Looking South from the Ag District Center



VIP Wines of the Month

Report from the Tasting Room
Report from the Cellar
Report from the Farm 

Report from The Little River Bakehouse
Report from Locksley Farmstead Cheese

Note from Jenni

VIP Club Selections for July, 2020

After successfully navigating Phases 1 and 2 it looks like we will be entering Phase 3 of COVID restrictions on July 1st. For the most part, this won't change how we have been operating recently. Our vigorous cleaning procedures will continue, our staff will be wearing masks and washing their hands frequently, and our guests will need to practice social distancing. We will be able to utilize our bar areas again, so we are moving closer to offering tastings! Stay tuned to our website for updates!

We will ask that our guests continue to comply with our rules, which are provided to you as you enter the property. Social distancing and wearing masks while in the building are still mandates that everyone must observe. And although Phase 3 allows larger social gatherings, it is always our policy that groups of more than 8 call ahead. You can see the full list of rules by clicking here.

We're happy to see both new and familiar faces enjoying the Ag District! Please spread the word that we're open and anxious to welcome everyone back!

Due to our current operating restrictions related to the COVID-19 virus, we will not be holding our monthly VIP pickup party in July. Stay healthy and we will see you when things return to normal!

Our hours are 12:00pm - 6:00pm Monday - Thursday, 12:00pm - 8:00pm Friday and Saturday, and 12:00pm - 7:00pm Sunday. We have great wine, hot pizza, take-home pizza kits, farmstead cheese, fresh bread, eggs, and more - all availble 7 days a week. You can place your order ahead of time by calling 540-687-8222 or stop by to place your order at the window.

The white wine selection for our VIP Club members this month is Chrysalis Vineyards 2019 Private Reserve White, a blend of Viogner and Albariño available exclusively to our VIP Club members. The 2019 vintage is crafted with finesse and respect to each individual varietal. The Viognier is barrel fermented with weekly battonage to encourage complexity while promoting flavors of peaches, honey suckle, and mango. The Albariño is stainless steel fermented to facilitate tropical aromatics. Both varietals are put through a malolactic fermentation to elevate the flavor profile with hints of butter and cream. This elegant white wine would be the perfect companion to a meal of creamy mushroom ravioli topped with fresh parmesan!

Our red wine selection for July is Chrysalis Vineyards 2017 Rubiana, The 2017 vintage of this perennial favorite is made with 100% Fer Servadou fruit and was aged for 16 months in neutral oak The nose is full with aromas of cherries, spice and raspberries. Those same components grace the palate with the addition of cinnamon and blackberries. Try this medium bodied wine with a dessert of raspberry cheesecake.

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.

Also, please remember that you can always find your paired recipes and detailed tasting notes at www.ChrysalisWine.com in the Private VIP Club Area. Also check in with us or follow us on Facebook for updates and announcements.

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


Enjoying Friends & Wine in the Beautiful Outside

Wow! We really went from zero to 60 in a hearbeat during the last month! We really weren't sure what to expect when we entered Phase 1, but it definitely wasn't the surge  of business that we experienced! I guess everyone was ready to get out of the house! With a bit of planning and some new rules our staff was able to   provide a safe environment for everyone to finally get outdoors and enjoy some great wine, delicious food and fresh air. Our large lawn area and great weather also helped. After months of stuggling to keep going, it really lifted everyone's spirits to see a lawn full of happy customers. It was just the medicine we all needed!

We want to thank everybody for coming out to enjoy everything that the Ag District has to offer, but more importantly, we want to thank them for being so cooperative! We have a lot of new rules and regulations to live by and everyone has been incredibly understanding and respectful. It's really made this whole stressful situation so much easier for our staff. Providing a great overall experience is always our goal and all of you have helped us to continue to reach that goal!

Laurie Stevens, Tasting Room Manager


Virginia Oak Barrel

While things have slowed down a bit in the cellar, the production crew is beginning to feel the pressure of the approaching 2020 harvest; signaling that it is time to begin our extensive cleaning and preparations for it.  

All the crush equipment is undergoing routine maintenance, tanks are being scrubbed top to bottom, and our empty barrels are being thoroughly cleaned and prepped for the upcoming harvest. People often ask, “how long is a barrel good for?” This always sparks a hot debate amongst winemakers and cellar staff. Ultimately, it truly depends on how the barrel has been maintained. 

Barrels are constructed of oak staves that have been warped into shape from heating and then a few steel rings are placed around them. Then, a small amount of thick nails are driven through the steel rings and into the staves to help hold the barrel’s shape. These nails do not actually hold the barrel together, rather they anchor the steel ring to the barrel. Assuming a barrel stays full of wine or at least hydrated, it should never lose its shape. Should a barrel dry out, the staves will actually shrink a minute amount, becoming loose, allowing for leaks or if they dry out too much they can completely falling apart.

Barrels used over multiple years can contain and hold wine from the previous vintage within the staves. This is rarely a good thing, as we all know, wine eventually goes bad when exposed to excessive oxygen. This leftover wine can cause various aromatics within the used barrel. Smells can range with pleasant aromatics from the previous wine, to that of a moldy basement or rotting wood. It’s imperative that barrels are thoroughly cleaned so that they only smell of oak. 

Chrysalis Vineyards utilizes a rigorous cleaning and sanitation method. In short, barrels are rinsed with high pressure water to remove physical contaminates, such as tartrates. Steam is then applied for an appropriate amount of time inhibiting the growth of yeast, bacteria, and fungi. The steaming process creates a vacuum within the barrel, pulling outside air through the staves. This is helpful in removing old wine from the staves. Once steaming is finished, all the barrel should need is a rinse to remove the old wine and the barrel is left to drip dry over night. The next day the barrel is given the “sniff test”. If no “off” aromas are found, the barrel is good to go!

So, what is the correct answer to the debate of how long a barrel is good for? We believe through attention, care, and a thorough cleaning process; possibly indefinitely. 

Jake Blodinger, Assistant Winemaker


Baby Grapes

Rain! Rain! Go away! June has provided us an unnerving amount of all-day long thunderstorms. It has slowed progress in the vineyard slightly and the disease pressure spiked. Freddi has been putting some long hours in on the tractor spraying for downy mildew. While shoot thinning and training is still under way, the crew is looking to the Norton. 

As mentioned last month, our Norton is planted on Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) to help control the vigor of our favorite native varietal. Bloom is underway and it’s only a matter of time before our 40 acres of Norton enters fruit set. The pressure is on as the vineyard crew races to open up the canopy on Norton to ensure the proper amount of sunlight. We have to keep the canopy open and breezy. This is done by removing lateral shoots and thinning out a select amount of leaves in the fruit zone.

Remember, it is vital that the canopy remains open so that the vines microclimate stays cooler. We want fresh air to move through the canopy to help control disease pressure. It’s also essential when spraying the vines. If the canopy is too thick, the sprays will never reach the interior of the canopy, leaving the fruit unprotected.

The center of the canopy is left open to sunlight ensuring the grapes are developing with adequate light to assist with the acids. Norton is both hardy and delicate. Too much shade can lead to a buildup in acids that are so difficult to work with in the cellar, but excessive amounts of sun can lead to sunburned fruit and raisined berries, which lend themselves to grapes with a high phenolic load. Something we definitely want to avoid when crafting our delicious wines!

Overall 2020 is looking to be a great vintage.

Jake Blodinger, Assistant Winemaker


But wait... there's MORE... Pizza!

Greeting from the Little River Bakehouse, I just wanted to let everybody know about some of the seasonal pizzas we are offering this summer! I took some of my more successful specials over the past few months and have made them regular fixtures on the menu. The first one is my homage to jalepeño poppers -jalapeños, applewood smoked bacon and creamy Friar Tuck fromage. The Friar Tuck helps to mello out the kick of the fresh jalapenos. Another seasonal and fan favorite that earned a spot on the menu is garlic, lemon and herb marinated artichoke hearts with wilted spinach, peppadews and house made Alfredo sauce. Finally we have a very popular choice which is the Viognier Italian sausage, roasted Crimini mushrooms and Nottingham Gouda pizza which is than topped with Arugula that has been tossed in a house made Norton balsamic vinaigrette. These and many other pizzas as well as paninis are now available 7 days a week.

I want to go ahead and thank everybody coming out these past few weeks as we have been going through the phased openings. You have been keeping my staff and me very busy and we appreciate it greatly and hope to see you coming back many more times. Stay safe and healthy out there and we hope to see you soon.

Keaton Beus, Little River Bakehouse Manager


Cheese & Wine... Perfect!This month marks the second anniversary of introducing Locksley Farmstead Cheese to the public (of course Erin and Kelly had already been working for months perfecting their processes and aging the Nottingham Gouda)! It's amazing to think just how far our cheese has come in that short time. What started with just two cheeses to select from - Friar Tuck fromage blanc and Nottingham Gouda - has grown to a family of 9 different products! Maid Marian Camembert, Little John Cheddar, and a Garlic Herb version of Friar Tuck made their debut a few months later. They were followed by our washed-rind "stinky" cheese, Prince John. Little John Cheddar curds and Merry Men Manchego were the most recent additions to the family and as this newletter is being written we are preparing to introduce our newest addition - King Richard Blue. 

All of our cheeses are made from the same farm-fresh milk straight from our very happy, pastured milking herd, yet they are distictly different. Come on out to the Ag District and try them all!

Note from Jenni
View from My Kitchen Window

Welcome to summer! But before we think about burgers and dogs on the grill, or a great summer pizza from our Little River Bakehouse (with some Sarah’s Patio Red Norton, or some Albariño Verde, of course) I just want to comment about how grateful I am to have had such a beautiful spring, and how grateful we are to all of you that have come for a visit to enjoy our wines, our food, and our vistas while enjoying the outside fresh country air. Thank you… we really, really appreciate it. Just great!

We intend to keep impressing you with great new vintages and new foods, along with our great service. In fact, this year is shaping up wonderfully in the vineyard, and… knock on wood, the harvest will be as good as the 2019. Jake Blodinger, along with Jason’s and my input, is crafting excellent wines from this past harvest. I’ve really enjoyed the interaction with the winemaking staff and am very proud of what’s in the pipeline. Stay tuned!

Anyway, now that we can open our doors (somewhat) to our friends and customers, we invite you to come and taste what’s new and exciting, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure your visit is safe and enjoyable.

Thanks again… welcome back, and.. . Enjoy!

Take care,


PS - How fortunate am I to stand at my kitchen sink and look out at this? Very fortunate, indeed. And just so you know, I never take it for granted. Just like I never take our friends and customers for granted, either. Thanks, again, for your continued support.

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



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