George Mason Offers “Exploring the Business of Wine” Class

Sep 30

George Mason University, coinciding with the current grape harvest in Virginia, is offering a non-credit course on “Exploring the Business of Wine” that takes place through Monday Oct. 13 at the Manassas campus.

The class is open to anyone in the community who wants to expand their general knowledge of wine and to Mason students looking to complement their degree program.

Some who have registered for the course are already in the wine and beverage industry, but want to expand their knowledge, says Jeanne Spencer, Office of Continuing Professional Education program manager at Mason.

This writer will be at the class signing copies of Beyond Jefferson’s Vines from 6:00-6:30, and will then present a segment of the class on the Business of Wine in Virginia today.

For more information visit http://newsdesk.gmu.edu/2014/08/pour-class-wine-registration-open-masons-wine-industry-course/

VA Wine Sales Grew 2% in FY 2013

Sep 25

Governor Terry McAuliffe  announced on Sept. 24th that sales of Virginia wine reached another record year, increasing by almost 2% from fiscal year 2013. Virginia wineries sold more than 521,000 cases of wine, or approximately 6.25 million bottles, in fiscal year 2014 versus just over 511,000 cases in fiscal year 2013. Sales of Virginia wines increased by almost 26% since fiscal year 2010.

“I’m pleased to see continued sales growth of Virginia wines,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This new record is a testament to our grape growers and winemakers, who are producing world-class wines and further establishing Virginia’s position as a top wine and wine tourism region.”

Total sales of Virginia wine contributed to more than $1.7 million in wine liter tax collections during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. The Virginia wine liter tax is applied at a rate of $3.60 per case of wine sold in Virginia. In addition, Virginia wine sales at wineries increased by 6.7% in fiscal year 2014 from the previous fiscal year. The increase indicates solid visitor traffic to wineries and Virginia wine events. However, due to adverse wine grape production factors, sales through other channels have flattened or decreased as wineries focus sales to meet growing demand at wineries.

Virginia Norton Film Wins First Place with Wine Spectator

Sep 20

According to the Virginia Wine Marketing Office, Virginia’s native grape, Norton, received a significant boost in public awareness this week as the historical grape was featured in Norton, the Most American Grape that You’ve Almost Never Heard Of, the winning video in the 2014 Wine Spectator Video Contest. The short film, featuring Chrysalis Vineyards‘ owner Jennifer McCloud, tells the story of Norton, a red grape named after Daniel Norborne Norton of Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Norton was a physician-turned-vineyardist, and first grew the grape sometime around 1820. McCloud’s Chrysalis Vineyards is the largest Norton producer in the world.

The video was produced by Marina Cracchiolo and Pierre Marcelin, and filmed onsite at Chrysalis Vineyards, in Middleburg, Virginia and in their studio in Washington, DC. The video received the most votes in a field of 9 finalists, and according to Wine Spectator, this year’s contest had a record number of entries, with submissions received from around the globe. “Narrowing the field to the top nine finalists was very difficult”, stated Gloria Maroti Frazee, Director of Education and Video for Wine Spectator.

Ms. Cracchiolo, a CNN news assistant, was thrilled when she heard the news. “Pierre and I are honored that the video, which started off as a fun project for the two of us, has been so well received and generated so much buzz for the Norton grape and Chrysalis Vineyards.”

McCloud remarked, “I’m so happy Marina and Pierre won the contest, not only for the recognition and acknowledgment they received as young filmmakers, but for the exposure their wonderful short film offers our native grape, Norton. Their great storytelling, along with the educational theme made their piece very interesting and engaging. It certainly helped my mission in spreading the word about Norton, The Real American Grape!”

The video is featured on Wine Spectator’s website at http://www.winespectator.com/videocontest2014.

Food and Wine Courses for Stratford Hall Benefit Dinner 9/19 Made Public

Sep 12

A blind tasting – pairing candidate Virginia wines with the elegant courses planned for a beautiful outdoor dinner in front of the majestic Great House At Stratford Hall on September 19, 2014, prior to the 2014 Stratford Hall Wine & Oyster Festival has resulted in a fine and eclectic blend of top Virginia wines and adroitly imagined and prepared local Virginia delicacies.

This exciting evening will include an oyster demonstration by celebrated Assistant Chef Pete Woods of Rappahannock River Oysters and Merroir Tasting Room while guests enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and half shells. A four-course gourmet dinner will follow featuring Stratford Hall and Northern Neck sourced ingredients.  Virginia wines were selected by a committee in a blind tasting with the featured dishes, presided over by Virginia wine expert and author Richard Leahy. “I’m very impressed by the chef’s creative menu and the excellent Virginia wines that the panel determined made the best matches,” says Leahy. “We tasted the wines with the courses and I’m confident the dinner guests will be impressed with the quality, diversity and compatibility of these fine Virginia wines with the fine food.” Leahy adds that by coincidence wines range across the state in origin and include both well-known varieties and new versions of same, such as the rose of cabernet sauvignon, and even a blaufrankisch (an Austrian grape) from the fairly new Glass House Winery. “It’s one thing to pick fine wines but another to ensure that they match every course and I’m looking forward to enjoying these wine and food matches with the dinner guests,” says Leahy, who will be signing copies of his book on Virginia wine, Beyond Jefferson’s Vines, at the Stratford Hall Wine & Oyster Festival on Saturday Sept. 20th from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Ingleside Vineyards tent. The wine and food menu for the gala dinner will feature:

  • Beet Carpaccio with Truffled Microgreens and Shaved Pecorino Ramano, paired with Ingleside Vineyards Rosé of Cabernet Sauvigon 2013.
  • Cinnamon Dusted Seared Duck Breast with Vanilla Scented Stratford Hall Grits and a Cranberry Duck Jus, paired with Barrel Oak Winery Cabernet Franc 2010.
  • Devon Beef Filet and Soft Shell Crab with Tomato Corn Succotash and a Smoked Tomato Vinaigrette, paired with Glass House Winery “One Lane Bridge” (blaufrankisch) 2012.
  • Stratford Hall Honey Pot De Creme with a Ginger Cookie Crumble, paired with Barren Ridge Vineyards “Christof” 2011.

Seating for the 6:30 p.m. dinner is limited and reservations are required. There are two Preview Benefit Dinner packages to choose from:

  • The first package includes a four-course dinner, a wine taster ticket to the Wine & Oyster Festival and a $50 tax-deductible donation to Stratford Hall. The cost is $175 per person (all inclusive).
  • The second package includes a one night stay at the Inn at Stratford Hall, a champagne reception in the historical Great House, a four course dinner, a wine taster ticket to the Wine & Oyster Festival and a $155 tax-deductible donation to Stratford Hall. The cost is $375 per person (all inclusive).

For more information, including the complete menu, and to make reservations visit the Preview Benefit Dinner  event webpage. For any questions, please call Regina Pitts at 804-493-8919. The reservation deadline for the dinner is September 16, 2014.

Gala Wine & Oyster Benefit Dinner 9/19 Will Precede Stratford Hall Wine Festival 9/20

Sep 01

Join Virginia wine author Richard Leahy for a beautiful outdoor dinner in front of the majestic Great House on September 19, 2014, for a gala benefit dinner for the 2014 Stratford Hall Wine & Oyster Festival.

This exciting evening will include an oyster demonstration by celebrated Assistant Chef Pete Woods of Rappahannock River Oysters and Merroir Tasting Room while guests enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and half shells. A four-course gourmet dinner will follow featuring Stratford Hall and Northern Neck sourced ingredients with Virginia wines paired by Virginia wine expert Richard Leahy.

Seating for the 6:30 p.m. dinner is limited and reservations are required. There are two Preview Benefit Dinner packages to choose from:

  • The first package includes a four-course dinner for two, two wine taster tickets to the Wine & Oyster Festival and a $100 tax-deductible donation to Stratford Hall. The cost is $350 per couple.
  • The second package includes a one night stay for two at the Inn at Stratford Hall, a champagne reception in the historical Great House, a four course dinner for two, two wine taster tickets to the Wine & Oyster Festival and a $310 tax-deductible donation to Stratford Hall. The cost is $750 per couple.

For more information, including the complete menu, and to make reservations visit the Preview Benefit Dinner event webpage. For any questions, please call Regina Pitts at 804-493-8919. The reservation deadline for the dinner is September 12, 2014.

Oyster580

 

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