Thursday, March 24, 2011

Talking Norton and DLW with Jennifer McCloud

Last year held their annual conference in Leesburg Virginia to showcase and promote the wines crafted in Maryland and Virginia. This year, their annual conference is being held April 2nd-3rd in St. Louis Missouri to showcases the wines of the Midwest. The most popular red wine grape grown in that area is Norton - which was actually first discovered in Virginia in the early 1800s. The grape migrated west with the German, Swiss, and Italian immigrants who settled in Missouri and the surrounding states. Eventually Norton production died out along the East Coast and survived primarily within Missouri vineyards. Slightly over 25 years ago, Dennis Horton migrated east to Virginia carrying some cuttings from Stone Hill Winery and re-established Norton back to its native terrior. Jenni McCloud soon became the second grower of Norton at Chrysalis Vineyards and today, has the world's largest estate of Norton vines. In this episode of Virginia Wine TV, Ms. McCloud elaborates on the history of Norton production and tastes us through several Midwestern and Chrysalis Norton wines. The music for this episode is provided by Arlington based Memphis 59. Their latest CD, "Ragged But Right" is highly recommended; as is The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine.

Virginia wineries that produce Norton Wine:
Missouri and Kansas wineries featured in the episode:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Virginia Wine Expo 2011

For the past two years the Virginia Wine Expo has offered consumers the ability to sample Virginia wines as well as being the host for the presentation of the Virginia Governor's Cup for Red Wines. The Cup was presented by First Lady Maureen McDonnell, who is an outspoken advocate for the local wine industry. The First Lady was also kind enough to spend a few minutes with us to explain the Administration's advocacy for the Virginia wine industry. This year's Governors Cup was awarded to Fox Meadow Winery for their Meritage "Le Renard Rouge" - a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Congratulations to all the gold medal finalists as well as Gabriele Rausse from Gabriele Rausse Winery and Dennis Horton from Horton Vineyards for their lifetime achievement awards. The music for this episode was provided courtesy of the Virginia Folklife Program, at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities: thirteen year old Montana Young with "Back Up and Push" and Gerald Anderson and Spencer Strickland with "Blackberry Blossom". Be sure to visit their website to hear more excellent Virginia grown music.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Virginia Wine TV Celebrates Virginia Wine Week

We would like to introduce you to the growing number of Virginia wineries operating in the Commonwealth and to our new website promoting these wines: Virginia Wine TV. The Commonwealth of Virginia is closing in on 200 licensed wineries, in which all are contributing to making fabulous wines and enjoyable destinations. On a fairly regular basis we will be releasing videos covering many facets of the industry; interviews with winemakers, the Virginia First Lady, and critics; discussions about grape varieties; as well as short entertaining segments such as this video and soon, on dog friendly wineries. Plus each video will contain a musical theme performed by a Virginia born or based musician. In this case, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge provide the score. Check back often for new video releases.

Many wineries, retailers, and restaurants will be participating in Virginia Wine Week, March 18th-27th. We ask these businesses to post their specials here in the comments sections. Cheers.