Talking Wine with Rachel Martin

Talking Wine with Rachel Martin

A Female Vintner Whose Story Begins in Virginia Goes Bi-Coastal

Written by Kaitlin Hill
Photos by Rudney Novaes Photography
Creative Direction by Jennifer Gray, Middleburg Life
Hair by Dennis Roche and makeup by Jamie L. Johnston Roche
Cover wardrobe by Cristina Ruales:
Folded collar tailored jacket in forest and ruched wool trouser in concrete.
Deep V fitted mac in petrol and tech stretch legging in steel
Made to order at

“It’s like breathing for me … it’s almost involuntary. I’m a vintner and it’s so a part of who I am,” – says Rachel Martin of Oceano Wines and formerly of Boxwood Winery.

For Martin, her love of all things wine started as a family affair that has resulted in a bi-coastal business model and lifestyle with stops in New York, San Luis Obispo, and of course, Middleburg. As she works to expand West Coast-based Oceano Wines, she reflects on her Middleburg beginnings that helped her find a passion, master an industry, and even get married.

For many of Martin’s pursuits, the inspiration starts with family. The same holds true of her connection to Middleburg, where in November 2001 her mom Rita Cooke and stepdad John Kent Cook had purchased Boxwood Farm and asked Martin to visit and share her thoughts before the deal was final. Martin remembers describing the property as a “magical place, like a fairytale” that would not only be an idyllic home but also offered the potential of a new business venture.

“Jon, my stepdad, it was his idea to plant the vineyard and build a winery,” she says. “And, he asked me if I would be involved and if I would run the company for him.” Though Martin’s background was photography, with fine arts degrees from Tufts University and The Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston, she jumped at the opportunity for a career change.

“When Jon asked me to be a part of this new vision, it didn’t really take much for me to say, ‘yes,’” she says. “It seemed like an absolutely perfect change for me because I’ve always loved wine, I love everything about wine. I love the provenance of wine, I love the culture of wine, and I especially love drinking wine in great company.”

To help build what would become Boxwood Winery, Martin went back to school to learn the behind-the-scenes of the business. “Thankfully, during the process of choosing the vines, siting the vineyard, and building the winery, there was time,” Martin says.

Her education started in California at Napa Valley College, and later in France for a more immersive experience. “I went to school in Napa first, for oenology and viticulture … it’s a wonderful program for people who are working at vineyards and wineries who want to get a degree or further their education,” she says. “It’s very accessible.”

Of her continued studies in France, she says, “I went to France’s University of Bordeaux School of Oenology. I finished school in Bordeaux and it was a diploma of Dégustation du vin, so a sensory evaluation program which is very intense.”

She finished her schooling in 2005 just in time to return to Middleburg and continue her education building Boxwood Winery, which opened the same year. Martin says, “I went to school to understand the process because my position here at Boxwood was Executive Vice President. I was in charge of grape growing, wine production, distribution, retail, packing, and like you name it. We were a new company and we were still learning as we were going and building as we were going. So, there was a lot of opportunity for me to learn how to build a wine business.”

Martin stayed with Boxwood Winery, working with her stepdad, mom, and brother Sean Martin, from 2005 to 2018. During that period she developed skills necessary to start her own venture, and met two figures crucial to her career expansion, viticulture consultant, Lucy Morton, and future husband and Oceano business partner, Kurt Deutsch.

Of Morton, Boxwood’s viticulture consultant since inception, Martin says, “Lucy is local to Virginia, but she’s an international consultant as well. So [she] really set me up super well for success.”

As for her husband, Martin shares, “I was on the founding board of the Middleburg Film Festival and I was really excited to be part of it. My husband, he produced the opening film for the 2014 festival and, maybe it wasn’t random, maybe someone had ideas, but we were seated across from each other at a table having never met before.” The pair started as friends with a common interest in the arts, before Deutsch asked Martin out in 2015. She remembers, “I was in New York selling Boxwood Wine and he asked me out … We were just so comfortable with one another that it was very natural.”

Martin says their relationship and their pathway to business partnership blossomed on a family trip just a few months into dating. She remembers fondly, “I knew Kurt was a phenomenal person when we all went on a trip for my mom’s 80th birthday with 17 family members. I said, ‘It’s going to be lots of family and kind of intimate,’ but he said he would love to come.”

Not only a milestone for the budding romance, the trip also proved significant for Martin’s business planning. She retells the story of how the seahorse became a mascot for her relationship and, later, part of Oceano’s branding.

“We’re scuba divers, and on one of the first dives in Virgin Gorda we saw a seahorse,” she says. “It’s very rare because they are so small and they’re masters of disguise. They change to their environment and they mate for life. So even before we had the wine company, the seahorse was emblematic of our relationship and we would see it everywhere.”

Naturally, as the relationship solidified, Martin would meet Deutsch’s friends and family too, and make a connection seemingly as impactful as the scuba trip. “After Kurt and I were established, I started to meet his family, and he introduced me to Henry Warshaw, the owner of Spanish Springs Vineyard … it’s in San Luis Obispo, all the way on the coast,” she says.

Warshaw invited Martin to visit Spanish Springs in 2016, an opportunity she couldn’t resist. She recalls, “I am always game for an adventure … and there was just something about this that [I felt] I had to investigate at any cost. I was just so taken by the vineyard. I did an inquiry about the soil combination, the climate, and the different clones of each grape variety. I said to Henry, ‘I want to contract for six tons of Chardonnay.’ I just had a vision and I just saw the future in that moment.”

With a vision in mind, Martin asked then-boyfriend Deutsch to join her in building Oceano Wines, a process that would bring “it all full circle,” notes Martin. Oceano takes its name from Spanish Springs’ proximity to the ocean, making Martin’s beloved seahorse an appropriate part of the branding.

Additionally, Boxwood’s Lucy Morton connected Martin with winemaker Marbue Marke, who would take Martin on as a client. Of that meeting Martin shares, “We got along smashingly and we had the best time. So we signed a contract and he became our winemaker.” The pair started with one very Californian varietal, Chardonnay.

“I knew I could make an amazing Chardonnay from this place,” she says. “But more than just making amazing wines, I could make a wine that people were looking for. I knew a California Chardonnay didn’t have to be oaky, heavy, or high alcohol, that it could be more food-friendly, more people-friendly.”

In 2016, Marke used Martin’s grapes to make the Oceano Wine Chardonnay. “We’re in a special enclave where we can make wines that are mature, that don’t have that high of an alcohol content … It’s just refreshing and vibrant, and you’re not going to pay for it later,” Martin describes. Martin followed up with a Pinot Noir in 2018, the same year she married Deutsch.

Though her process is distinctly California, using grapes grown in San Luis Obispo and turned to wine in Napa, the final product finds its way back to her Middleburg home. “Our Chardonnay showed up at the 2017 Middleburg Film Festival,” she says. And the new business has more plans to pop up in Hunt Country in the years to come.

“We’re launching a vintage VW bus, mobile tasting room for Oceano,” she says. “It’ll start on the East Coast because I want to try it out close to home. So we’ll do private events at people’s homes, luxury events at places like Salamander. I am a bi-coastal person and there’s no reason I can’t bring the west coast to the east coast in a really cool vintage VW.”

It’s no surprise that Martin would bring her new venture back to Middleburg where it all began as she feels, “very connected to the area.”

“I started my career here at Boxwood, I have a huge network of family and friends here, and I just love the area so much,” she says. Though she splits her time between California, New York where she lives with her husband, and Middleburg, she plans to spend more time here in the coming months and bring Oceano with her.

“I’ll be back for the fall races, the film festival, and the Christmas Parade,” she says. “So I’ll do pop-up wine tastings in local boutiques. Actually, I’ll be at Tully Rector on December 4th, serving and selling wine, come find me there.” ML

This article first appeared in the October 2021 Issue.

Rachel Martin, October 21′ cover for Middleburg Life

How To Go Vineyard Hopping

How To Go Vineyard Hopping

In Virginia Like A Pro This Fall

Written by Sophia Kedzierski

As summer ripens into fall harvest, a Virginia favorite becomes ready for the Commonwealth: wine. While preparing for the season among us, we’re taking it back to the basics. Whether you’re a true newbie or a wine savant, we’ve asked three local vineyards to introduce themselves and their processes to our readers.

Slater Run Vinyard

Tucked away along a quiet creek in Upperville, Virginia, Slater Run Vineyards boasts a unique blend of viticultural genius and family history. Husband-and-wife team Christopher Patusky and Kiernan Slater Patusky made the choice to move their family of four from Baltimore, Maryland down to the historic farm inherited through the Slater name in order to preserve the family’s history for future generations. The entire winery is solar-powered.

Tell me a little bit about the history of Slater Run.

Patusky: Kiernan’s ancestor, John Glascock, acquired the vineyard and winery farm in 1720, about eleven generations ago. For the past 300 years, his descendants have operated a cattle and feed crop farm. This is the source of Slater Run’s slogan: “Roots that Run 300 Years Deep.”

As for some background, Kiernan’s great-great-grandfather, George Meacham Slater, moved from Baltimore to Fauquier County in the 19th century. After the Civil War, he acquired and lived the rest of his life at Mount Bleak Farm in nearby Paris, Virginia (now Sky Meadow State Park). In 1905, George M’s son, George Hoffman Slater, and Kiernan’s great grandmother, Tacie Glascock Fletcher, who had inherited the farm from Thomas Glascock were married, and that is why it has been owned in the Slater name ever since.

Two of your wines honor Kiernan’s ancestors. Can you tell me about those?

Patusky: “First Bridge,” a red Bordeaux blend, is named after the closest of two small bridges that George Hoffman Slater had built along with three of their neighbors along Crenshaw Road over Goose Creek in 1919 so that their cattle could more easily be brought to the depot at Rectortown. “Roots,” our flagship Bordeaux blend, features a photograph of Kiernan’s grandfather, Thomas Glascock Slater, on horseback jumping a stone fence on a neighboring farm. We named this “Roots,” in honor of the deep roots of the family that match to the deep roots of the grapevines.

What’s unique about your winemaking process?

Patusky: Our winemaker, Katell Griaud, was raised in a small family-owned winery in Bergerac, France, just to the east of Bordeaux, and she received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in winemaking from Bordeaux University. She makes the wines at Slater Run Vineyards in a traditional dry, French style. We owe the consistent high quality of our wines to both the quality of the grapes that we both grow on-site and purchase from other quality Virginia vineyards, and to the extreme skill and care that Ms. Griaud brings to the winemaking process, cutting no corners, and drawing upon her lifelong experience and university training to make “correct” wines.

What type of advice would you give to beginners in the wine drinking experience?

Patusky: The main thing for beginners is not to think that drinking wine is a stuffy or snobby experience that requires some secret knowledge. Wine is drunk in numerous cultures around the world as a drink that accompanies food, and every person has their own taste, and so the important thing is to put aside any anxiety and try the wines. We have no dress code at Slater Run, although our guests tend to be mature people who have come here to relax and enjoy quality Virginia wines. We offer spit buckets to those who want to try multiple wines without needing to consume too much quantity, and there is no right way to hold a glass in our view, other than the one that feels most comfortable to you.

Any special events coming up at Slater Run?

Patusky: We are open late on Fridays, from 5 – 8:30 p.m., exclusively for our club members and their guests, and we often have music and great food trucks on these nights. For example, we will be hosting an OysterFest for our club members on Friday, September 17, from 6 – 8:30 p.m. with music by Zach Jones. We think it is a wonderful way to end the work week by watching the sun go down over the Blue Ridge Mountains as you eat tasty food, listen to some classic American songs, and sip delicious wines with friends and family.

Early Mountain Vineyards

Located in Madison, Virginia, Early Mountain Vineyards rests on a historic property owned by Revolutionary War General Joseph Early. The property was visited by George Washington in 1784, where he wrote in his journal about the kind hospitality he received. Today, that hospitality continues through Early Mountain, which was first built as a winery in 2005 and opened by owners Jean Case and her husband, Steve, in 2012. Here, their vice president of strategy and marketing, Aileen Sevier gives us insight into their process.

How would you describe the atmosphere of your winery?

Sevier: Come visit! We have a gorgeous light-filled tasting room with vaulted ceilings and stunning views of the vineyards. We have a full-service restaurant integrated in the tasting room that features local, seasonal produce, and producers. We welcome pets in our outdoor spaces which include a full-service patio and more casual meadow seating with a walk-up bar and sandwich/salad menu. We love families and children.

What types of wines will we be drinking if we come visit you this October?

Sevier: We’ll have several exciting releases in October, including our “Quaker Run Chardonnay,” red blends “Novum” and “Eluvium,” as well as favorites “Five Forks” (aromatic white blend) and “Foothills” (red blend).

What year will the wines be from this fall? How long do you let the wine age before opening up a bottle for tasting?

Sevier: They will range from 2017 to 2020 vintage. Our fresher style whites and reds will be 2020, our more age-worthy reds will be 2017 and 2019 (both exceptional

vintages) as well as a limited release amber wine from the 2017 vintage.

What are your best beginner-friendly wines?

Sevier: We make a trio of “young wines” that are fruit-driven, fresh, but also offer some complexity and texture that makes them a notch above other entry wines. Our most popular wines are our rosé, five forks, and foothills, all blended wines that are bottled with screw caps and are accessible and versatile.

Walk me through some basic wine tasting etiquette for beginners.

Sevier: We offer wine
tastings tableside as flights, so it’s extremely non-intimidating. Folks can wear whatever they’d like! Most guests don’t spit, but if you’d like to, just ask your server for a spittoon and we’re happy to provide. As far as holding a glass, by the stem is best so that you don’t warm the wine or get fingerprints on the bowl, but it’s really not a big deal!

Are there any special events you’ll be hosting in September or October?

Sevier: We will be offering a “Bounty of Virginia” wine dinner on September 24, and our extremely popular fall oyster bar pop-up the weekend of October 16.

Greenhill Winery & Vineyards

Complete with a historic circa 1762 house and 11 acres of lush vineyards planted by the Swedenburgs in the mid-80s, Greenhill’s natural Virginian beauty creates an elevated wine experience that is unparalleled. The 128-acre property, formerly known as the Swedenburg Estate Vineyard, was purchased by David Greenhill in 2013. Assistant general manager and wine club manager Jenny Travers gave us some introductory information on wine at Greenhill.

How would you describe the Greenhill experience?

Travers: Greenhill Vineyards is an exception in the local winery scene. The focus is primarily on the experience of each customer and we have cultivated an atmosphere which welcomes small groups, dogs, horses, and of course the best oenophiles in the region exploring some of the best wines in the mid-Atlantic. Greenhill Vineyards is a 21 and over property perfect for dates, intimate conversations, and relaxing.

In your own words, explain your winemaking process.

Travers: The winemaking process starts in the vineyard, managed by general manager Jed Gray, who believes creating quality wines starts with a quality grape. The business owns and manages two vineyards in Virginia. The primary site is in Middleburg and the second is located in Amherst County, south of Charlottesville. The uniqueness of each site provides the winemaking team, led by Ben Comstock, with fruit that has different varietal expressions helping to create one-of-a-kind wines for the region. Using 100% French oak barrels handpicked for each vintage, Ben has already been recognized both locally and nationally for the quality of his wines.

What types of wines will we be drinking if we come visit you this October?

Travers: Greenhill Vineyards has many exciting new releases and of course the signature favorites! Be on the lookout for the 2019 tannat, a new varietal for Greenhill, and the 2019 eternity which has become one of the most exciting wines we have ever tasted. In addition, the 2020 viognier and 2020 petit manseng are two white wines that are Greenhill favorites, available this fall.

How long do you let the wine age before opening up a bottle for tasting?

Travers: Each wine has different aging preferences and potential. We generally suggest not aging white wines, but red wines age in the barrel for 1-2 years and then can be aged in the bottle for 5-infinite years. The red wines being released this fall will be primarily from the 2019 vintage and the whites wines will be from the 2020 vintage. The 2021 vintage is still on the vines, harvest will begin in the next couple of weeks and it will go into October.

Are there any special events you’ll be hosting in September or October?

Travers: Our fire pits will return in October and can be reserved through our website. We will also have our annual harvest dinner the first Saturday in November and tickets will be on sale around the first part of October. ML

This article first appeared in the September 2021 Issue.

Coq Au Vin.

Origin of a Recipe: Bringing a French Twist to the Table

Story by Aaron Lynch and Amber Sky | Photos by Amber Sky

Since 1981, L’Auberge Provençale has brought true, generational European “farm-to-table” to the Virginia countryside.

Writer Aaron Lynch with L’Auberge Provençale owner Alain Borel.

Writer Aaron Lynch with L’Auberge Provençale owner Alain Borel.

This month, we had the great privilege of visiting L’Auberge Provençale. L’Auberge Provençale is a quintessential French Country Inn and Restaurant located in picturesque White Post, Virginia. Owners Alain and Celeste Borel have created a remarkable Provence experience in their nationally acclaimed, four diamond rated establishment. Stepping into L’Auberge Provençale, I felt like I was transported to the luxuriant French countryside.

Alain Borel, who is a fourth generation French Chef, creates amazingly authentic French food, which makes for an unforgettable experience when appreciated with his incredible stories and recipe origins. Alain and Celeste are so friendly and passionately want each guest to experience a piece of the opulent French culture. They are extremely intentional with every detail and ingredient they incorporate. Alain invites one to savor his modern regional cuisine with a French flair by giving inventive commission to Head Chef Richard Wright who takes Alain’s generational recipes and creates contemporary versions that fuse the flavor and beauty of each dish.

Alain’s great-grandparents owned the Hotel du Louvre, in Avignon, France, and the recipe we will share today was perfected in that hotel over a century ago. Alain’s great-grandmother prepared the memorable Coq Au Vin for her family and her hotel guests. Coq Au Vin is a classic French stew with chicken that is slowly braised in red wine and brandy. Alain shared how once a year his family in France would use the lone rooster on the family farm to create this special Coq Au Vin dish. They would marinate the rooster for hours to make it tender and juicy. It is simply a divinely delicious dish!

Alain began his training to become a chef at the tender age of six. He worked as an apprentice to his grandfather and his first assignment was to peel and cut potatoes. When Alain was 13, he moved to Canada, where his father owned L’Auberge Provençale, just outside of Montreal. Alain continued his culinary training under his father and his uncle. At 14, he started his full-time career as a chef. Alain’s roots are Provence and he still stands firm on those today.

 L’Auberge Provençale Head Chef Richard Wright.

L’Auberge Provençale Head Chef Richard Wright.

Provence style is essentially farm-to-table with only using the freshest of local ingredients. In 1981 when Alain and Celeste came to Virginia, they set out to live and share the style of Provence. That was in a sense counter-cultural in the 1980s. Finding local fresh organic meats and produce did not really exist. The pair would travel north and south to find their ingredients. Being the inventive and creative chefs they are, they raised rabbits and pigs and created an extensive herb garden, vegetable garden, and orchard. After a time, they were able to procure local pork, beef, chicken, fowl, produce, and fruit that met their high standards for them to use in a sustainable farm-to-table Provence fashion. They were ahead of the time, stayed true to their convictions, and definitely influenced many to consider the Provence lifestyle.

Though the Coq Au Vin recipe was perfected at the family French hotel, Alain brought this recipe and many others to the west. L’Auberge Provençale’s goal is to enhance each dish to it’s highest standards. Alain is equally passionate about continually evolving his family recipes and cuisine. That was made so evident when we met with Alain, Celeste who adore watching Chef Rich take the family recipes and ingeniously embellish them. Today, L’Auberge Provençale uses the freshest local farm-raised chicken instead of a rooster. Sometimes Chef Rich adds lentils to his Coq Au Vin to give it a new spin.

L’Auberge Provençale is a family affair. Pictured: Christian, Alain, and Celeste Borel.

L’Auberge Provençale is a family affair. Pictured: Christian, Alain, and Celeste Borel.

L’Auberge Provençale’s owner is the epitome of what all chefs would want to be. As Shenandoah’s original farm-to-table chef, he is the essence of what a true “foodie” is. From a 200 to a 2,000 square foot kitchen and from chasing pigs around the fields to catering a 700 person wedding, he has experienced and perfected the culinary arts. The legacy continues through Christian, Celeste and Alain’s son, as the fifth generation Borel to complement the lifestyle of Provence. Christian is L’Auberge Provençale’s Certified Sommelier and Front House Manager. He oversees the extensive 8,000 bottle wine collection that was started before he was born. They hope the family business will only continue to grow through Christian’s daughter, Jacqueline.

The warmth and flavor of the Coq Au Vin dish are perfect for family and holiday dinners. It is a dish you can be creative with, just as L’Auberge Provençale continues to do. We are so grateful to Alain and Celeste for sharing L’Auberge Provençale and this century-old family recipe with us. Bon Appétit!

Coq Au Vin.

Coq Au Vin.

Coq Au Vin
Serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup smoked bacon, diced
1 (3-4lb) chicken, cut into eighths
Salt and pepper
1 cup of carrots, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
1 medium onion, sliced ¼” thick
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 ounces good brandy
1 bottle dry red wine, Burgundy
8 ounces chicken stock
10 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ stick of butter
1 ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
8 ounces pearl onions, peeled and par-boiled slightly
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thick, sauteed lightly
¼ cup chopped, fresh parsley


Marinate chicken pieces with wine, carrots, onion, garlic,
and half of the thyme for at least eight hours.
Drain chicken well reserving the liquid.
Separate chicken and vegetables and set aside.
Bring chicken marinade to a simmer and skim the foam frequently for 10 min.
Strain and reserve.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cook bacon, in a Dutch oven, in oil until crispy and remove from pan.
Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towel and season both side with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Sear chicken well on both sides in bacon fat and remove to a plate.
Turn heat to medium-low and melt butter.
Sweat carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper with no color for 10 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for one minute.
Add brandy and cook for one minute.
Sprinkle flour evenly over the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.
Add a little of the wine and whisk until smooth.
Add the rest of the wine along with the chicken stock and the rest of the thyme.
Add chicken, bacon, and any juices that accumulated on the plate.
Bring to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Add pearl onions and mushrooms and return to the oven, uncovered for 20 minutes.
Make sure chicken is cooked through and remove to cool slightly
(or place over a burner and simmer sauce to desired consistency).
Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately with a nice piece of warm baguette.
Aaron Lynch is the co-creator of Origin of a Recipe and the chef-owner of
Hidden Julles Cafe in Haymarket, Virginia.

Photographer Amber Sky, co-creator of Origin of a Recipe, works alongside Lynch to share the chef’s vision with readers. Visit to read more. 

3rd annual Middleburg Music Fest International features Pianists Katerina Zaitseva and Nikita Fitenko

Pianists Katerina Zaitseva and Nikita Fitenko performed their favorite piano compositions On December 2, 2018  in the Greenhill Winery Barrel Room. The program took the audience through selected compositions by Schubert, Chopin, Grieg, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninov.

This event was part of the Middleburg Music Fest International, now in it’s third year, which has become a beloved yearly tradition for those who love the piano world.
After the concert guests enjoyed a reception to meet the artists and accompanied by wine and delicacies produced at the beautiful facilities at Greenhill Winery.

Dr. Zaitseva (Right) and Dr. Fitenko (Left) performing in the Barrel Room at Greenhill Winery.

About the Performers:

Internationally acclaimed pianist and Yamaha Artist Nikita Fitenko has performed recitals and with orchestras at important venues throughout Europe, Asia, South and North America. He holds degrees from the Saint Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory (BM) and from the University of North Texas (MM & DMA). He has also recorded seven commercial CDs for Altarus and Classical Records labels.

Dr. Fitenko has been invited to serve on numerous international piano competition juries. He currently holds the position of Chair of The Department of Music Performance at the Rome School of Music, Drama and, Art and at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; and he is also the Artistic Director and Co-founder of the Middleburg Music Fest International. Praised by Fanfare magazine as a pianist with an “imaginative and colorful approach”, Katerina Zaitseva has performed at major venues in the United States, Europe and Asia. Her six CD recordings released by the Classical Records label have garnered international acclaim. She is a winner of national competitions and awards including the MTNA Competition, SMU Concerto Competition, Von Mickwitz Prize in Piano as well as the University of North Texas Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award among others.

Dr. Zaitseva holds her DMA degree from the University of Maryland, Master of Music from the Southern Methodist University, Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas, and Diploma from the Music School under the Moscow State Conservatory in Russia. She is also faculty and the Levine School of Music.

Guests enjoying wine and talking to the pianist after the event. 

This event is made possible thanks to the patronage of Greenhill Winery and the support of the
Town of Middleburg. For tickets information please check the announcement on, as well as on and our Facebook page.
Read about last years event here. 

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Virginia Wine Summit comes to Middleburg

Image copyright of Virginia Wine

Image copyright of Virginia Wine

by Len Shapiro

Loudoun County again will be a destination for wine experts when the Virginia Wine Summit comes to the Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg this spring.

Last year, the National Wine Tourism Conference was held at Lansdowne Resort, the first time the event was held on the East Coast.

The summit location was announced by Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office. “We are pleased to host this annual event to showcase our world-class Virginia wines, and invite national and international opinion leaders to see and taste the recent developments in the Virginia wine industry,” McAuliffe stated in the announcement.

The full-day program takes place April 5. In its fourth year, the summit brings industry leaders and wine enthusiasts together to discuss the state’s burgeoning wine industry, and celebrate Virginia’s wine and food culture.

The summit will feature remarks by keynote speaker Jon Bonné, one of the leading American voices on wine. About 20 other influential wine professionals will join talented winemakers to discuss regional and vintage differentiations that continue to raise the profile of the Virginia wine industry. Those expected to attend the summit include restaurateurs, sommeliers, wine-shop owners, winemakers, wine enthusiasts, media representatives and other industry professionals.

Virginia is the nation’s fifth largest wine producer. Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore said the governor’s priority is to continue to improve and expand the Virginia wine industry, raising its profile and recognition around the world.

Registration for the wine summit is $225, and includes lunch and post-event reception. To register or for more information on individual panel topics and speakers, go to