Virginia Wine Chat — A monthly winemaker interview series and virtual tasting focusing on the wines, winemakers, and wineries of Virginia.
Our current Virginia Wine Chat schedule:
February 16, 2017 —> Chester Gap Cellars
Bernd Jung, owner and winemaker of Chester Gap Cellars in Front Royal, will be our guest for the February 2017 edition of Virginia Wine Chat. We’ll taste three Chester Gap wines: Cabernet Franc, Viognier Reserve and Roussanne.
The tasting and conversation begins on Twitter at 7:30pm Eastern time. Join the conversation on Twitter at #VaWineChat.
- March 30, 2017 —> Hopped Ciders with multiple Virginia Ciders (will be held at Blue Bee Cider, Richmond)
- April 2017 —> Pending. Family vacation and work travel may preclude April Va Wine Chat.
- May 25, 2017 —> Virginia Rose with four Virginia wineries. We have three confirmed, looking for a light Rose to include. Recommendations?
PAST Virginia Wine Chat Events:
- MAY 2, 2013 — Virginia Viognier. Seems appropriate to officially kick-off the inaugural Virginia Wine Chat (#VAWineChat) with Virginia’s official state grape. Virginia Rhone Ranger and winemaker at Tarara Winery, Jordan Harris (on Twitter: @TararaWinery) will be joining us online to taste and tweet about Virginia’s signature grape. Grab a bottle, or two, of your favorite Virginia Viognier and join us on Twitter at 7pm. I have emails in to a couple more vintners so this should be a great evening to tasting and tweeting about Virginia Viognier.
- MAY 16, 2013 — Virginia Red Blends. Seems even more appropriate for the second #VAWineChat to focus on some of the most notable wines in Virginia — Bordeaux style red blends. Many Virginia wine enthusiasts believe these red blends are Virginia’s ticket to more national/ international recognition (and sales). If recent Governor’s Cup results are any indicator, red blend advocates may be on to something. Open a bottle of your favorite Virginia red blend and join us. Several Virginia winemakers have confirmed they will be online to taste and tweet along with us.
- MAY 30, 2013 — A Celebration of Virginia Rosé. Summer is coming (well, already here depending on the day)… so grab a bottle of your favorite Virginia Rosé and join us to taste and tweet about Virginia Rosé. Hosted by the Marketing Office of the Virginia Wine Board (on Twitter: @VAWine).
- JUNE 13, 2013 — The Unusual Suspects, Grapes Not Commonly Grown in Virginia. Hosted by Jennifer Breaux Blosser and the team at Breaux Vineyards (on Twitter: @BreauxVineyards), this ‘chat will feature varieties that are thriving here in Virginia but not commonly grown — Nebbiolo, Albariño, Rkatsiteli, Dornfelder, Verdejo, and others. We’ll be comparing and contrasting Virginia styles to the styles from their homeland. Breaux Vineyards is offering participants 20% off orders (by the bottle) of Nebbiolo (any vintage), Seyval Blanc (Jolie Blond), and Sauvignon Blanc. You will need to use the code ‘vawinechat’ for the discount online or in the tasting room. Hat tip Stephen at Annefield Vineyards for the idea on this ‘chat topic.
- JUNE 27, 2013 — Single Vineyard Virginia Wines. The dynamic duo from Swirl Sip Snark (on Twitter: @SwirlSipSnark) will host a lively discussion on Virginia’s single-vineyard wines.
- JULY 11, 2013 —Loudoun Summer Food & Wine Pairings. The team from Visit Loudoun (on Twitter: @DCsWineCountry) will be hosting the ‘chat featuring summer wine and food pairings from Loudoun County. We’ll discuss Loudoun wines and local pairings and discuss the Loudoun County’s upcoming Epicurience.
- JULY 25, 2013 — Virginia Cider. Virginia wine’s cousin will make a cameo at Virginia Wine Chat (though, I suppose this is technically #VACiderChat). Given the popularity of cider amongst the Virginia wine set, this is sure to be a popular chat topic. Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider (on Twitter: @FoggyRidgeCider) is confirmed to join us online to discuss and field questions about Virginia cider. No doubt we’ll attract some out-of-state participation on this one.
- August 8, 2013 — Summer White Wines of the Monticello AVA. Join Early Mountain Vineyards’ Sommelier Michelle Gueydan, Allison and the team at Early Mountain Vineyards (on Twitter: @EarlyMountain) for a discussion of Summer White Wines from wineries located in the Monticello AVA.
- August 22, 2013 — Virginia Sweet and Port Wines. Allan Liska, founder and author of CellarBlog (on Twitter: @CellarBlog), will be leading us on a sweet discussion of Virginia’s dessert and Port-style wines.
- September 12, 2013 — Harvest 2013. Join Allan Liska for a discussion of harvest 2013. This will be an educational ‘chat.
- October 3, 2013 — Virginia Wine Month Kick-Off. Join the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office (on Twitter: @VAWine) for a virtual tasting and discussion of Virginia wine history.
- October 10, 2013 — Bordeaux Blends of Boxwood Winery. Join Rachel Martin and the team at Boxwood Winery (on Twitter: @BoxwoodWinery) as we explore the red blends of Boxwood and discuss the Middleburg AVA.
- November 14, 2013 — Virginia Cider. Join Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider (on Twitter: @FoggyRidgeCider) and other Virginia cider makers for an educational evening to kick-off Virginia Cider Week.
- December 12, 2013 — Virginia Sparkling Wine. The team at Trump Winery (on Twitter: @TrumpWinery) will be our guest host winery to discuss Virginia sparkling wine. Please pick up a bottle of Trump Blanc de Blanc or SP Rose and join us to taste & tweet on the 12th. Also, watch ‘live’ via UStream!
- January 30, 2014 — Keswick Vineyards. Stephen Barnard, Keswick Vineyards (on Twitter: @KeswickVineyard) winemaker, will be our guest to kick-off the first Virginia Wine Chat of 2014! Join us for a comparative tasting and discussion of three Keswick Viogniers — 2012 Viognier, 2012 Viognier Reserve, and the 2012 Signature Series Viognier. Follow the #VAWineChat hashtag to join the discussion via Twitter and/or see our live interview on the Virginia Wine Chat UStream Channel (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/virginia-wine-chat).
- February 20, 2014 — Boneyard Wines. Winemaker Jordan Harris, Boneyard Wines (on Twitter: @BoneyardWines), will be our guest for the February 2014 Virginia Wine Chat! Join us for a tasting and discussion of Jordan’s winemaking philosophy and the story behind Boneyard Wines. We’ll be tasting: Boneyard Bubbles Blanc de Blanc, Boneyard Skin (Rkatsiteli orange wine), and the Boneyard Cabernet Franc. We’ll also have a special Boneyard wine to finish the tasting.
- March 20, 2014 — Williamsburg Winery. Williamsburg Winery Winemaker Matthew Meyer (on Twitter: @WilliamsburgTWW) will be our guest for the March 2014 edition of Virginia Wine Chat! Join us for a tasting and discussion of the history of the winery, Matthew’s background, winemaking philosophy, and of course we’ll talk about winning the 2014 Virginia Governor’s Cup.
- April 24, 2014 — Barboursville Vineyards. One of Virginia’s most accomplished and popular winemaker’s, Luca Paschina will be our guest for the April 2014 edition of Virginia Wine Chat! Please join us as we learn about Luca’s background, why he came to Virginia’s fledgling wine industry from Italy nearly 25 years ago, and talk about the history of the winery and land at Barboursville. We’ll also taste three delicious Barboursville wines: 2013 Viognier Reserve, 2011 Nebbiolo Reserve, and the 2010 Octagon!
- MAY 22, 2014 — Rosemont of Virginia , Vineyards & Winery: Discovering one of southern Virginia’s gems. Winemaker Justin Rose will be our guest for the May 2014 edition of Virginia Wine Chat.
- June 26, 2014 — Sunset Hills Vineyard. Winemaker Nate Walsh will be our guest for the June 2014 Virginia Wine Chat. Nate will share his background and the history of Sunset Hills Vineyard (on Twitter: @SunsetHillWine ). During the ‘chat we’ll taste and discuss three Sunset Hills wines: 2013 Viognier, 2013 Rose of Cabernet Franc, and the two-time Governor’s Cup Case wine, 2010 Mosaic.
- July 2014 — Summer Hiatus. Will be out tasting and visiting the vineyards of Santa Barbara County for the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference.
- September 27, 2014 — Discover Monticello AVA and Kick-Off to Virginia Wine Month! This will be the first of several winemaker panel discussions focused on one Virginia wine region. Emily Pelton (winemaker, Veritas Vineyard & Winery), Jake Busching (winemaker, Grace Estate Winery), and Matthieu Finot (winemaker, King Family Vineyards) will be our guests for the September 2014 Virginia Wine Chat. Join us for a panel discussion with each of these winemakers to learn about their backgrounds, their vineyards and the Monticello AVA. We’ll taste one wine from each of their wineries.
- October 30, 2014 — Discover the Colonial Wine Trail! This will be our second region-focused winemaker panel discussion. Matthew Mayer (winemaker, The Williamsburg Winery), Tom Payette (winemaker, New Kent Winery), and Mitzy Batterson (James River Cellars) will be our guests for the October 2014 Virginia Wine Chat. Join us for a panel discussion to learn about their backgrounds, their vineyards and the Colonial Virginia Wine Trail.
- November 20, 2014 — The inimitable Doug Fabbioli will be our guest for the November 2014 edition of Virginia Wine Chat. We’ll cover a range of topics — viticulture, use of local vs. out of state fruit, and Doug’s opinion on the state of the wine industry.
- December 15, 2014 — Jonathan Wheeler of Trump Winery will be our guest for the December 2014 edition of Virginia Wine Chat. We will taste four Trump Winery wines during this month’s Virginia Wine Chat.
- FEBRUARY 12, 2015 — Rappahannock Cellars. Join us for the first Virginia Wine Chat of 2015 with owner John Delmare and winemaker Theo Smith.
- MARCH 26, 2015 — Breaux Vineyards will be the featured winery for the March 2015. Winemaker Join us for a conversation with new Breaux winemaker Heather Munden. We’ll taste three Breaux Vineyards wines during the ‘chat: 2002 Merlot Reserve, 2005 Nebbiolo, and 2007 Meritage.
- MAY 26, 2015 – Northern Neck wineries.
- JUNE 25, 2015 — Early Mountain Vineyards. Conversation with Early Mountain Vineyards‘ new Winemaker Ben Jordan and Vineyard Manager and Winemaker, Jonathan Hollerith for a discussion about what’s new at EMV, their background and grape growing philosophy, history of the Early Mountain property, and the ‘Best of Virginia’ program. Ben and Jonathan will lead us through a tasting of three EMV wines: 2014 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris, and 2013 EMV Foothills Red (Merlot 64%, Cab Franc 36%).
- SEPTEMBER 17, 2015 — North Gate Vineyards. Join us for a conversation with Vicki & Mark Fedor, owners and winemakers at North Gate Vineyards. We will taste three North Gate wines (2014 Viognier, 2013 Merlot, 2013 Meritage) and learn more about the Fedor’s rise as one of the most notable winemaking couples in the state.
- OCTOBER 15, 2015 —> Shaps Wineworks. Join us for a conversation with Charlottesville and Burgundy winegrower and consultant, Michael Shaps, and new Shaps’s Virginia Wineworks winemaker, Jake Busching, for a tasting and discussion of Shaps’ wines.
- DECEMBER 10, 2015 —> Trump Winery. Join us for a conversation with winemaker, Jonathan Wheeler, for a tasting and discussion of four Trump wines: 2009 Blanc de Blanc, 2009 Sparkling Rose, 2014 Chardonnay, and (pre-release) 2014 Meritage. The tasting begins live and online at 7:30pm Eastern time.
- FEBRUARY 25, 2016—> Horton Winery. Join us for a conversation with winemaker, Mike Heny, for a discussion of Horton’s history and how the winery has evolved in recent years and a tasting of three wines: 2014 Viognier, 2014 Cabernet Franc, 2014 Norton.
- Thursday, May 26, 2016 —> Granite Heights Winery. Winemaker and owner Luke Kilyk will be our guest for the May 2016 edition of Virginia Wine Chat. Join us online for a discussion of Luke and his wife Toni’s viticulture approach, challenges and opportunities of running a winery while holding down full time careers outside of wine.
- September 29, 2016 —> Keswick Vineyards. Winemaker Stephen Barnard will be our guest. We’ll taste the Keswick Cabernet Franc and Viognier while ‘chatting with Stephen.
- October 20, 2016 —> Virginia Wine Month – Four Wineries. October is Virginia Wine Month! We’ll celebrate by featuring four notable Virginia winemakers. This month’s ‘chat will be virtual via Twitter with no UStream video this month. The four featured wineries will be: Blenheim Vineyards, Ingleside Vineyards, Afton Mountain Vineyards, Lost Creek Vineyards & Winery.
- November 17, 2016 —> Williamsburg Winery for Virginia Oyster Month. Winemaker Matthew Mayer will be our guest along with three Virginia oyster farmers; Bruce Voygt (Big Island Aquaculture), Tommy Leggett (York River Oysters), and Bernie Murphy (Rappahannock Oyster Co.). We’ll taste three Williamsburg paired with three Virginia oysters: A Midsummer Night’s White (Vidal, Traminette, Viognier blend), Vintage Reserve Chardonnay, and Wessex Hundred Viognier.
- January 26, 2017 –> Virginia Cider! Blue Bee Cider and Buskey Cider
Many Virginia Wine Chat participants have requested a ‘chat dedicated to cider so we’re kicking off 2017 with a Cider Chat! Courtney Mailey, Blue Bee Cider founder and cidermaker, and Will Correll of Buskey Cider will be our guests for the first chat of 2017. We’ll taste four ciders.