Luxurious Littleton Farm in Upperville’s Hunt Country

33846 Foxlease Ln, Upperville, VA 20184
Offered at $8,300,000
10 BD | 9/3 BA | 11,230  SQFT | 153 AC
MLS # VALO432996

Welcome to the luxurious Littleton Farm on 153+/- glorious acres* in Upperville’s Hunt Country, part of the historical Piedmont hunt! 

This premier estate is an equine and entertainer’s paradise offering in the main house 10 bedrooms, 9 full bathrooms, and 3 half bathrooms, 3 tenant houses/apartments with a total of 9 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. 2 horse barns (12 stalls / 17 stalls), 4 run-in sheds (3 large include feed rooms, tack rooms, and extra stalls), 1 machine shed, a 6 bay garage, 1 riding ring with competitive footing, multiple fenced paddocks with automatic waterers, 2 silos with rolling hills, a lighted helipad, and trails to ride out. 

The main home offers grand living and entertaining spaces with soaring ceilings, unique and inviting gathering areas, and breathtaking views of Hunt Country’s finest land. Upon entry, you are welcomed into the living room with stunning exposed beams, 2 massive fireplaces, and patio access with views of the impeccable grounds. From the living room, flow into the guest wing or main living wing through sun-drenched hallways. The guest wing offers 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, and 1 half bath. 

The main living wing of the home includes a cozy library with a fireplace, with 1 bedroom and 1 full bathroom above, 2 half bathrooms, a formal dining room, a commercial-grade kitchen, and a mudroom. Directly above the dining and kitchen area are a laundry room, 2 bedrooms, and 2 full bathrooms. Relax and unwind in the Primary Suite showcasing sweeping views from 3 balconies, offering a fireplace, a walk-in closet with ample built-ins, a bathroom with a soaking tub and standing shower, as well as a sitting room. 

Family and friends will love the extravagant theater room with a bar located in the basement. In total, the main home offers 7 bedrooms, 6 full bathrooms, 3 half bathrooms, and 7 fireplaces. 

A few hundred feet from the main home is the 60 feet pool, and a pool house complete with a steam room, large gym, 1 bedroom, and 1 full bathroom, and a stone house with 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths above and a 4-car garage underneath. 

The first tenant home (in close proximity to the small barn) has 3 bedrooms, 1 full bath, a large basement used as a playroom, and an attached but separate apartment with 2 bedrooms and a full bathroom. 

The second tenant home (located close to the pool house) is stone-built with 2 separate apartments, each with 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths. The third tenant home is an apartment with 2 bedrooms and 1 full bathroom, located above the main garage and next to an office. 

Additionally, there are multiple outdoor living spaces perfect for parties! Jacques Wertz, the world-famous Belgium landscape garden designer, was the inspiration for landscape design. Wertz is known for his signature “clouds” of beautiful boxwood creating green architecture. The boxwoods, weeping Kastura and extensive vegetable garden are a true delight. What’s more is the lovely lake, stream and waterfall features. 

The property is in Open Space Easement. *The final acreage is subject to pending boundary line adjustment. Littleton Farm is conveniently located 38 miles from Washington Dulles International Airport, and 52 miles from our nation’s capital.

Be sure to see this link for video, floorplans, and additional photos.

Listed by
Peter Pejacsevich | Principal Broker + Managing Partner
[email protected]
Licensed in VA
Middleburg Real Estate 


Scott Buzzelli | Associate Broker + Partner
[email protected]
Licensed in VA
Middleburg Real Estate 

Stunning Brick Colonial on 53+ Acres in Prestigious Greystone

1294 Greystone Rd  | Upperville, VA
Offered at $2,900,000
5 BD | 4/2 BA | 7,538 SQFT | 53.91 AC
MLS # VAFQ2004686

Welcome to 1294 Greystone Road! This stunning brick colonial sits on 53+ gorgeous acres in prestigious Greystone. Throughout this charming five bedroom, four bath, custom-built home you’ll find pristine craftsmanship and detailing in every room. The 7500+/- sq ft boasts high ceilings, gleaming wood floors, a bright sunroom, and a main level primary suite with its own sitting room and back patio access. Outside, amongst the sprawling acreage, take in the mountain views, fenced pastures, lush woodlands, Virginia’s rolling hills & a private pond. A fully renovated barn (2018/2019) provides a workshop and entertaining space above.

Be sure to see this link for video, floorplans, and additional photos.

Listed by
Peter Pejacsevich | Principal Broker + Managing Partner
[email protected]
Licensed in VA
Middleburg Real Estate 


Scott Buzzelli | Associate Broker + Partner
[email protected]
Licensed in VA
Middleburg Real Estate 

The Best of Antiquing In and Around Hunt Country

Written by Shayda Windle

Shopping in Hunt Country is a bit different than elsewhere. When people visit, they are looking for something unique and one-of-a-kind; something that speaks to the history of the area. One could argue that the retail options that best showcase this heritage are the many and much-loved antique shops in Hunt Country. In that spirit, here are some local favorites offering their take on heirloom treasures. As you navigate the antique scene, be sure to take the time to look around — you never know what hidden gems you might find.

Middleburg Antique Gallery & Antiques on Washington St.

With its treasure trove of fox hunting and horse racing-themed antiques, Middleburg Antique Gallery has been a staple of the Hunt Country antique scene for the past three decades. As owner Linda Mason says, there’s “something for everyone here.” Last year, Mason and Lisa Vella, co-owners of Baileywyck in The Plains, joined forces to open Antiques on Washington, an extension of the two shops. Mason and Vella each have distinct tastes when it comes to antiques which allows patrons to find a little bit of everything at Antiques on Washington including French provincial, Swedish furnishings, American antiques, home goods, and fine art. Mason says, “It’s a little bit old and new here. I like the fun stuff, the things that are a little bit different. We work with local artists and go to auctions. Lisa gets things from all over the world.” Fresh inventory is arriving all the time, so be sure and stop by — both stores are located right on Washington Street in Middleburg.

Middleburg Antique Gallery: 107 W. Washington St, Middleburg, Virginia 20117, 540-687-8680
Antiques on Washington: 3 W. Washington St, Middleburg, Virginia 20117, 540-687-8680

Marshall Curated

The small town of Marshall has a number of antique and consignment shops to visit, and Marshall Curated is a local favorite. With 14 permanent vendors and over 100 consignors, the shop is more of a “museum” than anything else according to owner Rosanna Funiciello. Though she constantly moves merchandise in and out of the shop, her vendors are a carefully selected group of antiques dealers, decorators, and creatives that offer a variety of vintage and new home furnishings and gifts. She adds, “I feel like an ambassador for these vintage pieces. I help to convey their story and give them renewed purpose. At the heart of it, we are recyclers of beautiful and useful things.” Marshall Curated is open Thursday through Monday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also check them out on Instagram at @MarshallCurated.

8371 W Main St, Marshall, Virginia 20115, 571-921-0356

Mercer Tavern Antiques
This popular antique shop in the village of Aldie is filled with 19th and 20th-century furniture, paintings, baskets, china, and much more. Originally built in 1939, the little white house has had its share of facelifts over the years. Roughly 30 years ago, owner Mary Ann Withers decided to transform the tavern into an antique shop. And in 2020, she renovated the store inside and out. Each week, she brings in new items and posts them on Instagram and Facebook. Withers shares, “Everything I source is within an hour radius of Aldie so what you see here are local products [from] online auctions, live auctions, and getting called to go into people’s houses locally.” Withers and her husband Tucker also own nearby Little River Inn which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month. Mercer Tavern Antiques is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, follow the shop’s Instagram at @mercertavernantiques.

39359 John Mosby Hwy, Aldie, Virginia 20105, 703-618-3169

Vintage Marshall

Vintage Marshall is the latest antique store to hit Hunt Country territory. The shop, which opened in February, is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Julien and Cassandra Lacaze who were previously vendors at Marshall Curated. “We both love wine, travel, and all things vintage and wanted to bring that concept to Marshall,” Julien Lacaze shares. He frequently travels to France to source vintage and antique furniture and home decor items directly, which are then shipped to the store in Marshall. They also offer wine for a unique twist. Lacaze says, “We recently picked a wine from Buzet, which many people are not familiar with, but this is the same region where we are picking most of the French [antique] finds. We wanted to incorporate wine with the furniture, and that’s why we chose the name Vintage. It can refer to items that are older or it can refer to the year in which a wine was made.” Stop in to see them in person for a fabulous French furnishing or glass of wine and be sure to check their Instagram at @Vintagemarshallva.

4238 Frost St, Marshall, Virginia 20115, 540 454-2000

Red Schoolhouse Antiques

Red Schoolhouse Antiques in Millwood, Virginia, has been in business for 32 years. Owners Lorraine and Robin Murray live on their farm in Scotland and stock the store with their unique finds sourced from all over Europe. Manager Mary Kinnie and Associate Dealer Troy Pittenger work on-site warmly welcoming antique seekers. The shop is known for its traditional and contemporary furniture and accessories. Lorraine, who grew up in Clarke County, comments, “I love coming back to Virginia. It’s the best of both worlds — bonnie Galloway in Scotland and gorgeous Hunt Country, Virginia. Seeing friends old and new adds to the enjoyment of every visit.” Find them on Instagram at @redschoolhouseantique.

1014 Bishop Meade Rd, Millwood, Virginia 22646, 540-837-3033

JPN Antiquities

Patrick Newell, owner of JPN Antiquities in Warrenton, began buying and selling antiques in college while pursuing his business degree. He recalls, “I realized I could do something [relating to antiques] with my degree so I opened up a store in Old Town, Alexandria.” Since its early days in Old Town, JPN Antiquities has held several locations throughout Northern Virginia and now calls Warrenton home. Right across the street from Horse Country in Warrenton, the tiny shop boasts “offbeat and funky” pieces devoted to horses, foxes, cows, and chickens. Newell also sells his antiques online through Facebook and Instagram and updates his shop daily with new items. You can find his store on Instagram at @jpn_antiquities, on Facebook at @thepaupergentleman, and on Etsy using this link: etsy.com/shop/thepaupergentleman. ML

17 Horner St, Warrenton, Virginia 20186, 540-219-1952

This article first appeared in the June 2022 Issue.

A National Campaign and Local Effort for Greener Horseshows 

Written by Kaitlin Hill 

More than historic, the site of the Upperville Colt & Horse show is undeniably green. The sloping lawns, towering hundred-plus year-old trees, and the familiar evergreen paint on nearly every structure all contribute to a feeling of being one with nature upon entering the gates of the showground. And in recent years, there have been efforts to make Upperville even greener by operating the show with environmental impact in mind, led by a national campaign called Green is the New Blue and aided by local efforts supporting the cause. 

Founded by amateur equestrian Stephanie Riggio Bulger, Green is the New Blue (GNB) partners with horse shows across the country to reduce the impact of equestrian events can on the planet. Emily Cleland of GNB shares, “With year-round horse show circuits available to us, we are such a transient population. And in the effort to get from show to show, we just don’t realize the amount of waste we produce, especially in the form of plastics: supplement tubs, shavings bags, twine, water bottles… just for one horse and rider, it really adds up.” 

As the oldest horse show in the nation, it seems appropriate that Upperville was also Green is the New Blue’s original partner. Cleland says, “Upperville was actually our very first horse show partner!” She adds, “Its management team has made such a commitment to the future with their forward-thinking approaches to sustainability.” 

Caitlin Lane, executive director of Upperville Horse Shows, LLC notes, “We have been working with Green is the New Blue for a few years to develop a sustainability program. We’ve been brainstorming with them on how to expand the program and get more people involved, more sponsors.” 

For this year’s show, the team at UCHS and GNB connected with Maria Eldredge and Anne McIntosh of Middleburg Real Estate and Atoka Properties. Lane shares, “In talking with Middleburg Real Estate, we put forward the idea that we wanted to add these hydration stations and it would be something new this year.” 

Coincidentally, Eldredge explains, “Middleburg Real Estate had just come up with a new program where, as agents, if we wanted to sponsor something we could, and we’re trying to do more locally.” A single-use to reusable convert herself, Eldredge jumped the idea of sponsoring the hydration stations and partnered with McIntosh and Middleburg Real Estate to cover the $10,000 project. She says, “Instead of selling thousands of [single-use] plastic bottles, there will be tents set up with bamboo cups. You can refill your water bottle and there will be bigger jugs of water.” 

This latest initiative is one of many that Upperville has adopted to reduce its environmental impact. Lane says, “We are doing wider facility recycling. We’ve been able to recycle the shavings bags which is a big source of plastic for us. We are trying to work on where the manure goes after an event, how it can be reused.” She adds, “We’re really looking at how we can be more sustainable. It’s deliberate choices on what products we can use and how we can set things up to reduce our footprint…Ideally, we are helping spread [the idea] to other events across the country.” 

Cleland adds, “We want to see horse shows and facilities adopt initiatives that are reasonably actionable in their geographic areas. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ — some municipalities simply don’t have recycling programs for show organizers to utilize, for instance. Some facilities have the means to tackle issues like erosion and water runoff that other facilities don’t. That said, recently we’ve been inspired by the horse shows like UCHS that have substantially cut their use of single-use plastics by committing to water refill stations with compostable cups. That choice alone produces exponentially less plastic waste.”

In addition to national campaigns and locally sponsored programs, an impact can be made on an individual level too. Cleland says, “Make a habit out of bringing your own refillable water bottle to horse shows and everywhere you go! Be vocal! Let your horse show organizers and venue managers know that sustainable practices are important to you.” 

As horses, trainers, and spectators show up June 6 through 12 to enjoy the 169th Upperville Colt & Horse Show, they will take part in the new green legacy of this historic event, as Cleland says, “to preserve our planet for generations of equestrians to come.” ML

This article first appeared in the June 2022 Issue.

History on Display at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show

Written by Bill Kent
Photos by Michael Butcher 

Ask anyone within 50 miles of the Upperville Colt & Horse Show what it’s like and you’ll hear of great things. After all, the show has been going on for 169 years.

However, this year, America’s oldest show has a new designation. After more than two years of research and advocacy, Upperville is now the only showground on the National Register of Historic Places.

It can be argued that one can’t go anywhere in and around Middleburg without finding a significant connection to history. The inclusion of the Grafton Farm showgrounds on the register honors the importance of horses and the equestrian arts in the larger story of our country, as well the 1,800 horses and even more people from all over the world who will come to the region to compete this month.

Maral Kalbian, the historic preservation consultant whose application to the National Park Service won the show its registry status, credits Huntland equestrian, philanthropist, Canon, and 17th Baroness of Lochiel, Scotland, Dr. Betsee Parker’s support for the application. “Dr. Parker was the prime mover. I know that the community has wanted official recognition for quite a long time, but without Dr. Parker, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Kalbian calls the seven-day show, which begins June 6, “a jewel of a resource to have in your own backyard.” She adds, “It makes you appreciate where you are and how absolutely important the horse has been in our history.”

As an architectural historian who savors the old and the interesting, Kalbian says she fell in love with the show’s Grafton Farm site (about two miles east of Upperville on the south side of Route 50) on her first visit when she noticed “how free it was of intrusions. With just about any structure that has survived to this century, you’re going to find changes, upgrades, modern touches. You see almost none of them at Grafton Farm. If you sit in the grandstand at Grafton Farm as I did, and you look out onto the immediate surroundings and take in the unquestionably beautiful natural hills, you get a profound feeling of tradition. You don’t need much imagination to connect what’s going on right now all the way back to the time it began.”

“If you sit in the grandstand at Grafton Farm as I did, and you look out onto the immediate surroundings and take in the unquestionably beautiful natural hills, you get a profound feeling of tradition.”

– Kalbian

That’s not exactly how Olympic gold medal winner and Hall of Fame member Joseph “Joe” Fargis IV remembers his first time at Grafton Farm. “I was 12 years old and it was raining and there was mud everywhere. I was knee-deep in it and enjoying it.”

Now 74, Fargis is the president of the show and is still a leading figure in show jumping. He notes that while some things have changed, others have remained the same. “We’ve upgraded the footing so the horses can have [the] best possible surfaces to move around on, but we haven’t been able to fix the weather. When it rains, everyone feels it.”

They also feel a closeness that is not common at other horse shows. “This is the gathering of a tremendous extended family. We’re all very proud of our horses and how long this show has lasted,” Fargis says.

And there’s one thing that everyone loves, rain or shine, no matter how the competition shakes out. “It’s the oak grove. Some of these trees are quite old. Some we’ve replaced over the years with donations. You go out and stand there in the shade and look around, see your friends and family. It’s like coming home.”

The Grafton Farm oak grove is that rarest place in horse shows: a place of common ground where everyone — former and future Olympic riders, first-timers, and old-timers — meet and greet.

Among those whom you might find in the grove is Barbara Riggs, a former competitor who is now part of a group of 150 Upperville volunteers. These individuals do everything from bringing breakfast to the barns to acting as concierge for any last minute needs of the show’s participants. 

“If you’re coming to the show for the first time, every day has something interesting and exciting going on.”

– Riggs

“If you’re coming to the show for the first time, every day has something interesting and exciting going on,” Riggs advises. “But there are two events you really can’t miss. The Sunday Grand Prix, which is the top competition with the best riders and the biggest prize, and the Saturday lead-line event where you see children on ponies who may be showing for their first time. The kids you see on the ponies now are the same ones who will come back as competitors later.”

One such former lead-line participant is saddle-maker and leather designer Dorothy “Punkin” Lee. She started in the lead-line class and is now in her 25th year as a volunteer. “This show gets into you like no other show anywhere. The lead-liners come back as competitors, and the competitors become volunteers. Once you’re part of it, it’s hard to let a year go by without coming back, seeing friends and family, and serving and helping the horses. It began for the horses and it’s stayed that way ever since.”

Helping and caring for horses — in this case a struggling colt with nearly frozen feet — inspired Colonel Richard Henry Dulany to hold the very first show back in 1853. Though horses had been a fixture of country fairs previously, Dulany’s Upperville gathering was devoted to improving the care of horses and celebrating what horses can do, not just in Virginia, but throughout the emerging American nation. “And we try to keep it that way,” says Tommy Lee Jones, a third generation equestrian who has managed Upperville’s show since 1982. “[The show] is unique because of its placement — you feel you’re at a farm, out in the country, and not in a stadium or arena — and the people who have made it what it is, who have given it so much time, effort, and support. Go to the Wall of Honor and you can see some of the names of those who have come before. For every name up there, there are thousands more that have been part of it.” ML

This article first appeared in the June 2022 Issue.

Ali Wolff Comes Full Circle for Upperville Colt & Horse Show with $25,000 Platinum Championship Grand Prix Win at Palm Beach Masters

Feb. 7, 2019 | Wellington, Fla. –

As America’s longest running horse show, the Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS) has helped launch the careers of many young equestrian athletes across the nation since its inception in 1853.

In June 2018, Ali Wolff captured the biggest win of her career in the $216,000 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds and Mr. and Mrs. Michael A. Smith, aboard Casall. Coming full circle, Wolff took home first place on Saturday afternoon in the $25,000 Platinum Championship Grand Prix, presented by UCHS, at the CP Palm Beach Masters Winter Classic CSI4-W.

Ali Wolff and HH Venice Beach accepting their awards on Saturday with Joe Fargis (left) on behalf of the Upperville Colt & Horse Show and Lou Jacobs (right), co-founder of the Palm Beach Masters Series.

“This class was sponsored by Upperville so I’d like to think there’s some relation!” said Wolff after her win. “It’s phenomenal when horse shows can support other horse shows. [The Palm Beach Masters Series and UCHS] are two outstanding horse shows, and the fact that Upperville is still going as strong as ever is really an indication of the management and the work that they do there.”

Coincidentally, Cormac Hanley finished in second place on Saturday behind Wolff riding Copain Z, and was also the third place finisher at the 2018 UCHS in the $216,000 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4*.

Wolff has competed at UCHS for the past two years, making it a regular stop on her summer competition calendar, and she looks forward to once again returning in 2019.

Ali Wolff and HH Venice Beach.

“I love [Upperville] and that facility,” said Wolff. “It’s a great horse show and I can’t say enough about it!”

To learn more about the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, please click here.

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At St. Bride’s, It’s All About Sharing

by Vicky Moon

Barbara Roux checks email and sips coffee in her spacious, sparkling white kitchen as dawn breaks one chilly mid-April morning at St. Bride’s Farm near Upperville. Since moving to this area with her husband, David Roux, from Woodside, California six years ago, she’s embraced its rich tradition and history. 

This year, they decided to demonstrate their devotion to the customs of the countryside in a big way. “As part of the community, we wanted to open our home,” she says.

Their circa 1916 brick Georgian style manor residence and garden was on view during Historic Garden Week in late April, and their magnificent award-winning, environmentally-responsible stables will be featured on the Hunt Country Stable Tour over Memorial Day weekend. 

As a vice president of the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, set for June 6-12, Roux treasures the beauty of the show’s glorious setting. Since becoming an active board member four years ago, she’s embraced its past while striving to keep it current. She and Mike Smith, president of the show, initiated changes in the members-only party tent known as The 1853 Club, a reference to the date of the first show.

“We’ve collaborated each year to make it better than the prior year,” she says.

In addition, Roux has worked with board member Tom Gorman on updating and streamlining the show’s website, Upperville.com, as well as offering Wi-Fi (no small feat in these parts) and live-streaming of the events. “Tom and his wife Jessica Rich have made this a reality,” she says.

“Horses and Horse Power “ is a vintage car show initiated and named by the late longstanding member of the community, David Mullins. Always one to share the credit, Roux adds: “David and his wife Joyce were the catalysts for our inaugural show and we continue to honor them.”

An art show and sale will take place on June 12 and Roux says, “We’re also excited about offering a children’s art program.” The Seven Loaves Food Challenge, with various barns donating non-perishable food, is called “The Great Barn Challenge.” As entertainment chair, Roux has sought to share ideas within the various committees. “This is where the real magic happens.”

Out in the St. Bride’s barn area, Roux visits the most recent member of the equine family, a two-day-old colt out of the mare Tua Efele and carried (following embryo transfer) by recipient mare Indy’s Chic. The newborn is sired by Presley Boy, a highly-regarded KWPN (the Dutch acronym for Koninklijk Warmbloed Paardenstamboek Nederland,
easily translated to Dutch Warmblood).  

Since taking up the sport 11 years ago in order to join her daughter Margot, Roux learned to ride and jump. “The joy overrides any fear, “ she explains when asked about learning a challenging sport like riding or skiing as an adult. “Passion breeds courage.”

That passion has led to a string of successful show jumpers, including the lovely chestnut mare Whitney, who won the Upperville Jumper Classic last year with Argentinian rider Romiro Quintana. 

Quintana rode Whitney as a member of the silver medal-winning Argentinian team at the Pan American Games in Toronto in July, 2015. He also rides for Mike Smith and is on the international circuit vying to represent his home country for the summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. 

Meanwhile, other St. Bride’s home-breds are in various stages of training and showing around the country and in Europe with other elite riders. Top equestrienneSusie Hutchison guided St. Bride’s Ziedento to several victories on the Thermal Desert Circuit in California this past winter. 

The younger St. Bride’s warm-bloods at home on the 350-acre complex also are destined for the show ring. They include the latest edition in the stall with Roux. The foal greets her eagerly and is a few years away from a possible debut in the grand prix ring at Upperville. Until then, Roux will pay close attention as they learn to jump high, while she focuses on assisting others guiding the Upperville Colt and Horse Show to new heights. 

“People who attend multiple horse shows,” she says, “know that no other show can compete with the beauty, long standing traditions and hospitality of Upperville.”  

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What’s Going Down at Upperville’s Local Taste?

by Brian Yost

In the center of Upperville, there’s a small stone building that was constructed around 1800. Originally a tavern and then cycled through a variety of other uses as a real estate and law office, an archery supply shop and an interpretive center, it recently was renovated for its current use as a wine shop.


As you drive through the village on Route 50, you’ll notice signage for The Local Taste.  I should also point out that owners Kiernan Slater and her husband Christopher Patusky use the venue as a tasting room for their Slater Run Vineyards wines.

The business was never intended to be strictly a tasting room. The idea of mingling the two purposes was always the intent. And despite its small size, the interior is not at all crowded and the historic character of the structure was maintained. Great thought went into the layout and décor, lending a sense of space and subtle elegance. It’s quite charming and inspired me to linger, taste the Slater Run offerings and browse the larger wine collection.

It’s definitely not a big-city wine shop. Indeed, the wine wall in most modern grocery stores has a larger selection. Nevertheless, Slater and Putusky engaged Neal Wavra, former manager of the Ashby Inn, to curate the small collection. The lack of volume is more than offset by the interesting assortment that Wavra

There are French, Italian and California wines you’ll likely recognize, but there are a number of gems that also will excite the serious wine lover. In addition to a high-end Lebanese blend, there was a sparkler from England, a Super Tuscan from Arizona and a Riesling from Germany’s Nahe Valley. I might have spent more time perusing the labels, but the real purpose of my stop was to taste the Slater Run wines.

In 2010, Slater and Patusky planted their first five acres of grapes on Plum Run Farm not far from Upperville. They’re now planting additional vines, which will bring them to just over twelve acres of fruit.

They retained Katell Griaud as winemaker. She holds a masters degree in Oenology from Bordeaux University and has made wine at both Trump and Casanel. So she approaches the task with an understanding of the challenges of making wine in the Commonwealth. I should point out that she has handily overcome those challenges. The Slater Run wines are exceptional.

Four of them are currently being poured at the tasting bar and two Bordeaux blends will be released over the next few months.

The pair of whites included a Pinot Gris and a lightly-oaked Chardonnay. Both were well-crafted, balanced wines that displayed the typical characteristics for those varietals. I was particularly fond of the Rosé, which is done in a dry, Provençal style, but the Cabernet Franc was the real standout. There was no hint of green pepper, which indicates that the vines were properly managed and the fruit was ripe. Having said that, I was very surprised by how well the wine was drinking, when you consider the age of the vines. I think this bodes well for the future of Slater Run wines. My hat is off to the winemaker.

In addition to the wine, there are a few other items available for purchase. You will also find charcuterie, cheese, bread and baked goods. There are also a number of works by local artists and artisans. It’s sort of amazing how many items are in that space without giving it a cluttered feel.

I also should mention the quality of customer experience at The Local Taste. When I arrived, Adale Henderson was behind the counter. I found her to be extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of the operation, the history of the building and the local community. She was very upbeat and extremely customer-oriented. It was certainly the kind of experience that will inspire me to return.

Whether you live nearby or are just passing through, The Local Taste should be one of your stops, if only to check out the historical building. It’s a lovely and compelling spot. And if you’re exploring Virginia wine country, the Slater Run wines are a must taste.  I’ll definitely return for the release of the Bordeaux blends. So maybe I’ll see you there.    

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The Side Saddle Style on Display at Upperville Show

Photo by Deb Morrow

Photo by Deb Morrow

by Summer Stanley

Imagine Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary sitting on her horse appearing refined, graceful and elegantly dressed for the occasion. We love her, we hate her, but mostly we adore her polished looks. 

Last month, Downton Abbey fans said goodbye to a show in which our longings for a stylishly poised era were more than fulfilled. And because of the recent fascination with the PBS series, it’s no surprise that even more women are being drawn into the lost art and sport of riding aside – in a side saddle, after nearly a century of riding astride.


And on June 11, one of the most popular events at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, the Ladies Side Saddle class, will take place.

A lady’s ensemble, referred to as a habit, generally depends on the riding discipline, and for fox hunting, it depends on the season and your hunt’s attire guidelines. The basic rule of thumb for riding aside is somewhat similar to what’s worn from the waist up for contemporary attire: a well-fitted, perhaps cutaway-style jacket, vest, shirt and stock tie. With the addition of an apron in a matching or coordinating fabric, you then have a habit, which is most traditional for women riding aside.

For formal days, the smart and tailored rider wears a habit in a darker color. Black, navy or charcoal with a canary or tattersall waistcoat (vest) and white or cream stock tie. To complete the look, a ladies’ top hat, with veil is proper for married women. Women who are not married may wear a bowler without a veil. Of course a safety-rated helmet with a chin strap is always correct and often required. For cubbing days in the hunt field or for informal hunt outings, one might see habits in subtle checks and tweed patterns. Button-down shirts and a man’s ties vs. a stock tie or even nowadays a stock tie in an elegant paisley or checkered pattern would be considered correct. Brown gloves (for a woman who is not widowed), a hunt whip and a sandwich case make for a lovely look.

Locally, TriCounty, Feeds, Fashions, Finds in Marshall provides consultations for ordering side saddle attire directly from English label Alexander James, offering ready-to-wear items in the finest material from some of the oldest mills and weavers in Britain.

Middleburg Tack Exchange has been in business for 25 years, specializing in both new and used English riding tack and apparel, including consignment habits and accessories. Alexander James will be featured at TriCounty on May 27 and 28. For information or an appointment email [email protected]

Alternatively, some side saddle riders might prefer more historically correct and period inspired dress, whether for show, parades or historical re-enactments in which case these habits and costumes are often purchased vintage, or custom made. Here you might see more vivid colors, varied fabrics and elaborate details.

Cindy Westbroek, owner of Wildhorse Fashion in Utah, has been making side saddle clothing for over a decade. Combining her passion for horses, living history and sewing she began making the clothes when she started riding aside, and quickly discovered there were very few affordable resources for acquiring these pieces. Specializing in period riding habits of the 1800s, she creates everything from late 1700s to modern-day styling.

“I take great pride in every piece I make or have ever made,” Westbroek said. “Each one takes on a personality of it’s own as it evolves.”

Across the pond, the Vintage Tack Room, in Midhurst, West Sussex, England, was established in 2013 to curate, buy and sell the best in vintage riding clothes.

“The company has grown enormously since starting and now is the first call for any hunting man or woman, and for any side saddle rider, to either sell their cherished coats and habits, or to buy a ‘new’ one,” said shop owner Mia Woodford. “Although by new, we can mean as old as 150 years.”

The growth in side saddle has been so fast, that they have set up a separate web site to cater to this special audience. The Vintage Sidesaddle Company, already running on Facebook, will open its doors officially this month. For those equestriennes ready to ride aside and replicate the romance of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, joining the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Elsa Martinelli (all filmed in the side saddle), it’s time to look the part.

Where to find side saddle accoutrements and custom tailoring:

Cherry Blossom Farm LLC

Middleburg, 540-287-2034, http://www.cherryblossomfarm.net/sidesaddle.html

Middleburg Tack Exchange

103 West Federal St., Middleburg,
540-687-6608, middleburgtack.com

TriCounty Feeds, Fashions, Finds

7408 John Marshall Hwy, Marshall,
540-364-1891, tricountyfeeds.com in
partnership with Alexander James

The Side Saddlery

554 Morley Ct., Belford, N.J.
732-962-8747, thesidesaddlery.com

Recollections, Inc.

7956 County Road 451, Hawks, MI,
1-800-452-5925, recollections.biz

Ewbank Clothiers

6807A Lord Fairfax Hwy, Berryville,
540-514-9565, Facebook

Highcliffe Clothiers

112 West Washington St., Middleburg,
540-687-5633; highcliffeclothiers.com

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Upperville Country Store Back in Business

by Dulcy Hooper

Just a few short months after opening The Local Taste in Upperville, Chris Patusky and Kiernan Slater Patusky were presented with an offer very close to home, one that made too much sense to pass up.

“Actually,” Chris said. “Kiernan and I were just finishing up the renovation of The Local Taste when we learned that there was an opportunity to lease the Up-perville Country Store business right next door.  It allows us to coordinate the op-erations, products, marketing and parking much better.”

According to Kiernan, “it just kind of evolved.”  

For many years, Bryant and Kim Beach had successfully run the store, to-gether with their catering company, Barn Door Catering.  Along the way, the store developed a dedicated following for both the barbecue and the Beach’s catering services.  Last year, the couple decided to close the store (they still own the build-ing) in order to focus their efforts primarily on catering.

On a recent morning, a steady stream of local customers stopped in for coffee and a breakfast sandwich.  Among those customers was Bob Slater, Kiernan’s father.  Bob and Alice Slater’s Plum Run Farm is the site of Slater Run Vineyards, a five-acre, 10,000-vine vineyard and winery that Bob helps manage.

Kiernan said that while they were very excited about the opportunity, they were also cautious.  “After all,” she said, “we had just opened The Local Taste and we had a lot on our plates.”

Still, she added, the difference is the team they’ve assembled.  “We were so lucky,” she said.  “The best thing about the store is that the team just fell into place.”

That would Include Julien Lacaze and his brother-in-law, Omar Sharif, who spent much of December and January renovating the store before its Jan. 29 opening.  Similar to The Local Taste, Chris and Kiernan incorporated a number of elements from the family farm, including a repurposed barn door. 

Soon to be included in the decoration are an assortment of enlarged photo-graphs of the store taken in the late 1940s and 1950s. One even features the old gas pump that used to be out front.

In addition to Lacaze and Sharif (who also serves as the breakfast cook), the team includes Bonnie Makely, who many will recall as the former assistant manager at the Marshall IGA.  Makely runs the “front of the house,” according to Kiernan, and Carol Lee, known in the community for 25 years of catering, runs the kitchen.  In an interesting small-world twist, Lee had actually catered the Patusky’s wedding several years ago.

Kiernan said the mission is to be a community store, not a specialty store, 

o accommodate what the community wants.  “Our goal,” said Chris, “is to satisfy our friends and neighbors with both the Upperville Country Store and the Local Taste.  We want to provide what folks here want, and to carry as many local products as we can.”

“We have coffee and breakfast,” said Kiernan.  “We have the basics, because that is a convenience to the community.  We have rotisserie chicken—no hormones and no antibiotics—and a made-to-order deli counter for sandwiches.  We heard that people want local eggs, so we have local eggs.  And we do carry some local honey.”

The Country Store also will continue to have some barbecue items and will carry a small assortment of wine, including wine from Slater Run Vineyards. Plans this spring include a small farmers market in the area in front of the store.

“We appreciate the local farmers,” said Kiernan.  “What they’re doing to support local land use is important to us, and we want to honor that.”

On one recent day, Kiernan recalled asking a customer, “what do you wish you could see here?” She assumed that he would indicate a preference for a different kind of bread or cheese or maybe a wider assortment of cleaning products.  His response delighted her:“Just those two ladies,” he said, nodding toward Makely and Lee.  

“Between us,” said Kiernan, “I think we know about 90 percent of the people who walk through the door, and I think that really matters.”