The Last Butterflies of the Year



VIP Wines of the Month

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

Note from Jenni

VIP Club Selections for October, 2023

It's October! Otherwise known as Virginia Wine Month, October is the busiest month of the year for wineries across the state. Something about the falling temperatures and colorful leaves makes people want to drink delicious Virginia wine and we have plenty of it for you to enjoy here at The Ag District. While you're here make sure you try some of our other Virginia products like Norton grape jelly, hot sauces, and of course a big selection of Locksley Farmstead Cheese. We're all about local agriculture and include these great products in the delicious foods that Chef Erik prepares. So stop by and celebrate Virginia Wine Month while you support local agriculture!


Our VIP pickup event this month will be held on Friday, October 13th from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at the Ag District Center. This month's event will a Halloween themed celebration with a bit of Ag District "trick-or-treating"! Costumes are encouraged, so use your imagination and come dressed to impress! Members must RSVP no later than October 9th by emailing Please include your name and number attending (up to 2 per membership) - no need to specify a time this month.  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 Sarah's Patio White. This semi-sweet wine has a wafting floral note accompanied by honeysuckle and tropical fruit on the nose. Ripe melon and stone fruit grace the palate with clean acidity. This easily drinkable wine pairs well with fruit, cheeses, spicy Thai or Mexican dishes... or just by itself for a refreshing treat.

Our red wine selection for October is Chrysalis Vineyards 2019 Tannat. Dark, mysterious, and full bodied, its aromatics are reserved smoke, tobacco, and spiced plums. The palate is complex, tannic, and filled with structured licorice, black currant, and spices. This big red wine is perfect for those chilly fall nights. Enjoy it with a dinner of grilled porterhouse with mushroom butter and grilled veggies on the side

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 Seating on The Trellis

Fall is here and those stifling hot days seem to be in our rear view mirror. The cooler daytime hours have been getting shorter and are followed by chilly evenings We have the perfect way to stay warm as you enjoy the crisp fall temperatures... fine wines, hot food, and heated tables! We'll have our heated outdoor tables available beginning October 1st, so if you get a chill while you're visiting just ask one of our staff members to fire up your table!

We'll also be offering hot mulled wine and warm apple cider (non-alcoholic, so the kids can warm up, too) on selected weekends during the fall season, so stop by and enjoy the crisp air, beautiful fall leaves, fine wines, and delicious foods and help us celebrate Virginia Wine Month!

I hope to see you soon!

Holly Morgan, Tasting Room Manager


Almost Ready to Pick

I think you could judge the quality of our vineyard by the swagger in our vineyard crew’s step. They know that the hard work they put into the vineyard is truly paying off. Every time a bin full of grapes is dropped on the crush pad they grin with pride at the quality of fruit. Jenni and I are so proud of the work they do!

Harvest started early, the fruit is ripening fast, and the brix are high. Despite the fruit chemistry being “textbook”, the physiological ripeness is astounding. One day the Viognier was green and the next it was the classic cantaloupe color we always talk about. All of this said, it’s been a slow harvest. We’ve had the opportunity to pick fruit at a speed that reflects our production goals. Just an extra day here or there has allowed us to capture that perfect ripeness.

While this may seem like a silly brag because we only pick fruit when it’s ripe, that’s a tough goal and most of the time we get about 90% of what we are aiming for. This year we are getting that “unicorn” ripeness that seems to happen only once a decade. In fact, this vintage reminds me of 2019 but without the raisining of the fruit. You might think, well yeah, we just had an enormous amount of rain but surprisingly, the overall impact from this growing season’s climate and our irrigation has allowed us to weather the storm (pun intended!). 

The rainy week has actually allowed us to catch up in the cellar, freeing up limited tank, barrel, and t-bin space. Freddy and the crew actually took a couple of R&R days during harvest which they very much deserve. Things are looking great and October 2nd we resume picking premium Virginia grown fruit!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Harvest is in full swing now and everything is going swimmingly. The fruit looks great, the new wines are delicious, and I must say, we are having a blast. As we roll into the month of October the only things left to pick are Petit Manseng, Tinta Cao, Nebbiolo, and of course, Norton.

All the whites came off the vine in short order, a reflection of a terrific growing season. If you attended last month's VIP Club pick up party, you had the opportunity to taste Viognier as grapes, juice, and wine. Presently, the whites are wrapping up fermentation and we are doing rigorous punch downs three times a day, 7 days a week. “Punch downs” refers to the practice of breaking the “caps” that form on top of fermenting crushed fruit. The caps are broken up and pushed down using a plunger like tool.

The cap is formed during fermentation and is comprised of grape skins, seeds, and pulp. This is formed on the surface of the bin because the fermentation, under the cap, is off-gassing carbon dioxide, which is a bit heavier then air and pushes all the grape matter to the top. The matter, or cap, starts to dry out from the lack of exposure to juice and the increased heat coming from the fermentation.

The purpose of punch downs, is to mix the grape solids back into the must so that yeast can break that matter down, resulting in further extraction of aromatics, tannin, and flavors. Through this increased extraction, we also incorporate oxygen which yeast do need to keep fermenting. “Cap management” is essential to cultivating premium quality wine.

This harvest things have gone so well that I’ve spent a lot of time tasting the must, fermentations, and fruit. We’ve been carefully evaluating the fermentations and making tiny adjustments through a wide variety of techniques to encourage those classic Chrysalis styles. I say this every year but it’s still true, this vintage is going to be fabulous and I’m super excited to share these wines with you.

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Our Grazing Cows

Last month Locksley Farmstead Cheese participated in the 53rd Annual Bluemont Fair. This great event is hosted by the historic community of Bluemont located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Loudoun county. Aside from being a great opportunity to introduce our cheeses to new consumers, it was a perfect venue for educating people about local agriculture and the role that we play in preserving the agricultural traditions of Loudoun County.

One of the talking points that always surprises people is the fact that Locksley Farmstead Cheese is the 2nd longest operating cow dairy in Loudoun County. In the 1950's Loudoun was home to over 400 cow dairies, but by 2018 there was only one remaining. When our milking operations began in the Spring of 2018 we became the second! In addition to being one of only two dairy farms, we're also the only farmstead cheese producer. "Farmstead" means that we milk our cows and produce our cheese right here on the farm. We don't rely on commercial dairies to provide our milk. This allows us to care for our cows with the goal of producing high quality milk for cheeses, rather than focusing on high production. This is apparent in the delicious cheeses that we produce.

The financial challenges faced by family farms of all types are well known and have unfortunately led to the demise of a once strong agricultural presence. Locksley Farmstead Cheese is one of the enterprises here at The Ag District with a focus on keeping local agriculture from completely disappearing in Loudoun County. Help us to maintain this great farming tradition by visiting The Ag District and supporting local agriculture!

Note from Jenni
Bull Run Mountain Sky

Welcome to Virginia Wine Month. And there’s a reason it is. October is the perfect time to visit Virginia wineries. The weather is fantastic (mostly), the colors are the year’s most vibrant, and the vineyards and winery are bustling with activity. And, you can sit outside for hours and enjoy the beautiful countryside.

Also, the fall sees our main “calving” time of year and although the farm is so big you can’t see the calves from the Ag District Center, you certainly can taste the cheeses that have come from our moms that have borne to our next generation of cows. It’s such a beautiful time all the way around.

Please plan a day to visit to our farm and enjoy the beautiful weather and the breathtaking Bull Run Mountains… all while enjoying our delicious wines, our cheeses, and our food offerings from Chef Erik and our kitchen staff.

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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