Episode 38: Jefferson Vineyards

Jefferson Vineyards
Chris Ritzcovan & Attila Woodward

We are going back to the beginning of Virginia viticulture to explore the history and legacy of Thomas Jefferson and Phillip Mazzei.  My guests this week are Attila Woodward, the co-owner of Jefferson Vineyards and Chris Ritzcovan, the winemaker at Jefferson.

The Woodward family has been at the helm of Jefferson Vineyards for three generations. Attila shares his family’s history, stewardship and preservation of the iconic property since the 1930’s. Attila and Chris share what it’s like to walk in the footsteps of Jefferson and Mazzei to create a new generation of viticulture in the heart of Virginia wine country. Plus, we are talking about Jefferson’s extensive wine portfolio, award-winning selections, 35 years of winemaking for the Woodward family and future plans for the new generation of leadership at the estate. Enjoy the show!

Visit Jefferson Vineyards

Award-Winning Wines
Courtesy: Jefferson Vineyards

Tasting Room Hours (As of April 1, 2017)

Daily: 11am-6pm
Tasting Fee: $12

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Episode 36: Monticello Wine Trail Festival Preview

Monticello Wine Trail Festival

The Monticello Wine Trail Festival has become the premiere spring wine event in Central Virginia. The festival features three fun-filled days of exploring the very best wine and food the region has to offer. From exclusive tours with the winemaker to a sparkling brunch and a grand tasting event, this festival offers something for everyone. Stephen Barnard, the winemaker from Keswick Vineyards, joins me in studio on this week’s edition of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country to talk about the festival. He’ll also share some of the history behind the Monticello Wine Trail.

Event Dates: April 13 – April 15, 2017

Participating Vineyards and Wineries
Afton Mountain Vineyards, Barboursville Vineyards, Blenheim Vineyards, Burnley Vineyards, Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery, Chestnut Oak Vineyard, Delfosse Vineyards and Winery, Early Mountain Vineyards, First Colony Winery, Flying Fox Vineyard, Gabriele Rausse Winery, Glass House Winery, Grace Estate Winery, Horton Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards, Keswick Vineyards, Kilaurwen Winery, King Family Vineyards, Loving Cup Vineyard and Winery, Michael Shaps Wineworks, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, Pollak Vineyards, Reynard Florence Vineyard, Stinson Vineyards, Stone Mountain Vineyards, Trump Winery, Veritas Vineyard & Winery, White Hall Vineyards, and Wisdom Oak Winery.

More Info: Monticello Wine Trail Festival

Episode 20: Thanksgiving Pairings

Bill Curtis, Tastings of CharlottesvilleIt’s all about holiday wines and Thanksgiving pairings on this episode of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country. For some great ideas, we invited Bill Curtis, the owner of Tastings of Charlottesville on the show. Curtis opened the doors to Tastings in 1990 and was one of the first people in the country to have a fully integrated restaurant, bar and wine shop under one roof.

Tastings has been a staple in downtown Charlottesville ever since it opened its doors 26 years ago. An eclectic blend of new and old world offerings are housed in the wine shop area of Tastings just waiting to be discovered by inquisitive palates.   Curtis tries every single wine before he buys to ensure a quality selection for his customers. Over the years, he has  garnered quite the reputation as a wine guru. Here are a few of the accolades Bill Curtis has received over the years.

“William C. Curtis is a leading authority on Virginia wines.” – New York Times 

“This dude knows his wine.” – Scott Jones, Southern Living

“If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, you would probably find him at Tastings of Charlottesville.” – Monticello.org

On the show this week, we are talking about classic and outside the box Thanksgiving pairings, the evolution of quality in Virginia wine, one of his favorite bottles of Virginia bubbly and perfect hostess gifts this holiday season. When you’re in Charlottesville, make sure to stop by and visit Tastings for an exceptional wine and food experience.

Tastings of Charlottesville

502 E. Market Street

Crystal Palate’s Wine Country airs every Saturday morning at 8:30 on Cville 107.5 and 1260 WCHV.  You can stream the show live each week on WCHV.com in the Charlottesville market. You can also  download the Tune In App or catch up on all episodes here.

Episode 14: Annette Boyd, Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office

On this episode of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country, Annette Boyd, the director for the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office joins me to discuss Virginia Wine Month!

The celebration of all things Virginia wine has been going strong every October since 1988. With more than 250 wineries to visit from the Eastern Shore to the Blue Ridge Mountains to Appalachia, there is literally something for everyone.  Annette is sharing some great events to take in across the Commonwealth throughout the month of October.  She also shares her love of wine and how she got into the wine business. Plus, we talk about the evolution of Virginia wine and what she hopes to see for the industry moving forward. Annette was recently named the Virginia Wine Person of Year for 2016 for her many contributions to the industry. She is ecnouraging everyone to share their Virginia wine experiences this month on social media by using #octvawinemonth. So whether you visit one of the many picturesque wineries, buy a bottle of Virginia vino from your local wine shop or enjoy a great dinner paired with Virginia wine at your favorite restaurant, share your photo on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

For a full list of Virginia wineries and events, please visit www.virginiawine.org.


Episode 9: Claude Thibaut, Thibaut-Jannison

Claude ThibautChampagne Master Claude Thibaut of Thibaut-Jannison dropped by the WCHV studios to talk about sparkling wine production in Virginia. Born and raised in the vineyards of Champagne, Claude shares his winemaking journey from France to California to Virginia. Often referred to as the king of sparkling wine in the Commonwealth, Claude discusses what it’s like to produce bubbly in Virginia. We also breakdown the complicated sweetness scale of sparkling wine, discuss non-vintage sparkling and perfect pairings with the Thibaut-Jannison Blanc de Chardonnay. Plus, Claude shares his first wine experience with us! Enjoy the show!

Episode 4: Erin Scala, DWS, Fleurie Restaurant

Erin Scala, DWSErin Scala, wine director for Fleurie Restaurant and Petit Pois Bistro joins me in studio this week to discuss a very special accolade from Wine Spectator magazine. Her award-winning wine list is not only arranged by region, but Erin also highlights the types of soil on the menu. So cool! Plus, we’re talking about some of Erin’s must try old-world and Virginia wine pairings with some of Chef Brian’s incredible culinary delights.  Check out Erin’s wine musings on her blog and be sure to visit her at Fleurie or Petit Pois!

Photo Courtesy: Eze Amos


Autumn Getaway in the Heart of Virginia Wine Country

I love the crisp, refreshing burst of  autumn air  on a cool October morning.  In my humble opinion, there is no better way to celebrate fall than by taking a drive along the winding roads of the Blue Ridge Mountains and looking out at the rolling hills that span the heart of Virginia Wine Country. This time of year conjures up images of ripe, plump grapes, a bountiful harvest and vibrant colors bursting from the trees that paint a magnificent landscape throughout Central Virginia.  For those of us lucky enough to call Virginia home, this is simply a way of life.

Pumpkin Patch at Carter’s Mountain, Charlottesville.

I had the privilege of living in Charlottesville for a few years and the lifestyle simply can’t be beat.  Virginia boasts more than 200 wineries with nearly half of them located in the Monticello AVA (American Viticultural Area).  I would highly recommend you visit the Charlottesville area to experience firsthand why Virginia has become the East Coast destination of choice for wine lovers.  President Thomas Jefferson, America’s first wine connoisseur saw tremendous promise in this fertile land and his lifelong dream of making Virginia a world class wine destination is finally being realized two centuries later.  Come experience all of the beauty and serenity this region has to offer.  Crystal Palate has you covered with recommendations on some of our  favorite wineries, Inns and restaurants.   Swirl & sip your way through the regions wine tasting rooms, savor sumptuous truffles at Gearharts Chocolates, dine at some of the area’s finest restaurants, relax in luxury at some of the most beautiful Inns in the country and perhaps take in a football game at UVA.  Round out your visit with a trip to Carter’s Mountain for a little apple picking. There is a little something for everyone here.  So what are you waiting for? Thomas Jefferson’s homeland is calling your name.

 Vineyards to Visit:

Charlottesville Area (Monticello AVA) 

Barboursville Vineyards – Founded in 1976, the Zonin family has played a formidable role in establishing Virginia as a world class wine destination.

Cardinal Point Winery – Nestled in the heart of Virginia Wine Country you will find this cozy & quaint tasting room.  The A6 is a must try.

Jefferson Vineyards – Jefferson may have never produced a bottle of wine in his 30 year effort. Two centuries later, the vines at his estate are flourishing.

Keswick Vineyards – Breathtaking scenery. The 2002 Viognier Reserve won best white wine in America.

King Family Vineyards – King Family has become synonymous with Polo and the family is known for their philanthropy efforts. They also make great wine and were awarded the Best Winery in 2013 in the C-Ville’s, Best of C-ville edition.

Moss Vineyards – A newcomer to the Virginia wine scene. Barry Moss is producing some beautifully balanced Bordeaux style blends.

Trump Winery (formerly Kluge Estate) – Produces some of the finest sparkling wines on the East Coast. The Blanc de blanc is sensational.

Veritas Vineyards & Winery – You will fall in love with the ambiance. Bring your sweetie and snuggle up by the fire with a nice flight of wine.

Places to Sip & Savor: 

Fleurie French Restaurant

Petit Pois



Tastings of Charlottesville

Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar 

Inn at Meander Plantation

Places to Stay:

Boards Head Inn 

Keswick Hall at Monticello 

Inn at Meander Plantation

Inn at Court Square 

Other Resources:

Virginia Wine