wine

Vine to Wine with Greenhill Vineyards

Written by Kaitlin Hill

“We have a team that believes in a wine experience that starts in the vineyard, works its way to the bottle, and into the glasses we pour and the information and passion we share,” says Jed Gray, general manager of Greenhill Vineyards. Gray and his team know that more than good soil and the right climate, making an exceptional bottle of wine starts with meticulous vine care, staying true to the land, and pride in the final product. Gray, along with David Greenhill, Ubaldo Morales, Ben Comstock, and Jenny Travers, invest their expertise, sweat equity, and an undeniable camaraderie in their craft to produce bottles as distinct as the property, process, and people on the path from vine to wine. 

A sprawling 128-acres, the Greenhill property is the image of Virginia wine country complete with a stylish tasting room, historic stone manor, gorgeous vistas, and, of course, rolling hills of diligently tended vines. More than the aesthetics, it’s the dedication to the vines that is at the root of the vineyard’s success. “When you are dealing with vines, you are tending to them 365 days a year. It’s personal,” Gray shares. “Each vine is a little different and you can get to know not only a block of vines, but individual vines themselves.” Perhaps no one knows the vines better than Morales, who has worked on the property for 19 years. “I started on this land in 2003…When Mr. Greenhill bought the farm, I started working for him full-time. And, I’m still here.” 

Nearly two decades on, Morales has seen the quality of the landscape improve. He notes, “The vines look nice, and the fruit grows differently than before.” And Gray adds, “Over the years we have implemented more sustainable vineyard techniques that produce a healthier canopy and healthier fruit. Everything we do is to make a healthier vineyard and we have seen the results over the past couple of years.” 

Part of achieving optimum vineyard health is down to understanding the environment of the Middleburg American Viticultural Area. “We really try to understand what is happening in [our] unique microclimate,” Gray shares. He expands, “We plant varietals that thrive in [this] unique microclimate. Now that we have revitalized the land and learned what works best and what doesn’t, it has resulted in some unique fruits from our vineyard.”

Sustainable practices are aided by Morales’ vigilance in the field. Gray shares, “Ubaldo has this immense attention to detail and pride in his work. Growing the vine from bud break in the spring, watching the fruit mature, taking care of the vine to produce the highest quality fruit, when you pick it and know it is as perfect as you can make it, it’s insanely gratifying.” He adds with a laugh, “Essentially, he enjoys the fruit of his labors.” 

The result of Morales’ dedicated tending and the vineyard’s agricultural practices are grapes ripe for picking and producing award-winning wine. This next step benefits from the talent and experience of Ben Comstock, Greenhill’s head winemaker. Comstock got into the wine world when a friend with a winery in Loudoun County needed help with his harvest in 2009. “When I started, I didn’t necessarily have a passion for wine. I actually fell in love with the work first, and then got to fall in love with the industry itself as the years went on.” Comstock brought that love to Greenhill Vineyards in 2018. 

At Greenhill, producing premium vintages is as much a practice in adaptability as it is in standardized methodology, all while reflecting the relative newness and distinct terroir of the region. Of Comstock’s approach, Gray says, “Every single vintage is different, and the fruit that comes in is different. Ben allows the fruit and then the juice to speak to him [about] how he is going to ultimately create a final product.” 

“Our goal, our ideal, is to make a wine from Virginia,” explains Comstock, understanding that in making it, Greenhill is helping define it. “There is no definition of what Virginia wine is supposed to be,” offers Jenny Travers, the assistant general manager at the vineyard. “So, we are part of a process of defining what Virginia wine actually can be.”

Crucial to defining Virginia wine is harnessing the terroir. “Everything [the team] does, they do in accordance with the terroir,” shares Greenhill’s owner, David Greenhill. “It’s not just the land, but the soil, the climate, everything that goes into the wine…We actually care for the vines in accordance with the elements that are here and not techniques from other areas that don’t necessarily apply,” he adds.

“It’s an evolutionary process where we are constantly educating ourselves with the fruit every single year and always striving to make a better product,” Gray says. 

The result? Numerous award-winning and, as Travers says, “cult favorite” wines with something for every preference from Chenin Blanc to Cabernet Sauvignon. “Our sparkling is something that people know Greenhill for. Our Cabernet Franc is amazing. Our Merlot is fantastic. And then we make two or three iterations of Chardonnay. Oh, and Petit Verdot. Those are some of the wines we are known for making exceptionally well,” Travers lists. When asked, Morales says his favorite is the Merlot.  

Beyond the wine, the team at Greenhill applies the same laser focus when nurturing team camaraderie and guaranteeing customer enjoyment. “Me, Ben, Ubaldo and Jed, we all have separate roles, but we all work collaboratively. And we all like each other. I mean, genuinely like each other,” Travers emphasizes. 

Just a few minutes in the tasting room or a walk around the grounds reveals an inter-employee warmth that spreads to each customer with whom the team members interact. “Everything we do is about an experience…And every touch we have with the customers is extremely important to us. It is something that every single person that works here takes pride in,” Travers says. 

“We are not [only] successful because of our pride, but [also] because of our passion. If you can look someone in the eye and pour them wine and speak passionately about it, that resonates with the customer and their enjoyment and appreciation of the product is endless at that point. We have pride and passion in everything that we share with our [guests] and we stand behind that 100%,” Gray says. Travers finishes, “And that’s 100% from vine to bottle to glass.”  

Pride, passion, and a spirit of camaraderie are served in abundance at Greenhill Vineyards making it a must-visit during Virginia’s wine month and beyond. Perhaps Travers puts it best when she says, “The celebration around the time you spend with people when you are drinking, that connection you make, that is extremely important [to us]. It’s extremely important to the business and it is extremely important to the experience.” ML 

This article first appeared in the October 2022 issue.

Family, Friends, and Forever Farm & Vineyard

Story by Will Thompson

“Each wine in here I could tell a story about,” says Bob Riggs, pouring a glass of Forever Farm & Vineyard’s signature label, Boykin Blend, in their tasting room.

The stories seem to flow as easily as the superb wine at this boutique, family-run winery nestled in Purcellville’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Bob tends to the vines and is the winemaker, while his wife, Teri Riggs, manages the business. Together they provide a personable and inclusive venue for savoring some of the best that Virginia winemaking has to offer.

 The walls of Forever Farm’s cozy tasting room are lined with photos from Teri and Bob’s own lives – much of which were spent living around the world. Record covers and other artifacts with personal meaning mingle with bottles of wine adorned with the many gold and silver medals that their impressive varietals and blends have won in local and national competitions.

Forever Farm & Vineyard started when Teri and Bob decided to move to Loudoun County upon their retirement to be close to their family and friends. When they bottled their first wines in 2017, a harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chambourcin that became Boykin Blend, their intent was to make wine for the same family and friends as a hobby. A few short years saw their skills and their vines growing and multiplying. They decided to scale up to open a boutique winery for anyone who was interested in expertly-crafted wine in an inviting, community atmosphere.

Forever Farm’s roots – making wine based on a  passion for the craft and serving family and friends – are still the ethos of their winery today. “It’s a passion,”  Bob says. “We’ve won awards. But it’s really not about the awards. It’s about people enjoying and drinking the wine.”

“Being with people is our biggest thing,” Teri agrees.

Visitors can expect a concierge tasting experience with Teri and Bob on hand to match each person to the wine that they will love. Patrons can also expect to be welcomed as part of the Forever Farm & Vineyard extended family, with Teri and Bob sharing stories about their former lives as world travelers, their parents and children, and the stories behind those photos on the wall (including one of Teri dancing while making her television debut!). But perhaps the most compelling are the stories behind each cork popped in their tasting room.

Boykin Blend, for example, is a Bordeaux-style blend named for the couple’s beloved Boykin Spaniel, George, who died tragically but inspired them to rescue their current Boykin, 10-year-old Mojo. George peers out from the label of Boykin Blend, blissfully bounding toward his next adventure. One dollar of each bottle sold of Boykin Blend supports Boykin Spaniel Rescue in South Carolina.

Visioné (Italian for vision), a Sangiovese blend, honors the earliest beginnings of Bob’s interest in wine: growing up in New Jersey at a time when many of his friends and neighbors made their own wine.

Forever Farm’s Norton is made from grapes that are a product of a chance friendship and business exchange that resulted in a unique, deep purple wine that is evocative of holiday spices and dark fruits.

Among the many awards and recognitions that Forever Farm’s wines have received, each year of Boykin Blend has been awarded by organizations such as the American Wine Society, the Loudoun Wine Awards, and the Texas Int’l Awards. Visioné and Forever Farms’ Norton were both awarded a silver medal at the 2021 Loudoun Wine awards. And, it was announced that Norton won a silver medal at the 2022 Loudoun Wine awards. Many more of Forever Farm’s wines have been honored with similar accolades.

“It begins with making sure that you have great fruit to make wine with,” says Bob as Teri explains how he tends to the vines every day. “I even tell them that I love them,” Bob laughs. Perfectly spaced rows of hanging grapes stretch across the bucolic vineyard just outside of the tasting room walls. Teri and Bob’s care extends to all aspects of the winemaking process, from farming to bottling. “We pour the wine into each bottle, cork each bottle, cap each bottle, and label each bottle right here,” Teri emphasizes.

To accept a glass of wine from Teri and Bob is to participate in the Forever Farm & Vineyard story, which is based on the care that Bob puts into every bottle, the hours that Teri works to provide her guests with a comfortable, community-driven experience, and, of course, a really good glass of wine. ML  

Forever Farm & Vineyard Winery is located at 15779 Woodgrove Rd in Purcellville. The tasting room along with outdoor seating is open every Saturday from 12  – 6 p.m., and select Sundays and Fridays. Forever Farm welcomes everyone including children and dogs.

The article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue.

Celebration in Hartland: Old Farm Winery’s First Anniversary

Story by Bill Kent
Photos by Michael Butcher

We’ve all seen it, somewhere in our lives: that house on the hill.

Jon Hickox first saw Longfield Manor when he was a teenager. It stood on a rise along what he and his friends called the “cut-through” connecting Evergreen Mills Road with Route 50.

He would look at the house on his way to carpentry jobs or farm work. As one of eight children born to a Navy captain, he worked for everything, up to and including a business degree at George Mason, his first jobs as a contractor, and then, a residential and commercial developer.

He would see that same house during hunting season, when, after a long day in the woods, he would gift his kill to families who lived along the road. He was intrigued to know that the farm itself dates back to the 1700s and that much of the land had once belonged to Hunt Country legend Randolph “Randy” Rouse, former Master of the Fairfax Hunt.

Newly renovated Longfield Manor is ready for special events.

“Every time I saw that house, I imagined that whoever lived there was happy in some way. Don’t get me wrong —I had a great childhood growing up in Burke Centre in Fairfax. I’ve seen plenty of great places to live. I’ve even built some. But this house was special.”

Twenty-five years later Hickox bought the house and the surrounding 35 acres. “I had put a bug in the ear of the developers that we should essentially get rid of the golf course community concept and put in a winery, kind of like farm-to-table but grape-to-glass. After I closed on the deal I drove out again [and] stood right where I was when I first saw the house. [I] said to myself, ‘I have to turn this into something amazing.’”

I don’t see us as making wine. I see us making happiness.

– Hickox

It’s been nearly a year since Hickox opened Old Farm Winery at Hartland. It is his fourth Virginia vineyard, second winery, and the first in Loudoun County and, perhaps, in the entire state, to not merely grow grapes, but act as an event center and community focal point for the Hartland community, an 800-acre Aldie luxury residential development.

For Hickox and his staff of eight, it has been a year of successes, lessons, and “moments so special that, for me at least, there’s so much more in being part of a community.” He continues, “It isn’t enough to put a good wine in a bottle and sell it at a fair price. I don’t see us as making wine. I see us making happiness.”

As he did when building houses, Hickox has done every job at Old Farm Winery from planting the vines, to working the tasting room, to restoring the farm’s main house.

His favorite job? “The crush. That’s spending twelve hours to harvest grapes, crush them all, send the juice to tanks, then cleaning everything up. It is extremely intense. To work with a team and to endure the great physical non-stop efforts all working towards a common goal in such a setting is an amazing experience. It’s like running a marathon but nobody can finish alone.”

All that crushing happens at The Winery at Bull Run, Hickox’s first foray into wine making. Currently celebrating its tenth year, Bull Run was born when the 2008 recession doomed another developer’s Centreville residential project. Hickox bought the land and decided that the region may not need more houses as much as a more attractive use of the countryside. 

“I like wine but I don’t have a complex palate. What I enjoy is getting out into the open areas with my family and experiencing the history, the scenery, the flavor, and character of a place. You can do that with wine. It was enough to get me interested.”

He planted grapes, sited the tasting room to take advantage of the landscape, hired an expert winemaker, and promoted the winery to both nearby Washington, D.C. residents and Hunt Country locals. 

He wasn’t sure if the winery was going to succeed until one day when he visited it anonymously on a summer weekend. “I saw that one woman was sitting by herself and seemed very sad. I asked very discreetly of the tasting room staff if there was anything we could do. They had heard she was going through a difficult breakup, so we left well enough alone. An hour later, I saw her talking to someone and her mood had changed a little.”

A month later Hickox heard that the two he saw chatting had become engaged at the winery. A week after that she came right up to Hickox and asked him if he owned the winery. “I said I did, was there anything wrong? She said nothing was wrong — in fact, so many good things had happened to her here, she wanted to ask me if she could have her wedding here. Of course, I said ‘yes.’ That was one of our first, and, as far as I’m concerned, best weddings at Bull Run.”

And it was proof for Hickox that wineries are more than just places to make, taste, and buy wine. “We have the opportunity to become part of people’s lives. Those people are a community, whether they’re from out of state or the next town over. From then on, I knew that putting a winery into a community could be a great thing.”

He admits the challenge of opening a vineyard during the pandemic “…was scary at times. I had to reassure my bankers that the pandemic restrictions would end and that people would one day want to go into an enclosed building and eat and drink. We had supply chain problems for what we needed to build the tasting room and restore the farmhouse. At one point the price of lumber went up 280 percent.”

“We have the opportunity to become part of people’s lives. Those people are a community, whether they’re from out of state or the next town over.”

– Hickox

Throughout his renovations, Hickox was careful to keep the simple, modest lines of the farmhouse. Inside, the rooms are slowly being renovated into meeting rooms and office spaces with a bridal suite taking up much of the second floor.

Hickox wanted to be a good neighbor to those coming into the Hartland development so he planted his vines to give open views to the nearby homeowners, and put some distance between them and the areas of the winery where festivities occur. Two older structures dating back to the 1700s will be converted into wine making and storage areas. A “family-friendly” area is located on a rise above the tasting area. 

The outdoor bar has a great view of the vines with Longfield Manor in the background.

His wife suggested that he offer a Hunt Country-themed wine. Created by Bull Run Winery winemaker Ashton Lough (with a tip of the hat to Randy Rouse), the mildly sweet white “Tally Ho” has been this year’s best seller. “Our Tally-Ho, a white Virginia blend with Vidal Blanc, Traminette, and Seyval Blanc has been our flagship white. [It’s] named after a foxhunting term and our very rich foxhunting history in Loudoun County,” CJ Evans, the tasting room manager at Old Farm, explains. The winery also offers a hard cider — an unusual touch that reflects the regional roots. 

 “Then it was all about putting our place on the map. Ours isn’t like the wineries on major roads. People have to know where we are and want to find us.” 

A lineup of Old Farm favorites including the rosé, hard cider, and Tally-Ho.

He sought a balance between themed nights for the neighbors and weekend events that would draw visitors from further away. Movie nights, trivia nights and wine pairings with cookies and barbecue gave way to weekend gatherings for Jeep owners, and six charitable fundraisers for causes ranging from breast cancer research to environmental preservation. “We reached out locally to find out what our community wanted to support and offered our facilities as a way of supporting them.” Evans adds, “We had a Lū’au-themed event with a pig roast, and fun and games for all.  It was the first time …where I saw the promise in the space we are fortunate to have here.”

On Valentine’s Day, the winery offered a special contest for military personnel and first responders: a drawing in which the winner got a free wedding at the winery.

And it was at that August wedding of Army officer Nicholas Andrew Greene and Jordyn Emma Buckingham, that Hickox felt that Old Farm Winery was going to be a success.

“I walked around and, believe me, I was as nervous as a bride’s father. This was the most important moment in this couple’s life and everything had to go right.”

Did it? “Yes, it did, for them. For me, I walked around and I was surrounded by people who were having a good time. Even the ones that cry at weddings — it was all good. We made some happiness that day.” ML

This article first appeared in the October 2022 issue.

New, Noteworthy, and Need-to-visit: Hunt Country Wineries and Vineyards Off the Beaten Path

With the cool autumn air comes a desire to embrace the season and gather with friends and family at one of the many vineyards or wineries throughout the Virginia wine region. Luckily, no matter what vintage or grape varietals you prefer, there’s something for everyone in Hunt Country.

We’ve rounded up local wineries and vineyards that are ripe for the picking to consider adding to your fall bucket list or upcoming wine tour. 

Three Creeks Winery

18548 Harmony Church Road
Hamilton, VA 20158

For a hidden gem just minutes from Leesburg, wine devotees should not overlook Three Creeks Winery on Harmony Church Road. Owners P.J. and John Lawrence are known for their hospitality and love getting to know their patrons, making it feel like a truly intimate experience. 

The adult-only winery offers vineyard views with outdoor seating in a serene setting. Grab a glass and have a seat near one of the creeks or head into the barn for a tasting to enjoy European-style wines in French varietals grown in Virginia’s soil. 

The winery offers six reds and four whites as well as a rosé made with grapes from a selection of Virginia vineyards. Two of the reds include grapes from the state of Washington and Northern California. The 2019 Sur-Lie Viognier, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sur-Lie Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Melange Rouge all received silver medals at the 2022 Governor’s Cup competition.

Endhardt Vineyards. Courtesy of Endhardt Vineyards.

Endhardt Vineyards

19600 Lincoln Road
Purcellville, VA 20132

Endhardt Vineyards is situated on 46 acres of idyllic rolling hills with 11 acres of vines. Located a few miles outside the village of Lincoln near Purcellville, owner Johannes (known as “Hannes”) Endhardt, and his wife, Sarah, opened the winery in 2021. “We are focused on creating memorable, high-quality Virginia wines while providing an incredible atmosphere to connect with family and friends,” Hannes says.

Guests will enjoy the beautiful vista overlooking grape vines while sampling  their wine selection. Hannes recommends a stainless steel 2021 Chardonnay that is finished on some very light oak. Another popular choice is the 2019 Bordeaux blend that has 50 percent Merlot, 25 percent Cab Franc and 25 percent Petit Verdot resulting in “beautiful notes of red currant and dark cherry with a light pepper finish.”

Hope Flower Farm and Winery

40905 Stumptown Road
Waterford, VA 20197

Picture meandering around a flower field bursting with color as you enjoy a house-made wine or cider. You can make this experience come to life with a visit to Hope Flower Farm and Winery!

October marks the height of dahlia season at Hope Flower Farm in Waterford — the perfect occasion to snip flowers and sip one of the farm’s seasonal drinks. The “cut your own” flowers at Hope’s harvest fields make it a sought-out destination for picnics, photo shoots, and outdoor gatherings. Guests can walk around the farm and see the gardens, the animals, and enjoy being surrounded by the floral beauty.

The farm features flower-inspired wines from around the world including a seasonally driven fall wine selection. In addition to wines, the farm also makes ciders including the “Jack Cat,” which is a hard apple cider with hints of hops. The newest addition to the menu is the farm’s Strawberry Lavender drink.

Purchased by Holly and Evan Chapple in July 2015, this historic 25-acre estate was the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Holly’s successful floral and event business, Holly Heider Chapple Flowers.

Holly was able to expand from her home-based studio of 23 years to the rural retreat that now serves as a gathering place to teach and mentor fellow floral designers.

The estate, once a working dairy farm, is named in honor of the Hope family that farmed the land for over 60 years. The farm includes a stone Quaker house built in 1820, three barns, a guesthouse, and a smaller barn which serves as a studio. 

Already known as a playground for floral design, Hope Flower Farm is gaining a well deserved reputation as a social spot for a glass of vino in a field of flowers. 

Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery. Courtesy of Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery.

Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery

18301 Whitehall Estate Lane
Bluemont, VA 20135 

For a total crowd-pleaser, set your sights on Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery, located at Whitehall Estate. Towering 100-year-old trees offer shade and tranquility on this 50-acre countryside escape. Their slogan, “Come together and visit often,” accurately captures the ambiance of this Loudoun newcomer. In addition to pours of your choice, guests have the opportunity to sample a wide variety of dining options. 

The property, a combination of rustic charm and southern elegance, has been owned by David Weinschel and Doug Armstrong since 1993. Previously Whitehall Estate,  it served solely as a wedding and events venue until March when it was transformed into a brewery and winery. “Being a wedding venue for years, people would come out, they would enjoy this beautiful property and then we’d never see them again,” says Doug, who is enthusiastic about the new operation. They’ve been growing Cabernet Franc grapes on the property for 10 years, in preparation.

The name “Bluemont Station” is a nod to Bluemont’s rail line past. The line went right across the front of the property, connecting Washington, D.C’s social elite to a mountain “cool air” retreat. While visiting Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery, guests can check out a vintage 1926 train caboose that has been restored and is now a centerpiece of the facility and its brand.

Hope Flower Farm and Winery. Courtesy of Hope Flower Farm and Winery.

October One Vineyard

7 Loudoun Street SW
Leesburg, VA 20175

Recently added to the Leesburg scene is a wine tasting room called One October, or O1V. The owners, Bob and Loree Rupy, opened the shop in August after years of experience growing grapes and making wine at their vineyard. In 2013, they planted their first grapes for the brand on their 30-acre Bluemont property. At first, the Rupys sold locally at farmers markets and events before expanding to the Leesburg brick-and-mortar facility.

One October is open Wednesday through Sunday. O1V wines include a Viognier, Albariño, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. Guests can either enjoy a flight or a glass on the outside patio or inside for a modernized, aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.

Eagle Tree Farm Vineyards

15100 Harrison Hill Lane
Leesburg, VA 20176

Venture off Highway 15 and take the gravel road less traveled to Eagle Tree Farm Vineyards which occupies a beautiful slice of rural Virginia. The family-owned, chef-driven winery and full-service restaurant sells estate-grown and vinified wines for your enjoyment.  

Eagle Tree is known for blueberry picking in the spring, but to wine enthusiasts and foodies, the place is much more. The picturesque grounds feature an outdoor pavilion with a wood-fired oven for pizzas and a nature trail. The property is open during the weekend and weekday evenings and is also family friendly.
Lori McKeever and Head Chef, Jeff Judge, are co-owners of the restaurant and vineyard. The restaurant is open year-round.  With Chardonnay, Viognier, Cab Franc, Talon, and Tannat, there’s something for everyone in your party. ML

This article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue.

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 www.cristinaruales.com

“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
Ingredients:
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

Directions:

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 originofarecipe.com 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 Eventbrite.com, as well as on
middleburgmfi.org 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 virginiawinesummit.com.

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