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Monday, April 30, 2012

Pairing Wine and Food with Potomac Point Winery

In this week's episode we learn about pairing wine with food courtesy of winemaker Simone Bergese and Executive Chef Michael Stevenson of Potomac Point Winery. Simone is originally from Alba,Italy and was the Chief Winemaker for Firriato Winery in Paceco, Sicily before coming to the Commonwealth. Chef Mike apprenticed to Pastry Chef Jacques Torres in New York and chefs David Grier and Norman Love in Philadelphia before taking over Potomac Point's kitchen. Plus he's the personal stadium suite chef for the Washington Redskins. Together with the rest of the winery's staff, they are refining Potomac Point's specializing in pairing wine and food through their Le Grand Cru Bistro, Le Grand Cru Catering, and seasonal wine dinners. During this seating, Simone and Chef Mike paired their Richland Reserve Viognier with a chopped salad tossed with a Chardonnay vinaigrette; Richland Reserve Heritage with short ribs; and finally, their Rabelos Virginia Dessert Wine with a chocolate souffle. Buon Appetito!

As usual, the intro music is "How High the Mountain" by Andrew McKnight and all VirginiaWineTV videos are available via iTunes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Loudoun County's Catoctin Creek Distilling Company

Here's a video filmed way back in November 2010 from our sister series at MyJoogTV which features Scott Harris of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, the first legal distillery in Loudoun County since prohibition. We discussed the distillation process for organic rye whiskey, social media, government regulation of spirits, and how folk singer Andrew McKnight and the Harris' are kindred spirits regarding the eat, drink, and play music locally. The Roundstone Rye we sampled was excellent, lighter than many bourbons, but flavorful and completely smooth at the tail. The highlight of the afternoon was listening to McKnight perform "Letter to Colonel Mosby" while sitting on an oak barrel in front of the still. At winecompass.com, we are followers of "Free the Grapes, now it's time to Free the Shine.

Something Worth Standing For - Andrew McKnight
Beyond Borders - Andrew McKnight
Turning Pages - Andrew McKnight

Monday, April 16, 2012

Gaining Ground: Successful No-Till Virginia Farmers

This week we bring you an interesting video from our friend Christophe Lawrence (USDA NRCS) and Gaining Ground, an organization dedicated to improving soils, farming, and water quality in Virginia. I'm not sure if no-till farming is relevant to vineyards, but this video is relevant to anyone concerned about water quality and the over-use of chemical fertilizers.

More and more farmers all across Virginia are making the switch to soil building continuous no-till systems. These farmers are cutting costs and saving time by planting all of their crops, year in and year out, without tillage. They are also maximizing the soil benefits that come with less disturbance by adding in cover crops, crop rotation, and other practices. As diverse as they are, one thing these farmers all have in common, they tell us they are gaining ground.


Gaining Ground: Successful No-till Farmers Tell Their Stories from The Downstream Project on Vimeo.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Winemaker Series: Old Westminster Winery

For this episode we ventured north into Maryland to learn about a new winery - Old Westminster Winery - and to determine if they shared any similarities with start-ups in the Virginia Wine industry. We tasted wine from the barrel and one that was impressive was made from grapes sourced from Chatham Vineyards, located in the eastern shore of Virginia. Old Westminster is owned and operated by the Baker Family, with siblings Drew, Lisa, and Ashli managing the vineyard, wine making, and marketing respectively. And evidently the housing crash of 2008 lead to the creation of the winery. Wanting to sell the winery, and seeing reduced property values, the family investigated alternative uses for the land and decided, why not a vineyard and winery. They then planted seven acres of grapes, some unique to Maryland: Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay, Albariño, and Sauvignon Blanc. The first harvest from these vines occurred during the Autumn of 2011, so they will need to wait two more years until they can utilize estate fruit. Currently the winery is not open to the public (expect a Spring 2013 opening) but are allowing 100 Century Club members to receive lifetime access to the facility in order to taste the wines as they progress from barrel to bottle. As usual, the intro music is "How High the Mountain" by Andrew McKnight and all VirginiaWineTV videos are available via iTunes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Drinking Local Wine: It's easy in Virginia - what about in Florida?

The 2012 DrinkLocalWine.com Conference is being held April 28th at the Metro State College, Denver, Colorado. The concept behind the drink local wine conferences is to promote the local wines produced in the host state. And it's rather easy to drink local when you live in Colorado as well as Texas, Missouri, and Virginia - previous host states. And since there are wines produced on all states, everyone can drink local. But just what are your selections, particularly in tropical Florida? This episode of Virginia Wine TV contrasts our favorite Virginia wines with the local wines available to Floridians. So how do wines from Glen Manor Vineyards, Boxwood Winery, and Barboursville Vineyards compare with wines made from Keel And Curley Winery, San Sebastian Winery, and Schnebly Redland's Winery? As usual, the intro music is "How High the Mountain" by Andrew McKnight and all VirginiaWineTV videos are available via iTunes. You can find a winery in your state by visiting WineCompass.com. Cheers.