August Sunflowers



VIP Wines of the Month

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

Note from Jenni

VIP Club Selections for August, 2023

Hot, Hot, Hot! Boy have we been experiencing a heat wave!  Fortunately, our hilltop location here at the Ag District  provides us with a nice breeze most of the time, helping to cool things down at least a bit. If sitting outside just isn't for you, we've also got plenty of air conditioned indoor seating to help you cool down and enjoy your visit. It's hard to imagine, but it will only be a few more weeks before we roll into the harvest season, temperatures will begin to cool, and we'll be welcoming Fall! In the meantime come on out, find some shade, get yourself a cold bottle, and relax before the summer is gone!


Our VIP pickup event this month will be held on Friday, August 11th from 6:00pm until 8:00pm at the Ag District Center. This month we will be hosting an evening of wine trivia! We will have sessions available at 6:00 and 7:00 that will include tastings of the August wines along with some friendly trivia competition. Members must RSVP no later than August 7th by emailing Please include your name, number attending (up to 2 per membership), and your preferred time (6:00 or 7:00). 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 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 2021 Viognier. Our Viognier is carefully crafted using a 100% wild fermentation which produces fresh tropical aromatics. This wine is fermented in 100% neutral oak to increase “mouthfeel” richness and aromatics without any oak character. The nose is greeted with aromas of tangerines and white flowers, while the palate expresses notes of ripe peaches, sweet kumquats, and mango. A soft creamy finish lingers from the extensive batonnage during fermentation. 

Our red wine selection for August is Chrysalis Vineyards 2021 Bull Run Mountain Cuvée. Our Bull Run Mountain Cuvée is the same 100% Norton wine that became a tasting room favorite known as "Schitz and Giggels", renamed to further lift up and showcase where the wonderful Norton fruit found in this bottle is from. Located at the base of the Bull Run Mountains, the finest planting of Norton has been growing for the past 25 years. It’s here that Virginia’s very own native variety has flourished and thrived.This wine showcases inviting aromatics of vanilla, baking spices, purple flowers, and black currant. The palate is an intense symphony of dark fruits like cherries and raspberries with a nice long crème brûleé finish. This wine is best paired with fatty meats and sauces.

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 & Cheese... the Perfect Combination!

I hope our wines have been keeping you cool this summer!

We have a new tasting option in the works starting in the month of August. Our guided tastings will now have a pairing option! Each wine in our tasting will be paired with a specially selected bite that is intended to enhance the nuances of the wine. The August pairing will feature cheeses from Locksley Farmstead Cheese! There is nothing like drinking a glass of our Locksley Reserve Norton paired with Nottingham Gouda from Locksley Farmstead Cheese!

The wine lineup and parings will change monthly, so be sure to stop by often so you don't miss anything!

Holly Morgan, Tasting Room Manager


Beautiful Grape Clusters

Can you believe it’s only 4 more weeks until harvest? I have to say that every year, I get more and more excited to see what the harvest will bring in. We’ve made significant changes in the vineyards. Between reducing the amount of pesticides utilized, adjusting soil amendments, and focusing more on irrigating the vines, the yields are high but quality looks even higher!

We are past bunch close and the fruit is remarkably clean. Due to the recent high heat and brief afternoon showers, there’s no visible disease pressure. It’s so low that Freddy has spent a few more days helping me in the cellar then he has on the tractor. At this point, there’s not much left to do except pull the leaves away from the fruit zone and await veraison.

Veraison is the French term used to describe grapes changing from green to yellow or red. It’s the real indication that the fruit is almost ready to be harvested. During this time, the crew will pass through the rows of vines, removing the leaves around the fruit exposing it to direct sunlight in the early mornings. This sun exposure actually helps the berries develop a natural sun screen and will impact the character of the fruit through increased tannin levels.

We’ve had an exceptional growing season and if the weather holds out (knock on wood) I think this vintage could rival 2019.  Cheers to another exciting vintage!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


During my tenure at Chrysalis Vineyards, we’ve further improved the quality of our wines through  sustainable care of our vineyards, utilizing more techniques and less chemicals in the cellar, and really focusing on letting the fruit drive the style of wines. As Jenni and I focus more on these core concepts, we’ve had to increase our presence in both the vineyard and winery. 

Sentia Wine Analyzer

Recently however, Jenni and I have found that our “low intervention” practices and techniques do require more investment in the testing of our wines to ensure that quality is being maintained. In late 2022, we purchased a new “Sentia Analyzer” that has furthered our wine quality. This device replaces the entirety of our laboratory and puts it directly into a handheld device that is both quick and extremely accurate. It measures several types of acids, sugars in juice or wine, and sulfur levels.

Utilizing this device has allowed us to further dial in the amount of sulfur used during the winemaking process. In fact, we’ve actually reduced the overall amount of sulfur used in the cellar. This is because we are testing more frequently at stages of the winemaking process where we would otherwise not because of time constraints. The mobility of the device essentially allows us to do the lab work while we do the winemaking. Pretty neat huh?

Right now, our focus has been reducing the amount of times we have to “touch” the wines because every interaction increases the opportunities for spoilage or oxygen integration. By investing into innovative lab practices, we’ve furthered the care of our wines and the overall quality. This is one more example of how we can test the limits of producing premium Virginia wine.

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Mozzarella Cheese Rolls

You may be familiar with most of our cheeses by now from our retail displays, but our Monk Mozzarella doesn't always get the recognition that it deserves. This delicious whole milk mozzarella is produced by Locksley Farmstead Cheese for the exclusive use of our own Little River Bakehouse! That's right.... that delicious cheese found on our pizzas, sandwiches and other fresh menu items is made right here! Unlike "fresh" mozzarella that has a softer consistency and higher moisture content, our mozzarella is made with a firmer consistency to give it better characteristics for melting. 

A batch of mozzarella can be ready for use fairly quickly as compared to our aged cheeses, but it requires a lot of work before it reaches your pizza. Like all of our cheeses it begins with the best milk... provided to us by our own milking herd that is lovingly cared for by our dairy manager, Steven. The milk is pasteurized, cultures and rennet are added and the curd develops. The curd is cut, whey is drained and then the curd is pressed into blocks that rest overnight to get a bit firmer. The next day the blocks of curd are cut into strips, warmed and stretched. This is the really laborious part of the process. Very hot (@150-160°F) water is added to bowls of curd strips to warm the strips and make them pliable. The curd strips are stretched and pressed together by hand until a smooth ball of cheese is formed. Stretching the warm curds "untangles" the proteins and forms long strands that create the stringy, elastic consistency that is so familiar to us. Once the curd is streched it is formed into "logs", cooled, and put into our brine tank for 12 hours. The brine tank allows the cheese to absorb the necessary salt to create good flavor. Once the cheese finishes its time in the brine it's dried and packaged and then waits to go to the kitchen and then onto your plate here at The Ag District.

A batch of Monk Mozzarella starts out as about 2,000 pounds of milk and ends up as about 240 pounds of finished cheese. The yield varies a bit depending upon the season, but that amounts to a lot of work by our cows, our dairy team and our creamery team to bring this delicious product to our customers!

Note from Jenni
Sunrise at Hollin Vineyards

This week (July 23-28) I’ve had the distinct and very enjoyable pleasure to host, here at Locksley Estate, Dr. Bruce Zoecklein, Emeritus Professor of Enology (the study of wine) from Virginia Tech. Bruce was our Commonwealth Enologist and professor for more than 35 years, during which time he helped guide Virginia wineries from “bucket and funnel” winemaking to one of the world’s quality wine regions.

For the last couple of years Bruce and I have set out to visit not only some of the earliest, foundational wineries in Virginia, but also some of the newer folks who have invested the money, time and energy to plant beautiful and productive vineyards which supply their modern wineries with quality grapes in fulfillment of their own missions to craft world-class wines. It’s a very pleasurable endeavor, indeed, to visit these folks.

But even more meaningful and pleasurable for me (and I think I speak for Bruce, as well) is the camaraderie and interaction we share with like-minded owners and winemakers that craft such beautiful wines. It’s a reminder of the value and reward we derive from the very demanding work we put into farming grapes and turning them into the “quintessential preservation of the harvest”.

We greatly appreciate those who understand the value of what we do by supporting their local farms and our farm wineries. A lot of folks have heard me say many, many times that it’s not lost on us that you have a lot of choices for food and wine, especially here in the international city of Washington, DC. Yet you’re here supporting us… supporting local ag. Your support helps make all our hard work so worthwhile. So thank you, again, from the bottoms of our hearts. You’re important and you’re laudable for supporting local agriculture.

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



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