Happy Holidays!



VIP Wines of the Month

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

Note from Jenni

VIP Club Selections for December, 2023

The last newsletter of 2023... it doesn't seem possible that we've rolled through another year already! These last few months have really flown by with the non-stop activity that comes with harvest and now we all get to slow down a bit, take a breath and reflect on the results of all the hard work. Freddi, Filiberto, and the vineyard crew really knocked it out of the park this year. Their attention to the vines and meticulous work resulted in a great harvest with some of the best fruit we've ever seen. Jake's been busy crafting that fruit into some truly fine wines... it'll be a while before you get to see it on the shelves, but it will be well worth the wait! The tasting room staff has been busy creating great, memorable experiences for our customers and Chef Erik and his culinary crew have been serving up some delicious food to enjoy with our fine wines. Over this winter season we'll all be working together to bring you new and exciting experiences for the spring of 2024! In the meantime, stop by and visit us at The Ag District during these colder months and we'll do our best to warm you up with great wine, delicious food, and friendly service!


Our VIP pickup event this month will be held on Friday, December 8th from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm at the Ag District Center. This month our popular Christmas cookie pairing is back! Members must RSVP no later than December 4th by emailing TR-Manager@ChrysalisWine.com. Please include your name and number attending (up to 2 per membership)... no time preference needed this month.  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 and tastings, 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 2022 Viognier. Our Viognier is carefully crafted using a 100% wild fermentation in neutral oak to produce fresh tropical aromatics and a rich "mouthfeel" without any oak character.  Batonnage (stirring up the lees with a “baton”) during fermentation increases richness and enhances structure and complexity while creating  soft creamy finish .

Our red wine selection for December is Chrysalis Vineyards 2019 Borboleta. Borboleta is another showcase of Norton’s finesse through its expression of a traditional port-style wine. This wine is a perfect companion next to a warm fire on a cold night or with your favorite chocolate dessert. The aromatics lean into a smooth mocha and black cherry nose. The palate becomes filled with a soft warmth that easily carries ripe cherry, a hint of coffee, and a creamy dark cocoa finish. 

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.


Great Gift for a Wine & Cheese Lover

We're in the midst of the busy holiday season already.... a time full of family, friends and celebrations. The Ag District is a great place to bring your out of town guests to show off the best in local wine and food! From our world-class wines and artisan farmstead cheeses to our delicious pizzas, paninis, soups, and salads, there's something for everyone! We've got plenty of indoor seating to fight the December chills. If you prefer to get some crisp, fresh air we have heated tables outside, just ask one of our associates to light it for you!

While you're here don't forget to do your holiday shopping! You can't miss with Chrysalis Vineyards wine and Locksley Farmstead Cheese for hostess gifts, holiday presents or maybe just a treat for yourself! You might even want to swap out those cookies that are left for Santa for a glass of Petit Manseng and a slice of King Richard Blue! Holiday gift packs are available - please call the tasting room or go to our website at www.ChrysalisWine.com to place your order ahead of time so we can have it ready for you... if you forget you can always sit down and enjoy a glass of wine while we get it ready!

All of us here at The Ag District hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and a Merry Christmas!


Old Dormant Vine

It’s quite cold in the vineyard and the crew is catching up on winter maintenance while they wait for the appropriate time for pruning. This has been a popular question I’ve received the past few weeks from the many folks that have purchased Norton vines from us for their very own home vineyards, “when should I prune my vines?”.

If you were to ask Freddy he’d say January and I would agree, but we typically prune for green house cuttings in December. Truthfully, there’s an even easier method you can do at home. Once all the leaves have dropped, go out with a pair of snips, cut about half-way down your shoot that would be pruned and examine the cut. Is there still a green center or maybe some water is trickling out of the cut still connected to the vine?

These are signs of a vine that hasn’t quite made it to dormancy. That green area is called a cambium and is sort of like a blood vessel but for a vine. Instead of flowing either direction, it flows down to the roots. The water that maybe seeping out is the reserve for the roots that the vine is hoarding for dormancy. Don’t fret, one cut isn’t going to make or break the life of the vine.

What you are looking for is a tan, brown or even a dried dehydrated wood. This indicates that the vine has indeed gone to bed and is no longer storing reserves. At this point, it’s perfectly fine to begin pruning the vines. Another question I get about this topic is, what about my Tannat or Petit Verdot vines? Yes, this method works too, but you may find that these varieties aren’t dormant in the early weeks of December and in fact, may settle down in January. This isn’t anything to stress about, every variety varies on when they go dormant.

I hope this information helps those who’ve asked and if you are interested in purchasing your own Norton vines check out the tasting room this Spring, they go quick but I promise we have enough.

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Harvest is wrapped up, the cellar is clean, and the wine has been put to bed. Jenni and I have begun our evaluation of the 2023 vintage and both of us are “nerding out” on the differences between the 5 styles of Norton we produced.

Barrel of B8Z1 (What's That?)

Just before Thanksgiving, Jenni and I tasted the 5 different styles and we were blown away by the impact that pick dates and block differences had on the wines. For instance, the Sarah’s Patio Red is made entirely from Block 7, picked the first week of October, and whole cluster pressed. As always, it has the classic sweet tart character that’s made it such a memorable wine. Blocks 5 and 6, the oldest Norton blocks on the property, were used for carbonic maceration to make the Barrel Select Norton. 

This block tends to be lower on the degree of brix (sugar levels) and captured that perfect pH of 3.4. The acids in this wine are balanced and the mid-palate is smooth with a long finish. We believe the age of the blocks are contributing to a more balanced physiological ripeness like that seen in old world wines. Carbonic maceration is a style that originates from Beaujolais, France and while the wines are fruit driven they still retain a sense of “old world” character.

Our youngest Block of Norton called “B8” by the cool kids, planted in 2008, had a healthy yield, high brix, and perfect physiological ripeness. Naturally, this fruit was allocated for our Locksley Reserve wine. This was fermented in our lagar, a Portugese vessel made from granite and concrete, for 22 days. The wine is dark, luscious, and just a mouthful of character. The aromatics are filled with violets and blueberries. In fact, when Jenni tasted it, she was almost convinced it was a vinifera wine, not Norton.

Every vintage we strive to improve the quality of Chrysalis wine but this vintage was a reminder that Norton is Virginia’s premium wine grape. Can’t wait to share it with you!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


What a Charcuterie Platter!

The holidays are the perfect time use your creative skills to create impressive charcuterie boards! Equal parts delicious hors d'oeuvres and beautiful centerpiece, they're perfect for any gathering or meal. Creating these works of art can be a great family activity, too!   

Here at The Ag District you can pick up all the cheeses that you need to create the perfect charcuterie board. Locksley Farmstead Cheeses are delicious artisan cheeses made right here on our farm! Our Maid Marian Camembert is a perfect centerpiece and is delicious topped with our Norton jelly. Our hard cheeses - Nottingham Gouda, Little John Cheddar, and Merry Men Manchego are all great choices and provide a variety of flavor profiles. You can't miss with a slice of our King Richard Blue paired with some local honey! And don't forget our spreadables - Friar Tuck Fromage Blanc and Friar Tuck Garlic & Herb - they're perfect to spread on crackers!

Note from Jenni
Our Gift Selection of Artisan Foods

Ya know, when you get right down to it, isn’t the real joy and rewarding part of the holidays spending time together and connecting with your family and friends… and leaving the stresses of the work-a-day world behind for just a bit? Laughing out loud over silly jokes, while cooking up some tasty stuff in the kitchen… but not too fancy, because this time can be so fleeting, right? Anyway, I have suggestion.

Go local!... really. Don’t just talk about it… do it! Go out and buy your gifts and foods and wines from your local artisans. Go local. Consider giving something handmade… really handmade. Sure, there’s a gazillion cool things of quality made by big companies running beautiful machines (hey, I’m a tech nerd… I love this stuff, too), but there’s just something special, distinct… unique… personal… living, even, from things made by hand. Things made by real artisans.

It’s what we’re about here at The Ag District. Bringing forward, our artisan foods and wines from our land, to you.

Take Care... and Happy Holidays,


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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