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 April, 2023

Everything seems to be turning green very quickly here at The Ag District! It's amazing how quickly the dull greys of winter transform into the bright greens of new spring leaves. The spring peepers can be heard singing from the wetlands and waterways, the Tom turkeys can be seen strutting around the fields, and bees are busy spreading pollen from the newly blossomed flowers. All signs that it is Spring! Come out to enjoy this special season with us as we begin the journey toward a new vintage!


Our VIP pickup event this month will be held on Friday, April 14th from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at the Ag District Center. Members must RSVP no later than April 10th by emailing TR-Manager@ChrysalisWine.com. Please include your name, number attending (up to 2 per membership), and your preferred tasting time (5:00,  6:00, or 7:00). 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 2021 Private Reserve White. Our 2021 Private Reserve White is crafted with finesse and respect to each individual varietal. This reserve-style white wine is bursting with white flower aromatics and hints of vanilla The palate has creamy notes of papaya with light acidity. This 

Our red wine selection for April is Chrysalis Vineyards 2020 Norton Barrel Select. The 2020 Norton Barrel Select showcases Virginia’s grape at its best. Aromatics are mysterious notes of lush dark fruit, cloves, and leather. An undertone of spiced plums and black currant is revealed as the wine opens up. Flavors of black cherry and embellished plum are intermingled with notes of mocha and dark chocolate for a smooth but lasting finish. Our Norton Barrel Select is a true Virginia wine... 100% Norton aged  in Virginia’s very own oak.

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.


Ready to Be Outside!

March 20th marked the first day of spring and the warm weather is just around the corner. I hope everyone is just as excited as I am as the days are getting longer which means folks can come to the winery and enjoy a little bit more sunlight with your food and wines. With the kitchen open now Thursday through Sunday I invite folks to come out and enjoy some pizza and wine and watch a beautiful sunset at The Ag District. With spring comes new life and new wines. We are very excited to announce the release of our 2019 Buttorfleoge! With notes of blueberry, blackberry and raspberry, this “Pet Nat” style sparkling red wine is a great way to start off the spring. Come up to the tasting bar and ask an associate for a sample of this newly released wine and pair it with one of our Hot Italian Pizzas which feature genoa salami, pepperoni, banana peppers, red onions and crushed red pepper flakes. We hope you enjoy the pairing as much as we do!!

Amitai Cohen, Tasting Room Manager


Max Taking a Break in the Vineyard

I received a lot of positive feedback about last month’s newsletter and how fascinating many of you found it. If you will recall, I wrote about addressing soil health and “SOM” (soil organic matter) through the use of manure fresh from our cows. What I didn’t discuss was the experiment we are running this growing season utilizing white clover. Yes, I’m talking about the little 3 leaf clover with white flowers you find growing in your yard in the Spring and Summer months.

This little plant potentially optimizes vineyard health, and grape growing through the limitation of soil erosion, weed reduction, and nitrogen fixing. Due to the tight knit root system of white clover, it’s so dense that the majority of broad leaf weeds can’t grow through it. This  would potentially reduce the amount of overall weeds found in the vineyard absorbing nutrients and water that are needed for our vines. The long term impact would reduce the number of herbicide sprays. Furthermore, white clover roots grow no more than around 15 inches below the surface, meaning it won’t be a bother to the vines root systems.  

The dense root system also locks the loose soil in place preventing it from cascading around during heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. This eliminates the issue of soil erosion on sloped farmland and keeps bodies of water clean. Most importantly, white clover has a symbiotic relationship with a bacteria called rhizobia which is known for “nitrogen fixing”. Nitrogen fixing is essentially scouring the atmosphere for complex nitrogen compounds and breaking them down into a consumable form for other plants in the soil. Since the weeds can’t out compete the root system and grass only uses what it needs, the only other plant found in our vineyard is of course, our vines. Could you imagine the long term effects of nitrogen additions through a more organic means? That’s one less intervention we would have to make!

So what’s the downside? Surely, something this perfect on paper has a downside. Well, can you guess what a deer’s favorite food is? It’s white clover. Luckily, we have a dedicated group of hunters that have made it their personal mission to protect our fruit. Of course, we will be using deer netting and scares to avoid another Bambi situation.  

At the end of the day, we are hopeful that this simple holistic addition will be beneficial to improving the overall quality of our vineyard. Our hope is to improve our farming practices to preserve the 70 acres we’ve planted so that we can continue to make premium quality Virginia wine.

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


In Jenni's Cellar

Aside from all the Spring cleaning in the cellar and bottling delicious wines, Jenni and I have been discussing the history of Chrysalis winemaking, the evolution of the many wines produced here, and their ageability. Most recently, we’ve been working on the 2022 Barrel Select and while we were both astounded by the quality of wine we have produced, the question arose, “will this hold up in the years to come?” 

To answer that question Jenni pulled the very first vintage of Barrel Select Norton from her cellar, vintage 2003. I must say, this wine was mind blowing! It had a complex bottle bouquet, and cigar box aromatics. The palate was gushing with dried blueberries and aged herbs. (If you have this in your cellar, I highly recommend pulling it out!) The 2003 was the very first vintage of Barrel Select, when the idea was to age Norton exclusively in Virginia oak. Yes, it not only held up, but evolved into something amazing. 

In 2005, Mark Bunter introduced the primary method for making Barrel Select, carbonic maceration. If you are new to this term, it’s the process of creating an anaerobic environment to force grapes through an enzymatic reaction that converts malic acid (granny smith apple) to alcohol. This was mostly done to root out that extra acid that can be a pronounced character in Norton. After tasting the 2005 with Jenni, I was shocked. It was the most “Burgundian Virginia wine” I’ve ever tasted. I don’t think anyone could tell the difference between the 2005 Barrel Select and a classic Grand Cru Burgundy. Seriously, one of the most fabulous wines I’ve had the pleasure of trying. It not only held up, but became an astounding wine! 

Since the introduction of Barrel Select in 2003, and the advent of using carbonic maceration in 2005 (thank you Mark Bunter!), the Barrel Select has been a terrific wine with an ever growing following. We typically recommend that this wine is consumed within 5 years or while you're waiting on your Locksley Reserve Norton, but we've found this to not be actually true. This month you will be receiving the 2020 Barrel Select Norton in your club package, I challenge you to purchase an extra bottle when you stop by and lay it down for the next few years, I bet you’ll be as surprised as we were!

Jake Blodinger, Winemaker


Baby Face!Spring in the dairy means it's calving season! Steven and Grayson have been busy in the past couple of weeks welcoming all of our new arrivals and adding their mommas to our milking herd.

Our young calves are kept in the cozy confines of our dairy pens where they can be bottle fed and cared for until they're old enough to roam our pastures. Making sure they get lots of human contact helps to keep them calm and starts their training as part of our dairy team. It's always our goal to provide our animals with the best care and attention possible... in return they provide us with lots of high quality milk for our cheeses!

Note from Jenni
Flowers Inside and Out

Hello… welcome to spring! OK… ok, I’m not going to carry on about my favorite season as I’ve done over the past many, many years. I’ll just leave that to the photo above of an Amaryllis next to my kitchen sink that loves the big window overlooking the chickens, vineyards and Bull Run Mountains. Jeeze, Louise, huh? Flowers everywhere. I love spring!

I really wanted to add an “I second that” to Jake’s Report from the Cellar commenting on the age-worthiness of our Norton wines. The Barrel Select Norton is the only red wine we put into a Burgundian-style bottle, because back there in 2003 we used a Burgundian yeast strain to ferment our first BSN in what actually was a very difficult vintage (we had an early fall frost on October 2nd of that year that took all the leaves off the vines and left the fruit quite unripe). Through some cellar “magic” we were able to put a very sound wine in the bottle that lasted all the way to now. But...

… that’s not the vintage that really blew our minds!  That wine was the 2005. Look… no one alive today really has any experience with very old Virginia Nortons. Really, only Horton Cellars has some Nortons that are any older, but only by a few years. We’re “re-mapping” Virginia wine territory with this Virginia native gem, Norton. Frankly, I was as astounded as was Jake, as he relayed in his Report. The 2005 Barrel Select Norton that we pulled, on a whim, from my cellar was really a dead ringer for an old, well-seasoned Burgundy. Huh! And this is a wine that we’ve always bottled young in order to showcase the fruity, varietal character of Virginia Nortons. I never thought it would age as it has. Wow!

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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