The Ag District Center after Sunset



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 February, 2023

The temperatures this month have certainly taken a 180° turn from last month! December charted some record breaking cold temperatures and January has set some record warm averages! I'm not sure what February has in store for us but this is Virginia and the weather is nothing but unpredictable! I do know that we are a month closer to Spring, so it can't be all bad! Let's all hope that our old friend Punxatawny Phil emerges from his hole next week and doesn't get scared by his shadow. I'm sure we could all use an early Spring this year!


Our VIP pickup event this month will be held on Friday, February 10th from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at the Ag District Center. 

Members must RSVP no later than February 6th 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, 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 Farfalla Albariño. Our Farfalla is a unique bubbly wine that is widely approachable for any occasion. Pineapple and citrus notes will be sure to remind you of sandy beaches. The palate offers tropical flavors while the bubbles will tantalize your tongue. Farfalla Albariño is a “Pet Nat” style wine. The natural effervescence comes from finishing fermentation in the bottle. The sediment that can be seen is the “lees” or yeast left over from fermentation. The sediment is in no way harmful if consumed, but will add some bitterness and haze if stirred into the wine. To fully enjoy this wine as intended, chill, allow the sediment to settle to the bottom, and pour gently to avoid stirring in the lees. We hope you enjoy this unique style as much as we do!

Our red wine selection for February is Chrysalis Vineyards 2020 Private Reserve Red. Our Private Reserve Red is a red blend available exclusively to VIP Club Members. This blend is crafted by Jenni McCloud and the winemaker intentionally to produce a fine wine under no limitations. This blend is a culmination of the finest barrels from different lots. The Norton offers floral aromatics while providing notes of blueberries and raspberries on the palate. The Petit Verdot and Tannat offer round tannins, dark fruits, and structure that creates a long lasting finish. Drink now or best enjoyed in the years to come. 

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.


February, 2023 Tasting Wines

Hello Everyone! We hope you all had a good first month of the New Year. We are very pleased to announce that we are once again doing wine tastings at the bar! We have two options for everyone to choose from, our Mixed Tasting or the Elevated Tasting. The mixed option is a combination of white wine, rosé, and a red wine, while the elevated option starts with a white wine and finishes with four red wines. Come by the tasting room and let our staff take you on a tasting adventure as we pour our wines that you won’t normally find on the self-guided flights. For example, in January, we featured the 2019 Petit Verdot and 2019 Tannat.

These flights will change every month so come by the tasting room and see what we have selected for February. As a reminder to all of our VIP members, your membership benefits include either complimentary self-guided flights for up to two people OR complimentary tastings for up to four people. We can’t begin to explain how much fun we have had pouring for the guests who have come in and for those who haven’t, we look forward to seeing you on your next visit!

Amitai Cohen, Tasting Room Manager


Pruned Norton Vines

You know, being a meteorologist is the only job where you can be wrong 90% of the time and still keep your job. All of January the weather reports called for snow and ice and the only thing we received were a few days in the low 30s and some afternoons in the 50s! It’s been an interesting Winter as December was in fact, quite cold, but in the recent weeks, the days are warm. 

A warm Winter can be a concern when you look to the next growing season. The benefits of cold temperatures result in reduced disease and insect pressures. It even delays the growth and development of weeds. This is because extended exposure to cold temperatures creates difficult environments for winterized diseases and latent insects to survive long term. If you will think back to early 2022 we were dealing with a couple of feet in snow. The resulting growing season was fairly easy in the pest management department. 

A warm winter also runs the risk of bringing the vines out of dormancy early. Should the vines break bud even two weeks early the risk for frost damage basically doubles. This is a large concern with varietals like Albariño which always breaks bud first. Don’t panic yet though, if necessary we can “rough prune” the vineyard to delay bud break, allowing us to extend dormancy. Rough pruning involves leaving an extra 4-6 buds in addition to the 2-4 buds we leave during pruning. This has been a popular method in the past few growing seasons so the crew is ready!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Red Wine Fermenting in Our Lagar

February is probably the slowest time of the year. Most of the month is spent doing neglected paperwork and tasting through wines from the 2022 vintage, it’s really the hard life. Most recently, is the ongoing discussion of how to take Norton further. 

Every harvest we conduct an experiment to see if we can push the limits of our Norton wines. Most notable was the implementation of “carbonic maceration” as way to lower the acid found in Norton. In 2019, we fermented Norton in a “lagar” which is a essentially a giant stone bath tub used for fermenting grapes. We found that this vessel keeps the fermentation cooler and allows for more extraction of fruit flavors and floral aromatics.  In 2021, we whole cluster pressed a late harvest Norton which resulted in the dark, smooth, fruity wine known as Bull Run Mountain Cuvée. 

In the 2022 vintage, we decided to do “whole berry fermentation”, this is done by de-stemming fruit and sending it to a tank to ferment. Once in the tank, “delestage” is performed twice a day.  Delestage is a fancy French term for “rack and return” or pumping wine out of a tank and back over the top to break the surface of the fermentation, called a “cap”. This method is viewed as a gentler method for extraction of color and aromas.  During this process, we used a screen to remove some of the seeds and skins, which sometimes contribute a harshness to wines that tend to be more acidic, like Norton.  

The resulting wine does appear to be softer and less rigid with milder fruit flavors. Jenni and I will continue to evaluate and taste this wine in the months to come. Our hope is to create another exciting method for producing world class Norton wine.

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Large Charcuterie PlatterThe beautiful charcuterie board pictured to the right is a great example of what can be created using our delicious Locksley Farmstead Cheese, Terra diSienna cured meats, a few odds and ends and a bit of imagination. There's no better way to impress guests and make them believe that you are a culinary genius (and it's really not that difficult)! Next time you're hosting a get together, stop by and let us help you select your cheeses... or give us a call ahead of time and ask us to create a custom charcuterie board for you!

Note from Jenni
Meet Martin, the Greenway Eagle

I don’t think many folks pick February as their favorite month to look forward to (well… not in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, anyway). It’s dreary, cold and the countryside looks dead (along with the vines).  It’s a time to let attentions wander away from the ordinary.

It was one of those times when I discovered something that I really look forward to in February that is really cool, and I want to share it with you. Just discovering this last year, it made me think about how we miss so many marvelous things in our busy-busy work-a-day worlds. And a distraction that’s really cool is a good thing for a bleak February day.

You see, there’s a pair of majestic, beautiful bald eagles that have been nesting in a high tree near the Dulles Greenway for many years (eagles mate for life). And February is when Martin (photo above) and Rosa get going with their nesting and egg laying. And you can watch them on the installed webcams in hi-def repairing and tidying things up, adding new nesting material, with big sticks and so forth… and even human stuff they find. Fascinating. Watching them leaves me with a wonderful sense of anticipation of what’s just around the corner… springtime and new growth. That’s when life bursts forth from its dead-like stillness and just takes off. And, of course, that’s when the chick(s) hatch and the birds begin again their annual parental duties. Very cool.

Here’s Rosa feeding a chick that hatched in late March.

Rosa Feeding her Chick

So when you’re stuck inside on a dreary February day, take few minutes and see if you can spot Martin and Rosa getting ready for spring!

 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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