Still Cold Out There!


VIP Pickup Party... at the ADC
Important Announcment
Creative Mankind Painting and Wine

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


Friday, March 15th
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
at The Ag District


March VIP Club SelectionsMarch is usually considered to be the first month of spring... at least according to the calendar. The first day of spring is officially still three weeks away, but I think it makes us feel better to think that once we leave February behind us we are done with winter. However... just to remind us that we don't control the weather... we are looking at another round of snow as this newsletter reaches you! The days are getting longer and we are seeing more days with sunshine and warm temperatures, so spring can't be too far off! Be sure to set aside a few weekends in the next few months to enjoy those prime weather months - not too hot, not too cold - and visit the Ag District!

All the new activity at the Ag District and around the farm has created some great opportunities for enthusiastic, hard-working, and passionate people who would like to join our team! We are always looking for tasting room associates and currently have openings in the kitchen as well. If you are interested in exploring these opportunities email us at with a brief description of your experience and availability.

Our VIP Club pickup event for March will be held on FRIDAY, MARCH 15th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. PLEASE NOTE THE DATE AND TIME and mark you calendars! We will have a St. Patrick's Day theme so be sure to wear your best green!  

For the rest of the month we will open 10am - 5pm 7 days a week. As of April 1st we will be extending our our website and the April newsletter for updates! Please remember… as always, our last full tasting will start an hour before closing. Last call for purchases of open bottles or glasses will be 30 minutes before closing!

The red wine selection for our VIP Club members this month is Chrysalis Vineyards 2016 Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot is one of the five principal red varieties grown in the Bordeaux appellation of France. It’s also one of the most highly valued grape varieties grown in Virginia. This vintage opens with waves of blackberry and plum, with notes of coffee, toasted oak and maybe a touch of black pepper and sage following. Upon ingestion, at first one tastes ripe blackberry, currants, a touch of dark chocolate with some well-rounded tannins. A plate of Locksley Farmstead Cheese - Nottingham (Gouda), Little John (cheddar), and Maid Marian (Camembert) - will pair perfectly with our Petit Verdot!

Our white wine selection for March is Chrysalis Vineyards 2017 Albariño. This white wine is 100% Albariño, with 25% fermented in French Acacia barrels with Sur Lie (on the yeast) aging to enhance mouthfeel without adding the usual toasted oak characteristics. The grapes were harvested a full two weeks later than the fruit used for our Albariño Verde and came from both the Hollin Vineyard and Locksley Estate. Floral, peach, and citrus aromas are followed by flavors of ripe pear and melon. This well balanced wine retains a crisp acidity that makes it refreshing and wonderful with food. It pairs expecially well with shellfish, grilled fish and fresh fruits and vegetables. 

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.

Also, please remember that you can always find your paired recipes and detailed tasting notes at in the Private VIP Club Area. Also check in with us or follow us on Facebook for updates and announcements.

NOTE: Please do not reply to this emailed Newsletter. Your email will not be handled in a timely manner or may even be lost.


As you probably already know, Chef Chris has been producing delicious pizzas and other gourmet menu items for several months now. In addition, Kelly and Erin have been doing their magic in the Locksley Farmstead Cheese creamery and we now have five different types of farm-fresh artisan cheese available for sale in the tasting room! Now that we have a large (and growing!) variety of delicious snacks available for purchase we will be adjusting our outside food policy. As of April 1st we will no longer allow outside food or beverages at the Ag District. We hope that you will support all the hard work that we have been doing to bring our customers the highest quality wine, artisan cheese and gourmet food. So... next time you visit, pair your favorite Chrysalis Vineyards wine with a wedge of Locksley Farmstead Cheese and a loaf of bread from The Little River Bakehouse... or any of our other delicious treats!

Creative Mankind Painting and Wine

Saturday, March 23rd
1 pm – 4 pm
at the
Ag District Center
39025 John Mosby Highway
Middleburg, VA 20117

March Paint & SipCreative Mankind will be hosting a “paint and sip” event at Chrysalis Vineyards on Saturday, March 23rd. (From their website: Creative Mankind is an art company that offers art classes and hosts parties and events for all ages. Our motto is “Everyone is a Creative Genius!” It's just a matter of people reconnecting with their creative self. Our mission is to enrich our community with art education and culture in a fun and accessible way.)

So... come on out, escape the cold, and spend a fun afternoon laughing, creating your own masterpiece, and sipping your favorite Chrysalis Vineyards wine! This 3 hour event is just $40 and includes all art supplies, an awesome staff, and a lot of fun. No experience is necessary. For additional information please contact Creative Mankind at 571-403-1912 or go to their website listed below. [Editor's Note: cut and paste this long link if it doesn't activate by clicking on it. Thanks.].


Yummy Cheese & Fruit PlateWith Spring just weeks away we look forward to the changing scenery around the Ag District. The many shades of green will be popping though the dull brown of winter and we will welcome more visitors who are eager to get out and enjoy the increasingly warm weather.

We have seen many exciting changes in the tasting room this fall and winter. We added wine flights to our tasting options alongside our traditional tastings. We will also be offering a Locksley Farmstead Cheese Company cheese pairing available for purchase for guests and members to enjoy along with their flights or tastings.

Here at the Ag District Little River Bakehouse is also producing some delicious pizzas, cheese and charcuterie platters. All made with products from our farm! No other way to sum this up but as some AMAZING food and the best pizza you will find in Middleburg! Our Chef, Chris Vincenzi, is truly outdoing himself.

Please come join us for a relaxing time, grab a bottle (or two), some fresh made cheese and some delicious pizza!!


Laurie Stevens, Tasting Room Manager


Barrels in RacksSpring cleaning is well underway, we’re taking the cellar apart and putting it back together again. Every piece of equipment is getting scrubbed and reevaluated for its role in the winemaking process. Every wine is getting a panel of chemical analyses performed. Indispensable in this role is the use of our spectrophotometer. A “spec” is device that shines a beam of light at a specific wavelength and records how much light is absorbed after it passes through a sample. The technology is 79 years old, but its use in the wine industry is relatively recent. We can analyze a number of analytes in wine with a spec with pinpoint accuracy, but the most important are malic acid, acetic acid, and sugar. Traditional wet chemistry techniques are time consuming and not as accurate as with a spec, and having an outside laboratory perform these tests would be prohibitively expensive.

In March we will evaluate the 2018 red wines. This involves racking (decanting) wine from barrel and assembling component wines into blends. Minor adjustments to the chemistry of the wine (acidity) will be made and the wine will be pumped back to barrel. We’ll evaluate the character of the new barrels Mark bought last year and portion them out based on the blends we make. There are new French, Hungarian, and Virginia oak barrels that impart tannin and subtle oak character to the wine. We are particularly fond of Virginia oak barrels. The Norton Barrel Select bottling is made with wine aged in new Virginia oak barrels.

As for the white wines, we’re now at a point where we can wrap our heads around the character of the new vintage wines. The 2018 Albariño is showing particularly well. Abariño ripens early, meaning that in a wet, and rot-prone vintage it will be less affected than later ripening varieties. The 2018 vintage Albariño is showing well defined varietal character with crisp acidity. It’s one of my favorite varieties to grow and make wine with. It responds well to various cellar techniques (Vino Verde style or barrel aging), its fruit-forward character is popular with customers, and it goes well with a wide range of food.

Jason Burrus, Consulting Winemaker


Baxter Black!Hello Again, Friends! --

This short story, written by Baxter Black, is for some cowboy comic relief while we power through the last of this muddy winter!

As Noah said when he went out on the deck to check the windshield wipers, “I should’a brought a raincoat.”

Paul’s day started out with a drum roll. Every morning for months, as he went into the machine shed, he noticed the rusty gate hinge on the door jamb.

It was shoulder-high and stuck out like a rhino horn. “Could be dangerous,” he often thought.

That morning, he was in a hurry and listed just enough to starboard to catch his shirt sleeve on the hinge. It jerked him hard to the right. As he swung around, he stepped on the weed hoe. It stood smartly to attention and saluted him across the eyebrow.

He stumbled across the grain room holding his eye and stepped into the cat’s dish. It slid out from under him. He did the splits and straddled the door jamb into the big shed. Looking up from the floor, he noticed his tractor leaning like it had its foot off the curb. On closer inspection, he found the lean was the result of a flat tire.

Back at the house to get a Band-Aid, he discovered they had no water. The well pump was out. Well houses in this part of Iowa are usually circular, concrete, 12 feet in the ground and have a lip not much above ground level.

Paul loaded up the dog and went to town for parts. Backing out in front of the hardware store, he stuck his elbow out the open window. The protruding door lock slipped up under his sleeve. When he leaned out, looking back, he mashed the door lock down and pinched a thumbful of skin. He reacted by stomping the gas and nearly blindsiding poor ol’ Bud who was on his way to the sale barn in Moville.

When Paul finally got home, he saw his cows were out. Probably in search of water. With the dog’s help, he managed to get the migrating cattle back into the barn lot. He headed for the well.

“At least I’ll get it fixed before lunch,” he thought as he lifted the plywood cover and descended the ladder into the well. There was just room enough for one man to stand up, what with the pressure tank, the pump and pipes.

He knelt down to check the points and leaned a little to let the noonday sun shine light on the subject. Then he felt a stream of water cascading over his head and down the side of his face. It was warm.

Paul considered turning and shouting up at the dog, who was apparently marking the well as his territory, but thought better of it. He leaned as far as he could to avoid the shower, which just allowed the stream to soak his shirt and pant leg.

“Yup,” he said, wiping the side of his face, “I should’a brought a raincoat.” - Baxter Black

Warm Wishes!
Eric Hilgartner, Estate Manager


Pepperroni... of Course!Productivity levels and spirits are high in the kitchen and bake house! We now have an increased number of menu offerings as well as weekend specials that are constantly changing, allowing us the opportunity to be creative. Last week, we hit the nail on the head with a special that was simply delicious. Cornbread topped with smoked pork shoulder (from our pigs) with a drizzle of chili oil, jalapeno queso (made with "Little John" - Locksley Farmstead Cheese cheddar), and pickled jalapenos. Not too spicy... with notes of acidity from the pickles and smokiness from the pork rounded out with the richness of the cheese sauce. Definitely a winner! Pizzas will always be on the menu moving forward and we are now using "The Monk", our Locksley Farmstead Cheese mozzarella, which is a wonder to work with. Great delicate flavors adding an incredible depth to each hand crafted pie. Fresh picked basil was hitting the savory tomato sauce along with hand sliced Roma tomatoes for our Margherita pizza last week. We like to jazz things up a bit and sweet potato puree as our sauce seems too good to see go, so you may see variations like pulled pork, bacon jam, and burnt honey. Stay tuned to the VIP parties every month because we are highlighting our featured wines by doing special food pairings. Variety is the spice of life, so when you come to the tasting room we want you to be taken aback by the special things happening here. We hope to see you soon!

Chris Vincenzi, Chef


Little John Cheddar Ready to Go!We’ve cut the cheese! Those tall, black wax enrobed truckles that have been aging in the creamery window since late August are finally ready to crack into! While still at a young age of 6 months, Little John is rich, creamy and developing a nice sharpness. Our Little John Cheddar has been released and is available to purchase by the wedge at the Ag District Center. With the release of Little John, Locksley Farmstead Cheese is also very excited to unveil our new company logo and labels. Each label has our logo, featuring an arrow shooting through a wedge of cheese to go along with our Robin Hood theme. Additionally, a colored band corresponding to each of our different types of cheeses makes up the outer ring of our labels. Come by the Ag District Center and enjoy our growing selection of artisan cheeses and check out what Chef Chris is dishing up in the kitchen!

Erin Saacke, Assistant Cheesemaker

Note from Jenni
Over the River... to the Ag District We Go!

Well, winter is on its last legs, and spring will soon be here. Thank goodness. Although this has been a relatively mild winter (and I know that because we didn’t lose power this time around!), it sure was WET! With the new calves in the field behind my house tromping around in the grassless pasture, it was one slimy, muddy mess. One day, while closing up the chickens in their chicken tractor, I slipped and went right into it. Yuck!

But, soon the daffodils will start blooming, and not long after that, green will burst forth from everywhere. If you’ve been reading my notes over the years, you know my favorite season is spring. And just for this reason; from the apparent dreary lifelessness of winter, green life springs forth. New babies join us in the pastures, and the chickens start laying eggs to beat the band. Beautiful! I can’t wait! :-)

Speaking of chickens, did you notice the theme for this month’s Paint and Sip Event? Chickens! I’m going to give away a dozen eggs and a bottle of wine for the best chicken painting (well, it’s against the ABC rules to give wine away, so you’ll have to pay a buck!). So come out and express the creative artist that’s in you, and take home a couple delicious freebies (almost). The catch? I get to keep the painting for my collection of chicken stuff! Deal?

Enjoy your last days of winter, and come share with us the wondrous beginning of spring here at The Ag District.

And, as always, take care,


Jennifer McCloud
Chrysalis Vineyards at The Ag District
39025 John Mosby Highway (Tasting Room)
23876 Champe Ford Road (Winery/Offices)
Middleburg, VA 20117
Office: 540-687-8222


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