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Anytime is Pie Time! Seven Bakeries & Orchards to Take in the Tastes of the Season

Anytime is Pie Time! Seven Bakeries & Orchards to Take in the Tastes of the Season

Apples, pumpkins and more! ‘Tis the most wonderful time for some warm, savory goodness. Mouth watering yet? It will be soon. It’s the time of year when some of the best fruits and veggies are in season, including the beloved apple and pumpkin. But there’s plenty more! These bakeries and orchards are going to satisfy your sweet tooth and your stomach. There’s some hearty dinner pies in there too!

Hill High Country Store offers fresh-baked pies and cookies, local foods, produce, and wines, and handcrafted products.

Hill High Country Store offers fresh-baked pies and cookies, local foods, produce, and wines, and handcrafted products.

Hill High Country Store | Round Hill If 37 different pie varieties doesn’t catch your eye, maybe this will! Hill High Country Store has been around for more than 60 and prides itself on using the freshest locally grown ingredients from the Loudoun County area. Get a taste of the season’s flavors, with more than five apple pie varieties, as well as their award-winning pumpkin pie. It’s so good you’re going to want to eat it straight out of the pan!

Proper Pie Co. | Richmond Keeping it proper! Proper Pie Company brings New Zealand-style pies to Richmond, offering specialty savory pies like steak & cheese, vegan mushroom & lentil, smoked salmon, potato & leak, and more. After your finished with the savory move on to the sweet and try out their pumpkin & salted caramel pie. Or how about blueberry-apple or peach & blackberry cobbler? Their menu changes daily, but the deliciousness remains the same! Several vegan options are available, as well as ice cream to top off your sweet selection.

Pie Gourmet | Vienna Fruit pies, cream pies, dessert pies, oh my! And that’s not all. Pie Gourmet has a selection of more than 50 custom dessert pies, 13 dinner pies, 10 cheesecakes, gluten-free pies and MORE! This local bakery serves up some of the best pies in Virginia, where not only do the locals swoon, travelers from all over the world have made stops to pick up some delicious goodness. The Washington Post hailed it as “a gem among local bakeries.” Seasonal pies are always available. How about their apple pie options? Apple-cranberry, apple-raspberry, French apple, apple-peach and just plain (and just as delicious!) apple! Or how about traditional pumpkin pie, chocolate cream or peach melba?! If you’re not hungry yet, guess what? They have some dinner pies too! Broccoli-cauliflower, crab & mushroom, Mexican and more… heavenly.

Red Truck Bakery

Red Truck Bakery

Red Truck Bakery & Market | Warrenton One of “America’s 50 Best Bakeries” — Daily Meal. “Best Bakery, Best Locally-owned Coffee House, Best Breakfast Place and Best Place for Sandwiches” in ALL of Northern Virginia.– Virginia Living magazine. It’s one of the “30 Places to Eat in Virginia Before You Die.” Must I go on? To no surprise, Red Truck Bakery & Market serves up phenomenal, fresh, seasonal pies. This time of year, indulge in a double-crust or Dutch crumb topping apple pie. Or there’s always pecan, lemon chess and Derby pies with pecans, chocolate chips and bourbon. Red truck’s mincemeat pie, their one-man crusade to resurrect the maligned pie was featured in Esquire magazine; they deemed it “mission accomplished!” And one more thing, a little publication called Conde Nast Traveler magazine named it as one of “America’s 13 Sweetest Bakery Destinations.” Come n’get it!

Mom’s Apple Pie | Leesburg & Occoquan Mom’s Apple Pie Co. prides itself on their dedication to baking the very best natural, preservative-free pies. The boys hand peel fresh Shenandoah Valley apples and hand mix their premium fruits. But that’s not all! As you’re devouring your pie, take note of their made-from-scratch, flaky, and oh so tasty crust. Try these on for size: the original apple pie (never gets old!), butter pecan apple crumb, pumpkin, raspberry-peach, almond amaretto pies and more! They also offer sweet potato and mincemeat pies that are to die for! This family-owned and operated gem is one you can’t miss!

Family fun at Carter Mountain Orchard.

Family fun at Carter Mountain Orchard.

Carter Mountain Orchard | Charlottesville Pick-your-own seasonal fruits and veggies at Carter Mountain Orchard, then head inside for some great recipe inspirations! The orchard offers more than 30 apple recipes, as well as peach, strawberry and sweet cherry. Swing by Aunt Sarah’s Barkery & Mountain Grill for their own freshly made, mouth-watering apple pies. Piled high with their own fruits, the pies are available by the whole, half or slice. The orchard is open through the end of December, so make sure you get in to stock up for the holidays!

Marker-Miller Orchard | Winchester Make a day of it and head to the country for Marker-Miller Orchard. Pack a lunch and head out to the apple orchards and do some apple pickin’. They have plenty of  picnic tables throughout the orchard, so feel free to take a break and eat up! Then retire to the main building and relax on the front porch in one of their rocking chairs, and take in the beautiful mountain scenery. Swing by the bakery and grab one of their made-from-scratch, homemade pies. The caramel-apple-walnut sounds pretty good, huh? And there’s also apple dumpling, pecan and nearly 20 other selections, including three sugar-free options. Gotta fill up before you head home! And with your fresh-picked fruit you’ll be able to whip up some fresh-baked goodness yourself!

Now get out there and stock up!

Orchards to pick your own in-season fruits & veggies:

More bakeries to get your fresh pie fix:

More:


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12 Iconic Sites for Virginia’s Fall Beauty

12 Iconic Sites for Virginia’s Fall Beauty

These destinations are stunning in their own right, but couple them with the colors of fall and you have a real winner.

Monticello

Monticello

 

1. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello * Charlottesville

– Thomas Jefferson – third president, author of the Declaration of Independence, self-taught architect
– UNESCO World Heritage Site – the only U.S. presidential and private home on the List
– Saunders-Monticello Trail – four miles; accessible. Includes unique features, like an elevated boardwalk and pond. (MAP)

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon

 

2. Mount Vernon, George Washington’s Estate and Gardens * Mount Vernon

– George Washington – first president, commander of the Continental Army, gentleman planter
– Originally, the estate was more than 8,000 acres. Presently, an estimated 500 acres have been preserved.
Interactive Map

Montpelier

Montpelier

 

3. James Madison’s Montpelier * Montpelier Station

– James Madison – fourth president, Father of the Constitution, scholar
– 2,650-acre estate includes the 200-acre Landmark Forest, a National Natural Landmark
Google Trails Map

Ash Lawn-Highland by Rick Stillings

Ash Lawn-Highland by Rick Stillings

 

4. James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland * Charlottesville

– James Monroe – fifth president, Governor of Virginia, negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase
– See the “witness tree,” a white oak yet standing from Monroe’s time on his Highland plantation.
– Virtual Tour

 

Thomas Jefferson, on Poplar Forest

 

 

5. Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest * Forest

– Archaeology and restoration is always in progress at Jefferson’s personal retreat.
– UNESCO World Heritage Site Nominee
– Buy Tickets Online

Stratford Hall

Stratford Hall

 

6. The Lee’s: Stratford Hall * Stratford

– Robert E. Lee’s Birthplace; Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee’s Boyhood Home
– Robert E. Lee – General of the Confederate Army; President and namesake of Washington and Lee University
– Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee – only brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence
– 1900 acres overlooking the Potomac River

 

7. George Washington’s Ferry Farm * Fredericksburg

– Washington’s family moved to Ferry Farm when he was six.
– See the home site along the Rappahannock River.
– Archaeology lab allows visitors to see artifacts discovered on the property.

 

Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park

Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park

 

 

8. Crab Orchard Museum * Tazewell

– Periods of history include Native American, Pioneer, Revolutionary War and Civil War.
– Fifteen 1800s log cabins and stone structures
– Special tours and a pioneer summer camp are available.

9. America’s Historic Triangle * Jamestown * Williamsburg * Yorktown

– Jamestown was settled by the English in 1607 as the first permanent colony in the New World.
– Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the country, and was the first capitol in the new World.
– Yorktown is where the American Revolutionary War was won. It was October 19, 1781.

Gunston Hall

Gunston Hall

 

 

10. George Mason’s Gunston Hall * Lorton

– George Mason – Author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, after which the United States Bill of Rights was modeled
– 550 acres on the Potomac River
Download Grounds Map

 

Oatlands

Oatlands

 

11. Oatlands Historic House and Gardens * Leesburg

– Federal-style mansion was built over five years, beginning in 1804;  embellished into the 1830s
– Original grounds were 3,408 acres; today the estate is 261 acres.
– English Oak and European Larch are existing from the original 1800s gardens

Sherwood Forest Plantation, ca 1680. Home to our 10th president, John Tyler.

Sherwood Forest Plantation

 

12. John Tyler’s Sherwood Forest Plantation * Charles City

– John Tyler – tenth president; America’s first vice president to ascend to the presidency upon the death of the sitting president
– Longest frame house in America; continuously occupied by the Tyler family since 1842
– Home to America’s first Ginkgo tree
– Additional nearby plantations include Shirley (Virginia’s first plantation; 1613) and Berkeley (site of the first official Thanksgiving; 1619)

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS.


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Perfect Virginia Wineries for Couples

Perfect Virginia Wineries for Couples

Virginia is becoming widely known for its great wine, but have you seen the wineries themselves? They’re gorgeous! We’ve identified wineries with tremendous views and great patios, wineries that are within a mile of a bed and breakfast, those with fireside sipping, and those that are great for families. Today, however, we want to shine a light on the wineries that are meant for those of the drinking age only.

Chrysalis Vineyards

Chrysalis Vineyards

These wineries are places to get away from everything life throws at you, including a baby rattle. I’m a mom of three. There are days I’d like to enjoy the company of my husband without the sounds of children – mine or anyone else’s. If you find yourself in the same boat, this could be a nice asset for you.

According to Kelsey with Visit Loudoun, “Chrysalis Vineyards, located in Middleburg, Virginia, classifies itself as an adult getaway winery. While they do have a family picnic area in front of the winery, Chrysalis maintains their tasting room and other facilities for adults only.”

In addition, I found a recent article from The Armchair Sommelier. Specifically, read the “Warning. I’m about to get on my soapbox.” section, with which, I concur. Then read the explanation from Chrysalis below.

“When I began the design of Chrysalis Vineyards, I envisioned a beautiful oasis in the Virginia countryside where adults could put away the stresses and noises of the city and hectic family life. I wanted to create an island of respite and relaxation where adult friends and family could share time together over a delightful glass of wine and complementary food. Chrysalis makes the best of both worlds (with children or without) by allowing families to enjoy a nice picnic with the beautiful view of the pond and the vines at the venue, but also allowing adults to get away from the crazy life of parenthood and enjoy the facility and tasting room for themselves.” – Jennifer McCloud, Proprietor, Chrysalis Vineyards

 

 

Chateau O'Brien at Northpoint Winery & Vineyard. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com

Chateau O’Brien at Northpoint Winery & Vineyard. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com

Chateau O’Brien at Northpoint Winery and Vineyard in Markham is up-front with their over 21 rule, even including it on their website with their tasting room hours. “EFFECTIVE 1/1/09: ONLY 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER PERMITTED ACCESS TO THE PREMISES. Thank you for your understanding.” After a little digging, I found a reference to the reason for this rule, and I can, indeed, understand:

“Effective, January 1st, access to the winery is limited to guests 21 years of age and older. We are a family owned and operated winery and place tremendous emphasis on family. This decision was made with the truest interest in the safety of children. There are numerous liability issues that influenced this decision. For the sake of the protecting our family owned business and our children’s future, we were driven to make this change. We are regretful, but it would be more regretful to our family if a child were injured. We sincerely appreciate your understanding and support of this change!” – Howard O’Brien, Owner, Chateau O’Brien, in a 2009 newsletter

 

Delaplane Cellars

Delaplane Cellars

Delaplane Cellars‘ website offers Things to Know When Visiting: “We strive to create an environment that highlights the bouquet of our wine, the joy of our farm and the ambiance to match what shimmers in the glass. In doing this, we ask that you keep your party to a maximum of six people and that all guests are over the age of 21 (including children and infants).”

RdV Vineyards, also in Delaplane, offers tastings and visits by appointment only. Their website also clearly states, “Please note: Our permit does not allow for picnicking. We also cannot allow anyone under the age of 21, which includes infants and children. Likewise, please no pets.”

While Barrel Oak is one of Virginia’s most renowned family-friendly wineries, it’s important to note their John Marshall Tasting Experience at Oak Hill is upscale and for adults only. Oak Hill was a childhood home of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, and, Barrel Oak notes, “Due to the historic nature of Oak Hill Estate only guests 21 and older will be seated. Please no children or pets on the Oak Hill Property. You are welcome to visit our family and pet friendly winery – Barrel Oak – right next door.”

While there may not be a written rule one way or the other at a majority of Virginia’s wineries, I would research the visit beforehand if I were to seriously seek family-friendly or adults-only.

Here are the things I would look for:

  1. Are there children in any of the photos on their Facebook page?
  2. Is their tasting room particularly upscale or ornate?
  3. Does the winery tout their family-friendliness?
  4. Though they’re family-friendly, are there adult-only spaces set aside?

Don’t forget to consult the post I wrote a while ago about family-friendly wineries. If you’re looking to relax and taste without your children in tow, skip the ones found therein.

Sound Off: Which wineries do you love for the lack of children?

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS.


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Most Promising

Most Promising

Everything that needs to be done is getting done in preparation for the RTCC awards on Sunday. One thing that tends to happen right at the end is the media part. In past years, I’ve been on TV to talk about the event; one year, Audra Honaker was kind enough to do a TV spot to tell the Artsies story. This year there will be a piece in the Times-Dispatch and an online blurb in Style. There’s talk of an interview on Open Source RVA.

As I’ve done some of the media stuff – always awkward since in most other circumstances, I’d be the one doing the interviewing – I’ve struggled with new things to say or ways to summarize the event that really captures what it is. After 7 years, I often find myself thinking you just have to be there to get it. It can be a rancorous and rowdy time, but every year I’m surprised at how it ends up feeling like a ‘community’ event, almost like a professional block party. Everybody ends up working with everyone else in our little town so, rather than a lot of grinding of teeth and stomping of feet, most years involve general good cheer; delight in being out and celebrating; and proud support for coworkers and friends.

Today – inconveniently after most of the interviews and stuff had already happened – I remembered that this year we are introducing the ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ award. It occurs to me that this award captures much of the aspirational and promotional intent behind the Artsies. The professional performing arts world is not a particularly warm and welcoming place. So very few people can make a living in it and even fewer make it big. Sometimes luck seems to be significantly more important than talent. Superficial judgment runs rampant. For young people who just want to express themselves or gain an outlet for their creative impulses, disappointments can be myriad and multifaceted.

With the Most Promising award, we wanted to recognize the potential in Richmond’s talented younger professionals and, in a small way, welcome them into a community that I think is a little different than he or she might find in other towns. And with the Artsies in general, we want to show the greater Richmond community (and anyone else who might be paying attention) that we have some very special things happening on our stages. We may be a middle-sized city but – given the likes of Emily Skinner, Zak Resnick, Clay Mcleod Chapman, Taylor Richardson, and many more – we have shown that we can produce big talents.

I’m excited by the introduction of this new award. But it also makes me reflect on how, when my cohorts and I started these awards seven years ago, we thought of Richmond as one of the Most Promising theater markets in the country. Last season’s crop of outstanding productions only reinforces that opinion. Please join me on Sunday to celebrate them and the hard work of everybody in this great community.

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10 Favorite Virginia Pumpkin Patches

10 Favorite Virginia Pumpkin Patches

If you’re planning to head out to the pumpkin patches for fall fun, or in search of pie pumpkins or carvable beauties, we obtained some recommendations to make your search for the perfect patch an easy one.

Ashland Berry FarmHere are the top pumpkin patches mentioned by locals in-the-know.

We like Chesterfield Berry Farm. It’s more than just a pumpkin patch, it’s a fall experience. There is something for all ages. They also have a large variety of pumpkins to pick from; pumpkins you won’t find in a store.” – Heather P., Moseley/Chesterfield

Belvedere Plantation, near Fredericksburg! They have so much else to do in addition to the patch – a proper harvest festival.” – @VirginiaWizards

Ashland Berry Farm. Photo by Casey Higgins.

Ashland Berry Farm

They have hot dogs and donuts and drinks and they are very organized. They’re not strict with the all you can carry rule. Even if you fall over they still let you have it.” – Suzanne W. on Ashland Berry Farm, Beaverdam/Hanover

“Fun Fact: President and First Lady Obama stopped for pumpkins at Wood’s Orchards on Oct. 19, 2011. You can walk out to any of the patches …  They also offer a hayride on the weekends …  a whole field of white pumpkins.” – Shannon O., Hampton

“We love Carter Mountain and Chiles Peach Orchard for pumpkin picking and Fall festivities!!” – @JLCville, Charlottesville/Albemarle

“We think Fairfax’s Cox Farms has a pretty great pumpkin patch! :)” – @redpumps

Layman’s. They have a lot of different thing like a pillow top bounce … they have the corn crib to play in. They have the maze and a hayride to where u pick out your pumpkins. We go every year and its just a very family oriented and friendly environment.” – Mandy P., Blue Ridge/Bedford

 Mulberry Hills Farm because it’s close to my house and we like to support our locals farms. AND Back Home On the Farm is a good one as well!” – Carrie D., Mount Crawford/Harrisonburg

 

Find more pumpkin patches (and corn mazes!) on Virginia.org (map included!), PLUS put this one on your radar for 2015 …

The Major Graham Mansion in Max Meadows (known as Haunted Graham Mansion in the fall) will have a 1,000-acre pumpkin patch awaiting your arrival next year! The video clip below shows pumpkins being picked for retail delivery. Next year, they’re yours for the pickin’!

//


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Secrets of the Winemakers, in Celebration of Virginia Wine Month

Secrets of the Winemakers, in Celebration of Virginia Wine Month

The Jamestown colonists tried to make wine with the native grapes they found, which were probably scuppernong, only to produce vintages that one early Virginian described as having notes of “wet dog.”

Sunset Hills Vineyard. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com

CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com photo

Thomas Jefferson tried to grow classic wine grapes, Vitis vinifera.

But there wasn’t the technology in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to overcome some of the difficulties in producing the same vines that thrived in Europe in the New World due to climate and disease here.

Fast-forward almost two centuries, and vintners here found success. In fact, over the past 30 years, Virginia wines have found their rightful place at the table, and are recognized for their caliber and characteristics.

October is Virginia Wine Month, a time to venture out across the state to visit some of the more than 200 award-winning wineries and celebrate by raising an extra glass or two.

It’s no secret that it’s a great time now – as well as the whole year through – to enjoy Virginia wine, but here are a few insider tips for making the most of your sips from three Governor’s Cup-winning winemakers.

Fabbioli Cellars
15669 Limestone School Rd., Leesburg | 703-771-1197

Fabbioli Cellars is a family operated winery focused on offering a unique tasting experience of artisan and well regarded wines from grapes grown on the estate and in the region.

Winemaker Doug Fabiolli. Jeffrey Greenberg photo

Winemaker Doug Fabiolli. Jeffrey Greenberg photo

Winery Opened: 2007

Winery Offers: 7 wines

A Signature Wine: Fabbioli Cellars’ Tannat has been quite well regarded. It was awarded a Gold Medal in the Governor’s Cup competition and it got a spot in the Governor’s Case.

It is full bodied red with firm structure, a bit of savory character as well as lots of rich red fruit.

Tours/Tastings Offered: Daily, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Interview with Doug Fabbioli, owner and vintner:

Fabbioli started in the wine industry in upstate New York in 1981.

“I love working the farm and being able to grow a crop that can turn into a product that can last for years and can be very well regarded.

“I spent 10 years in California working in the cellar, making home wine and studying viticulture.

“Our future is in using the land to grow our products on a local level. But we need young folks that want to be farmers. Join us in the dirt.”

What sets Virginia wines and wineries apart from others?

“We have good wine history, great state support and a collaborative culture that will increase the quality for all that participate. We are recognized as smaller and higher quality.”

What are some tips for tasting, whether at the winery, a festival or at home?

“Do your homework, sight, swirl, sniff, sip, slurp and swallow. Focus on certain varietals at a time.”

“[At a winery,] visit during the week, ask good questions and don’t wear cologne.”

What trends do you see in Virginia wine?

“We have good wine history, great state support and a collaborative culture that will increase the quality for all that participate. We are recognized as smaller and higher quality.”

What are some of your favorite wine and food pairings?

“Our Raspberry Merlot with a flourless chocolate torte.”

“Sangiovese with lobster macaroni and cheese.”

How will you be celebrating Virginia Wine Month?

“Crushing grapes from harvest and breaking ground on a new tasting room.”

This winery won Gold Medals in the 2014 Virginia Governor’s Cup awards for their 2011 Tannat and 2011 Tre Sorelle.

They won a Silver Medal for their 2011 Cabernet Franc, and Bronze Medals for their 2012 Chambourcin and Raspberry Merlot (NV).

Sunset Hills Vineyard
38295 Fremont Overlook Lane, Purcellville | 540-882-4560

From the tasting room in a historic, restored Amish barn, views of spectacular sunsets behind the nearby mountains are the backdrop to acres of rolling vineyards.

Sunset Hills Vineyard

Sunset Hills Vineyard

Winery Opened: 2006

Winery Offers: 15 wines

A Signature Wine: Viognier is the most popular white wine at Sunset Hills and a specialty among the white wines produced. The wine is highly floral, texture-driven, exotic and bright.

Tours/Tastings Offered: Monday-Thursday, noon to 5 p.m.; Friday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Interview with Nate Walsh, winemaker and vineyard manager:

Nate has been working in vineyards and wineries for 10 years.

“I enjoy the cyclical, seasonal nature of the work, and the fact that there is a lot of intuition, experimentation, creativity, and flexibility required to explore the best use of our vineyards and grapes.

“It is a profession where getting settled into any kind of dogmatic outlook seems ultimately to be a mistake.”

What sets Virginia wines and wineries apart from others?

“Because of the topography, our vineyard sizes are small, and also our wineries are small.  So we have lots of great tiny winemaking operations, lots of family-run wineries.”

“Our wines themselves are interesting because they generally fall into an Old World style, specifically the reds.”

Sunset Hills Vineyard. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com photo

Sunset Hills Vineyard. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com photo

What are some tips for tasting, whether at the winery, a festival or at home?

“Weekdays are best at most wineries.  Often scheduling an appointment with the winemaker or tasting room manager will allow you to learn the most about the practices of the winery.”

What trends do you see in Virginia wine?

“[Virginia wine has had] a nice build over the past twenty years or so.  Recently, I would say the best wines coming from Virginia are getting better and better, and as such more and more wine drinkers are paying attention.  Also there are simply more wineries, and so there are more options for drinkers.”

What are some of your favorite wine and food pairings?

“Viognier with seared tuna with a cream sauce.”

“Rose’ of Cabernet Franc with a nice picnic basket with burratta, salami, and bread.”

How will you be celebrating Virginia Wine Month?

“Harvesting!”

This winery won Gold Medal in the 2014 Virginia Governor’s Cup awards for their 2010 Mosaic.

They won a Silver Medal for their 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Peit Verdot, and 2012 Cabernet Franc. They were awarded Bronze Medals for their 2012 Merlot and 2012 Sunset Red.

The Williamsburg Winery
5800 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg | 757-229-0999

The winery, the Gabriel Archer Tavern, and the Café Provencal, as well as a small boutique hotel, Wedmore Place, are located on the historic 300-acre Wessex Hundred farm.

Winery Opened: 1988

Winery Offers: 24

The Williamsburg Winery. Kelly Mihalcoe

The Williamsburg Winery. Kelly Mihalcoe photo

A Signature Wine: Created in the Virginia style, Adagio is a balanced wine with the fruit, oak, tannins and alcohol blended in the Bordeaux style. It is 42 percent Cabernet Franc, 30 percent Merlot and 28 percent Petit Verdot.

Tours/Tastings Offered: March-December, daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. January and February, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Interview with Matthew G. R. Meyer, winemaker and executive vice president:

Matthew’s father introduced him to the joys of wine at an early age.

“I grew up collecting wines from around the world and sharing with my father at dinner.  I then decided to turn my hobby for wine into a career.

“I love the complexity and diversity of wine.  To me wine is very sensual.  I have been making wine for almost 20 years professionally.”

What sets Virginia wines and wineries apart from others?

“The quality of Virginia wine is exploding.  We are competing on the national and international wine stage and consistently ranking as high or higher as wines coming from established wine growing regions around the world.”

“I believe the physical location of Virginia is unique as well as the wines.  We have a wonderful balance between Old World and New World wine styles in one bottle.”

What are some tips for tasting, whether at the winery, a festival or at home?

“Don’t treat the wine like a shot of tequila.  Swirl the wine in the glass and take in the aroma before sipping.  When you are ready to taste, the first sip usually just serves to cleanse the palate while the second sip will actually give you a better sense of the flavor of the wine.”

The Williamsburg Winery. Kelly Mihalcoe

The Williamsburg Winery. Kelly Mihalcoe photo

“Taste with friends.  The more people involved in the conversation, the more nuances and aromas you will begin to discover in the wine.  Additionally, if conducting a home tasting, pick a theme and have each person bring a different bottle connected to that theme (region, varietal, or style).”

“Frequently we hear stories about the wine not tasting as good at home as at the winery.  This is frequently because white wine is served too cold and red wine too warm at home.”

“White wine should be chilled (50F-55F) but not served at refrigerator temperature.”

“Red wine should be served at cellar temperature (60F-65F), not room temperature.  White wines taste dull and overly acidic with little aromatics when served too cold.  Red wines taste alcoholic rather than balanced when too warm.”

What trends do you see in Virginia wine?

“I see the younger generation being more adventurous in their wine drinking.  They are more apt to select a variety they haven’t had before or one that is more esoteric.  They experiment more and like discovering new wines.”

“In Virginia I see blends doing very well.  Also being so young in the world of wine we tend to experiment more with different varieties.”

What are some of your favorite wine and food pairings?

“Our Trianon (Cabernet Franc) paired with lamb or a heavy pasta dish.”

“Acte 12 Chardonnay paired with crab bisque.”

How will you be celebrating Virginia Wine Month?

“Since Virginia Wine Month is in October, and October is the peak time of the harvest, I will be celebrating it by making Virginia wine.”

This winery won Gold Medal in the 2014 Virginia Governor’s Cup awards for their 201 Adagio.

They won a Silver Medal for their 2010 Trianon and 2011 Acte 12 of 1619. They were awarded Bronze Medals for their 2011 Lord Botetourt and 2012 A Midsummer Night’s White.

 —   —   —

From the mountains to the sea, there are many wineries to visit, chat with the winemaker, and sample some of the varietals that grow here.

For a list of wineries, wine festivals and wine events to enjoy not just during Virginia Wine Month but all year long, visit Virginia.org/Wine.

—   —   —

Patrick Evans-HyltonPatrick Evans-Hylton, a Johnson & Wales University trained chef, is a Norfolk, Va.-based food journalist, historian and educator. His work has appeared in print, television, radio and social media since 1995. Evans-Hylton calls his cookbook, Dishing Up Virginia, his love letter to the state’s foods and foodways. He blogs at PatrickEvansHylton.com


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Discover the Wildlife of Virginia’s Mountains

Discover the Wildlife of Virginia’s Mountains

When you come across any type of animal, aren’t you just slightly mesmerized? I know I am! Virginia’s mountains are a breeding ground for some of the best domestic mammals in the U.S.

Bald Eagle

The American Bald Eagle

Wander through the Appalachian Trail, where you’re going to find everything from feral ponies and moose, to rattlesnakes and bald eagles. The Trail runs 544 miles through Virginia, more than any other state! One of the key sites along the way is the G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area in Fauquier County, where the trail covers the entire upper portion of the area and runs for about seven miles. Although it is mostly hardwood forest, the semi-open and shrubby areas on the mountaintop give bird watcher the opportunity to watch the concentration of hawks that migrate the area each fall. George Washington & Jefferson National Forest has four major wildlife districts, with more than 20 viewing areas falling under them. Winding through the Allegheny Mountains you’ll find:

  • Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory in the Eastern Continental Divide District gives 360 degree views of the surrounding areas and an eye-level view of migrating raptors. Situated along a popular southern migration path, the best time to spot these creatures is in autumn.
  • Warm Springs Ranger District offers some of the best trout streams in the state, as well as vast areas of bird watching. Deer and small game flourish through the area and from time to time, keep your eyes open for a black bear or two.
  • Check out the Forests’ Lee Ranger and Mount Rogers Districts for more abundance of wildlife viewing.
Bobcat

A stealth bobcat

Shenandoah National Park has four entry points, where more than 50 species live along the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hop on a trail or cruise through Skyline Drive and keep your eyes peeled for bobcats, black bear, eastern timber wolves, wild turkey and more. Skunks are around the area, so be on the lookout for those smelly creatures!

The Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area in the Blue Ridge Highlands is a great place for hunters to set up shop. Deer, turkey, grouse, black bear, ducks, fish and squirrels are all through the area—a mecca for the outdoorsman. Visit during the offseason and take in the views.

The first gateway to the west, the Cumberland Gap is home to 371 species, 33 mammals. Hawks, vultures, turkeys, bobcats, black bears, rodents and more flourish the area.

The Bellwood Elk

The Bellwood Elk

In the last several years, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF)has established the Elk Management and Restoration program. The DGIF Board of Directors decided to translocate up to 75 elk to be released in Buchanan County. The animals were captured from Kentucky and Tennessee, at their permission, and released in the winter of 2011-2012. In the clause, hunting and hunting access are prohibited for four years, and a reserve of 20 percent of elk hunting tags would be held back for hunters. Active restoration options offer the best alternatives to achieve recreational and economic benefits associated with elk populations. Today, elk flourish in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, offering visitors a chance to spot one of the majestic, rare mammals.

HUNTING
Several state parks offer year-round wildlife hunting within designated area. Fairy Stone, Grayson Highlands, Hungry Mother and Occoneechee State Parks are open to hunting throughout the hunting season (statewide regulations apply). Planning a trip to Primland Resort? Its wild game sport hunting program has been developed to be totally sustainable, supervised by DHIF biologists to control populations of certain game species. Whitetail deer, spring gobblers and pheasant are on property. Expert guides and instructors are also available to assist shooting sports enthusiasts.

Virginia’s mountains boasts some of the most fascinating mammals and more. The Eastern Cougar and Large-toothed Muskrat have also been spotted throughout the mountains and swamps. Experience it all, along with the many hiking trails and national parks that will take you along the way.

Find more information on the 39 wildlife management areas maintained by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wmas.


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Virginia’s Watermills

Virginia’s Watermills

Watermills are one of those nostalgic scenes that make me skip a breath. Covered bridges, swinging bridges, and old general stores have the same effect. It’s tangible history, but not of the stuffy, textbook variety. When you’re fortunate to find a watermill that’s still operational, it’s like being transported back into another time. A time of sweat equity and the satisfaction of just putting food on the table. See what I mean when you pay a visit to one of these old, glorious workhorses. Be sure to see the map below.

Mabry Mill

Mabry Mill

Virginia’s most recognized mill is Mabry Mill at milepost 176.1 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s noted as the most photographed site on the Parkway, and for good reason. Abundant wildlife flock to the pond, showing off along with the scene itself. It doesn’t hurt that the buckwheat pancakes and other delightful dishes appeal to hungry travelers. You read right. There’s a restaurant and gift shop at this working mill, along with trades demonstrations, like blacksmithing, spinning and basketry.
~ History of Mabry Mill

The Bush Mill in Nickelsville dates to 1896. The original mill was burned down on April Fools Day, which was no laughing matter for the people who relied on it. Once rebuilt, the mill operated into the 1950s. What you see when you visit to day is still an operational mill, as it has since been restored and sits proudly on the National Register of Historic Places. Share in the history by watching the video below.

 

Cowan Mill at Sunrise by Harold Jerrell

Cowan Mill at Sunrise by Harold Jerrell

Cowan Mill, an 1890s mill, sits along Indian Creek on private property in Ewing. The mill is not open for tours, but is included here as a beautiful picture opportunity, as it is one of the most photographed sites in Lee County. Please be respectful of the property owners.

One of Virginia’s more unique mills is Aldie Mill (1807-1809) in Loudoun County. It’s a real powerhouse with tandem wheels working to demonstrate the agricultural side of life. Aldie Mill bore witness to the Battle of Aldie (1863) during the American Civil War. In fact, it was the prelude to Gettysburg. Quite a few events are hosted at this mill each year; check the schedule.

Also in Northern Virginia is Chapman’s Mill in Broad Run, believed to be the tallest stacked stone structure in the United States, as it stands five and one-half stories tall. The mill was constructed in 1742 and supplied food through five wars. Sadly, a 1998 arson fire gutted the interior of this prize. The ruins are stabilized and remain an interesting photo opp. The site is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays.
>> History of Chapman’s Mill

In Raphine you’ll find Kennedy-Wade’s Mill, a working 1750s mill that is still grinding away to bring you local flours and meals. What’s wonderful about Wade’s Mill are the culinary lessons offered by the miller’s wife! See what Georgie has cooking and make a date with deliciousness.

Woodson's Mill

Woodson’s Mill

Woodson’s Mill is a 1794 working gristmill in Nelson County. Locally-harvested grains are stone-ground daily with water from the Piney River. Be sure to take a few bags home, and maybe utilize the Hushpuppy & Batter Mix for fried Virginia oysters, as one of their blog posts suggests.

It’s a wonder Virginia has as many watermills still in existence as there are, considering one of the Union goals during the Civil War was to cut off the Confederate food supply. Many mills were burned as a result.

MORE MILLS

~ Whittle’s Mill, South Hill – one of 35 mill sites along the Meherrin River, and a very good local swimming hole!
~ Burwell-Morgan Mill, Millwood – operational mill still grinding meals and flours
~ Colvin Run Mill, Great Falls – foundation built by George Washington; operational; tours available (video)
~ Damascus Old Mill, Damascus – restaurant and accommodations
~ Swift Creek Mill, South Chesterfield – a venue for theatre and education; dates to at least 1663
~ Tomahawk Mill, Chatam – a winery tasting room
~ Parks Mill, Abingdon – restaurant on site!
~ White’s Mill, Abingdon
~ Palmer Mill, Saltville
~ Historic Edinburg Mill, Edinburg
~ Jessee’s Mill, Lebanon
~ Breneman-Turner Mill, Harrisonburg
~ McCormick’s Farm Gristmill, Raphine

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS.


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A Route 11 Road Trip: Clear Brook to Bristol

A Route 11 Road Trip: Clear Brook to Bristol

United States Route 11 runs north to south through the Shenandoah Valley, parallel to Interstate 81, from Clear Brook on the West Virginia line to Bristol on the Tennessee line. It’s a fantastic route that gets you out of traffic and into some of Virginia’s beautiful small towns. From the top to the bottom, here are just a few ideas for stops along this historic path between the mountains.

Route 11 Potato Chips

Route 11 Potato Chips

Sights & Stops in Winchester

 

Sights & Stops in Stephens City and Middletown

 

Sights & Stops in Strasburg and Edinburg

 

Meem's Bottom Bridge

Meem’s Bottom Bridge

Sights & Stops in Mount Jackson and New Market 

 

Sights & Stops in Harrisonburg

 

Sights & Stops in Staunton

 

Steeles Tavern Pumpkin Stand

Watch for unexpected roadside delights like this!

Sights & Stops in Steele’s Tavern

 

Sights & Stops in Lexington

 

Sights & Stops in Natural Bridge

 

Sights & Stops in Buchanan

 

Black Dog Salvage

As Seen on TV: Black Dog Salvage

Sights & Stops in Roanoke

 

Sights & Stops in Salem

 

Sights & Stops in Christiansburg and Radford

 

Sights & Stops in Wytheville & Marion

 

v

Abingdon by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com

Sights & Stops in Chilhowie & Abingdon

 

Sights & Stops in Bristol

Name your favorite Route 11 stops by leaving a comment!

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS

 


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Fall Tours of Virginia’s Gardens

Fall Tours of Virginia’s Gardens

Think spring and summer are the only beautiful seasons for gardens? Think again. It’s amazing to see some of the plants that thrive just after summer’s heat and prior to a late fall frost.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Begin your journey of exploring Virginia’s fall gardens by checking out the brand new Richmond Garden Trail. It includes eight gardens within 10 miles of each other. Each site can easily stand on its own merit, but together, they’re a powerhouse of beauty.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – Best Botanical Garden in the U.S., Travel Channel, 2013
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts‘ E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden – the only U.S. art museum with a site-specific, permanent Chihuly installation
Maymont’s Gardens – one of the 10 Great Public Spaces in America, American Planning Association, 2011
Agecroft Hall Gardens – A 15th century Tudor built in Lancashire, England and moved to the banks of the James River in the 1920s. Look for the replica of William Shakespeare’s tombstone in the garden. It’s in honor of his 450th birthday in 2014.

Maymont

Maymont

Virginia Capitol Square – Did you know there’s an empty crypt on the grounds? It was to be George Washington’s final resting place, but you can find his real final resting place at his Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens (another stunning place to be in the fall, complete with extensive, restored gardens!). Tip: A wreath is laid at his tomb daily.
The Valentine Garden – Secluded downtown garden with a magnolia tree that’s more than 200 years old
Edgar Allen Poe Museum – The Enchanted Garden was designed after Poe’s “To One in Paradise,” in 1921.
Virginia Center for Architecture – Secluded downtown garden along Monument Avenue, called “One of the 10 Great Streets in America”

 

PLANTATION GARDENS

Berkeley Plantation

Berkeley Plantation

If the grounds and walls of Virginia’s plantations could talk, oh, the stories they’d tell. Some of them are known to us, excitingly. For example, Berkeley Plantation in Charles City was the site of the first Thanksgiving in 1619 and it’s also where “Taps” was written. Visit to see the terraces of boxwood gardens.

Among the oldest gardens in the country are those of Eyre Hall in Cheriton on the Eastern Shore. Circa 1800, you can expect to find sweeping crape myrtles shading paths, English gardens, and an 1819 orangery ruin. For more than 250 years this estate has remained in the same family; the eighth generation now keeps watch.

In Richmond, Thomas Jefferson’s boyhood home of Tuckahoe is considered to have one of the most complete 18th century plantation layouts in North America. Tuckahoe’s gardens are beautiful year ’round and you’re welcome to visit between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. any day of the week.

The gardens of Historic Kenmore Plantation in Fredericksburg were the very first to be revitalized by the Garden Club of Virginia. It was the recipient of further GCV attention in 1992 when a Wilderness Walk focusing on native plants was added.

Patrick Henry’s Red Hill is located in Brookneal. He is said to have called his plantation, “one of the garden spots of the world,” so you must visit to see what all his fuss was about. Something for me to make a fuss about is the amazing Osage Orange Tree. It’s a National Champion tree and a member of the American Forestry Hall of Fame.

>> More Plantation Gardens
James Madison's Montpelier Garden

 

PRESIDENTIAL GARDENS

James Monroe’s modest Ash Lawn-Highland estate in Charlottesville includes a boxwood garden.

Thomas Jefferson’s Charlottesville home, Monticello, has extensive gardens – flower, vegetable, fruit, and more. The most recognizable are probably the 1000′ terrace garden and the borders of the west lawn.
>> Buy Monticello Plants

James Madison’s Montpelier in Montpelier Station is a 2,650-acre estate that boasts a 200-acre old-growth Landmark Forest and a two-acre formal garden known as the Annie duPont Formal Garden (William duPont purchased Montpelier in 1901).
>> Garden Map

Woodrow Wilson’s Birthplace in Staunton includes Charles Gillette-designed landscaping (as do many of the other locations mentioned here). A visit to this garden, however, delivers Gillette’s only known bowknot boxwood design. It was installed after Wilson’s passing and was a project of the Garden Club of Virginia.

The aforementioned Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens of George Washington deserves repeating. The grounds are lush and you’ll have to look for the original trees Washington himself planted.

>> More About Virginia’s Presidents

 

 

ARBORETUMS AND BOTANICAL GARDENS

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at James Madison University

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at James Madison University

In Chase City you’ll find the MacCallum More Museum and Gardens, an eclectic space that includes interesting works of international art, sculptures and nine fountains.

Norfolk Botanical Garden in Norfolk is 155 acres and is the only botanical garden in the nation that can be toured on foot, tram or boat! For fall, be sure to head to Mirror Lake. It’s one of the oldest sections of the garden and a great place for bird watching. Also note the five trees that are listed among the Remarkable Trees of Virginia: Coast Redwood, Crabapple, Crape Myrtle, Loblolly Pine, and White Oak (the oldest tree in the garden).
>> Download the Garden Map

The State Arboretum of Virginia is located in Boyce and it’s part of the University of Virginia’s Blandy Experimental Farm. Of Note: North America’s largest variety of boxwood cultivars are found here, as are one-third of the world’s pine species. It’s an incredible, free place to visit.

Another university-associated garden is the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. Seventeen different garden areas make this a beautiful place for fall explorations.
>> See the Autumn Slideshow

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

The Chesapeake Arboretum in Chesapeake is 48 acres of trails, mature hardwoods and native plants. A highlight here is the 1730s farmhouse.
>> Download the Trail Map

Vienna’s Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a diverse 95 acres tucked away in Northern Virginia. Quite the delight! The garden is expanding with the Korean Bell Garden project and a Children’s Garden is planned.
>> Download the Garden Map

The Southern Virginia Botanical Gardens are found in South Boston. It’s a fairly new area, still growing, with hopes of a Visitor Center, Amphitheater and Splash Park in the future. In the works now is a Native American Medicine Wheel Herb Garden.
>> Download the Garden Map

 

Directory of Virginia Gardens

 

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS


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Local Actor to appear in Olive Kitteridge on HBO.

Local Actor to appear in Olive Kitteridge on HBO.

Local talent Devin Druid will appear in the upcoming miniseries on HBO Olive Kitteridge.

Devin plays Christopher Kitteridge, son of Olive and Henry Kitteridge (played by Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins, respectively).

Devin’s web site cam be found at DevinDruid.com

Olive Kitteridge Official Site: http://www.hbo.com/olive-kitteridge

 

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Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail

Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail

Parents traveling in the northern Shenandoah Valley and Virginia Piedmont may find great fun for their kids right at their fingertips with the new Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail.

Great County Farms

Great County Farms

Designed with kid navigation in mind, the trail will let you and/or your darling get an idea of what’s cool in that neck of the woods.

Here’s a primer.

On your mobile device, go to www.VirginiaKidsTrail.com. Filter the directory by region or by subcategory. For example, if you’re traveling Route 11 or perhaps Interstate 81 and want to see what’s nearby that the kids would enjoy, you’d click “Filter by: Region” and choose “Shenandoah Valley.” Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail

An example of what you will find within the mobile site are family festivals like Fall Festival at Massanutten Resort and Great Country Farms’ Pumpkin Harvest Festival, complete with photos, address, phone number and website for more information. Some of the attractions are Bryce Resort Mountain Bike Trails, Dinosaur Land, and Shenandoah Caverns. There are orchards, farms, museums, outdoor recreation, and even fun history stops along the way.

 

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS


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Virginia Celebrates American Craft Week

Virginia Celebrates American Craft Week

It always makes me feel good to know I’ve supported local businesses, especially the artisans. I often look for handmade jewelry, scarves and sketches to store away for gift-giving, and this week – American Craft Week, October 3-12, 2014 – celebrates those treasures I love.

Jeaneane McKinnon, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, poses with her hand made jewelry. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com

Jeaneane McKinnonis an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com

This season has many of us out and about anyway, soaking in the fall color, enjoying cooler temperatures, and tasting the local food, wine and craft beer. Why not also seek out the local galleries and shops to discover beautiful, and often affordable, homegrown artistry that awaits?

Make a scenic drive out of the Virginia Artisan Trails. There are more than 20 to choose from, and they’re all over the state. Wherever you want to go, there’s an artisan trail dotted with treasure troves nearby.

Williamsburg Gallery Crawl

Williamsburg Gallery Crawl

American Craft Week Events:

Other Crafts to Consider:

>> More Arts & Crafts Events 

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS.


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Virginia Birds: Explore Your Wild Side

Virginia Birds: Explore Your Wild Side

As the season begins to change, now is a great time to pack the binoculars and experience the best of Virginia’s aviary wildlife.

If you’re looking to knock out “two birds with one stone,” hop on the Birding and Wildlife Trail. This driving trail, with loops off the main trail, links some of the best wildlife watching areas with walking and biking trails. Extending from the Coastal, Mountain and Piedmont areas, enjoy different species, climates and more.

Shore birds of the Eastern Shore.

Shore birds of the Eastern Shore.

COASTAL AREA
The Coastal Trail was the first to be developed. It features untouched barrier islands, cypress swamps, great stands of pine forest, and bayside salt marshes. There are 18 trail loops for you to explore. Be on the lookout for birds, butterflies, snakes, turtles, dragonflies, and more. The Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge is the ultimate birding site, with a list that comes close to 300 species! Each fall, like clockwork, the refuge becomes a scene of drama, as millions of songbirds, monarch butterflies and thousands of raptors head south for the winter. Clouds of tree swallows swirl overhead and flame orange and black-winged monarch butterflies float aloft. The protected habitats of the Refuge provides critical stopover areas, where birds and butterflies can rest and feed before resuming their arduous journey. Enjoy the visitor center, complete with a wildlife viewing area, foot trails, observations platforms and a photography blind.

The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News is home to 200 species of wildlife, where its natural habitat attracts warblers, woodland birds, waterfowl, osprey and more. Also on the list? A bald eagle! Check out the butterfly garden, stroll along the boardwalk to view coastal birds and more! This museum boast more than just birding wildlife; make a day of it to enjoy with the family!

Species in the Coastal Area include:

  • Wetland birds
  • Songbirds
  • Raptors
  • Warblers
  • Woodland
  • Osprey
  • Bald Eagle
The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail offers a variety of locations to view wildlife, such as this observation deck at New Point Comfort Natural Area Preserve, Mathews County.

MOUNTAIN AREA 
The Mountain Phase was the second phase to be developed. It features expansive mountain vistas, endless forest trails, large inland reservoirs and a taste of the western Piedmont. There are 34 loops for you to explore– now don’t forget your binoculars! Fairy Stone State Park offers sightings of ruby-throated hummingbird, woodpeckers, eastern wood-pewee, eastern phoebe, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren, blue-gray gnatcatcher as well as wood thrush, gray catbird, brown thrasher, three species of vireo, numerous warbler species, scarlet tanager, eastern towhee and red-winged blackbird. Phew! In the Lower New River Loop, the New River Trail State Park is a 52.5-mile long park that follows the New River from Pulaski to Galax. In this area you can see many tree and bird species: including mourning dove, ruby-throated hummingbird, red-bellied and downy woodpeckers, northern flicker, eastern phoebe, blue-gray gnatcatcher, eastern bluebird, American robin and gray catbird. Along the Star City Loop, Mill Mountain Park and Star Trail rises 800 feet above Roanoke. Nature enthusiasts and wildlife-watchers would probably find most interest in hiking the Star Trail. This 1.7-mile trail traverses from the Roanoke River to Roanoke’s highest point- the summit of Mill Mountain. See spring and fall migratory warblers and nesting migrants, such as bay-breasted Blackburnian prairie warblers, wood thrush, ovenbird, black-and-white warbler, white-eyed and red-eyed vireos, and indigo bunting.

Species in the Mountain Area include:

  • Ruby-throated hummingbird
  • Woodpeckers
  • Eastern wood-pewee
  • Eastern phoebe
  • White-breasted nuthatch
  • Carolina wren
  • Blue-gray gnatcatcher
  • Woodthrush
  • Eastern bluebird
  • American robin
  • Gray catbird
  • AND MORE!

PIEDMONT AREA
Completing the first statewide birding and wildlife trail in the U.S., the Piedmont Area offers 13 loops. The Piedmont area includes expansive grasslands, large forested tracts, pineland savannahs, several large reservoirs, and an abundance of rich history and culture!

The Northern Cardinal: State Bird of Virginia.

The Northern Cardinal: State Bird of Virginia.

Stop by James River State Park, with numerous trails along the river through a series of extensive wetlands. Search the overgrown meadows for indigo buntings, yellow throats, house wrens, widow skimmer and common whitetail dragonflies. As you wander the trails, be sure to watch overhead for a migrating monarch or a bald eagle, briefly joining the red-shoulder or red-tailed hawks and northern harriers overhead.  Walk the Beaver Lake Trail in Pocahontas State Park and catch views of wetland birds during the warmer months and wintering waterfowl, including bufflehead and ring-necked duck and flocks of wild turkey, and year-round owls. Located in the Green Springs Loop is Lake Anna State Park. Here you can see bald eagles cruising the banks and hunting along inaccessible reaches of the lake. In the winter months waterfowl can be seen offshore with flocks of ring-necked duck, redhead and greater and lesser scaups diving; and the occasional flock of tundra swans floats bye. During migration, flocks of warblers can be found along with the titmice and chickadees. Also watch for black-throated green, chestnut-sided, bay-breasted, palm, prairie and pine warblers. In winter, an assortment of ducks can be found, in addition to the more regular wood ducks that nest nearby, during migration look for large flocks of American robins and northern cardinals. Other species to look for in the area include hairy woodpeckers and white-breasted nuthatches.

Species in the Piedmont Area include:

  • Bald eagle
  • Red-shoulder/red-tailed hawks
  • Tundra swans
  • Prairie and pine warblers
  • American robin
  • Northern cardinal
  • AND MORE!

 

And if you’re interested in attracting these mesmerizing creatures to your own back yard, there’s plenty you can do to make that happen! A combination of food, water, structure, freedom from danger, climate change and more are going to draw in the species you’re looking to call the back yard home.

The Eastern Bluebird feeds on fruits of elderberry, hackberry, flowering dogwood and more.

The Eastern Bluebird feeds on fruits of elderberry, hackberry, flowering dogwood and more.

Go beyond bird seed and give birds access to plants that produce both fruits and insects. Not every species eats the same thing, so do your research. Many eat berries, nuts, nectar and the like, and migrate toward their preferred food. Do what ya gotta do to keep ‘em around! A happy yard is a happy bird.

Once a bird leaves your back yard for parts unknown, you can’t control what happens along its journey. And make no mistake, migrating is hard work! That’s why the things you do in your back yard and green spaces are so important to birds. Birding has become one of the most popular pastimes and with a little work, you can hang out on the back porch and take in the view from there!

For more information on the birds of Virginia and where to find them, visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or the State Arboretum of Virginia.

 


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13 Notes About Virginia’s Music Heritage

13 Notes About Virginia’s Music Heritage

What do you think of when you consider Virginia’s music scene? You may not realize just how robust and varied the genres are that originated here, or which big names got their start in Virginia.

Fife and Drums Corp at Colonial Williamsburg. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Fife and Drums Corp at Colonial Williamsburg. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

In honor of September being declared Virginia Music Heritage Month, consider these music notes.

1. The first musician came to Jamestown in 1618. Apparently he fiddled up quite a storm as it was in that year that dancing, fiddling and cards were banned on the Sabbath.1

2. Eighteenth-century Williamsburg indeed incorporated music into their everyday lives. According to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, “It is not surprising to search the inventories of these early citizens and find listed among other effects spinets, flutes, guitars, violins, violin-cellos, fifes, French horns, drums, harpsichords, organs, harmonicas and pianofortes.”2

3. Speaking of Colonial Williamsburg, have you seen and heard the signature Fifes and Drums in person?

Carter Family Fold. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com

Carter Family Fold. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com

4. Bristol, TN/VA is known as the Birthplace of Country Music thanks to the 1927 Bristol Sessions, which the legendary Johnny Cash called, “the single most important event in the history of country music.”

5. Speaking of Johnny Cash, did you know that his wife’s family (June Carter Cash) were the pioneers of country music? The Carter Family Fold, an acoustic-only venue honoring A.P. Sara and Maybelle, is located in Hiltons, Virginia, and you may visit for live concerts. Also check out the A. P. Carter Museum for artifacts and memorabilia.

6. Patsy Cline was born in Winchester and you can visit her home, as well as her grave, where you’ll find sweet mementos and pennies left for her.

7. 2014 was the year of Happy and “24 Hours of Happy,” the world’s first 24-hour music video by Pharrell Williams, the hip hop artist and producer from Virginia Beach.

8. Regarding Coastal Virginia talent, Williams’ Neptunes production team sidekick, Chad Hugo, hails from Virginia Beach, too, while hip hop queen Missy Elliott is from nearby Portsmouth and rapper/producer Timbaland is just a stone’s throw away in Norfolk.

9. Old time and bluegrass listeners readily know the name Ralph Stanley. He and his brother, Carter, are perhaps the best-known recorders of Man of Constant Sorrow, a track made popular by the film O Brother Where Art Thou, starring George Clooney.

Virginia is for Music Lovers®

10. If you ever “listen to the Mandolin Rain,” you’re listening to Williamsburg son Bruce Hornsby, a popular easy-listening/pop artist most renowned among baby boomers.

11. “The Most Awarded Act in the History of Country Music” is Staunton’s The Statler Brothers. They sang backup for Johnny Cash before breaking out with Flowers on the Wall.

12. The most recognized military bugle call is Taps, the resounding call to extinguish light at the day’s end. In 1862 while encamped at Harrison’s Landing (Berkeley Plantation), Union General Daniel Adams Butterfield with the help of bugler Oliver Willcox Norton, wrote Taps. 3, 4

13. Ella Fitzgerald, “The First Lady of Song,” was a jazz singer from Newport News who garnered 13 Grammy Awards over her career, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in 1992.

 

Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a Free Travel Guide or Download the eGuide.

 

1 “Was There Music in Jamestown in 1607?” The Colonial Music Institute.
2 Eighteenth-Century Music and Dance. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
3 “24 Notes that Tap Deep Emotions: The Story of Taps“. Villaneuva, Jari. BerkeleyPlantation.com.
4 “How Taps Became Associated with Funerals“. Villaneuva, Jari. TapsBugler.com.

© Casey for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2014

About FunRVA

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Seven for the Season: Destination Restaurants to Visit this Autumn

Seven for the Season: Destination Restaurants to Visit this Autumn

Labor Day has come and gone, and with the first of September comes the meteorological start of autumn.

It may still be a few weeks before trees across Virginia light up in fiery reds, brilliant oranges and stunning yellows, but change is definitely in the air. Days are a little bit shorter, nights a little bit cooler, and shadows a little bit longer.

Add Skyline Drive to your route to The Apple House.

Add Skyline Drive to your route to The Apple House.

Now is a great time to get out and explore Virginia, one bite at a time. Here are some ideas to guide you along your path.

EDIBLES

Autumn means heartier dishes; food to warm the body and soul. Across the state there are many wonderful offerings. Here are three that showcase a trio of Virginia’s culinary calling cards: apples, oysters and Brunswick Stew.

The restaurant:

The Apple House
4675 John Marshall Hwy., Linden
540-636-6329

The dish:

Apple Butter Donuts

Other:

At the northern entrance of Skyline Drive, in the middle of Virginia apple territory, The Apple House opened in 1963 selling ethereal rings of fried goodness.

These treats, donuts made from apple butter and adorned with a sprinkling of cinnamon, are still offered today. A location in Front Royal also offers the donuts.

Grab a dozen and enjoy the fall views along the byways here at the cusp of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The restaurant:

Island House Restaurant and Marina
17 Atlantic Ave., Wachapreague
757-787-4242

The dish:

Fried Oysters

Other:

We don’t need it to be an “R” month to enjoy one of Virginia’s gifts to the culinary world, but there is something about oysters in the fall, when they are plump and juicy.

They are great on the half-shell, but equally awesome in a light batter and deep fried until golden brown and delicious. The generously-portioned oyster dinner comes with two sides and housemade sweet potato biscuits.

Island House is designed after a 19th century life saving station; after dinner climb spiral staircase to lookout tower for stunning views of the surrounding marshes, tranquil and still in the autumn air.

Old Chickahominy House

Old Chickahominy House

The restaurant:

Old Chickahominy House
1211 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg
757-229-4689

The dish:

Brunswick Stew

Other:

First opened in 1955 by Melinda Cowles Barbour, this restaurant and antique store/gift shop offers many Virginia-centric dishes, including Brunswick Stew.

The stew, a richly flavored amalgamation of lima beans, corn and other vegetables with chicken and seasonings in a tomato broth base is sold with hot biscuits or crackers; or as part of Miss Melinda’s Special which also features a country ham biscuit, fruit salad, homemade pie and coffee or tea. It’s also offered to go by the pint or quart.

While in town, walk through Colonial Williamsburg under soaring trees adorned in golden leaves to get a taste of 18th century Virginia.

—   —   —

EXCURSIONS

Sometimes its not just the destination, but also the journey. Of course journeys are made all the better knowing there is some delicious food waiting for you at the end.

Here are some favorite places where getting there, and eating there, are rewarding anytime, including the fall.

The restaurant:

Charles City Tavern
9220 John Tyler Memorial Hwy., Charles City
804-829-5004

The view:

Located about halfway between Richmond and Williamsburg, Charles City Tavern is just off Route 5, also known as the John Tyler Memorial Hwy. This ribbon os asphalt follows the curves of the James River, and is a gorgeous drive any time of the year, including the fall, when the colors come alive.

Stop before or after your meal at one of the famous James River Plantations along the way for a real treat. Berkeley Plantation, where the first bourbon in America was distilled and this country’s first Thanksgiving was celebrated is just four miles away.

Other:

Located in a charming 1889 farmhouse on a 2,000-acre working farm, views of the surrounding countryside are afforded from the dining rooms and screened in porches.

At dinner try the Eastern Shore Crab Cakes with Ragout of Sweet Corn and Virginia Ham.

Chateau Morrisette

Chateau Morrisette

The restaurant:

Chateau Morrisette
287 Winery Rd. SW, Floyd
540-593-2865

The view:

Immediately off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Chateau Morrisette is widely known for the quality vintages that the winery produces.

But there is also a restaurant on-site serving up seasonal dishes and spectacular views. Opening up towards the west from the lodge-style dining room are gorgeous panoramas from the rolling hills and farmlands in the valley below to blue-hued mountains lit up in fall hues beyond.

Other:

It’s not just the incredible views once you get to Chateau Morrisette, but the ones along the way down the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take extra time to stop and snap photos.

Enjoy the Pork Tenderloin, which is infused with locally grown oregano, grilled and drizzled with roasted pepper and tomato coulis, and served with rice, fried green tomatoes and house collards. Pair it with a Cabernet Franc from the winery next door.

Hunter's Head Tavern

Hunter’s Head Tavern

The restaurant:

Hunter’s Head Tavern
9048 John S. Mosby Hwy., Upperville
540-592-9020

The view:

Route 50, also called John S. Mosby Highway, cuts an east-west path through scenic horse country in Virginia and offers many spectacular vistas, especially heading away from the Washington D.C. area where the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains loom on the horizon.

Both Upperville, where the tavern is located, and nearby Middleburg are scenic towns, providing a good opportunity to stop and take a walk exploring antique shops and galleries.

Other:

Hunter’s Head Tavern is located in the historic 1750 Carr House, which began as a log cabin when this part of Virginia was on the western frontier of the nation. There are charming colonial features throughout.

Enjoy the Stuffed Rainbow Trout with House-Cured Bacon and Local Mushrooms; the trout is sustainably harvested seafood. The bacon and mushrooms are locally sourced; organic meats and produce come from neighboring Ayrshire Farm, which raises only Certified Humane animals.

Peaks of Otter Lodge Restaurant with seating overlooking Abbott Lake

Peaks of Otter Lodge Restaurant with seating overlooking Abbott Lake

The restaurant:

Peaks of Otter Lodge Restaurant
85554 Blue Ridge Pkwy., Bedford
866-387-9905

The view:

Nestled in the mountains, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Peaks of Otter Lodge, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is a perfect place to enjoy nature, especially when the surrounding landscape comes afire with fall color.

The trip to the lodge is filled with scenic opportunities, as is the view from the lodge dining room. The space here opens up onto an expansive vista onto Abbot Lake and the rolling Blue Ridge in the background.

Other:

Blue Ridge Half Chicken, fried or roasted, and served with caramelized apples, cranberry relish, garlic mashed potatoes and housemade gravy. The fried chicken is done low and slow; it’s cooked to order and you’ll have to wait about 20 minutes but it’s essential in a perfect crispness.

On Friday nights there is a seafood buffet that includes crab legs, shrimp, clams, fish, oysters and even frog legs.

—   —   —

RECIPE:
BRUNSWICK STEW

This dish was created in 1828 in Brunswick County, according to legend, and is open to interpretation and inspiration as ingredients go. Rabbit and squirrel were once the primary components, while today chicken and pork are used. Most Brunswick stews are tomato based and augment an animal protein with lima beans, corn, potatoes, and often okra.

The result is a rich, thick, hearty stew with complex and complementary flavors ranging from savory to sweet to smoky. Make a big pot; the leftovers taste even better as the ingredients mesh and meld and become more unified. Cornbread is the quintessential accompaniment.

Chicken Ingredients

1 large (4–5 pound) boiler chicken

1 large onion, unpeeled and quartered

3 carrots, unpeeled and quartered

3 celery stalks, quartered

2 garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed

1 small bunch fresh Italian parsley

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon sea salt

Stew Ingredients

4–6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

3 pounds new potatoes, quartered

2 medium onions, chopped

3 tablespoons tomato paste

6 cups stewed or canned crushed tomatoes

2 cups prepared lima beans

2 cups corn kernels

1 tablespoon sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon ground red pepper

4 tablespoons butter

Method

Make the chicken. Place the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with water. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, and sea salt. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a slow boil and cook until the chicken is tender and the meat is falling off the bone, 45 to 90 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow to sit for 10 to
15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate or cutting board to cool; do not discard the broth. Debone the chicken and shred or chop the meat. Strain the broth; cool, and skim off the fat.

Make the stew. Cook the bacon, stirring frequently, in a
large stockpot over high heat until cooked. Add 4 cups of the reserved chicken broth to the stockpot. (If you don’t have
4 full cups, use additional chicken or vegetable stock, or water to make up the difference.) Add the potatoes and onion, and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the potatoes begin to soften, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste. Add the reserved chicken. Reduce to a simmer and add the tomatoes, lima beans, corn, sugar, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Stir well and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add additional broth or water if needed, but stew should be thick.

Remove the stew from the heat. Stir in the butter until it melts and serve immediately.

Yields 8-12 servings

This recipe is from my book, Dishing Up Virginia (Storey Publishing, 2013)

Patrick Evans-HyltonPatrick Evans-Hylton, a Johnson & Wales University trained chef, is a Norfolk, Va.-based food journalist, historian and educator. His work has appeared in print, television, radio and social media since 1995. Evans-Hylton calls his cookbook, Dishing Up Virginia, his love letter to the state’s foods and foodways. He blogs at PatrickEvansHylton.com.

 

© PEvansHylton for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2014

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Virginia Beer Trails & Tours

Virginia Beer Trails & Tours

Ready for a ride on the Virginia craft beer bandwagon? If so, please do one of two things: 1) Designate a driver or 2) Take a chauffeured tour. Here’s how you can responsibly sip, sample and enjoy Virginia craft beer.

Virginia's Blue Ridge Beer Loop

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Beer Loop

– TASTING ON YOUR OWN –

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Beer Loop was unveiled just in time for August Virginia Craft Beer Month and includes six breweries around the Roanoke Valley. The Loop is a self-guided tour, which enables you to take your time and truly enjoy that one beer you find and love.

  • Big Lick Brewing Co. – Roanoke – opening Labor Day weekend!
  • Callaway Brewing Co. – Callaway
  • Chaos Mountain Brewing – Callaway
  • Flying Mouse Brewery – Troutville
  • Parkway Brewing Co. – Salem
  • Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers – Roanoke

Here’s Something … When you visit all six breweries this month (and have your passport stamped) you’ll be entered to win prizes! Download the Brochure and Map

Spread your craft beer experience over a couple of days and throw in a winery (10 to choose from), a distillery and a cidery to make it a well-rounded Virginia tasting. An example is the Red, White and Brew Trail in Nelson County:

  • Blue Mountain Barrel House
  • Blue Mountain Brewery
  • Devils Backbone Brewing Company
  • Wild Wolf Brewery

Some of the Red, White and Brew sites are also on the Nelson 151 Trail. See the Map

In a similar way, the Brew Ridge Trail incorporates many of the sites mentioned above, plus hops over to Charlottesville to pick up Starr Hill and South Street breweries. Additional attractions and places to stay are also listed for consideration.

– CHAUFFEURED TOURS –

Richmond Brewery Tours

Richmond Brewery Tours

Richmond Brewery Tours has been doing the driving for craft beer enthusiasts for two years, and there’s no sign of business slowing down. Craft beer is exploding in the Richmond region, with new breweries seeming to pop up all the time. The 14 passenger bus delivers you and your friends to three Richmond breweries for tastings and tours. Special tour events, like “Brews & Burlesque” are a hit with locals and visitors alike. Regular public tours are available Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Book Your Tour

Reston Limousine is running the NoVA Brew Bus to Mad Fox Brewing, Port City Brewing and Forge Brew Works on September 6, departing from Reston Town Center. Get behind-the-scenes tours, tasting, and even lunch at Mad Fox when you book this all-day craft beer excursion. Book Your Tour

Additional Upcoming Tours:

– STAY LONGER –

The Mark Addy Inn

The Mark Addy Inn

Holladay House Bed and Breakfast in Orange is offering private tours for two to six in a luxury Cadillac Escalade. Tour sites can include breweries, wineries or cideries. This is an add-on to your stay with rates from $225 for six.

Stay with The Mark Addy Inn in Nellysford and get a taste of the aforementioned Red, White and Brew Trail. This package is good for two nights until August 28 (better hurry!), and includes their three-course breakfast, plus a bottle of red Virginia wine, a bottle of white Virginia wine, and a six-pack of Virginia craft beer to take home. Six VIP vouchers are included for wine and/or craft beer tours and tastings, plus a $50 discount on a four-hour chauffeured tour. Rates start at $355 for two (room included). Book Now

Belle Hearth Bed and Breakfast in Waynesboro invites you to stay two nights and receive a welcome basket of wine or beer and other goodies. Your stay will include a chauffeured tour to three wineries and/or microbreweries. Rates from $380 (room included). Offer good through November 30, 2014.

Now that Staunton has two craft breweries to boast, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel has put together a craft beer package for your visit. Stay a night and receive a six-beer flight at Redbeard, two pints at Shenandoah Valley Brewing, and a free tasting at Hops retail store, plus a gift certificate to Shenandoah Pizza, breakfast, and parking. Rates from $199 for two. Book Now

Where will your love of craft beer take you? Check out Virginia.org/CraftBeer to see what you’re missing.

Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a Free Travel Guide.

© Casey for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2014

About FunRVA

We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!

RTCC artists have been nominated for awards

RTCC artists have been nominated for awards

rsz_rtcc_big_0_1_

Also this year, some really exceptional artists have been nominated for awards. Here they are:

Best Musical
Cabaret, Richmond Triangle Players
The Color Purple, Virginia Repertory Theatre
The Drowsy Chaperone, Swift Creek Mill
Fiddler on the Roof, Virginia Repertory Theatre
Shrek The Musical, Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Direction (Musical)
Robin Arthur, Shrek the Musical
Chase Kniffen, The Color Purple
Penny Ayn Maas, Cabaret
Richard Parison, Fiddler on the Roof
Tom Width, The Drowsy Chaperone

Best Actor (Musical)
David Benoit, Fiddler on the Roof
Ronnie Brown, Shrek the Musical
Chris Hester, Cabaret
Jason Marks, Shrek the Musical
Josh Marin, The Color Purple
Jerold Solomon, The Color Purple

Best Actress (Musical)
Felicia Curry, The Color Purple
Grey Garrett, Beyond the Rainbow, Swift Creek Mill
Christie Jackson, The Drowsy Chaperone
Nicole Oberleitner, Caberet
Aly Wepplo, Shrek the Musical

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Musical)
Steve King, The Drowsy Chaperone
Josh Marin, The Wild Party, Firehouse Theatre
Doug Schneider, Cabaret
Matt Shofner, The Drowsy Chaperone
Scott Wichmann, Olympus on my Mind, Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Musical)
Carolyn Meade, The Wild Party
Carolyn Minor-Daughtry, The Color Purple
Nicole Oberleitner, The Drowsy Chaperone
Desiree Roots, The Color Purple
Jeanie Rule, Cabaret

Best Musical Direction
Paul Deiss, The Drowsy Chaperone
Kim Fox, Cabaret
Ben Miller, The Color Purple
Ben Miller, The Wild Party
Anthony Smith, Fiddler of the Roof

Best Choreography
Robin Arthur, Shrek the Musical
Dennis Clark, The Drowsy Chaperone
Karen Getz, Fiddler on the Roof
Penny Ayn Maas, Cabaret
Leslie Owens-Harrington, The Color Purple

Best Play
Clybourne Park, Cadence Theatre in collaboration with Virginia Repertory Theatre
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Firehouse Theatre (aka ‘Chad Deity’)
Good People, Cadence Theatre in collaboration with Virginia Repertory Theatre
Joshua Plant, Chamberlayne Actors Theatre
Quality of Life, HATTheatre

Best Direction (Play)
Anna Johnson, Detroit, Cadence Theatre in collaboration with Virginia Repertory Theatre
Anna Johnson, Good People
Kerry McGee, Chad Deity
David Emerson Toney, ‘night, Mother, Firehouse Theatre
Keri Wormald, Clybourne Park

Best Actor (Play)
Joseph Carlson, A Streetcar Named Desire, Firehouse Theatre
Jeff Cole, Wittenberg, Henley Street/Richmond Shakespeare
Aaron Orensky, Joshua Plant
Alexander Sapp, Grace, TheatreLAB
Scott Wichmann, Say Goodnight Gracie, Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Actress (Play)
Eva DeVirgilis, Hypocrites & Strippers, Richmond Triangle Players
McLean Jesse, Clybourne Park
Katrinah Carol Lewis, Death & the Maiden, Henley Street/Richmond Shakespeare
Catherine Shaffner, ‘night, Mother
Dawn A. Westbrook, Good People

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Play)
Andrew Firda, Clybourne Park
Mauricio Marces, Chad Deity
Stephen Ryan, The Importance of Being Earnest, Henley Street/Richmond
Shakespeare/Richmond Triangle Players
Alexander Sapp, Richard III, Henley Street/Richmond Shakespeare
Alexander Sapp, Tartuffe, Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Play)
Jennifer Frank, The Dixie Swim Club, Swift Creek Mill
Jacquie O’Connor, Good People
Melissa Johnston Price, Other Desert Cities, Virginia Repertory Theatre
Debra Wagoner, Tartuffe
Raven Wilkes, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henley Street/Richmond Shakespeare

The Ernie McClintock Award for Best Ensemble Acting
Clybourne Park
Detroit
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Grace
Quality of Life

Most Promising Newcomer
Isabella Cipolina, The Miracle Worker, Swift Creek Mill
Ally Dodds, Fiddler on the Roof
Brad Frazier, Tartuffe
Grace Mincks, Beyond the Rainbow
Diego Salinas, Joshua Plant

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design
Geno Brantley, Chad Deity
Joe Doran, The Drowsy Chaperone
Joe Doran, The Color Purple
Lynne M. Hartman, Other Desert Cities
Robert Perry, Fiddler on the Roof

Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design
Maura Lynch Cravey, The Drowsy Chaperone
Sue Griffin, The Color Purple
Sue Griffin, Fiddler on the Roof
Sue Griffin, Tartuffe
Elizabeth Weiss Hopper, Shrek the Musical

Outstanding Achievement in Set Design
Ben Burke, Other Desert Cities
Tennessee Dixon, Death & the Maiden
Frank Foster, Cabaret
Ron Keller, Color Purple
Tom Width, The Drowsy Chaperone

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design
Andrew Craig, Death & the Maiden
Derek Dumais, The Color Purple
Chase Kniffen, Say Goodnight Gracie
Joey Luck, Cabaret
Joey Luck, Chad Deity

Outstanding Achievement in Fight Choreography
James Long, Chad Deity

Liz Marks Memorial Award for Ongoing Contribution to Richmond Area Theater
The Acts of Faith Festival

About FunRVA

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