April Showers Bring May Flowers!



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 May, 2022

April showers bring May flowers and.... BUDBREAK! That's right, since our last newsletter the vines have come back to life from their winter slumber. Tender green leaves are emerging and the annual cycle of life in the vineyard has begun again. The vineyard crew finished all the winter pruning a few weeks ago and now they are busy doing vineyard maintenance before they enter the long growing season. Between now and harvest they will touch every vine in our 70 acres of fruit 7 or 8 times tying, training, trimming, leaf thinning, and on and on. Their tireless work provides us with the best quality fruit... the important first step in producing world-class wines.

Next time you're at the Ag District lift a glass in appreciation of all the people that work hard tending to our vines and toast to a successful 2022 vintage!


Our VIP pickup event this month will be held on Friday, May 13th from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at the Ag District Center. 

Members must RSVP no later than May 9th 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. 


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, 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 2020 Sarah's Patio White. This single varietal wine is whole-cluster pressed and stainless steel fermented. Delightful aromas of orange blossoms, tropical fruit, and beeswax greet the nose. The palate bursts with hints of kiwi and apricot. The tantilizing acidity on the mid palate is remenincent of tangerines. Try a cold glass with something spicy for a refreshing balance.

Our red wine selection for March is Chrysalis Vineyards 2020 Private Reserve Red. Our private reserve wines are small batch wines created exclusively for our VIP Club members. This vintage is a blend of Norton, Tannat, Nebbiolo, and Petit Verdot that exhibits aromas that allude to a nicely aged wine with leather and vanilla from barrel age. French oak and Nebbiolo create a nice cordial cherry and a silky mouth feel from the Norton gives way to soft tannins from the Tannat and raspberry from the Petit Verdot. The palate is greeted with notes of licorice, smoke, and hazelnut. Enjoy this with a thick, grilled ribeye on that first warm evening of spring!

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... Perfect!

Do you love wine? Do you enjoy sharing your passion for wine with others? Are you hard-working, enthusiastic, and willing to learn? If you answered "yes" to the previous questions then we have a great opportunity for you! We're looking for a few new team members to join our tasting room staff!  We have availability for both part-time and full-time positions with flexible schedules. This is the perfect job for college students, retirees, or anyone with an interest in great wine, local agriculture, and artisan foods. Tasting room associates must be at least 21 years old. We also have openings for barbacks, the perfect summer job for high school students. If you're interested just send us an email at TR-Manager@ChrysalisWine.com.



Brand New Growth

Finally, bud break! I have to mention that constant ups and downs of the weather have really put us through the ringer. Two weeks ago it snowed 5 inches and then it was 60 degrees the following day. Without missing a beat, it rained for 4 days straight and now we’ve had a few mornings with freezing temperatures. All of that said, we have NO frost damage, in fact, we have about 2 inches of shoot growth right now. 

The crew is humming along and finishing up the very last of the pruning leaving us about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Once the pruning is finished, the crew will have to wait patiently until the total shoot development for the entire vineyard is more than 6 inches of growth. At that point, they’ll begin removing composite or “dormant” shoots that have pushed. These particular shoots will yield no fruit and only act as a vector for increased green growth, filling out the canopy and taking away from fruit development later. 

By removing the shoots, we are able to encourage the vine to dedicate its development to raising the quality of the fruit. If you remember, I commonly refer to this as “source to sync balance”. That’s the amount of green tissue, the “source” against the amount of fruit or “sync”. When a vine is in balance, it properly utilizes energy from the canopy and dedicates it to the fruit at a pace necessary to push quality. If this should get out of balance, vines will “bush out” referring to a large amount of leaves and shoots overtaking the vine. This inevitably keeps the fruit from ripening accordingly, resulting in wines that taste green and high in acid. 

I think after 3 great vintages, and repeatedly dodging frosts, the crew thinks we have a perfect growing site and I can’t argue that either. It shows that Jenni has taken careful consideration and love when selecting sites for growing Chrysalis wine.  

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Moving Wine

As the vineyards turn green and things warm up, Jenni and I continue to work hard on crafting premium wines for you to enjoy. One wine that’s continued to be on our minds lately is the Barrel Select Norton. What makes this wine so special is our use of the technique called carbonic maceration.

Carbonic maceration is a technique made famous in Beaujolais Nouveau, but here at
Chrysalis we utilize this technique to reduce the malic acids prevalent in Norton. So how does it work? During harvest, we pick Norton into lugs and then cart them into the cellar, dumping them into tanks. Once the tank is filled to the brim with Norton, we purge the tank with CO2, effectively creating an anaerobic environment, free of oxygen. In this environment, yeast and other microbial organisms are unable to function, preventing any sort of degradation of the fruit. 

Like a light switch, enzymes turn on and begin consuming malic acid. These enzymes are found under and on the skins of the grapes. As the enzymes consume malic through a metabolic pathway, they actually produce additional alcohol. This process isn’t immediate, usually taking about two weeks. Once the process is finished, we use a special yeast that, as a secondary function, utilizes malic acid as part of its primary fermentation, that’s sugar into alcohol. Post fermentation, the wine is racked into barrel and put through malolactic fermentation to convert malic acid to lactic acid, which is a softer acid.

As you can see, our main goal is to remove as much of the malic acid from the wine as
possible resulting in raising the mid-palate to create a smoother, almost silkier wine. In addition to improved mouth feel, the aromatics develop into more floral characters that really lead one straight to a glass. This wine is fermented and cellared in 100% Virginia oak to further elevate the varietal character and aromatics that we’ve all come to love.

Our Barrel Select Norton is a 100% Virginia wine. It’s made from Virginia’s grape, in Virginia’s very own barrels, in Virginia. I can’t think of a wine that is more of a single place then our Barrel Select Norton. Come out and try it for yourself!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Charcuterie Platter

If you've visited the Ag District and tried any of the delicious menu offerings I'm sure you've appreciated the unique flavors of our pizzas, paninis, salads and all the accoutrements on the charcuterie boards. Did you know that all of those delicious flavors include ingredients sourced right here on our farm? Whether it's Norton red wine vinegar used to pickle shallots or Friar Tuck Fromage Blanc used to top a salad, our entire menu features true farm-to-table creativity. With the celebration of Earth Day last week there's no better time to reduce your carbon footprint and support local agriculture by stopping by the Ag District for lunch or dinner! 


Nottingham Gouda Wheels

Gouda is a sweet, creamy, yellow cow's milk cheese originating from the Netherlands. It is one of the most popular cheeses worldwide. The name is used today as a general term for numerous similar cheeses produced in the traditional Dutch manner.

Gouda cheese dates from 1184, making it one of the oldest recorded cheeses in the world still made today. At Locksley we use a process where we "wash" the curds to remove some of the lactose, to lessen the lactic acid that is produced to create a sweeter, creamier cheese. The curds are then hooped and left to set under pressure overnight. Then the wheels are placed in their brine solution and after brining they are dried then waxed. At this point the wheels are placed in the aging room until they are mature.

John Cline, Head Cheesemaker

Note from Jenni
Gorgeous Flowers (Cliver miniata)

Welcome to the ‘heart’ of spring! May is beautiful on the farm… no doubt my favorite month. The new green growth of March and April has given rise to the most beautiful colors and aromas… and the winter lifelessness of the vines has been thrust aside.

The vines have broken bud with a green color almost seemingly fake, the full bloom of spring flowers has peaked with brilliant oranges, reds, yellows of the most incredible intensity, and… is it possible, but does the sky actually seems bluer? Lovely! (BTW, that’s a Clivia miniata in my Note from Jenni photo. My friend, Andrew Stover, keeps several of these potted plants in my garage over the winter in order to get enough days of cold dryness to flower in the spring. I hardly remember they’re there… no watering needed at all for months, only the tiniest bit of light coming in from a corner window. And look!.. that’s why we do it. What a reward!)

Look at the photo of the new growth in the vineyard in Jakes’ (REPORT FROM THE VINEYARD). Do you see that little tiny stalk just slightly upper left of the center that looks like a green Q-tip? That’s a cluster of grapes that will grow into a big, juicy grape bunch that will become our wine! That little cluster was formed last year in a tiny bud, just waiting throughout the winter to pop out. Really… it’s all formed, tiny, in a bud developed before the vines went dormant last year.  Now that’s a WOW in my book! (Good thing, ‘cause farming a vineyard is a helluva lot of work!)

Come on out to revel in nature’s beauty. Take a walk around and relax a bit from the hustle-bustle of life. We need your help and patronage, and I’m sure we can help you with the relaxing beauty of our countryside.

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