting more and more credit and increased sales of her work. Lessons learned from horseback riding inform Strawther’s painting mindset. “Painting is like horseback riding, you have to do it to get better,” Strawther tells me. “And you have to be willing to make mistakes.” She shares with me the story of a visit to a friend’s house years ago to see an early painting by an artist whose current works she had admired: the early work was not nearly as strong. That gave her a boost of confidence to keep pushing forward, and now, despite a full schedule, she manages to paint every day. And while her day job directing the hunt at Montpelier is ramping up as November approaches, Strawther is also hoping to go back to England, maybe some day for an entire season. She’d also like to explore portraiture, and maybe get back into teaching horseback riding a little bit … continuing to pursue her lifelong passions to the fullest. ~
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GENTLEMEN THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA'S FIRST A CAPPELLA GROUP CELEBRATES ITS 65TH ANNIVERSARY IN SONG
WORDS BY DAVE STALLARD | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAHMANN PHOTOGRAPHY & AARON WATSON
he Virginia Gentlemen, the University of Virginia’s (UVA) oldest a cappella group, marked their 65th anniversary this year. The group began in 1953, when Don MacInnis, an assistant director of music at the University, assumed directorship of the UVA Glee Club. MacInnis, a founder of Princeton University’s Tigertones, wanted to start a similar group at UVA. As director of the Glee Club, he conveniently found himself surrounded by the University’s finest singers. Alvin Prichard, a founding member of The Virginia Gentlemen—known as The Original Eight—recalls a singular moment in the University’s musical history. “There was always a group of us hanging around after Glee Club rehearsals to sing,” says Prichard. “Don liked what he heard and figured he could do something with us. He held some auditions, tried some various blends of voices, and ended up with The Virginia Gentlemen.” The Virginia Gentlemen began as a featured group within the Glee Club, performing select songs during larger Glee Club concerts. The a cappella singers soon became audience favorites and were hosting concerts on their own, showcasing pop standards from the 1950s and beyond with only voice as instrumentation. The group remained part of the Glee Club until 1987, when members drafted the Constitution of The Virginia Gentlemen and became an independent student-run organization. That Constitution defined what it meant to be a Virginia Gentleman, from the outfit—navy blazer, bow tie, white oxford and khaki slacks—to the intangibles so well described by current member Tristan JohnsonHodges, who notes that being in the group is about much more than just singing. “Having a good voice is only the first step to becoming a Virginia Gentleman, and that is stressed to every new member of the group. In
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“I realized how The Virginia Gentlemen would provide me with a BROTHERHOOD that would last a lifetime, one MY FATHER had been a part of for years...” order to belong, there are certain ideals and standards you have to uphold. If you want to be a Virginia Gentleman,” says Johnson-Hodges, “you have to be just that—a gentleman.” Over the years, hundreds of young men have been Virginia Gentlemen. Counted among them are a number of brothers, and even twins, but one duo holds a particular honor. Bill and Ben Thompson, of Wise, Virginia, are the only father/son duo to have ever been members of the group. This is an honor they certainly appreciate. “Nobody knew that I had been in the club when Ben first joined, nor did we recognize the significance of being unique in that regard,” says Bill. “My experience in Glee Club and with The Virginia Gentlemen was the highlight of my years at UVA, and I had the double pleasure of sharing that special time with my son years later.”
His son, Ben, has similar sentiments. “Linking arms with my dad at the end of my very first Virginia Gentlemen concert was meaningful. I realized how The Virginia Gentlemen would provide me with a brotherhood that would last a lifetime, one my father had been a part of for years and that I was now joining. I imagine being side-byside with my son and his grandfather in the arc some day.” The Virginia Gentlemen maintain a hectic schedule, with three major concerts, biweekly rehearsals and approximately 100 other performances interspersed throughout the year. The group has crossed the country and toured the world, wowing crowds on cruise ships and on every continent except Antarctica with their tight harmonies and engaging stage presence. They have even performed at the White House, an experience Will Anderson, alumnus and singer from rock band Parachute, vividly remembers.
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“One of the most memorable moments in my SINGING LIFE is from that day, when GEORGE W. BUSH snuck up behind us and asked, ‘Do you all need an EXTRA BASS?’” “Being invited to sing at the White House was surreal. Performing in the East Room was hard to wrap my head around. One of the most memorable moments in my singing life is from that day, when George W. Bush snuck up behind us and asked, ‘Do you all need an extra bass?’ It was quite an entrance.” On April 7, 2018, The Virginia Gentlemen celebrated their 65th anniversary before a packed house in Old Cabell Hall. Virginia Gentlemen past and present—including both Alvin Prichard and Dr. Fritz Berry of The Original Eight—came together to revisit six decades worth of crowd favorites. The 16 current Virginia Gentlemen were joined throughout the evening by singers from years past until, for the finale, there were 121 Virginia Gentlemen on stage. The gravity of the moment was not lost on JohnsonHodges. “The 65th anniversary show deepened the respect I have for the group. Seeing so many alumni make time in their lives to come back to the University to take the stage with their college a cappella group is a testament to the impact The Virginia Gentlemen has had on so many people.” Prichard, who joined the group on stage at the age of 82, echoed Johnson-Hodges. “I had to be a part of this reunion. I feel like I owe it to the guys I sang with. The group has taken this singing to heights that we, and Don MacInnis, never imagined. I still feel the same singing with these young men, who I consider like my sons, the way I did 65 years ago. It doesn’t change. But, this reunion was bittersweet for me, as I worry that I might have sung with The Virginia Gentlemen for the last time. It was almost overpowering to see and hear that array of talent get up and sing. Every year the group gets better.” For aspiring Virginia Gentlemen, Prichard has some simple advice. “Realize that the guys you are singing with will be your best friends for the rest of your life. The guys I sang with are still my best friends and will remain so. It’s a brotherhood.” ~ Images pages 122 & 123: By Lahmann Photography | Images pages 124 & 126: By Aaron Watson Photography
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THE ARTS SCENE
EXPLORE 6,000 YEARS OF HISTORY AT THE VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
One of the nation’s top 10 comprehensive art museums, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond provides all of Central Virginia easy access within a mere one-hour drive. With free general admission, the VMFA’s permanent collection boasts 40,000 works of art that span 6,000 years of history, and it regularly hosts visiting exhibitions of international significance. In the regular collection, you will find works by Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Kehinde Wiley, Andy Warhol and Dale Chihuly, as well as a robust showing of Tiffany glass and impressive collections of South Asian, pre-Colombian and Native American art. As part of a current effort to expand its collection of African American art, the VMFA also recently acquired dozens of new works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation out of Atlanta. WORDS BY JODY HOBBS-HESLER
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“The museum is often called a COLLECTION OF COLLECTIONS,” docent Jennie Dotts explains. Recent notable exhibitions featured works of Yves Saint Laurent, Rodin and Picasso. In addition, the “Napoleon: Power and Splendor” exhibition included a variety of articles illustrating how Napoleon’s household objects promoted his image as emperor. “A major blockbuster exhibition for the museum was the terracotta army,” says Jan Hatchette, the VMFA’s deputy director for communications. This exhibition included 130 works of art and eight of the terracotta soldiers themselves, arrayed as if battle-ready. Visitors could walk all the way around them and observe them closely enough to appreciate how each soldier represented a specific individual. “The whole purpose was to bring the figures to life,” Hatchette says. Items in the exhibition were excavated from the mausoleum of Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang, whose reign began in 246 BC. “That is considered one of the most important archeological discoveries of the 20th century,” Hatchette says. “We like to say that we bring the world to Virginia through art.” Current and pending exhibitions to look out for include: “The Precisionist Impulse,” which will run until November 12 and features works of American Precisionism; “Howardena Pindell: What Remains to Be Seen,” running until November 25, is a retrospective of this African-American artist’s years of art and activism; and “Congo Masks: Masterpieces from Central Africa,” which opens November 10. “The museum is often called a collection of collections,” docent Jennie Dotts explains. The gifts of many benefactors have blended their personal collections with the museum’s holdings. For example, thanks to Lillian Thomas Pratt’s 1947 bequest, “we have the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia,” says Hatchette. With the help of gifts from Sydney and Frances Lewis, Hatchette continues, “We also have the finest collection of Art Nouveau outside of Paris.”
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The museum itself is the venue for these CONCERTS, Hatchette explains, “giving visitors an INNOVATIVE new way to explore the COLLECTION.” The museum grounds are an attraction in their own right. Jaume Plensa’s “Chloe”—an enormous, pensive head—seems to keep a solemn, closed-eye vigil over the E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden, while nearby, Dale Chihuly’s “Red Reeds”—vibrant fiery wisps—edge the lily pond where it abuts the museum at one of its many broad, floor-to-ceiling windows. “We want to meet people where they are,” Hatchette says. One way the museum does this is to offer docentled tours to individuals or small groups upon request. Another is to host special events on the grounds. Friday evenings, “You’ll see visitors with their families on blankets sitting in our sculpture garden,” Hatchette says, with beer and wine available and sometimes
concerts as well. Thursday evenings, jazz concerts make for lively nightlife. The museum itself is the venue for these concerts, Hatchette explains, “giving visitors an innovative new way to explore the collection.” With special events each week, and its own refined Amuse Restaurant or the more casual BEST Café, a visit to the VMFA is well paired with exploring more of Virginia’s capital city. The VMFA is positioned in the heart of the hippest areas of the city, straddling the line between the historic Fan District and chic Carytown, and a few miles south of the up-and-coming Scott’s Addition neighborhood, putting restaurants, shopping and microbreweries all within reach. Go for the day, and chances are you’ll want to go again and again. ~
Image page 128 at top: By Travis Fullerton, Courtesy of VMFA | Image page 128 at bottom: By Paul Louis, Courtesy of VMFA | Image page 129: By Shannon Gilbert, Courtesy of VMFA | Images pages 130 & 133: By David Stover, Courtesy of VMFA
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Honoring JEFFERSON’S Legacy
UVA'S NEW PRESIDENT JAMES RYAN
LOOKS TO THE PAST FOR INFLUENCE AND INSPIRATION TO LEAD
INTO THE FUTURE
or James Ryan, his return to Charlottesville is a homecoming. Although he grew up in northern New Jersey, “This is where my wife, Katie, and I met and where our four children spent the bulk of their childhoods,” he says. “Charlottesville is home to me.” In his time here, Ryan has been a student, lawyer, professor and scholar. And now he’s back for what may be his most challenging role: the ninth president of the University of Virginia (UVA).
WORDS BY KATHARINE SCHELLMAN
“This University changed my life in ways large and small,” Ryan wrote to the UVA community after his selection as president was announced. “We have, I believe, the opportunity to be the model for what an outstanding public university looks like and does in the 21st century.” Thomas Jefferson would have approved. “On the whole, I find nothing anywhere else … which Virginia need envy to any part of the world,” Jefferson stated on May 31, 1791. To him, the University was the
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“We have, I believe, the opportunity to be the MODEL for what an OUTSTANDING public university looks like and does in the 21st CENTURY.” culmination of his life and work, an achievement that would improve the lives of every citizen in his new country. Two centuries later, his legacy continues on the Grounds and in the classrooms of UVA. That legacy is a tangled one, and for many, the contradictions found in UVA and its founder are difficult to reconcile. But for Ryan, embracing the good while striving to improve the bad is all part of loving and serving an institution nearly as old as the United States itself. Ryan’s academic path reads like a list of the country’s most prestigious schools: undergraduate studies at Yale; law school at UVA where he eventually became a distinguished faculty member; visiting professorships
at Harvard, Yale and even the University of Auckland, New Zealand; and dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. In between, he clerked for then-U.S. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, served on a commission for the Department of Education, authored the book Five Miles Away, A World Apart: One City, Two Schools, and the Story of Educational Opportunity in Modern America and argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. This impressive career came from humble beginnings. The adopted son of working-class parents, Ryan attended public school and was a first-generation college student. His studies were made possible, he says, by “generous financial aid and the hard-earned savings of my parents.”
A leading university like UVA, he believes, has a RESPONSIBILITY to be as DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE as the country and community it serves. He was fortunate, he believes, in a way that many students are not, and much of his legal career has focused on improving educational equality. He is also adamant that higher education is valuable for both individuals and society. “Even though you hear an awful lot about student debt, higher education remains one of the very best investments you can make in your own future,” he says. “It is also absolutely… tied to participation in public affairs. So, to the extent we as a country want to encourage political participation, higher education is key.” That mindset would look familiar to Jefferson, who spoke and wrote frequently about both the personal, intellectual and civic value that he wanted his university to provide. Still, Ryan isn’t afraid to look beyond the
vision of UVA’s founder, particularly when it comes to who has access to higher education. A leading university like UVA, he believes, has a responsibility to be as diverse and inclusive as the country and community it serves. “The education system worked for me, opening up opportunities and experiences that I never knew even existed,” he says. “I have spent most of my professional life trying to make it work for others.” For a centuries-old institution, inclusivity can be a fraught issue. While championing public education and open inquiry, the University was born in an era of slavery, along with excluding women, as so many universities of its age were, too. Mr. Jefferson himself, a patriotic visionary who defined the very freedom we Americans enjoy today, was also a man of contradictions.
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“My HOPE,” he says optimistically, “is that UVA will be the university most determined to making the world a BETTER PLACE...” “In many ways, I feel like Thomas Jefferson represents the ongoing struggle between our ideals and our realities,” Ryan says candidly. “To wrestle with that difference, and to come to grips with the gaps that still exist between our aspirations and our everyday realities, is what being a member of this community—and, more broadly, what being an American—is all about.” When asked about his goals for Mr. Jefferson’s University, Ryan is ambitious. “My hope,” he says optimistically, “is that UVA will be the university most determined to making the world a better place through the preparation of our students to be ethical leaders,
through our research and through our partnerships with the communities we serve.” But when it comes to his own legacy, Ryan is more humble, answering not as the new president of a distinguished university, but as the wry parent of four children. “Right now,” he says, “I’m just trying not to embarrass my kids too much.” And as Jefferson himself said on December 27, 1820, “This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” ~
Images pages 134–135, 138 & 140: Courtesy of University of Virginia | Images page 136: By Daniel Addison
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cultural Interpreting Monticello’s Enslaved Community Creating innovative new experiences for visitors, Monticello hosted an opera event with Victory Hall Opera called “Monticello Overheard” and opened a new exhibit to honor the African American families at Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia plantation. In the beautiful expanse of Monticello’s entrance hall, guests were transported through time as an immersive sensory and musical performance echoed throughout the halls. Victory Hall Opera brought together the powerful voices of vocal performers Miriam Gordon-Stewart, Carlton Ford, Brenda Patterson and Alyson Cambridge, along with pianist Shelby Sender and violinist Alison Hall as they presented sounds and songs that Thomas Jefferson, his relatives and the enslaved laborers of Monticello experienced. In addition to this exceptional performance, Monticello opened an immersive digital exhibit titled “The Life of Sally Hemings” in her former home in the South Wing. Drawing upon the words of Hemings and Jefferson’s son, Madison, this groundbreaking exhibit explores her life and extraordinary legacy and, for the first time, allows her story to occupy a physical space on Jefferson’s estate. The inclusion of this exhibit comes as a part of Monticello’s 25-year-long project that aims to paint a more accurate portrayal of the lives of the enslaved individuals who made Monticello possible. Images by Éze Amos.
A Taste for Entertainment In recognition of her latest book, Charlotte Moss Entertains: Celebrations and Everyday Occasions, acclaimed designer, author and philanthropist Charlotte Moss recently signed copies of her book at Caspari. As a board member of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, Moss extols hospitality of every sort, from hosting dinner parties to the simplicity of afternoon tea. As an interior designer and tastemaker, she has crafted her own unique brand that rejoices in the luxury of the mundane, and in Charlotte Moss Entertains, Moss shares her intimate knowledge of style and hospitality to inspire a love of entertaining. She also includes her enthusiasm for Jefferson’s estate with several pages in her book dedicated to the founding father’s residence. Looking at the small details that can transform a moment into an occasion, she offers sage advice on how to take something as simple as linens, china or flowers and create a spectacular spread to delight guests. Rejuvenating domestic, daily activities, Moss invites readers to rethink entertainment and saturate the day-to-day with elegance and flair in this beautiful guide to hospitality. Images courtesy of The McGraw Agency.
Chronicles of Virginia’s Wine History Virginia boasts a rich history of viticulture; and over the course of centuries, our state has crafted an incredible story of perseverance and success that has been fueled by a passion for wine and culture. In Virginia Wine: Four Centuries of Change, University of Virginia alumni and Northern Virginia native Andrew Painter details this incredible history of the Virginia wine industry, compiling nearly a decade’s worth of research and interviews with industry leaders like Felicia Rogan, who founded Oakencroft Vineyard and Winery Corporation in the early 1980s and had an early influence on Virginia wine. Beginning with early descriptions of Native American vineyards in the 16th century, Painter examines how a fascination with grape cultivation beginning in 1607 has led to today’s wine industry. As one of the country’s leading wine regions, Virginia Wine celebrates the local aptitude for viticulture and looks at industry trends, events and jobs that have been influenced by grape cultivation in the Commonwealth. Images courtesy of Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P. C.
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Find your treasures
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Gordonsville A unique village with a European flair, nestled in Orange County, Virginia, just minutes from Montpelier. Visit wineries, browse galleries, dine in world-class restaurants or just soak up the beauty of the Virginia Piedmont... Find even more to do at:
WHERE THE OLD SOUTH MEETS OLD EUROPE: Along Main Street… v Alpaca Boutique v Annette La Velle Antiques v Annie Gould Gallery v Barbeque Exchange v CAVALLO Gallery v Colonial Florist v de Estheticienne v The Exchange Hotel Civil War Museum v Krecek Kakes v Laurie Holladay Shop v Old American Barn v Pebble Hill Design v POSH v Raindrops in Virginia v Restaurant Rochambeau v Sara’s Jewel Box v Stokes of England v Sugarbritches v The Garden Cottage v Trésors …and Not Far Away: James Madison’s Montpelier v Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello v Barboursville Vineyards v Palladio Restaurant v 1804 Inn v Floradise Orchids v Horton Vineyards v The Inns at Montpelier v
cultural Grisham’s Return to Clanton To commemorate reaching his 40th book, esteemed author and Charlottesville denizen John Grisham returns to Clanton, Mississippi, where his first novel took place, in The Reckoning. Weaving a page-turning tale of a murder and the mysterious trial that ensues, the Mississippi lawyer-turned-celebrated author adds another gripping legal thriller to his prolific collection. Grisham draws upon whispers of a murder he heard years ago to tell the story of Pete Banning, an upstanding member of the Clanton community, and the unspeakable crime he commits in 1946 when he shoots and kills Reverend Dexter Bell. While his senseless violence is already confusing, the townspeople are further mystified when Banning’s only statement regarding his crime remains, “I have nothing to say,” launching an investigation into a crime seemingly without a motive. From his first release nearly 30 years ago to this heart-pounding 40th released in October, Grisham boasts a long career of producing exhilarating legal thrillers that continue to captivate audiences. Images courtesy of Doubleday.
Rita Dove’s Latest Accolades University of Virginia (UVA) Professor and former U.S. Poet Laureate, Rita Dove has been selected as The New York Times Magazine poetry editor, which allows the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet to introduce a new poem each week for the magazine. Her one-year term began in June and will be completed alongside her teaching position at UVA, which allows the university community to rest easy. Furthermore, Dove has had her inspirational poem “Testimonial,” which was recited at the university’s final exercises of 2016, immortalized through song. “The World Called”—the creation of the Oratorio Society of Virginia— celebrates Dove’s insightful poem, the title referencing the now famous line, “The world called, I answered.” Composed by American Composer Adolphus Hailstork, the composition had its inaugural performance at the 50th Anniversary Gala Concert of the Oratorio Society of Virginia. Dove’s new title and the musical adaptation of her poem join a long list of accolades she has received for her outstanding talent, including the National Medal of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal. Image by Fred Viebahn.
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A Day in
DISCOVERING THE MYSTERIES OF THE ANCIENT ROMAN CITY WITH UVA PHOTOGRAPHY PROFESSOR WILLIAM WYLIE
WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILLIAM WYLIE
n just about any day of the year, arriving at Pompeii can feel like time travel. If you take the morning train, called the Circumvesuviana, from Naples Centrale station, you arrive about 30 minutes later at the tiny two-platform Pompei Scavi-Villa dei Misteri right on the edge of the excavation. This classic Italian station was last re-built in 1932 and sits seemingly unchanged over those 86 years. You can stop by the tiny bar for a cappuccino and a pastry or get freshly squeezed orange juice from a sidewalk vendor before buying your ticket at the entry gate, ascending through the Porta Marina and being transported 2,000 years into the past. Most contemporary visitors to Pompeii experience the excavations in the same way tourists did in the past: as an ancient city that falling ash stopped in time and preserved before later excavations revealed to the present. In this way, Pompeii functions much like a photograph, by freezing an instant from the past and carrying a representation of it into the present. But a journey through this UNESCO World Heritage Site reflects not only the catastrophic volcanic eruption in 79 AD that destroyed the Roman city and killed about 2,000 of its inhabitants but also the impact of archeologists and artists who have slowly pieced the remains of the city together, and the tourists, about 2.5 million of them each year. These ruins represent not just a moment but also a process of change over
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time and the accumulations of centuries of restoration work. In my photographs, I try to expose how the excavations themselves—the ruins—have a history. A few meters after passing the entrance, you enter the main Forum and the center of the city’s religious, economic and municipal life. This impressive open space, surrounded by white marble façades and important public buildings, is still a focal point for the public to congregate. From here, you can continue by turning up the steps of the large basilica and into the quietude of mute columns framing the reconstructed temple façade. As an artist, I’m attracted to the way the history of a place is displayed visually. For me, much of the mystery of Pompeii lies in the site’s layers. As I
document these ruins with my camera, I try to reveal some of Pompeii’s complexity, the way multiple pasts intersect with our 21st-century present. Pompeii is divided into nine regions, and each door on a street is given a number so that each house can be conveniently located. You can use this system to find your way on the map. But everywhere you go, the ancient city reveals its opulence. Down any avenue, public spaces like the Temple of Apollo, the Stabian Baths or the Amphitheatre, where events ranging from ancient gladiator battles to a Pink Floyd concert have occurred, can be seen. The next street could bring you to the private villas and gardens of the wealthy, including the House of the Faun and the House of the Tragic Poet.
These PLASTER CASTS appear in vitrines in various locations around the city and create a VISCERAL SENSE of the human beings who lived in the city at the time of the ERUPTION.
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You can continue by turning up the steps of the LARGE BASILICA and into the QUIETUDE of mute columns framing the reconstructed temple FAÇADE. There, in the right afternoon light, the beautiful mosaics and the rich fresco paintings in these houses create a sense of lived experience that is almost palpable. This kind of encounter is what makes Pompeii such an incredible place. Pompeii was also a busy port town that exported products throughout the Mediterranean region. The many wine and food shops, as well as bakeries, complete with mills and ovens and containing loaves of bread, show how inhabitants produced and sold these staples of everyday life. In the past few years, major restoration work has opened many previously closed or restricted areas. The excavation work at Pompeii began in 1748. The mostly haphazard digging was brought to a stop in 1860 when Italian Archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli became the director of the site. Fiorelli is also credited with developing the technique of making casts by
pouring plaster cement into the hollows formed in the volcanic ash when the encased bodies of the victims disintegrated. These plaster casts appear in vitrines in various locations around the city and create a visceral sense of the human beings who lived in the city at the time of the eruption. These casts remind us that the events that created this hush of ruins were a tragedy for Pompeii’s inhabitants. I have been working at Pompeii for over five years. My new book, Pompeii Archive, recently published by Yale University Press, collects over 80 photographs of this extensive site, photographs that can also be seen at the University of Virginia’s Fralin Museum of Art beginning in January 2019. Exposing aspects of the site not easily seen, my photographs represent not just a lost past but the accumulated traces left by the centuries since Pompeii was uncovered. ~
HOUSED IN A 200-YEAR-OLD BUILDING, THIS BOUTIQUE INN AND RESTAURANT INVITES GUESTS TO EXPLORE CHARLOTTESVILLE'S CHARMING DOWNTOWN
As a student at the University of Virginia in the early 1990s, Ryan Hubbard often walked by the familiar façade of the Federal style red-brick townhouse on Main Street. He knew the same architect who helped erect the university’s iconic Rotunda and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello built it. But Hubbard, like many natives, hadn’t been inside—until he bought it in 2003. “I had a dream of it being a landmark and touchstone for this city,” says Hubbard, who transformed the structure into the Dinsmore Boutique Inn, adding the Farm Bell Kitchen restaurant this year. “I want it to be more than a place to just stay at overnight when visiting.” The Dinsmore has been a labor of love for Hubbard, who runs the family business with his sister, Lisa Jones, the inn’s sales director and events coordinator. Hubbard’s nieces also work in the restaurant, and he hopes his sons, ages 7 and 9, will one day join the team.
WORDS BY WHITNEY PIPKIN PHOTOGRAPHY BY R. L. JOHNSON 152
The inn takes its name from architect and master carpenter James Dinsmore and is one of two remaining homes he built in the city. The 200-year-old structure informs the hotel’s design, with beautiful original woodworking winding up the side of the staircase and around historic coal-burning fireplace mantels. In 2016, Hubbard closed the inn for extensive renovations, trading “mom-and-pop, bed-and-breakfast” charm for modern comforts and elegant furnishings like marble countertops, contemporary art and an attached restaurant that offers gourmet meals. A suite in the attic features exposed brick walls and timeworn ceiling joists, while other guest rooms offer four-poster beds and updated en suite bathrooms. Outside, granite sidewalks and thoughtful landscaping enhance the charming façade. Hubbard knew renovating would come with some unexpected hiccups, but he didn’t anticipate the treasures.
Digging in the Dinsmore’s attic during construction, the team found a trove of antique items that are now displayed in shadow boxes in the inn’s front hall. Among the finds: a tiny tin toy horse, an 1835 check that was never cashed and a bottle of lady’s ointment that says it treats “female weaknesses.” More than memorabilia, the items are a reminder that the home, which was located at the edge of Charlottesville in those early days, predates the neighboring university that has brought it to the heart of a bustling Main Street corridor. Welcoming travelers with Charlottesville’s unique Southern hospitality was a highlight of running the inn in its early years, but Hubbard always wanted locals to feel welcome, too. The Farm Bell Kitchen is a natural addition for Hubbard, who also owns the catering business Red Hub Food Co. and has an intimate knowledge of the rewards—and challenges—of sourcing primarily from
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After hiring Executive Chef Jabari Wadlington,... the menu became a FUSION of Southern food with CAJUN, FRENCH and AFRICAN influences. local farms. Buying whole animals from local purveyors— and putting chicken, duck, beef and pork on menus—meant the restaurant needed to serve daily brunch alongside an elevated “supper,” served Thursday through Saturday nights. Hubbard thought the restaurant should skew “New Southern,” inspired by his trips to Charleston’s iconic eateries. But, after hiring Executive Chef Jabari Wadlington, who traces his culinary training to New Orleans, the menu became a fusion of Southern food with Cajun, French and African influences. On the menu, an island-style trout escaviche might appear beside a shrimp-and-okra gumbo with broth poured tableside. Wadlington’s chicken and waffles are among the most popular items on the brunch menu, and an example of the kitchen’s from-scratch propensities. The bird is cooked in-house and served with individual
buttermilk fried pieces atop waffles and syrups that are also made in-house. While brunch has become lineout-the-door popular, Hubbard says supper is the restaurant’s pièce de résistance, with Mangalitsa-breed pork chops and steaks sourced from Ragged Branch, a local farm that also makes bourbon (and feeds their cows the flavorful mash). Wadlington’s make-everything mentality in the kitchen has spread to the rest of the inn. When he found out they were purchasing bath salts for the hotel’s 19thcentury clawfoot tubs, he started making infused bath salts instead. The same goes for the chamomile tea. “We’ve developed this belief that the only way to control the product is to just make it,” Hubbard says. He says that approach gets at the heart of what this team is trying to do out of an historic estate. ~
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Red Horse Farm
Spring Oak Farm
This 41+/- acre farm in the Shenandoah Valley near Harrisonburg offers sweeping mountain views from the lovely one-level, three-bedroom home. Chef’s kitchen & great entertainment spaces. Large 8-stall stable with room to expand, complete with a conditioned tack room and work area.
Spring Oak Farm offers all the charm of an old home but with the necessities of today—a modern chef’s kitchen & beautiful modern bathrooms. The 5 bedroom, 5.5 bath home on 15+/- acres is perfect for a B&B or wedding venue. With high-speed Internet, the first floor annex could serve as a wonderful home office.
Gayle Harvey Real Estate (434) 220-0256 MLS# 578365 www.ShenandoahValleyHorseFarm.com
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Aventador Farm Manor
Swanhilda, a lovely historic home, sits elegantly on a small rise overlooking the James River. The 54+/- acres offers lush pastures for horses & livestock, and the large Morton Barn is a perfect stable, kennel and workshop. Located equidistant between Charlottesville & Richmond. If you enjoy entertaining on the river, this is it!
Classic Southern architecture built for modern living. Move through formal entertaining spaces, family dens and nooks, and impressive porches and terraces throughout this 10,000sq. ft. home. A sprawling master suite is tucked into its own first-floor wing overlooking the property’s acres of rolling pastures. 6 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 2 half baths, free-standing guest cottage with 1 bedroom, 1 full bath, and full amenities.
Gayle Harvey Real Estate (434) 220-0256 MLS# 578112 www.Swanhilda.com
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Stunning, 522-acre private sanctuary in the Southwest Mountains and heart of Keswickâ€”a renowned estate area just east of Charlottesville. Property features: impressive grounds, farm and manor home, built circa 2008 with the highest quality craftsmanship and unique materials, with great attention paid to every detail. Over 14,000 finished square feet of elegant living space, with two other large homes and a barn.
Tucked in a quiet and peaceful setting down a delightfully tree-lined lane is this attractive, three-story clapboard house. First floor master suite, five additional bedrooms, house built in 2000, can easily handle large gatherings or simply a few by one of six fireplaces. All on 91 gently rolling acres, great views and stream.
McLean Faulconer, Inc. Jim Faulconer (434) 981-0076 For full details, please go to: www.bramblewoodva.com
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Totier Hills Farm
Dramatic Blue Ridge Mountain views from this one-of-akind architectural gem in Farmington, just 3 miles west of UVA! Sited on 43 private acres, this phenomenal c. 19311933 Georgian Revival-style residence showcases elaborate woodwork and exquisite architectural details throughout. Includes indoor pool pavilion, tennis pavilion, log cabin, and additional improvements.
Exquisite brick mansion, meticulously maintained and built with superb quality and materials, details and features. Over 9,000 finished square feet, 13,000 total, 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, 98.23 gently rolling and private acres, mostly pastures, also with a large stream and pond. Only 5 miles to shopping and 15 miles to UVA. Call, text or email for brochure, more details: www.totierhillsfarm.com.
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McLean Faulconer, Inc. Jim Faulconer (434) 981-0076 MLS# 571634 $2,975,000
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