Happy New Year!



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 January, 2022

This time last year  we were bidding adieu to 2020, one of the most difficult and challenging years anyone could remember. We were looking forward to 2021 and hoping for improvements in the pandemic and recovery of the hospitality industry. While 2021 certainly was an improvement over 2020 in many ways, it still had its challenges and we're still searching for "normalcy".  We appreciate the patience that our customers have shown with our ever-changing modes of operation and their continued support of everything that we do here at The Ag District. So, once again and hopefully for the last time, let's be glad that 2021 is behind us and look forward to 2022 and our continued march toward that elusive state of normal!

From everyone here at The Ag District, we wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!


Our VIP pickup event this month will be held on Friday, January 14th from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at the Ag District Center. 

Members must RSVP no later than January 10th by emailing TR-Manager@ChrysalisWine.com. 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. 


The white wine selection for our VIP Club members this month is Chrysalis Vineyards 2020 Sarah's Patio Red. This 100% Norton wine greets the nose with notes of inviting raspberries, dark fruits, and summer strawberries. Soft acidity, perfectly ripened cherries, and that classic Norton character leave a short finish that begs to be enjoyed by the bottle. This easy drinking red should be served chilled. 

Our red wine selection for January is Chrysalis Vineyards 2019 Papillon. This full bodied and robust wine is a blend of 57% Tannat and 43% Petit Verdot. A clear example of “the sum of the parts make a greater whole". Our Papillon captures the classic refinement of two noble varieties. Refined aromatics of roses, leather, and ripe black cherries precede a sophistication of flavors exemplified through spices and plums. Pronounced tannin structure encourages a lengthy finish. It can certainly be enjoyed now, but will improve with cellar age. 

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.


Heated Outdoor Seating

The mild weather that we have experienced recently has allowed our customers to continue to enjoy all of our outdoor seating. As the sun sets in the evening, or as the inevitable winter temperatures arrive you can still enjoy the fresh air by cozying up to one of our heated tables. These tables seat 4 comfortably and radiate heat from below the table level. Just ask one of our tasting room associates to fire one up for you!

Come on out and support local agriculture while enjoying some great food and drink!

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, pizza, sandwiches, salads, farmstead cheese, fresh bread, eggs, and more - all availble 7 days a week. If you can't stay, you can always place a "To Go" order to enjoy at home! You can place your order ahead of time by calling 540-687-8222 or stop by to place your order.


Blending Wine

Time flies when you are having fun or harvesting, either way I can’t think of a better way to spend the days. The day after the December bottling, Jenni and I immediately jumped into preparation for the next bottling in February. I can’t tell if it was excitement or necessity, but I can say we are spending a lot of time trying to understand the 2020 vintage in hopes of producing some of the finest wines in Virginia.

We’ve really begun to understand the impact of the 2020 vintage. If you recall 2020’s growing season started quite strong with warm but not too hot weather and early season rains. The harvest started with a pelting of hail that lead to our Albarino Verde being picked earlier than normal. Following the hail, the temperature dropped and ripening came to an almost complete halt. This resulted in delayed sugar increases and higher acids. 

This sounds like a bad thing, but Jenni and I have found that the wines have a bright acid that once corralled, results in tantalizing fruit. Lower alcohols (around 13%) don’t overshadow the finish, but give the potential for bottle age. It’s definitely a winemaking vintage meaning, it’s going to require careful blending to temper the acids without creating a flabbiness. Our 2020 Norton is definitely the favorite during the trials as Jenni and I often dissolve to “passionate” discussions on who gets the last drop. This may surprise a few of you, but it’s Jenni, she always get the last drop. 

Overall, the 2020 was a sleeper vintage, meaning the wines are beautiful, elegant, and reserved. There’s a prominence about the fruit and structure that have brought out complexity that reminds me of old world French wines. All of this said, I think the biggest part of the vintage is the synergy between Jenni and I. After 3 vintages,  we’ve really pushed the limits on the winemaking practices and I think our dedication to producing the best wines possible rings true!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Snowy in the Vineyard

If you look at the January 2021 newsletter you’ll notice the picture of the vines frozen and snow all over the background. Last year it snowed 3-4 times before Christmas and now there’s not a flake in site. (As a disclaimer, I’m not advocating for snow or wintery mixes, I’m just drawing comparisons.) We often don’t think about the impact winter has on the vineyard or the challenges it presents during the growing season.

Sustained cold temperatures are actually a blessing from the growing season. This in turn reduces insect populations found in the ground and plant life. Things like Japanese beetles, Grape Berry Moth, and Glassy Wing Shooter, see reduced populations allowing for easier control during the following vintage. This is all to say, colder weather potentially means less insecticide sprays. This is true for funguses and diseases that winterize as well. As the temperatures drop, their cell populations are greatly reduced resulting in reduced disease pressure.

Snow is another factor that we don’t consider as being beneficial. As snow melts, it pulls various materials around the surface of the soil. Once the water finds a path of total resistance it settles and leeches into the soil. This actually drags nutrients, seeds, and carbon matter down into the soil. This is why you will often see farmers placing cover crops down just after a snow or nutrient additions such as lime or nitrogen applied in the middle of winter when snow is on the forecast. 

We often think of Winter as a time of hibernation and waiting, when in reality, it’s mother nature’s way of prepping for the next growing season. Without colder temperatures and a “bit” of snow the upcoming growing season could require more intervention. Luckily, we have an expert crew that’s always ready.

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Natural Foods

Greetings from the Little River Bakehouse, Chef Keaton here anxious to start to the new year! We made it through 2021 and are ready for the excitement that 2022 has to offer. Over this past year we have expanded our menu of made to order dishes and freshly baked breads and have been working hard to recover from the tumultuous year that was 2020. Reflecting back on the past year I am filled with pride over how far we have come in spite of supply chain problems, staff shortages and the ever changing landscape we all find ourselves in. I don't know what 2022 may have in store for all of us, but here in the kitchen we'll greet it the same way we have over the past 2 years by adapting and responding to any situation that comes our way to provide the freshest food we can produce to compliment all of our Chrysalis Vineyards wines.

As we find things start to wind down a bit during the winter we will still be very busy behind the scenes testing out new recipes, checking off our long laundry list of projects and tasks we have to get done before the spring and getting ready for the frost to thaw. We do hope you make it out here during the winter to try some new things out as we experiment with them. More often than not the weekend pizza specials we run are pizzas I'm thinking about putting in rotation and am experimenting with to hear feed back and comment. So be sure to check them out when you come by and let us know what your think! Thank you for everything this past year and I look forward to seeing you for the new year.

Happy New Year from Little River Bakehouse!

Keaton Beus, Little River Bakehouse Chef & Manager


Brown Swiss Cow

From the Virginia cedars to the Virginia oaks. From the water running off the Bull Run range into the Little River. These are just some of the environmental factors that add to terroir that is uniquely Locksley. We are beyond artisan cheese. We are are a farmstead cheese company. What this means to you is that we are using the freshest milk we can, raised by our cows on our land. We don't get milk from a bulk tank twenty miles away. We don't  get milk from cow #1210. Our cows have names. They have personality.

So when you're eating that Nottingham Gouda or the Maid Marian Camembert, enjoy the work that was put into the cheese, made by our hands. Look at the cows in our fields. They put in just as much work.  This is what the Ag district is striving to accomplish. Bringing agriculture back to its roots in Virginia and bringing Virginia to your table with our unique flavors.

John Cline, Head Cheesemaker

Note from Jenni
Moon at Dusk

I truly hope that 2022 brings fulfillment and happiness to you, your family and friends. I’m fortunate that everyone in my family has made it through the last couple of years without too much trouble and with mostly little more than inconvenience and uncertainty. I feel blessed and very fortunate, because I know many others have not fared so well.

Joy and optimism, in their very nature and expression, can help create a brighter future. It is with this vision in mind and a positive postulate that I wish you all have a safe, productive, rewarding and…

Happy New Year!

Thank you so much for your support over the past years and I look forward to seeing you many times in 2022 here at The Ag District.

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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