Saturday, May 18, 2013, boasts a springtime festival at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello—Wine & Roses. Wine & Roses is part of the Center for Historic Plants’ open house and will feature wine tasting, workshops, a tour of the gardens, plant sales, and a family activities table.
The Center for Historic Plants has its roots in Thomas Jefferson’s horticulture interests. The center was established at Monticello in 1987 and its members “collect, preserve, and distribute historic plant varieties and strives to promote greater appreciation for the origins and evolution of garden plants.” While Jefferson’s interest spanned a number of North American plants, this particular event will explore the history of rose cultivation, demonstrated at the picturesque Tufton Farm.
Tufton Farm “was one of Thomas Jefferson’s quarter farms and borders the Monticello plantation…Tufton served as important agricultural land, providing large amounts of crops and food sources for the Monticello plantation.” Today, Tufton houses the Center for Historic Plants, flourishing in a display of brightly colored flora.
Now that you know a bit about the history of Monticello’s plant life, you may be wondering what specific activities the Wine & Roses festival will entail:
10 a.m. – 11 a.m: A discussion with Doug Seidel about the “various types of old roses and their myriad virtues.”
11:15 a.m. – 12 p.m.: A garden tour led by Peggy Cornett, Curator of Plants at Monticello, “focusing on the antique rose collection.”
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.: The “Antique Rose Show” workshop with Doug Seidel.
1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Wine tasting with Gabriele Rausse, the Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello
1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.: A rose propagation and culture workshop with Briar Hartsock, the Nursery Manager
2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m.: A garden tour with Peggy Cornett
“Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” –Herbert Hoover
There’s still a bitter chill in the air here in Waynesboro, Virginia, but the warm weather is soon to come, bringing with it the 13th Annual Virginia Fly Fishing Festival: “Held on the banks of the South River in Downtown Waynesboro, this festival is the largest outdoor fly fishing event in the Mid-Atlantic. Casting class with instructors, over 40 exhibitors with the latest gear, children’s fishing pond and some of Virginia’s finest vintners are just some of the activities offered over the weekend!” –Visit Waynesboro
Take classes for beginners, chat with fellow sportsman, taste Virginia wine, and visit the many different vendors. Also, if you are interested in obtaining a fishing license, you’ll be able to purchase one right onsite: “[The festival is] proud to announce that attendees will be able to purchase their fishing licenses and check on their driver’s licenses at the festival this year! That’s right: A partnership between Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Game and Inland Fisheries means one-stop shopping for anglers.”
This year, we here at the Iris Inn are offering a Fly Fishing Festival Package for our guests. This includes tickets to either day of the event as well as lunch at a fantastic nearby restaurant, the Greenleaf Grill. Pricing includes the cost of your room plus $75. If you’re interested in booking a room for this fun, warm-weather package, click here.
“Masquerades disclose the reality of souls. As long as no one sees who we are, we can tell the most intimate details of our life.” –Fernando Pessoa
Masquerade. The word itself holds many connotations from fictional characters in lavish disguises to mysterious figures waltzing away in Regency Era ball rooms. And what do you get when you combine the extravagance of a masquerade with the energy of a New Year’s celebration? You get the chance to participate in your own Masked Ball at Veritas Vineyard & Winery in Afton, Virginia on December 31, 2012. The evening will include “wine and hors d’oeuvers followed by a five-course winemaker’s dinner at 8 p.m. in Saddleback Hall” as well as “dancing until midnight,” which is when the “masks come off and the champagne flows!” Perhaps you think the party ends there, in which case, you would be incorrect. At 12:30 am, breakfast will be served!
Black tie is optional, so dust off your fancy jackets and formal dresses, and make a grand appearance in style. Also, remember to book your room at the Iris Inn so that when you’re finally done celebrating a masked New Year, you can return to the comfort of your own bed and rest your tired dancing feet.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Out of all of the Monticello Wine Trails, the Southern Trail best reflects the work and accomplishments of well-known individuals, be they historical figures like Thomas Jefferson or modern day moguls like Donald Trump.
The first stop on this wine-tasting road trip is Monticello, the “the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, who inherited it….Located just outside Charlottesville, the plantation was originally 5,000 acres. At Jefferson’s direction, he was buried on the grounds, an area now designated as the Monticello Cemetery, which is owned by the Monticello Association, a lineage society of his descendants” (Monticello).
The next stop is Jefferson Vineyards, which still grows fruits that were selected by Thomas Jefferson in 1774. One thing that makes this winery and vineyard so unique is that it is entirely self-contained in Virginia. The grapes are grown onsite, and no fruit is purchased outside Virginia. As the winery states, “These choices are consistent with our values, and we believe they are true to Jefferson’s original vision of winemaking in Virginia” (Jefferson Vineyards). If you do make a stop at this vineyard, we recommend the Chardonnay!
Bleinheim Vineyards is next on the trip, and this property just happens to be owned by renowned musician Dave Matthews. Like the previously mentioned establishments, however, this one is also linked to Thomas Jefferson: “It was Blenheim where Thomas Jefferson and his bride, Martha, are said to have “rested and warmed themselves” after their coach stalled nearby during a snowstorm. Later, the Jeffersons continued on to Monticello on horses borrowed from Edward Carter. The property was sold in 1840 and the house burned a few years later” (Blenheim).
Lastly, there is Trump Winery, owned by Donald Trump, legendary real estate tycoon and star of NBC’s The Apprentice. This winery is known to have the best Brut in Central Virginia, and they also serve some fantastic cheese if you’re hungry for a midday snack.
Enjoy your Southern Trail road trip, and don’t forget to book your room at the Iris Inn!
Carter Mountain Orchard, which labels itself “a Charlottesville family tradition since 1912,” is a unique experience for all of its visitors. It boasts not only a vast number of apple and peach trees from which visitors can pick their own fruit, but also a bakery, a country store, and a wine shop. And this doesn’t even take into consideration the absolutely stunning views surrounding the orchard.
Carter Mountain Orchard is also well-known for its events and festivals, and coming up in a little more than a month is one such event. Starting on June 7, 2012 and continuing until October 4, 2012, every week the orchard will feature its Thursday Evening Sunset Series: “Come pick your own fruit when it’s a little cooler, shop in our Country Store, grab some donuts and cider from our bakery, and dinner from our Grill, and then head into the Carter Mountain Wine Shop for wine (tastings, by the glass, or by the bottle). Perch on our two large decks to listen to free live music, and catch an amazing sunset.”
Montpelier, as you may know, is a National Historic Landmark and also the lifelong home of former U.S. president James Madison. The estate is comprised of 2,650 acres in Orange County, Virginia, and it was built in 1723 by James Madison’s grandfather Ambrose, who called the property Mount Pleasant. Nowadays, Montpelier is a popular tourist attraction that boasts three annual festivals—the Montpelier Hunt Races, the Fiber Festival, and the Montpelier Wine Festival.
You will be quite delighted to learn that the Montpelier Wine Festival is only a month away. May 5-6, 2012, you will have the opportunity not only to visit and tour the beautiful grounds of Montpelier, but also to sample wine from 24 local wineries, indulge in delectable dishes prepared and served by festival vendors, and enjoy a variety of live events.
Want to bring the kiddies with you? Don’t be dissuaded by the “wine festival” title! There are plenty of children-friendly activities as well, including a free ride in the barrel train, face painting, kite-making, and a kite-flying contest. Instructions, stunts, and demonstrations will be provided by the Wings Over Washington Kite Club.
Book your room at the Iris Inn, and immerse yourself in wine and history!
We here at the Iris Inn know what makes those long days just a little bit more enjoyable: WINE! We are once again offering our ever popular Wine Therapy packages for price of $150 (plus the cost of the Iris Inn room of your choice). This package includes a light dinner on the Friday evening of your arrival, along with four desserts paired with four wines, all served on the Inn’s sunset deck. Next comes the Saturday events: breakfast, wine tasting at three premier vineyards, a gourmet lunch, and then a meal at the wine festival, along with live music and EVEN MORE WINE TASTING!!!! This package is made complete not only by a final delectable breakfast at the Inn, but also a complementary “Virginia Wine in My Pocket” app for your phone. Go ahead and book your room now.
And now, I present to you a list of upcoming festivals. Check our blog for posts closer to the event date, as they will list more details.
2. June 8-10 Veritas Starry Nights: A medley of bluegrass music, a delicious dinner, and an affluence of wonderful wine.
3. July 6-8 Veritas Starry Nights: In case you missed Round One of this event, here’s another opportunity for you to go!
4. July 20-22 Andre Viette’s Daylily and Wine Festival: Named one of July’s top 20 events by Southeastern Tourism Society, this event offers floral and flag festivities and artsy attractions, and of course, wine tasting.
7. August 10-12 Veritas Starry Nights: And if you missed Round One and Round Two of this event, here’s one more chance for you to attend!
Wine Therapy at the Iris Inn: Book your weekend today. Choose your room, and then add the Wine Therapy Package. We will take care of the rest!