Red, White and Blue Wines



VIP Wines of the Month

Report from the Tasting Room
Report from the Cellar
Report from the Vineyard
Report from The Little River Bakehouse

Note from Jenni

VIP Club Selections for July, 2023

Happy 4th of July!. July seems to be the peak of the season for family cookouts, beach vacations, and long, warm evenings. All are perfect occasions to enjoy our Chrysalis Vineyards wines! We have a great selection of wines to pair with any summer event and our tasting room staff is eager to help you select the perfect choice for your events! If you wnat to enjoy a nice outdoor summer meal, but don't have time to cook we can help you with that, too! We have some delicious menu features that highlight the summer barbeque theme prepared right here at The Little River Bakehouse. Take a look at the article below to check out what we're doing in the kitchen!


Our VIP pickup event this month will be held on Friday, July 14th from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at the Ag District Center. Members must RSVP no later than July 10th 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 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 Albariño Verde. The fruit for this wine is picked about two weeks earlier than our traditional Albariño to capture the crisp acid and tropical flavors and mimic a traditional Portugese vinho verde style. Aromatics of banana and pineapple are reminiscent of sandy beaches and blue waters. The palate is greeted with racy acidity and slight pin pricks of effervescence with flavors of fresh zested limes, sharp lemon rind, and ripe grapefruit. Have a glass with a dinner of Parmesan Risotto with day boat sauteed scallops for a perfect pairing!

Our red wine selection for July 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.


Welcome Holly Morgan

Hello, my name is Holly Morgan. I just wanted to introduce myself to you as the new Tasting Room Manager and VIP Club Manager here at Chrysalis Vineyards. I'm super excited for this new adventure and cannot wait to meet all of you in the coming months! 

I've worked for many years in the Virginia wine industry including as a Tasting Room Manager/Club Manager at my previous position. One of my favorite things about being a club manager is getting to meet and know all of our wonderful members face to face! I love nothing more than seeing our club members happy enjoying our wines! 

Just to let you know, each month we still will be changing up our tasting menu selections. I'm also hoping to bring food pairing options to our at the bar tastings in the near future! This will give you all more chances to try our delicious Locksley Farmstead Cheeses and Little River Bakehouse features that are made right here at our location! 

I'm looking forward to the 14th for the VIP Pick up Party! Hope to see you all there!!

Holly Morgan, Tasting Room Manager


Baby Grapes!

Last month the vineyard was filled with a sweet aromatic indicating the vines were flowering. Minus a few brief rains, we’ve soared through and moved on to fruit set and bunch closure. Fruit set is a term that really means, the flowers have become tiny green orbs but it also refers to the amount of flowers that pollinated and became berries.

The flowers found on the clusters are “perfect” or self-pollinators, only requiring a bit of air movement to get the pollen to the flower. In theory, it’s a really simple action but reality high winds or heavy rain can actually ruin this. For instance, our Tannat which is always the last varietal to bloom and seems to take the longest to enter fruit set, unfortunately experienced a little more rain than the rest of the vineyard. This resulted in an uneven fruit set. Before you panic, this doesn’t mean we won’t have any Tannat but it does mean we will experience a slightly reduced yield. At the end of the day, we are always at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Overall, fruit set looks great and we have a healthy crop coming in this year. Presently, Freddi and I are waiting for “bunch close” which is a term that refers to the berries swelling in size until they are touching each other. To most this doesn’t sound interesting but, like everything in the vineyard, it’s a crucial moment. In our opinion, it’s the most important time to maintain clean fruit because, should any disease be present on the stems the berries will grow and seal the disease inside. Think of it like getting an infection and then wrapping it tightly, eventually you are going to have problems.

Luckily, we’ve had relatively cool temperatures and until recently, no rain. This has caused the disease pressure to be almost nonexistent. Even more recently, the week long rain was rough, but the hot evenings have slowed a large amount of disease growth allowing us ample time to address any issues. I can proudly say that Freddi has had only one occurrence where he was on the tractor before the sun rose addressing an issue. We’ve got our finger on the pulse and we are excited for this year’s harvest!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Bottling Day

If you were at last month’s VIP party you had the opportunity to try a vertical tasting of our Papillon. It was a lot fun tasting the 2017, 2019, 2020, and the newly bottled 2021 Papillon. It was interesting to taste an older vintage against the present vintage and give a sneak peak at the wines to come. For those of you that missed, don’t fret, we will do more vertical tastings in the future.

During the tasting we discussed how to determine a wine that can be laid down and how to determine when it’s ready to drink. As a refresher, alcohol percentage, acid, and tannin are key determining factors. As we saw with the 2017 the tannins had mellowed out and the wine was soft, silky, and easy to enjoy. On the other hand, the 2020 and the 2021 were big, bold, and delicious, the tannins were rough, and the wines came across almost too intense. Many of you enjoyed these newer vintages but also remarked that they needed food to balance out the intensity.

Vertical tastings are a lot of fun and meant for the real “wine nerds” to really geek out over particular styles. Jenni and I tend to do a lot of verticals when we were work on wines like the Estate Norton and the Locksley Reserve and not just because we are geeking out but because we are evaluating the evolution of the style over many years. Seeing the development of Norton over decades definitely helps us make blend decisions. Furthermore, we taste older wines and we see the variation in vintage. Hot years without a lot of rain tend to be jammier while cooler years with too much rain tend to be less tannic and silkier. You really only get a sense of things when you do a vertical tasting.

I had a lot of fun tasting through the different Papillons with you and enjoyed watching everyone’s “aha!” moment. I promise we will do it again soon!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Barrel Wood Smoked Salmon

In last month's newsletter we announced our new partnership with Chef Erik Foxx and his crew... The Polished Foxx @ The Ag District. They're really knocking it out of the park with some of the menu features that they're creating and we really hope you'll stop in to see what we're all so excited about!

To start off July and celebrate the holiday weekend, Cheff Foxx has been applying his skills at the smoker to create some mouthwatering features like the salmon BLT shown in the picture. He's using Norton soaked oak chips from our winery in the smoker to enhance the flavors and the aromas wafting through the air are magical! In addition to the sandwich special we are also featuring salmon on a salad special and as an add on to other menu items. You're sure to find something for everyone on our menu of delicious pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and specials! If you enjoy those smoky flavors and want to try some Norton smoking chips at home, you can pick up a bag of Norton oak chips right here in the tasting room!

In addition to our regular menu offerings, we hope to be adding some more exciting food and wine experiences as Erik applies his culinary skills to create wine dinners, take-home options, and much more!  

We're really excited about all the delicious food coming out of the kitchen to enjoy with our Chrysalis Vineyards wines and we hope that you'll come out to experience everything that The Polished Foxx @ The Ag District has to offer!


Note from Jenni
Dramatic Sky

Our growing season this year for Locksley Estate and Caeli Farm (The Ag District in toto) has been very unusual, but I’m liking it, as it promises (so far) to produce outstanding fruit. Let me explain.

The growing season got off to an unusually early start this year with warmer than usual temperatures in March and early April. The vines “broke bud” earlier than normal as a result, and had us biting our fingernails over the fear of a late spring frost when all the new growth was “out” so much earlier in the year. Fortunately, we only had one particularly cold morning and only some very minor damage on a couple of lower elevation Norton rows as a result (BTW, Norton, being a Virginia native, is cold-hardy to -25°F over the winter. But… all vines, including Norton, get damage on young growing leaves when temperatures get close or below freezing). Whew!

Then it got cool in May… and stayed cool… and it’s still cooler than usual moving into July. That makes sense if El Niño is now active. And it looks like it is. Also, rainfall hasn’t been normal, and we’re still in a minor draught.

Current Draught Conditions

OK, so why am I feeling good about this season? Firstly, a long moderate summer is good for completely ripening fruit to its full potential. Since we started earlier than normal, and since we’ve had warm but not hot days so far is a good thing. (Fun fact: When temperatures rise over around 85°F vines can begin to shut down if they’re draught stressed. Their little “breathing holes” called stomata close to preserve moisture in the plant. Over 95°F things get serious and photosynthesis stops. That means they’re not ripening fruit!)

Secondly… and fortunately for us, every vine in our 70+ acres of vineyards are drip irrigated. We’ve been watering our vines during these dry days, and they’re very healthy. I’m concerned for those growers who don’t have irrigation, especially those starting out a new vineyard (young vines haven’t yet developed the root systems to find moisture in deeper soil levels). If worse comes to worse, we most likely will have some extra fruit to help them out, if needed. 

Finally, there is a good side to dry weather; disease pressure is much lower. Virginia’s climate is generally humid, and there are many mildews, rots and fungal infections that infect grapevines, particularly European grapevines that evolved without most of these grapevine pathogens that are present in North America. (Another fun fact: Norton, native to Virginia, is the most disease-resistant bunch grape in the world, whether for table fruit, raisins or wine. Not one of… THE most.) When it’s dry the fungi are held at bay from developing, and vines are under much less disease pressure.

So, there you have it. Nice and long, warm summer, but not too hot, irrigation if needed, and healthier vines, needing less chemical intervention in the vineyards. Let’s hope it keeps up (with a bit more rain, please.)

Oh… BTW, my photo above is from years ago when I walked outside one morning – and went “Whoa… Kodak moment” (yep, I’m that old). Some smoke had been in the area from a nearby fire. These past days of smoky haze reminded me of this majestic sky. The draught has been very severe in the northeast, and Canada has been suffering from vast wildfires, with El Niño then causing the jet stream to push this colder, smoke-laden  Canadian air down to lower latitudes… like here in Virginia!

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