Sunset at The Ag District



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 May, 2023

Well... here we go headlong into our "busy season"! The warmer temperatures and longer days always bring out the winelovers in May and we're ready for them. We've released new vintages of some of our favorite wines sporting some new labels and we will be rolling out more as the Spring progresses. Our newest release is the 2022 Albariño pictured to the right. It's our first wine to be released with our new "butterfly" label! When you stop in let us know what you think about our new labels.... and of course the delicious wines!


Our VIP pickup event this month will be held on Friday, May 12th from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at the Ag District Center. Members must RSVP no later than May 8th 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 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 2022 Albariño. This is the first wine to be release with our classy, new label! While the packaging is different, the contents are still 100% stainless steel fermented Albariño! The 2022 vintage is spectacular with delightful aromas of honeydew, tropical fruit, and floral notes. The palate bursts with hints of citrus fruit, nectarine, and saline. This wine is medium body, bursting with tropical flavors, and has a lengthy finish. It's a perfect companion for any seafood dish.

Our red wine selection for May is Chrysalis Vineyards 2020 Estate Bottled Norton.This medium bodied red is a classic example of an approachable Norton wine for a large audience. With the classic Norton aromatics of blueberries and purple flowers and an inviting French Oak nose, this wine is sure to draw in anyone. The palate is smooth, structured, and filled with plums, black cherries, and a dried herb finish. This wine lingers on the tongue for a long time and encourages everyone to take another sip. Delicious now, but it will only become better 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.


A Toast to Spring!

Happy May to everyone. Personally, this is my favorite time of year, all of nature is in full bloom. The trees are showing off a mixture of their radiant colors and the vines outside the tasting room growing along the arbor are coming back to life and it is truly a beautiful site to see. With the sun back out, it can be a wonderful experience to sit outside, enjoy some wine and food and good conversation with friends. I know some of us choose to hibernate during the winter so if it has been a while since you were here we have some new food items from our kitchen I want to highlight, which are our new appetizers. Options include our sticky pork belly pops, hummus and pimento cheese plate and some delicious deviled eggs, that come from our chickens (nothing better than those fresh farm eggs!). Everything is delicious and sure to satisfy your hunger cravings. We invite you to bring some friends out and enjoy everything we have to offer here at Chrysalis Vineyards.

As a reminder if you want to bring a group of more than 8 people (children of all ages includes in that number) we do require prior notice in order to approve the group visit. Also, for the safety and enjoyment of all our guests, if you are bringing your kids with you they need to be watched and be within arm's reach of an adult while visiting the tasting room.

We are getting into our busy season and are hiring for open bar-back positions, so if anyone has a child coming back from college for the summer, or a high school student entering their senior year, who are looking for a fun, fast paced job, you can have them email me at and we will bring them in for an interview.

Amitai Cohen, Tasting Room Manager


Everyone Loves Spring!

We have bud break! What I should really say is, we “had” bud break about three weeks early this year. Which is a bit of a concern as move into May, which is known to be the month of cold snaps and frost. Freddy and I have spent almost every morning walking the vineyards looking for any potential frost damage. As of right now, everything is okay.

I believe this is a great example of why you rough prune but more importantly, why you make routine soil amendments. As many know, nitrogen is probably every plants favorite thing to consume. It’s beneficial for a number of reasons like root development, shoot growth, chlorophyll generation, and fruit development.

Vines are most sensitive to early cold temperatures because there’s a lot going on when
a vine first breaks bud. The roots detect warm soils of 55 degrees and begin growing. During that time, they begin sending water and nutrients to the dormant buds. The bud will swell and burst with new leaves. Shoots form and as they grow in length, they also grow in girth. All the while, leaves will appear from thicker sections known as nodes. These leaves are thin and fragile as they begin to grow making them sensitive to rapid changes in their environment.

This is a lot for a vine just waking up and as the roots are still pulling from its reserve and
photosynthesis hasn’t completely started, you can see how the vines may struggle in the
beginning. With its limited energy reserves split between so many functions, the vine will begin to look for things it can easily consume, like nitrogen. A shot of nitrogen early on in budbreak helps strengthen tissue growth by speeding up all of these functions at once. In other words, it’s like a shot of vitamins when you just wake up.  

We’ve gone to making an annual soil amendment at the beginning of every growing
season because the amount of nitrogen utilized by a single vine equates to roughly 25lbs. Normally, a vine gets this from natural organic matter but in an agricultural setting, they have to be hand fed. I’m happy to say that the soil amendments from the manure have been the most beneficial addition to the vineyard. We know this because we our average shoot length is around 6-8 inches and the green color is beginning to darken.

Despite the strange weather conditions of the east coast, we’ve managed to cultivate a
healthy and happy vineyard. While things have started a bit early, we have our finger on the pulse.

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Barrel Select Norton Ready to Bottle

At last month’s pick up party we had a great time trying to craft a Private Reserve White blend that was comparable to the newly released 2021 you received. While I always enjoy hanging out with you all during these events, last month’s blending party was my favorite! During that time, a lot of great questions were asked about blending, the most popular question was, “how do you create such consistent wines?” The simplest answer I can give anyone is the idea of “intention”.

We intentionally farm and harvest the fruit for the style. Our Albariño Verde comes from a specific block in our vineyard that is farmed precisely for that style of wine. From the perspective of the cellar, we know how the fruit will be handled based on the intended style. Our Locksley reserve isn’t a random selection of the best tasting barrels, it’s based on the best fruit from all 70 acres, then handled in particular ways to highlight characteristics we want to showcase in that wine. Then from that culmination of barrels, I taste through them, decide the ones that illustrate the intended characteristics and use them as components to craft the wine. That’s when the blending sessions start. 

As many of you know, Jenni and I meet twice a week to taste through different blends.
Sometimes we taste through as many 12 different blends of a single wine. Sometimes we will taste an older Chrysalis wine as a comparison. This removes some of our biases and potential “cellar mouth”. Often times, when we decide on a blend, we will revisit it a couple of times just to ensure we’ve made the right choice. It’s not uncommon for us to taste an open bottle from a couple of weeks ago just to see how a wine changes over time.

On some occasions, Jenni and I have circled back around weeks after a blend is decided only to scrap it and start over. This sometimes results in delayed bottling, complete reworks of programs, or a closer examination of our techniques. It’s not the wine we want, why go any further? Once the components are combined in the cellar, there’s no going back.

When you put it all together and you follow the same approach to crafting our wines,
you’ll notice that everything that goes in bottle is intentional. It’s a lot more then drinking wines and going, “I really like that.” It’s about creating something that others will appreciate, enjoy, and share with those they care about too.

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Baby Face!In last month's newsletter we introduced you to one of our young calves that had recently been born. We've added a couple more since then and they are all happy and healthy and growing quickly! Their mommas have become productive members of our milking herd and they are producing some rich, delicious milk that is just what we need to create the best cheeses.

As you can see from the picture here, the milk is very yellow at this time of year. This is the result of all the fresh spring grass that our herd is munching on in our pastures. The beta carotenes in the fresh grass are passed through to the milkfats and create that creamy yellow color. During the winter the milk tends to be very white, since our herd is eating dry hay that we produce on the farm througout the growing season. Just like the milk, our cheees vary in color during different seasons. Fortunately, while you might taste some seasonal variations, the flavors are delicious year-round!

Note from Jenni
Wine Biz Monthly 2022 Hot Brand

Shoot! In my April Note from Jenni I got so excited to share the results of a 2005 Barrel Select Norton impromptu tasting Jake and I did, that I forgot to share some really good PR about Chrysalis Vineyards and our flagship wine, Locksley Reserve Norton. This is an important and significant recognition.

Wine Business Monthly is arguably our industry’s major publication, and in the March, 2023 issue Chrysalis Vineyards was featured, along with just eight other wineries as a Hot Brand for 2022! The article was written by wine educator, lecturer and the Managing Editor of WBM , Erin Kirschenmann.

Click here to see our entry in the March, 2023 issue of Wine Business Monthly. Wow!

It’s worth repeating what I mentioned last month… Well, the votes are in! Get some Norton… lay it down in a good cellar… and see why the judges at the 1873 Vienna Universal Exhibition in Austria proclaimed Norton the “the best red wine of all nations”!

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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