Spring Flowers



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 March, 2024

We have a lot to celebrate this month! Spring is just around the corner and we are excited to welcome the warmer weather. Also, if you have not heard the news, our 2021 Locksley Reserve Norton has won Gold at the Virginia Governor's Cup.

As the flagship red of Chrysalis Vineyards, the Locksley Reserve Norton is a standard in our collection of wines and has always been one of the most enjoyed and adored by our friends and patrons. We are elated to have received this honor and are happy to announce that it is now available to all our guests for purchase in our tasting room.

March 2nd - Caleb Nei - Jazz Pianist
March 16th - Cristian Perez - 7-string Guitarist

*Reminder: Our Winter Music Series will continue through the end of April, showcasing instrumental musicians on the 1st & 3rd Saturdays from 3-6 PM.Our Summer Music Series kicks off in May. During this series, enjoy a talented assortment of musicians at Chrysalis Vineyards from 2-5 PM every Saturday through the end of October.


We invite our VIP club members to join us on March 8th for a Trivia pick-up party! During this event, show off your knowledge of Chrysalis Vineyards and wine facts while enjoying a delicious flight of wine paired with an assortment of Locksley Farmstead Cheese Company grilled cheeses. Members must RSVP no later than March 6th by emailing TR-Manager@ChrysalisWine.com. Please include your name, number attending (up to 2 per membership), and preferred time (5:00 PM or 6:30 PM). When planning your visit, please remember that we close at 8:00 pm. 


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The white wine selection for our VIP Club members this month is Chrysalis Vineyards 2022 Albariño Verde. The Albariño Verde has aromatics of banana and pineapple. The palate is greeted with racey acidity and slight pricks of effervescence and flavor notes of zested limes, sharp lemon rind, and ripe grapefruit. This wine is reminiscent of sandy beaches and blue waters. The perfect wine to sip with the coming warmer weather!

The red wine selection for our VIP Club members this month is Chrysalis Vineyards 2019 Nebbiolo. This vintage is 100% Nebbiolo. The Nebbiolo has aromatics of rose, cigar box, and red fruit with notes of spices, cherries, and anise with tannic finish on the palate.

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.

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


Let's watch Srping unfold together!

Spring is almost here and it's a wonderful time of year to enjoy the views from both our indoor and outdoor seating areas. If you take a moment to look closely, you can see the tiniest of red buds beginning to appear on the trees and the first beautiful pops of green across the hillside of The Ag District.

To get an early jump on spring, we are introducing a new standing tasting menu with different wines for everyone to enjoy. Speaking of new wines... We have a few additional vintages of cellar wines that have been added to the sale for you to choose from. The Cellar Sale will continue through the end of March, so it's time to come and purchase a few of your favorite vintages at great prices before they are gone! If your are a part of our VIP Club, we're happy to share that your Club discount can be applied to Cellar Sale wines. What are you waiting for?

Gather your friends and family and join us for a bottle of wine (or 2), delicious food, and watch as spring unfolds at Chrysalis Vineyards. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

- Lori Tate, Tasting Room Manager


Pruned Vines - Blocks 8

March is the last month of pruning for the vineyard crew before bud break. Like I’ve said in the past, it’s the starting line for the growing season. It’s crazy to think that we finished harvest just 4 months ago, and here we are getting ready to start the marathon all over again. All 40 acres of the Norton have been pruned, and now the crew is moving their way through the vinifera.

At the last VIP pick-up party, a few of you took the time to talk with me about our philosophy of growing grapes and how we’ve shifted our approach to more sustainable practices. First, I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read the newsletter, you guys and gals are awesome! Secondly, we should really talk about the term “sustainable”. The idea behind sustainability is that one grows something from the land without having any environmental impact.

Truth is, our growing practices and philosophy aren't actually about sustainability. It’s about being good stewards of the land we farm. We are heavily focused on maintaining vineyard health by caring for the environment in which our grapes grow. This is accomplished by considering the overall impact new practices have on the environment itself, not just the vineyard.

We are continuing to explore less chemically intrusive ways to mitigate disease pressure through methods like fertilization, canopy management, cover crops, and organic chemicals. And we're exploring recycling opportunities to better utilize waste materials on our property. Our job is to grow grapes and make wine, which means at the end of the day, we will do this by whatever means necessary, but we will also maintain good stewardship of the land while doing so. Our hope is to continue producing world-class wines for the next 25 years and that can only be done by caring for the land where all of our products begin. 

- Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Gold Medalist - 21 Locksley Reserve Norton

February has been an exciting month. Our 2021 Locksley Reserve Norton received a gold medal from Virginia Governor’s Cup wine competition. Many of you are familiar with amount of time and energy we put into our wines, but, as always, Jenni and I spend more time on this particular wine then any other. In fact, the 2021 Locksley Reserve Norton is probably the most complex wine we make.

Our 2021 Locksley Reserve Norton is a blend of 80% Norton, 5% Petit Verdot, and 15% Tannat. It may seem standard for this blend, but the 80% Norton is actually a blend unto itself. 30% of the Norton is carbonic macerated and, similarly to our Barrel Select Norton, all the fruit comes from block 6. This offers those delightful purple floral aromatics and works to add more fruit to the pallet. 30% is made with traditional fermentation practices, de-stemmed, crushed and fermented on its skin in an open top fermenter.

The last 20% is Norton sourced from our infamous “Block 8 Zone 1”. This is our youngest block of Norton, planted in 2010 and receives the most care for a number of reasons. The trellis system is GDC which requires a lot more canopy management. The fruit for this particular spot in our 40 acres of Norton always comes to the cellar with perfect chemistry. The pH, acids, and sugar levels are in perfect balance and the quality of fruit is textbook. This fruit is fermented in our lagar for 28 days. Our lagar is made from concrete and granite, resulting in cool fermentations. Most of the extraction is done through punch downs and not “thermo-vinification" practices.

Pressed NortonAfter fermentation, the wine is pressed into the highest quality French oak and aged for 16 months. The barrels are only opened on special occasions outside of regular toppings. These barrels are tasted almost exclusively between Jenni and I so that we can monitor the quality. What is most striking about this particular component is that it's more vinifera like then your typical Norton wine.

The Petit Verdot and Tannat have no real flair to their winemaking practices but, of the 60 or so barrels between both varietals, we carefully select the highest quality barrels. Over 16 months, we will carefully chose the barrels that best give the desired attributes to a future Locksley Reserve. You’ve heard me talk about how Jenni and I spend a lot of our blending sessions tasting various blends, and we feel it shows once the wine is in bottle.

After 25 years, it certainly feels like the world is starting to become interested in Norton again. We’ve always known that Norton is its own thing with its unique flavors and aromatics. We are thrilled and honored that this year Norton finally got some recognition within its home state. Norton may originate from Virginia and has become the state grape in Missouri but its definitely “The Real American Grape.” I implore you to visit the tasting room, take a moment between tasting all of our other great wines and try our 2021 Locksley Reserve Norton.”

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Curds & WheyOne of the most important steps in making any cheese is forming the curd. Curd is the coagulated milk proteins (casein) that are separated from the milk. The remaining liquid is called the whey. Coagulation can be achieved by adding acids like lemon juice or vinegar, or by adding rennet. Rennet is made up of many enzymes including pepsin, lipase, and most importantly, chymosin. Chymosin is the enzyme that reacts with the milk proteins to curdle and separate into curds and whey.

We're frequently asked about the type of rennet that we use in our cheeses. Rennet is produced in several different ways. The traditional method is a by-product of veal production, where the rennet is extracted from the stomach lining of young calves. Some plants like soybean and thistle can also be used to create coagulating agents that can be used in certain types of cheeses. Molds are also used to produce coagulating enzymes through a fermentation and purification process, this is referred to as microbial rennet. Since these processes create rennet that contains a variety of other enzymes, they can also affect the cheese flavors. The final, and most common, method of producing the chymosin necessary for coagulation is an artificial production method that uses genetically modified bacteria, fungi, or yeast. These organisms are modified using rennet genes from animals that causes them to produce chymosin through a fermentation process. This product is used by most large commercial cheese producers because it's less expensive and creates a very consistent product by isolating the synthetic chymosin.

Most of the cheeses produced by Locksley Farmstead Cheese are made using microbial rennet. We prefer this because it’s a natural product that also allows our cheeses to be vegetarian, Kosher, and Halal. There are two exceptions, our King Richard blue and Prince John washed-rind cheese use traditional veal rennet because we found that the flavors and consistency of these outstanding cheeses required the use of the traditional rennet.

- Teri Scott, General Manager

Note from Jenni
Norton Bud

Welcome to spring!... just a great time of year on the farm. But I’ve told you enough over the years about my love of this season, so let me talk a bit about a very fun experience I recently enjoyed.

Over the years, I’ve participated quite a bit as a speaker and/or panelist for our grape and wine industry in Virginia (and the Eastern U.S., for that matter). Last week I had the pleasure and honor to participate as a panelist for a tasting and discussion on Norton, Virginia’s great native grape. This was in Charlottesville for the 2024 Winter Technical Meeting of the Virginia Vineyards Association (VVA). The VVA is focused on, as you would rightly surmise, the growing and care of wine grapes, not so much the crafting of the wines in the cellar.

So doing a tasting of wines is not that usual for the VVA. I was part of a four-winery panel to present our wines and discuss the growing and care of the grapes in the vineyard, but also the subsequent vinicultural procedures in the cellar. We had four fantastic wines to taste, including a still lively 2004 Norton from Rockbridge Winery, a wonderful fruit-forward 2021 wine from Casanel, a deep and rich 2021 Norton from 53rd Winery, and our 2021 Locksley Reserve (which was just awarded a Gold Medal in the Virginia Governor’s Cup). This was a lot of fun for me, being a Norton lover, and we all talked about growing and handling Norton in the fields and how we made the wines in our cellars.

What I really wanted to share with you, though, is my great excitement in seeing the burgeoning interest in Norton from the hundreds of participants in the audience. These folks are the new and cutting edge viticulturists that seem to be ready to engage in the quality and uniqueness of Virginia Nortons… growers and wine lovers that find Norton a “not your father’s Oldsmobile” wine. We all love the great grape varieties of Europe, but as one of America’s great wine lovers wrote more than two centuries ago,

“We could in the United States make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kind, but doubtless as good.”    - Thomas Jefferson, 1808

Take Care,


Jennifer McCloud

Chrysalis Vineyards at The Ag District
39025 Little River Turnpike (Tasting Room/Creamery/Kitchen)
23876 Champe Ford Road (Winery/Milking Center/Offices)
Middleburg, VA 20117

Office: 540-687-8222



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