Discover VA Wine TasteLive Event!

We’re getting excited for the first ever Virginia Wine TasteLive event on October 25th from 8:00pm – 9:30pm EST!

 Local wine blogger Dezel Quillen has generously taken the time to organize this event- which was no small feat considering most of the planning was taking place during harvest and, since a key feature of TasteLive events is that the actual winemakers will participate during the tasting, required him getting in touch with the winemaker’s themselves (and being married to a winemaker, I know how hard that is!).  Dezel also organized the event with the people at TasteLive and worked with Amy Ciarametaro to secure sponsorship for the event from the Virginia Wine Board!

 It looks like everything is coming together well and the wines are on their way to wine bloggers across the country!  We’re hoping a lot of you will participate in the virtual tasting as well!  It’s really easy!  All you need is a Twitter account and one (or all!) of these great wines:

 a) Kluge Estate 2007 SP Rosé  

b) Afton Mountains 2009 Gewürztraminer

c) Keswick Vineyards 2009 Viognier

d) Jefferson Vineyards 2009 Reserve Chardonnay

e) Blenheim Vineyards 2009 Merlot

f) Mountfair Vineyards 2008 Wooloomooloo

Here is an introduction to TasteLive from Cailyn McCauley: 

Founded in 2008 and originally called “Twitter” this is the pioneering “virtual wine-tasting” concept. While most online wine tastings consist of a series of YouTube videos of someone drinking wine and telling the audience about it, TasteLive incorporates the viewer by inviting them to taste along. Whether the viewer is a consumer wine club member tasting their shipment with the winemaker, or trade and media tasting new releases the TasteLive platform provides you with a focused conversation about your wines.
 We are excited to be partnering with the Virginia Wine Board in a series of events tasting through Virginia Wines.  The October 25 event will kick-off the promotion and we appreciate you joining.
 Steps we need to take:  TasteLive recommends the following browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari. Some versions of Internet Explorer will not display the login and profile information at the top of the menu bar, so we recommend switching browsers if you have any problems viewing.
 Create a TasteLive Username using your Twitter account name and email address
            Go to and click on the Twitter Button to create your account
            Use the same Twitter name, email address and password for your TasteLive User Name.  Once your account is created, login and go to Account Settings, click on AutoPost Settings and verify that your Twitter Account is linked. If it is not, click on the link button to setup. This will allow any posts on TasteLive to go to your Twitter Account.

Once you have your TasteLive account (which is free!) created and linked to your Twitter account, you are ready to start!  On October 25th from 8:00-9:30pm EST, you’ll log on to TasteLive, open up your wines, and taste along with the winemakers from each of the wineries!  As we post tweets about the wines on TasteLive, they will also be posted directly to Twitter, so you can follow and participate in the conversation directly on Twitter as well by following #vawine and the individual wineries.  Here are the Twitter handles for the participating wineries:

a) Kluge Estate @KlugeEstate

b) Afton Mountains @AftonMountain

c) Keswick Vineyards @KeswickVineyard

d) Jefferson Vineyards @th_jefferson

e) Blenheim Vineyards @BlenheimWines

f) Mountfair Vineyards @MfVvinotweets

 In order to make it even easier for you to participate, we’re offering a special deal on our 2009 Viognier for you to taste and tweet about during the event!

If you’re in the area and come by the tasting room, we will give you an additional 5% off of the 2009 Viognier, on top of other quantity and wine club discounts!  That means wine club members will be getting 25% off the 2009 Viognier for the tasting!  If you’re too far to visit, we are offering free standard shipping with a 3 bottle wine purchase, as long as one of those 3 wines is the 2009 Viognier for the tasting!

Looking forward to tasting with you on October 25th!



November Barrel Tasting

Please join us as winemaker Stephen Barnard walks us through the 2010 wines for the first time! We are offering four sessions on November 13th and November 14th at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm each day. Space is limited for each session so please reserve your spot ASAP!!

The event fee for Wine Club members is $15 and for non-members the fee is $20.

Please RSVP to Carrie or Sandy at 434-244-3341 or by email to or

We look forward to seeing you and to hear what you think of the new wines that will be coming in 2011!


Greetings everyone!  I hope this blog post finds you hungry and well!
I happen to find that I watch TV stations such as the Food Network when I am hungry which is not always the best idea.  However, the Food Network does inspire me to go outside my comfort cooking zone.  This past week I thought I would try my hand at making Risotto.  While it was not that difficult, it does take some attention.  Let me tell you, it was well worth it!  The recipe  below is both filling and satisfying.

Wine Pairing: 2009Viognier
Recipe: Lemony Risotto with Shrimp and Asparagus
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water (suggest replacing water with white wine)
  • 3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Bring broth and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add asparagus and simmer, uncovered, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop cooking, then drain (suggestion: grill or bake asparagus with some salt and pepper instead of boiling for extra flavor). Keep broth at a bare simmer, covered.

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed.

Stir in 1/2 cup broth mixture and briskly simmer, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy and tender but still al dente (it should be the consistency of a thick soup), about 18 minutes. (There will be leftover broth mixture.)

Stir in shrimp and cook until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes (suggestion: grill or sauté shrimp before adding to the rice for extra flavor) .

Stir in asparagus, zest, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, parmesan, parsley, and pepper to taste. (Thin risotto with some of remaining broth if necessary.)

Recipe from
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Monthly Raffle Starts Today!

Starting today Keswick will be holding monthly raffles!

Come in for a tasting and with every three bottles of wine purchased, not only will you get your tasting fee waived but you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win the monthly prize. The raffle prize for the month of October is a $50 gift card to the Inn on Poplar Hill Bed and Breakfast.

We will draw a winner at the end of each month and will contact you by phone or email. Good luck!!!