Episode 39: Lee Hartman, Bluestone Vineyard

Bluestone Vineyards
Courtesy: Bluestone Vineyard

We are exploring the Shenandoah Valley AVA on this edition of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country. Central and Northern Virginia often get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to Virginia wine, but the Shenandoah Valley is also showing great promise for the fruit of the vine.

In fact, the Shenandoah Valley AVA is home to more than two dozen vineyards and wineries. Lee Hartman, the general manager and head winemaker for Bluestone Vineyard in Bridgewater joins me on the show this week.  Find out what makes this area so unique for viticulture. Plus, Lee is sharing his award-winning Chardonnay that was featured in the 2016 Virginia Governor’s Cup. Enjoy the show!

Visit Bluestone Vineyard

4828 Spring Creek Rd,
Bridgewater, VA 22812

Follow Bluestone Vineyard 


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

Follow Jefferson Vineyards: 

Episode 37: Katie DeSouza, Casanel Vineyards

Casanel Vineyards
Katie DeSouza
Katie DeSouza, Casanel Vineyards

We are exploring Casanel Vineyards & Winery in Loudon County, Virginia on this week’s edition of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country. It’s a family owned and operated vineyard & winery in the heart of Leesburg in the Middleburg AVA.The winery opened for business in 2008 and specializes in small lot hand crafted wines.

Casanel winemaker Katie Desouza is my guest this week. From construction to agriculture, Katie will share her family’s journey into the Virginia winemaking business. As a young, talented female winemaker, Katie also discusses what it like to thrive as a woman in a male-dominated industry.

We also talk about Casanel’s vast portfolio including some unique selections such as Carménère that pays homage to her father’s roots and a classic Port offering. They are also committed to preserving the rich heritage of The Real American Grape by offering a Sparkling Norton. Many of the offerings are only available at the winery, so make sure to visit Katie soon! Listen in to hear my interview with the lovely Katie DeSouza.

Visit Casanel Vineyards & Winery 

17956 Canby Rd
Leesburg VA 20175

Tasting Room Hours

Thursday: 2pm-6pm
Friday-Monday: 11am-6pm
Tuesday & Wednesday: CLOSED

Follow Casanel Vineyards 

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 35: Jason Knight, Saudé Creek Vineyards

Saude Creek

We are taking the show on the road this week for a visit to Saudé Creek Vineyards in Lenexa, Virginia.   Saudi Creek is a member of Virginia’s Colonial Wine Trail which is also home to Williamsburg Winery, New Kent Winery and James River Cellars. The Colonial Wine Trail runs along the I-64 corridor east of Richmond.

The property is owned by John Britt and Jason Knight. Jason also serves as the winemaker for Saudé Creek. On the program Jason shares his vision for making wine in the Commonwealth. Currently, they are growing many varietals including Vidal Blanc, Traminette, Viognier, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot and Chambourcin. They are also sourcing grapes from other properties to add more diversity to their wine portfolio.

Like so many places in Virginia, this land has a lot of historical significance. Jason tells us about the connection between our first president George Washington and his property. Plus, we’ll taste his award winning Cabernet and discuss future plans for the vineyard and winery on this edition of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country.

Visit Saudé Creek

6230 Cooks Mill Rd
Lanexa, VA

Tasting Room Hours:

Mon, Wed, Thurs, Sat & Sun: 11am-6pm
Fri: 11am-9pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Episode 33: Joe Dombroski, New Kent Winery

New Kent Winery

On this edition of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country, we are headed to the Colonial Virginia Wine Trail for an interviewNew Kent Winery
with Joe Dombroski at New Kent Winery in New Kent, Virginia.  If you are not familiar with New Kent, it’s one of the few vineyard properties southeast of Richmond. The Dombroski family purchased the property in 2014. They are producing some Virginia favorites like Vidal Blanc and many classics from Chardonnay and Merlot. The Dombroski’us are also pleased with their recent bottling of Norton (the real American grape), which they named For Pete’s Sake in memory of New Kent’s first owner.

Joe talks about his journey from law enforcement to winery owner. Plus, he shares his inspiration for getting into the business and future plans for New Kent and we are sampling the Norton  on the show.  It’s all hands on deck for the Dombroski family. Joe’s wife Jo Anna and their children play critical roles in the business. They also enjoy hosting wine dinners in the wine cellar and would love to welcome you the next time you are in the Colonial Williamsburg area. Enjoy the show!

A new episode of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country airs every Saturday morning at 8:30 on Cville 107.5 and 1260 WCHV. You can also stream the show nationwide on the Tune In app by searching for WCHV/

Visit New Kent Winery

8400 Old Church Road
New Kent, Virginia 23124
(804) 932-8240

Episode 31: Andrew Hodson, Veritas Vineyards & Winery

Veritas Vineyard & Winery

Andrew Hodson, owner of Veritas Vineyards & Winery in Afton, Virginia joins me in studio for this episode of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country.

Andrew & Patricia Hodson opened the doors to Veritas nearly 20 years ago. The operation is truly a family affair with each one of their children playing a vital role in the business (Listen to my interview with their daughter and Veritas winemaker, Emily Pelton). Veritas is one of the most beautiful properties in the Commonwealth complete with more than fifty acres of vines, a tasting room nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a quaint Farmhouse Inn and will soon be home to a new wine school. The family patriarch Andrew Hodson earned his diploma certification with the Wine Spirit and Education Trust (WSET) and is now an Approved Programme Provider (APP) with the WSET. He plans on launching the school in 2018.

On the show, Andrew discuss the school, his favorite wines and how he made the leap from a pediatric neurologist in England to a  vineyard owner and winemaker in the heart of Virginia.


151 Veritas Lane
Afton, Virginia

Tasting Room Hours:

Monday-Friday 9:30-5:30
Saturday-Sunday 11:00-5:00
Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day

Tasting fees are $10 per person

Episode 30: Jay Youmans MW, Virginia Governor’s Cup

Jay Youmans MW

Jay YoumansOur special guest today is Jay Youmans. Jay is a Master of Wine, Certified Wine Educator, Advanced Sommelier, owner of the Capital Wine School in Washington, D.C., and the judging director for the Virginia Governor’s Cup.

The Virginia Governor’s Cup, now in its 35th year, is considered one of the most rigid wine competitions in the country. Nearly 500 Virginia wines were entered in the 2017 competition and 23 selections received gold medals. Jay talks about the rules of the competition, the judging panel and he’ll also share his thoughts on the growth and quality revolution of Virginia wine.

Jay is 21st American to achieve the prestigious Master of Wine title. He’ll discuss his wine education journey with us on this edition of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country. Catch a new episode every Saturday morning at 8:30 on Cville 107.5 and 1260 WCHV and live stream the show by searching WCHV on the Tune In app.

Episode 28: Brad Hansen, Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery

Brad Hansen, Prince Michel

Brad Hansen, the winemaker and GM from Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery is joining me in studio this week. Pet Nat Prince Michel is located off Route 29 in Leon just south of Culpepper and they have been a mainstay on the Virginia wine scene since the early 80’s.

Brad is an esteemed winemaker compiling more than 400 award-winning wines  to his name over the past two decades. He’ll tell us all about the Prince Michel and Radian River collections. Prince Michel has plenty of offerings for just about every palate and price point. Plus, I am super excited because we are sampling one of Brad’s brand new releases – the Pét-Nat.

It’s an ancient technique that is making a big comeback. In fact Bon Appetit recently referred to Pét-Nat as Champagne’s cool kid sister.  Discover the charm of this unique bubbly with Brad Hansen on this episode of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country.

Visit Prince Michel:

154 Winery Lane
Leon, VA 22725

Tasting Room Hours:
Sunday – Thursday 10am-6pm  
Friday & Saturday 10am-7pm


Episode 26: Stephanie Wright, Lovingston Winery

Lovingston Winery
Lovingston Winery
Lovingston Winery

Stephanie Wright, with Lovingston Winery stops by the studio for this episode of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country. The winery is located in Lovingston, Virginia. It’s a lovely 45 minute scenic drive south of Charlottesville. Stephanie discussed her family’s wine growing adventures in Georgia before they settled in Virginia wine country. We are also talking about Pinotage. It’s a grape variety we don’t see very often outside of South Africa. With so much talk about Bordeaux varieties thriving in Virginia, Stephanie shares their success secrets of growing this obscure wine variety in Virginia. The family bleeds orange & blue and they have a special wine that pays homage to UVA that’s perfect for a tailgate. Listen in to learn more.

Plus,  a little later in the show we are talking about D-Vine, “the keurig of wines.” Joe Thomas filed a special report from Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show about this new wine phenomenon and he’ll let us know when it will be available in the states.

Visit Lovingston Winery

885 Freshwater Cove Lane
Lovingston, VA 22949

Tasting Room Hours

January – March
Saturdays 11 to 5

April – November
Wed – Fri: 10 to 4
Sat & Sun: 11 to 5


Episode 24: Michael Shaps, Michael Shaps Wineworks

Michael Shaps

Michael Shaps

From Boston to Burgundy to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Michael Shaps shares his wine journey on this episode of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country.

Michael Shaps arrived on the Virginia wine scene in 1995 and was a driving force behind growing the brands of Jefferson and King Family. He established his own label in Virginia a decade ago and has received numerous awards and accolades over the years.

Shops now spends most of his time between the vines of Virginia and his winery in Burgundy, France.

He has the largest “contract winemaking operation in the Commonwealth, he consults on numerous wine projects and he’s also bringing fun value wines to consumers by embracing a change in how some of his products are packaged. From wine on tap and wine growlers to high-end Burgundies, Shaps has a little something for every palate and every budget.

Visit Michael Shaps Wineworks:

Michael Shaps Wineworks 
1781 Harris Creek Way            
Charlottesville, VA 22902
 P: 434-296-3438                        
H: M-Sun 11 am – 5 pm

Wineworks Extended  
1585 Avon Street Extended
Charlottesville, VA, 22902
P: 434-529-6848                  
H: W-Sun 1 pm – 7 pm                

Episode 22: Jennifer Breaux, Breaux Vineyards

Jennifer Breaux

Jennifer Breaux, the VP of Sales & Hospitality and Director Education at Breaux Vineyards in Loudoun County is our special guest on this episode of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country. 

Breaux Vineyards is celebrating 20 years of winemaking in Virginia. What started out as three “accidental” acres of vines on the family’s property in the mid 90’s has grown into one of the largest vineyards in Virginia with more than 100 acres under vine. On the show, Jennifer shares her family’s winemaking journey, some of her favorite holiday pairings and why she thinks the rustic and elegant Nebbiolo grape is thriving at Breaux Vineyards.

Visit Breaux Vineyards:

Breaux Vineyards,
36888 Breaux Vineyards Ln,
Purcellville, VA 20132

Episode 19: Tim Gorman, Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery

We are heading to Afton, Virginia for this episode of Crystal Palate’s Wine Country. Tim Gorman, winemaker and vineyard manager with Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery shares his family’s journey of winemaking in the Commonwealth. For the Gorman’s, Cardinal Point has always been a family affair.

While stationed abroad, Tim’s parents developed a deep respect and love for German Riesling. The family’s time in Europe served as the inspiration for the family vineyard in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The first vines were planted at Cardinal Point 30 years ago. What started out as a few acres in the mid 80’s has turned into a thriving business for the Gorman’s. Cardinal Point now has 15 acres of vinifera vines on the farm in Afton and a vibrant tasting room.

On the show, Tim shares his family’s winemaking journey, the risks and rewards of growing wine in Virginia and how spending time in Europe as a child was instrumental in his appreciation of great wine and great food.

Plus, we are opening up Tim’s award-winning 2014 Clay Hill Cabernet Franc. This vintage was part of the 2016 Virginia Governor’s Cup case.  Find out Tim’s favorite pairing with Cab Franc and some other great wines that deserve a place at your dinner table.

Visit Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery

9423 Batesville Road
Afton, Virginia 22920

Tasting Room: Open  daily from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Tastings, $10 per person

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 18: Paradise Springs Winery & Barrel-Art

Paradise Springs Winery

Kirk WilesKirk Wiles, co-founder of Paradise Springs Winery, the first bi-coastal winery in the country is joining me in Crystal Palate’s Wine Country on this episode. What started as a small operation  in quaint Clifton, Virginia a decade ago has expanded to a second operation across the country in Santa Barbara, California. From coast to coast, Paradise Springs is taking advantage of the unique growing conditions and terroir in both locations. Kirk shares the vast history of the Virginia property and how he his bringing a taste of the Commonwealth to his tasting room in Santa Barbara. Listen to the show here and catch a new show every Saturday morning at 8:30 on Cville 107.5 and 1260 WCHV. Download the Tune in app and search for WCHV to listen live nationwide.

Paradise Springs Winery
13219 Yates Ford Road
Clifton, VA  20124
(703) 830-WINE

Tasting room is open daily


Plus, the holidays are right around the corner and Mike Prieto with Barrel-Art will be stopping by to share some great ideas for unique gifts for the wine lover in your life. You’ll find everything from custom-made adirondack chairs, personalized Lazy Susan barrel heads, riddling racks from Champagne and even wine barrel beds for your precious pooch. Mike also shares how a devastating incident several years ago would later give root to this thriving business. My interview with Mike starts at 16:50.

Mike Prieto – Owner
(757) 639-5771
Hampton, VA

Read more about Barrel-Art in a recent article I wrote for hrScene.com.

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.