Last Norton to Pick



We apologize for the inconvenience if you have already received this newletter. An issue with our email service caused a large number of improper "bounces". We don't want anyone to missout on this important information, so we decided to send it again! Thank you for your continued patronage. We look forward to seeing all of you at The Ag District!



VIP Wines of the Month

Report from the Tasting Room
Report from the Vineyard
Report from the Cellar
Report from Locksley Farmstead Cheese

Note from Jenni

VIP Club Selections for November, 2022

For  all of us here at The Ag District November marks the end of the long harvest season and the beginning of the holidays! Things begin to slow down a bit on the farm and in the winery, but there's always work to be done. The vineyard crew will take some time to catch up on maintaining fences and trellises as they wait for our vines to go dormant so they can begin pruning. Jake will be carefully watching our fermentations as the recently picked fruit continues its journey to become delicious wine. The tasting room will be busy getting all your holiday wines together. And we will all be busy making plans for some new things to come in 2023! We hope that you will stop by the Ag District to select the perfect wines to accompany your holiday meals or maybe just to do your holiday shopping! 


Our VIP pickup event this month will be held on Friday, November 11th from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at the Ag District Center. This month our VIP wines will be presented by Jenni and Jake! 

Members must RSVP no later than November 7th by emailing Please include your name, number attending (up to 2 per membership), and your preferred tasting time (5:00, 5:45, 6:30, or 7:15). Please arrive in time to check in at least 10 minutes prior to your tasting time. When planning your visit please remember that we close at 8:00 pm. 


If you're not a member of our Chrysalis Vineyards VIP Club, remember to  ask one of our associates how to join. Our  members enjoy complimentary wine flights, discounts on wine and food, exclusive access to VIP events and more!

The white wine selection for our VIP Club members this month is Chrysalis Vineyards 2020 Petit Manseng. Petit Manseng requires a long growing season and produces small yields of high-quality grapes that are ideally suited to produce dessert wine. The grapes are frozen to simulate the process of an “ice wine,” concentrating the sugar and fruit flavors, and then are whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel. Our 2020 Petit Manseng is filled with inviting honey and refined citrus notes with a floral undertone hinting at orange blossoms. This dessert wine is best enjoyed after dinner with good company and light sipping. 

Our red wine selection for November is Chrysalis Vineyards 2019 Petit Verdot. This full bodied Petit Verdot embellishes lush dark cherries and sage with hints of violets on the aromatics. Flavors of sweet chocolate covered cherries and lingering finish of mocha or espresso. Enjoy a glass to compliment a dinner of Lamb with mint jam and pearl couscous.

As a reminder to our members, all VIP wine is available for pickup at the Ag District Center tasting room anytime during regular business hours. If you can’t make it out to pick up your wines on a monthly basis, we will hold them for you. Due to storage limitations, however, we do ask that you pick them up once you accumulate a case (6 months). We can also arrange for wine to be shipped to most locations, at your request.

NOTE: Please do not reply to this emailed Newsletter. Your email will not be handled in a timely manner or may even be lost.


Wine Variety for All Palates

Look at all those labels! If you've stopped by The Ag District in the last couple of months you may have noticed some new colors on the shelf. For the past 20 years our wines have sported the label seen here in the middle on our Petit Manseng. The labels on the left were the first wines that we bottled with different labels. Our first bottled sangria, Snobby Bitch, gave us a chance to have a bit of fun with both the name and the label and we played with the colors on the label when Buttorfleoge was introduced. Recently we've decided to do a more overall re-branding and the labels on the right are the first examples. As we move forward more of our wines will be introduced with new packaging and new labels, but don't worry... all your favorite wines are still inside!


Norton Grape Clusters

Every harvest I’m more and more amazed by the quality fruit that arrives on the crush pad. After 4 vintages, I didn’t think that the fruit could actually get any better and I say this after working the 2019 vintage. Despite the bout of rain from the hurricane, the sudden temperature drops, and frosty mornings, we’ve continued to pull in the highest quality fruit.

The recent mornings have definitely been colder and this can be seen as most of the vines have dropped their leaves to settle down for their Winter hibernation. I say most because the leaves on the Norton vines are just starting to turn a bright yellow. The hardiness of Norton never ceases to amaze me. Only a native variety would be so geared to the weather in its home state. 

As the leaves fall away, you can easily look out and see palm sized clusters of blue fruit still hanging from the vine. It’s a sight to see, but does put a little pressure on the crew because if we can so easily spot the fruit, then so can the wildlife. We’ve yet to notice any significant pest damage but the crew has definitely picked up speed.

I think the 2022 harvest, while challenging, has been terrific. What’s more is that Freddy is practically bouncing out of the tractor cab when he brings the bins of freshly picked grapes to the cellar. He’s remarked several times this is the finest quality fruit he has seen in many years and he can’t wait to taste the wines!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Fermenting Tinta Cão (Portuguese Variety)

I think November is my favorite month of the year because it marks the end of harvest. That’s right, by the end of the first week of November, we’ve officially finished picking all the fruit. Our total tonnage this year is a whopping 180 tons!

While the picking is complete there is still much left to do. Presently, we have 18 bins, 1 lagar, and two 3,000 gallon tanks of wine fermenting away. It will take just a few more weeks before everything is done fermenting. The fun doesn’t stop there though as we will work to carefully “barrel down” every gallon in the cellar so that it may age in the coming months. The phrase barrel down, means that once a wine has finished all transformation from grape juice to alcohol its placed into its permanent aging vessel until bottling.

Here at Chrysalis Vineyards we work with both stainless tanks and traditional oak barrels. Each wine is aged according to their intended style. For instance, our Albariño will reside in tank until spring when we bottle it. Varieties like our Tannat and Petit Verdot will receive 16 months of aging before they are bottled. Our Tinta Cão will age in Hungarian oak for 8 months before it’s bottled as our Rubiana. Of course, all the Norton wine is aged for varying periods which is entirely dependent on the wines we are making.

While it’s been a typically challenging harvest I can say that I’m most excited about the wines we are producing this year. I’m looking forward to sharing all of our hard work with everyone in the coming months!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


King Richard Blue with Petit Manseng

One of our VIP club wines for the month of November is our 2020 Petit Manseng. So, this is the perfect time to mention one of our favorite pairings here at The Ag District.... Chrysalis Vineyards Petit Manseng and King Richard Blue Cheese.

Petit Manseng is our version of an ice-wine, a sweet dessert wine enjoyed as an after dinner treat. Sweet desserts are sometimes paired with this type of dessert wine, but we've found that the pungent notes of our creamy blue cheese pair perfectly. The sweet honey notes in the Petit Manseng compliment the sharp, piquant, salty flavors in the cheese and vice versa.

This could be the perfect ending for your Thanksgiving gathering or a gift for your host that might just make you their favorite dinner guest!

Note from Jenni
Norton Grape Clusters

As Jake mentioned in his Report from the Cellar, we’re just about done with the 2022 harvest, and we’ll soon be sending the young wines into barrels and tanks.

The fruit has been of fantastic quality this year; some of the finest Viognier and Norton we’ve ever harvested. The Norton juice is black, with dark brown seeds (which indicate full physiological ripeness). I’m super excited to see how this wine develops.

We did four different picking passes through the Viognier planting at Hollin this year, each time taking the fruit that was perfectly ripe. Although it’s really inefficient to go back and touch each vine multiple times at harvest, that’s what it takes to bring in the very best quality. Some clusters on each vine are at their peak at slightly different times. Multiple passes through the vines gets the fruit picked at the precise optimum condition and ripeness. That’s why Chrysalis Vineyards is on the short list for producing some of the finest Viogniers in the world!

For those wine geeks out there, here’s the fruit chemistry for Viognier and one Norton pick date:

  Variety      Brix     pH    TA   Pick Date
Viognier 1  23.8 3.4 6.2 9/23
Viognier 2  25.8 3.5 6.1 9/27
Viognier 3  23.8 3.4 6.2 9/28
Viognier 4  24.0 3.5 6.9 9/29
Norton 24.6 3.41 6.9 10/20

These are just great numbers for these varieties. But we never “pick on numbers”, only on flavors and physiological ripeness. What’s exciting is that in great years these elements are in perfect harmony. Everything falls right into place with perfect numbers matching ripe flavors and great fruit chemistry for winemaking. This is one of those years. Whoo Hoo!

Take care,


Jennifer McCloud

Chrysalis Vineyards at The Ag District
39025 John Mosby Highway (Tasting Room/Creamery/Kitchen)
23876 Champe Ford Road (Winery/Milking Center/Offices)
Middleburg, VA 20117
Office: 540-687-8222


Privacy Policy  |  Unsubscribe