“Never admit to a fact, never deny a rumor.” – Chief Gordon Despite the fact that her history with Chief is ultimately painful and traumatic, Debbie Wyatt feels indebted to him for hiring her in 1978 straight out of UVA law school. Debbie remembers that Chief’s law partner, John Lowe, was against the [...]
“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. “Never admit to a fact, never deny a rumor.” – Chief Gordon He was a big fish in a small pond, a lover and a libertine, a charmer and a cheat. He became a living legend and then a [...]
In Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, one character asks another how he went bankrupt. "Gradually," he says, "then suddenly."* Kluge strolls the estate with her third husband, Bill Moses. In 2002, the Kluge Estate New World Red entered the world in an ebony trimmed wooden box designed by David Albert Charles Armstrong-Jones, a.k.a. Viscount Linley, son [...]
“It’s not about slavery. It’s not about racism. For a lot of us it’s about ancestors.” Amanda Kutch is a United Daughter of the Confederacy and on Saturday morning, September 19, she’s dressed like one. Blonde, fair, and outfitted in a blue, flowered dress with a white blouse and a crocheted hairnet, Kutch is [...]
Three lifeless pigs hang from six hooks in the walk-in fridge. Split in two, their bright skin is waxy white, traced with miniscule purple veins. A small, pink pearl sliding down one ankle is the only visible sign of blood. Each carcass shows outward evidence of the animal it once was: little pink toenails, traces [...]
It’s so much easier being a hippy these days. Case in point: FloydFest, a four-day summer music festival held just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Floyd. Instead of Woodstock’s food shortages of 40 years ago, FloydFesters face a stupefying abundance of choices: local, grass-fed burgers, tempeh reubens, Thai coconut curry and, yes, sushi. Some [...]
Last Saturday, under a cloudless sky, Congressman Tom Perriello addressed new citizens and onlookers at the 47th Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony on July 4th at Monticello. Sixty-six people from 35 countries took the Oath of Citizenship, becoming Americans in front of roughly 1,800 family members, friends, and well-wishers.
Local-boy-turned-Congressman Tom Perriello celebrated "earned citizenship" at Monticello’s 47th annual Naturalization Ceremony.
Times, as we are constantly reminded, are tough. The Senate is trying to figure out how to pay for the 50 million Americans who are without health insurance, which means somehow scraping together some $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. The good news is they have a plan. The bad news is the plan [...]
Some people really love trains. Railfans they call themselves. Train buffs. What the railway workers sometimes derogatorily call foamers because they foam at the mouth when they see a train. Railfans wear t-shirts celebrating their favorite railroads, they construct elaborate model train universes in their basements, and they travel long distances just to watch the [...]
If the early part of this century was an economic drinking binge, then the past year has been the inevitable retching that follows. With the average American city reporting a 12 percent increase in homelessness between 2007 and 2008, and unemployment hitting a 16-year high, many wine lovers may be staring at a future as [...]
How green do you want to be? If you’re a real eco-oenophile, then you need to check out biodynamic wine. Part plain ol’ organic-ness and part hippie-dippy magic, biodynamic farming is mocked by some for following moon phases and for its use of creative fertilization. Mockery aside, the crazy thing is that some of the [...]
Virginia’s burgeoning wine industry is going to be immortalized on film, yes, but no one’s exactly sure when. Footage, lots of it, has been shot for a new feature-length documentary by Charlottesville-based Silverthorn Films, called, for lack of an official title, Virginia Wine. Although there’s no release date yet, Bill Reifenberger and his partners have [...]
Carly Gullickson, who at 22 is a 12-year veteran of the game, returns a ball during a marathon match against Lindsay Lee-Waters in the semifinals of the Boyd Tinsley Women’s $50,000 Pro Tennis Championships at Boar’s Head last weekend. Lee-Waters ultimately took the trophy, defeating Ekaterina Bychkova in the finals. Out on the clay courts [...]
One of the favorite questions for Virginia wine aficionados to ponder is this: What is Virginia’s red grape? Having a single varietal that you can bottle and sell is vital in today’s wine market, and it sure helps if that grape is big, red, and easy for consumers to remember. See, for example, California Cabernet [...]
On a grey day in February, when the weather is still cold, I think I see the future of Virginia Wine. Cigarette hanging from his mouth, he’s cooking me lunch, flipping steaks on the grill with his bare hands. Andy Reagan, the 32-year-old winemaker at Jefferson Vineyards, will later pour me his 2007 and 2008 [...]
In January the Virginia Wine Marketing Office sent a survey to Virginia’s wineries to gauge how well the state’s industry is faring, and how good a job the VWMO is doing at selling it. “We hear a lot of things anecdotally throughout the year,” director Annette Boyd told me over the phone: “Sales are up, [...]
As is true almost everywhere, Chardonnay rules. Cabernet Franc and Merlot follow.
"Some fans are completely uninhibited, they’ll do whatever the hell they want to have a good time,” Rusty Speidel says over the phone. “They get geared up, they tailgate their brains out, they take the extra time out to travel.” Speidel should know. He’s one of the guys behind Rowdy.com, a NASCAR fan site based [...]
Whether you define the term as someone who has spent hundreds of dollars over many months to get a degree, or as just some guy who helps you pick your wine at a restaurant, there are very few sommeliers in Charlottesville. Actually, if you go by the first definition there are none at all. But [...]
I have written before that the best way to start learning about wine is to read the words on the label—types of grape, place names, vintage. These words matter, which accounts for my annoyance when people refer to sparkling wines from Virginia or Spain as “Champagne” though Champagne is a region in France. But is [...]
It is time, America, to be more civil. This was the message handed down on Friday, March 20, in the Dome Room of the Rotunda. America is lacking in manners, and one dead president, one etiquette theorist, and well-mannered college students everywhere are going to do something about it. “Timely and important to society” is [...]
Kirsty Harmon is pouring her new wines; “new,” as in recently finished and bottled, but also new in that they represent the rebirth of Blenheim Vineyards. The winery, owned by Dave Matthews and family, has been shaken up since parting ways with original winemaker Brad McCarthy. Since its inception the winery’s reputation has been based [...]
Wine is a wholly remarkable substance and one of its primary wonders is its ability to transport you, via taste, to far off lands. I am, I admit, a chronic hitchhiker on the wine trail, never content to stay in one place. But it’s a great time to be traveling, as wine is cropping up [...]
The Virginia Distillery Company, makers of Eades Single Malt Whisky, is at this point mostly just land, equipment and a dream.
The wine world is small, the local wine world doubly so. On February 20, in response to a recent column, I received several e-mails from “a group of wine enthusiasts” chastising me for ignoring the talents of Charles Gendrot
To knock a man out takes a combination of strength, precision and luck. You have to hit him in the right place, and if you do he’ll go down, no matter who he is. Getting knocked out doesn’t hurt. “It’s a good feeling, actually,” boxing great Floyd Patterson once said. “It’s not painful, just a [...]