Spring Wildflowers


VIP Club Pick-up Party... at the ADC

VIP Days at Champe Ford Road (Members Only)
Creative Mankind Painting and Wine
Book Signing with Richard Leahy
Easter at The Ag District

Report from the Tasting Room
Report from the Cellar
Report from the Vineyard
Report from the Farm
Note from Jenni


Saturday, April 8th
11:00am – 1:00pm
Brunch at The Ag District
(Please RSVP)

Tannat & Sarah's Patio Red True to form, March came in like a lion and seems to be going out like a lamb. Let’s hope that the warming trend continues this month and we avoid any late frosts! If everything goes well we should see bud break in the vines sometime later this month. This marks the beginning of our winemaking cycle and a very busy season in the vineyard. So… here’s to the 2017 vintage, may it be the best year ever at Chrysalis Vineyards! Be sure to read about all of our April events…there’s always something interesting to do at Chrysalis Vineyards!

It’s not an April Fool’s Day joke! Our spring and summer hours begin April 1st and the Ag District Center will be open 10am – 6pm Monday through Thursday and 10am – 7pm Friday through Sunday. Please remember… as always, our last tasting will start an hour before closing. Last call for purchases of open bottles or glasses will be 30 minutes before closing. The Champe Ford tasting room will also be open exclusively for our VIP Club members every Saturday and on Easter Sunday, too. See below for dates and times!

The VIP Pick-up event for April will be held on Saturday, April 8th from 11:00am – 1:00pm at the Ag District Center. We will have light brunch treats to pair with the wines of the month. We do not have a limit for this event, but please remember to send your RSVP to VIP-Club@ChrysalisWine.com so that we can plan accordingly. As always, this event is for VIP Club members only (2 attendees per membership). Verbal RSVP’s and voice mail responses cannot be guaranteed confirmation.

The red wine selection for our VIP Club members this month is Chrysalis Vineyards 2013 Hollin Reserve Tannat. Hailing from the Madiran region of southwest France, where Tannat is the primary grape grown and used for blending, this black-berried grape has found a perfect home in Virginia. Our 2013 Tannat is layered with flavors of smoke, earthy dark and ripe pitted fruits, with cocoa and leather from the long oak aging. The big, structured tannins carry through to a long lingering finish and promise a long life in the bottle. A big assertive wine like this, that is fruit forward, but with firm strong tannins, will pair with red meats that are well caramelized from grilling or roasting and accompanied by red-wine based sauces. Tannat has a particular smoky, “roasted meat” flavor profile, which lends itself to earthy mushroom dishes, bean and smoked meat dishes like Cassoulet studded with sausages and duck, as well as a simple, well caramelized beef roast. Remember the food should be as big in flavor as is our Tannat.

Our white wine selection for March is Chrysalis Vineyards 2015 Sarah’s Patio Red. Sarah’s Patio Red is a semi-sweet, light red wine made in the style of a rosé. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed, as they would be for our white wines, but with Norton, there’s so much color in the skins and pulp that the juice at this very early processing stage has plenty of color and yields a deep red hue. The fermenting juice and wine never see any oak, and the wine is bottled early, with lots of natural CO2 (carbon dioxide) and a significant amount of residual sugar left in the wine. The result is a semi-sweet, refreshing wine with lots of spritz. Enjoy refrigerator-cold. This is a great pair with many different foods: hot and spicy food like chili, Mexican, or Thai; sharp cheddar or other sharp cheeses; salty food like Greek feta and olives; BBQ on the grill, as well as chocolate and cherry desserts.

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 www.ChrysalisWine.com in the Private VIP Club Area. Pairings and tasting notes are available for wines dating all the way back to 2007 (especially useful for any of those with older, aged vintages). 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. For further details please see the end of this Newsletter.

VIP Days at Champe Ford Road

Saturdays, April 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29nd
Sunday, April 16th
Noon – 7pm
at the
Champe Ford Events Center
23876 Champe Ford Road
Middleburg, VA 20117

Entrance Gazebo & Sarah's Patio For all of our members who miss the Good ol’ Days at our original tasting room, we would like to continue “VIP Days at Champe Ford”. The Champe Ford Events Center and Sarah’s Patio and Pavilion will be open exclusively for our VIP Club members and their guests every Saturday in April in addition to Easter Sunday. This is an opportunity to buy a bottle or glass and get to know your fellow VIP Club members in the cozy confines of our old tasting room. The grills will be available for you, so stop by the Ag District Center, pick up some Locksley grass-fed beef and come out for a picnic! While we will not be doing tastings, we will have staff on hand to discuss our wines and answer questions. Also, please note that your VIP Club wines will still need to be picked up at the Ag District Center.

Creative Mankind Painting and Wine

Sunday, April 9th
1pm – 4pm
at the
Champe Ford Events Center
23876 Champe Ford Road
Middleburg, VA 20117

Paint & Sip Creative Mankind will be hosting a “paint and sip” event at Chrysalis Vineyards on Sunday, April 9th. (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.)

Spend a fun afternoon laughing, listening to music and creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece! 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. (Editors Note: cut and paste this long link if it doesn't activate by clicking on it. Thanks.)


NOTE: Remember that this event is at our Champe Ford Events Center this month.

Book Signing with Richard Leahy
Author of
Beyond Jefferson's Vines

Sunday, April 22nd
3pm – 4 pm
at the Ag District Center

Beyond Jefferson’s Vines Richard Leahy, a former editor for Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, has written the essential book on Virginia wine, and we’re excited to have him share his knowledge and experience with our friends and customers at the Ag District Center on April 22nd, from 3:00pm – 4:00pm.

Beyond Jefferson’s Vines is the complete story of wine in Virginia, from the Jamestown Settlement, to Thomas Jefferson and his vineyard at Monticello, to the thriving world-class wine industry of today. It focuses on the last decade and explains how vintners today have achieved the success Jefferson only dreamed of. Leahy’s complete, indispensable book is a new, expanded second edition, and blends history with travelogue and basic viticulture, along with personal interviews with key industry members, to help you gain a full understanding of the subject.

It’s worth mentioning that Richard has lived in Virginia for decades and his knowledge and observations of the wine industry here from early on make his commentary especially engaging and interesting for Virginians. You’ll also get the chance to talk with him after his presentation and get an autographed copy of Beyond Jefferson’s Vines, which of course should be in anyone’s library who’s at all interesting in Virginia wines.

Easter at The Ag District

Sunday, April 16th

Sweet Easter! Back by popular demand… Sweet Pink Bakery at the Ag District Center!! On Easter Sunday, April 16th, we will have a selection of delicious, wine-infused cupcakes created by Sweet Pink Bakery available for purchase (while supplies last). These sumptuous goodies are way better than the old jelly beans, or chocolate bunnies, and have been created specially to pair with our Chrysalis Vineyards wines. So… grab a glass of wine and some delicious cupcakes and enjoy Easter Sunday at the Ag District Center!


Tannat Grapes Our resident Tasting Room wine expert, Sue Contostavlos, is writing a series of articles to offer a little additional education about our wines and answer some of your most frequently asked questions.


This month’s wine selection contains one of my favorite varietals, Tannat.

To me, there’s nothing more special than when a wine seems to match its home. A light white from a pretty seaside getaway town or a boozy Port from a village that once was home to pirates, I love it when the wine seems to blend with the tone of the people and the place. And Tannat is the absolute best of that.

The Basque region is about the size of Vermont and it straddles the border of Spain and France. A truly ancient people with a distinct and ancient language (pre Indo-European), the Basque have held their culture mostly intact for thousands of years. The nationality is mainly versions of Romani (or gypsy) and the people were excellent seafarers and horsemen.

Tannat is a dark, smoky, and bold wine with very distinct flavors, and to me is the perfect wine for this ancient and tough band of warriors and sailors. Intense and unique, full of spirit.

Uruguay is working hard to make Tannat wines a national product, but the flavor is lighter from that part of the world than from the region in France where it was born. Virginia’s Tannat’s are much like the original, and ours at Chrysalis Vineyards is really something special. Grill up a steak, maybe caramelize some onions, open the Tannat and dream of the rugged terrain and history of this unique area of France.

Sue Contostavlos, Tasting Room Associate

PS: Hey you VIP Club members… don't forget to grab a steak from the Ag District Center to throw on the grill at the VIP Clubhouse! A juicy steak will be a perfect match with our Tannat. Open Saturdays and Easter Sunday, Noon – 7pm.


Row of Barrels in the Cellar This month we will be bottling new vintages of the Sarah’s Patio wines, as well as the 2016 Albariño and Viognier. Final blends are being confirmed, with the Albariño presenting healthy doses of ripe peach, as well as apricot and white flowers. Jenni called this one a “real beauty”!

The Viognier is a bit closed right now, but I expect it to open up shortly with notes of mango, pineapple, honeysuckle, and ripe-citrus/tangerine.

The Norton lots have recently undergone a racking to get them off of gross lees (yeast) and then put back into barrels for further aging. They are showing typical plum, blackcurrant, bramble, with some coffee and cacao thrown in.

A recent barrel tasting of the Tannat and Petit Verdot heralded good things for the 2016 vintage wines, with lush red fruit and velvety tannins in spades. The months ahead will further develop this excellent vintage.

Mark Patterson, Winemaker


“Bleeding” Vine So far, so good! The mild weather this winter has allowed us to finish our pruning and tying of the dormant vines in a timelier fashion then last year. With no significant adverse weather events so far we haven’t seen anything particularly concerning in the vineyards. The mild temperatures in February, coupled with a few cold days immediately following, gave us some cause to worry, but we haven’t seen any damage to the trunks or canes as of yet, and the buds still look good. Of course, this is great news and all of us are quite relieved that there was no damage. Shortly these same buds will break their dormancy and begin to grow once again, creating another fine grape crop for Chrysalis Vineyards.

[Editor’s Note: see a link in Note from Jenni at the bottom of the newsletter for a really cool close-up photo of a vine cane that’s started to “bleed”.]

Mark Patterson, Winemaker


Kelly Harding Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kelly Harding. I have been working as a farmstead cheesemaker for 12 years now. Jenni and Perry have brought me onboard to assist them in launching Locksley Estate Farmstead Cheese Co. into production.

I came to be a cheesemaker reluctantly. I grew up in nearby Frederick County MD working on dairy farms, milking and taking care of cows. My only aspiration was to be a dairy farmer. In 2002 my career led me to New Jersey. I was managing a farm there, when we made the decision to turn the cows’ milk we were producing into cheese. In order to make cheese we needed a cheesemaker. It turns out that experienced cheesemakers were a rare commodity in New Jersey at that time. So I volunteered to take on the role as cheesemaker. After all, I liked to cook… how much harder could it be to make cheese. I soon learned how hard it could be as I struggled through numerous fits and starts those first few years. Many times I thought this work is not for me. I longed to go back out with the cows.

Then I went back to school. I received my cheese making education from The Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese at The University of Vermont. When the course was over I came back to the farm and applied what I learned. It came as a pleasant surprise to me that the cheese quality improved and I began to understand what I was doing, turning milk into cheese. In fact I was actually enjoying being a cheesemaker! Even now over ten years later, the more I learn about cheese the more I realize how much I don’t know about cheese. That inspires me to continue to expand in the knowledge of my craft. I have had the privilege of producing cheese in five states during my cheese making journey. I’ve also had the pleasure of being involved in several startups. It is always fun to see a business move from idea to reality.

We are eagerly working toward the day when Locksley Estate Farmstead Cheese Co. will be in production. I am busy doing all the tedious dirty work that must be done so that I can do the work I enjoy the most, the actual cheese making. Until then, my time is spent on planning and budgeting, and using my experience to bring fresh ideas to the process.

There is also the food safety plan that I am writing. Cheese making is a highly regulated endeavor. So we are required to have a written plan that identifies and documents potential food safety hazards at each step in the process. In addition, it must include how we will insure that each hazardous step is handled safely, verified, and recorded. Don’t let me forget to write the recall plan as well!

I will have to put time into developing cheese recipes, assisting with the completion of the creamery, starting relationships with regulators and suppliers, and applying for the various licenses and approvals we will need to begin production. In the coming weeks I’m sure I will even be pressed into service giving Perry a hand moving cows through the newly completed milking parlor.

I’m excited to be adding my experience as a cheesemaker to the team here at Locksley Estate Farmstead Cheese Co. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself. I am looking forward to producing some great cheese for you to pair and enjoy with Chrysalis Vineyards wines.

Kelly Harding, Cheesemaker

Note from Jenni

Nature is amazing. There’s no simpler way to put it. Take a look again at the photo for Mark’s Report from the Vineyard. It shows the vines beginning to drip their fluids from the pruning wounds we inflicted upon them just a few days ago. They “thaw”, so to speak, when the ground warms up, and start bringing up the water and nutrients from the earth.

Teri Scott, our Accounting Manager and all-around “do everything” staff member, including our newsletter “assembler” (she does all the hard work of getting everyone to submit their parts, takes most of the photos and then assembles everything for me to code into HTML) took the photos. The close-up pictures she took of the vines blew both our minds. How incredible nature is, to hold off bringing life’s living liquid into the vine until it’s safe to do so. The low resolution of the photos in the newsletter require shots that are not too detailed. The picture above allows you to see a vine dripping liquid. But the photo I really want you to see is a high-detail, super close-up cross section of a vine cane. I’ve kept it full resolution so you can marvel about it like we did. Check it out here and tell me that this isn’t a vineyard photo contest winner!

Spring is underway, of course, and as everyone knows who’s been around me over the years, I LOVE SPRING!!! Bring it ON!


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



Privacy Policy  |  Unsubscribe