Welcome to our blog about
Great Wines... Great Times... Under Blue Ridge Mountain Skies™
Véraison. Now happening across the vineyard. It is the start of ripening, when red grapes change from a vibrant green to blue or purple and white grapes develop a translucent hue. Sugars begin to accumulate while acids decline. This process marks one of the major milestones in a grapevine annual cycle. For us, it begets anticipation.
When the grapes near ripeness, the deer, racoons, squirrels, geese, and all manner of birds line up in the rows like it is a Golden Corral Grand Opening. Those who have visited have seen the 7 ft tall deer fence – over a mile of it – and electric fence that surround the vines. This is merely a speed bump for the really determined, but it does help to deter the majority. Our most popular grape with the wildlife is Tempranillo. If left unchecked the deer will take nearly 50% of the fruit. As you drive by in the evenings and early mornings, you will see us taking turns patrolling the vineyard. We have thought of dogs but with 30 acres to protect, it is not feasible. All part of farming…
In just 4 to 6 weeks, we will begin the frenzy of harvest. Grapes must be picked when they are ready, not at our convenience. No matter weekday or weekend. When it is time to pick, we must go. In the next post we will discuss how we determine when to pick.
Over the next several posts we will spend a few words discussing each of the grapes we grow at Jones von Drehle. First up is Merlot.
When you first enter the vineyard at the south gate, you are looking at Block G, planted entirely with Merlot; approximately 2.5 acres. This is the coolest part of the vineyard with loam clay soils that drain quickly and make the vines work a little harder to look for water. The vines are planted 6 feet apart from each other and 9 feet across on the aisles. This spacing gives each vine 54 square feet to reside in, which equals to 807 vines to the acre (43,560 / 54). The cordon (French word for arm) wire is situated 42” above the ground, providing great airflow helping to dry off morning dew or summer rains, which lessens disease pressure.
We make our estate and reserve Merlots from this special planting. Our clonal selections are Bear Flats and ENTAV INRA 343, both grafted on 3309 Rootstock. The wine produced is very typical of rich merlots with a portfolio of dark berry fruits, cherry and in some years ripe plum. We use French oak for aging, anywhere from 36 to 60 months depending on the vintage. Oak contributes nice cedar, slight winter spice and hints of vanilla. The wine presents nice, well rounded tannins and soft fruit notes on the nose and palate.
First, apologies for the delay in getting this newsletter out. Looking backward, it has been a surreal past twelve months. Pandemic, frost, cicadas, politics, and precipitation…just to name the obvious. No looking back, just forward. As I write that I realize, we will look back. A bottle of wine captures the sun, rain, soil, millions of years of geology, the careful hands that tend the grapes and the artistry in making a vintage for you. So, we will all look back a little when we open a 2020 bottle of JvD wine.
Let’s move on to updates… lots of them.
When we re-opened the tasting room in December, we introduced a reservation system to better allocate space for tasting and most importantly, keep our service level as high as possible. This system has been such a well-received success that we have decided to keep it in place. It is very easy to use, the link is on our web site.
Over the past several months, we have presented several virtual wine tastings for corporate clients, some tastings included specialty North Carolina cheeses. If you have a business, club or social group and wish to spend a wonder hour in a virtual tasting experience, give us a call or send an email.
In the next month or so, our lounge will be converted to a Reserve Tasting Room, seating up to 18. This move will allow us to provide a private tasting with a dedicated staff member. The program is in development while the room is being remodeled. A special newsletter will detail this exciting addition.
Dedication of the new building “Chloe Hall” is scheduled for mid-May. The building will primarily be used for our new JvD Wine Experience. An hour filled with special tastings, food pairings, and wine education. Diana, helped by our amazing staff, will be heading up these exciting multi-media programs and with guest experts in the wine industry, distinguished chefs, and winemakers from other regions.
Chloe Hall will also be available for corporate meetings (complete multi-media support), group wine tastings and a special program for sommelier certification provided by Doreen Colondres, a certified WSET educator.
These programs will be highlighted in a special announcement.
The Stage @ Jones von Drehle
We jokingly say “well, if the rains continue, mud wrestling or monster trucks may be the entertainment!” Seriously, we are close to having this facility finished. The stage itself should be finished in 30 days with seating area and walkways in about 90 days – assuming we can get grass established. Depending on the configuration, we can accommodate up to 1,500 for a concert. We are speaking with agents trying to set up performances beginning in late July. More to come.
Vineyard & Winery
Eric and the team have kept the vineyard in pristine shape despite all the weather challenges. Rain heightens disease pressure in the vines and with all our hills, rain creates erosion issues that require constant repair. As you drive through to the winery, notice how great the vineyard floor looks.
Dan has entered into semi-retirement, taking on the mantle as Wine Director while Tanner has assumed the helm at Wine Maker. The wine team of Dan, Tanner, and Eric are producing amazing wines as you have come to expect. On any given day, you will see Dan and Tanner in the vineyard assisting Eric and Francisco and, on another day, everyone in the winery pulling together. We are grateful to this team dedicated to the production of true fine wine in North Carolina.
Of note, we have added to the Viognier. It is now our largest white planting. The demand is very exciting for us as it is so challenging to grow, but the wine is worth the effort! With this latest planting, JvD has four clones of Viognier with each contributing nuance to this unique and beautiful wine. Like instruments in a quartet – each shining on its own, but collectively a concert.
Words do not do justice for the gratitude we have for our wine club members. During the shutdown, you kept us going with home deliveries. The new Honda Passport now has 70,000 happy wine miles! The Acura was retired at 576,000 miles. Chloe and I miss it but we are adjusting.
A Cellar Club newsletter will follow this one, with the pool of wines to select from – several new and exciting selections available only to our members. We will still do a rolling pick-up for spring, but are planning major events for the fall when hopefully pandemic and construction mud are in the rear-view mirror!
We are continuing our delivery specials; 6-11 bottles for $15, or free shipping for 12 or more bottles. Delivery in North Carolina is by Chuck or by the big brown truck! Chuck’s delivery schedule is the Triad Area on Tuesday, Charlotte metro on Wednesday, Triangle on Thursday and Western North Carolina and the High Country on Friday. JvD wines make a great gift to celebrate a new house, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations (just be sure it is college and above), promotion - well, lots of reasons to send a gift of fine JvD wine! Diana will include a note with a message of your choice - make it personal.
We have expanded our tasting room hours – now Wednesday – Saturday, 11:00 AM- 5:00 PM, Sunday Noon – 5:00 PM. Last beverage service or tastings at 4:30 PM. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are welcome, space permitting. The patio is open, and tables are well spaced for your comfort.
On a closing note, please support local whenever possible. Wine, beer, cider, spirits, cheese, meats, vegetables, fruits and the restaurants that take these gifts from North Carolina to make wonderful food for us all. Diana and I always seek out our friends as we deliver to show our support and thanks. Di and I grew up in North Carolina and after many years of living away, we came back to create a place of community in the state we love; join us.
To everything there is a season. And for us, winter is soup season. From the first arctic blast until we see the green of new buds, Sunday is Soup Day. From chili to chowder to stew (okay, not technically a soup but it is made in a big pot and feeds a lot). Nothing sings family and friends like a big kettle on the stove with tempting aromas inviting everyone to share the goodness. Don’t forget the fresh from the oven homemade bread. In the Jones’ household Soup Sundays have been a ritual for decades. So, to invite everyone to our virtual home, below are links to close replicas to some of our favorites, and the wines we enjoy with them. Remember to always use the same wine you would drink when you cook with it…an old and wise rule.
First up. Classic beef stew. This recipe is from Once Upon a Chef by Jenn Segal. We made this last year for everyone to sample in the Tasting Room. Huge hit. To make this stew a little closer to Julia child’s class Bouef Bourguignon, I add pearl onions and sauteed mushrooms. Sauté your mushrooms in olive oil and butter, finish the same wine we use, JvD Merlot. You won’t regret it!
Wine: Jones von Drehle Estate Merlot
On to another favorite. Can’t miss with a creamy Seafood Chowder, the ultimate “use what you got” recipe. Fish, shrimp, scallops, clams, whatever. It’s all good. A New England cream-based chowder, this recipe from “Spend with Pennies,” is easy to scale up for a crowd and is very close to the recipe we use. We do add a bit of heat with a dash of cayenne, but this is up to you.
Wine: Jones von Drehle Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
We switch to vegetarian soups on occasion and this one is great. Potato leek soup (served cold, Vichyssoise) is a classic, simple and very comforting dish. Clean Eating Magazine gives us this very simple, easy recipe for this great soup. Google for variations, there are many.
Wine: Jones von Drehle Viognier
And last for today, Chili. Maybe the best comfort there is for a cold day, with freezing winds a’roaring outside. This recipe is as close as I can find to my regular fare. It’s from another winery, ParaDuxx, but when something looks this good, you just go with it. I do add a little ground hot sausage to my recipe to impart a little more complexity. If you want to make this a little quicker than the 3 hours plus required for this recipe, you can use course ground sirloin. Also, make sure to have plenty of grated sharp cheddar cheese ready for topping.
Wine: Jones von Drehle Malbec Reserve or Steel & Stone
A couple of general notes on soups:
I use the Better Than Bouillon products when a recipe calls for broth. It is easy to keep on hand and offers superior flavor.
One of the best investments you can make is to purchase good soup pots and Dutch ovens. Different sizes for different crowds. Folks gather around these faster than firepits…you will create a community in your kitchen just anticipating a bowl.
A new year and a new start. With the winds howling down the mountain and often temps never reaching above freezing, Eric and Francisco head to the vineyard to begin the long process of pruning the vines. Removing last year’s growth down to two buds.
These guys can prune at a lightning pace with incredible precision. In an instant the vine health is noted, diseased or surplus canes are removed, and healthy canes cut down to a two-budded spur. Pruning is essential for maintaining the structural integrity, quality, and consistency of the vineyard. The spurs are spaced along the cordons (french for arm), with about 5 or 6 on each side of the trunk. In early April, the buds will open and release this year’s canes.
We use a vertical shoot positioning (VSP) trellis system here. As the canes grow, they are continually hand-positioned between 3 sets of catch wires held aloft above the cordons. This tucking of shoots into a narrow “zone” is the heart of the VSP system.
Note the goggles. A cane pulled from the trellis has a tendency to “whip” out and can cause serious injury without protection.
Our team works in the freezing cold, holding up their arms and squeezing their shears for long periods at a time. That sort of repetitive activity will make anyone very sore after a full day. Now imagine doing that for approximately ten weeks! We are very grateful to have staff that are devoted to the health of our vineyard and the quality of our wines.
There is something amazing when you observe the vineyard without all the growth and leaves. The carefully engineered trellis system is fully exposed. The skeleton of the vineyard gleams for a short few months each year awaiting its annual burden to bring us the fruit for our wines.
Thankful. So much said in such a small word. Even with the confusion, inconvenience and despair of this year, thankfulness abounds. Over the past nine months we have learned the deep value of supporting local businesses to keep jobs in our community; Thankful. The pleasure in meeting smiling eyes peering above a protective mask; Thankful. The dedication of neighbors providing healthcare and hope over seemingly endless days. Thankful. Scoring a four-roll pack of toilet tissue. Thankful, really….
We wish to add our thanks to this list. Since March, you have supported us in your purchases, whether wine for your table, a gift to a neighbor or simply for sipping and reflecting. Thank you.
On to news….
Special Holiday Offerings:
Wine & Cheese!
We are excited to offer our first ever Wine & Cheese Gift Box – all produced in North Carolina. This exciting combination was created by Scott Banks, President of White Knight Engineered Products in Charlotte as a special gift for clients and friends. A video was produced to accompany the gifts and Scott has granted us permission to share it with you here. Diana, Dan and Chris Sottile, Cheese Monger and Proprietor of The Loyalist Market in Matthews, NC, describe the wines and the pairings. The chance to present this 100% North Carolina offering is exciting and true to our mission of “Proudly North Carolina™”.
2017 Petit Manseng – A puzzlement. A red wine in white wine clothes. The wine that mystifies all who partake. Wraps around a rich creamy entrée with such a silkiness on the tongue and lingering finish to bring you back, again, and again…a celebrated gold medal champion at Jones von Drehle.
2015 Cabernet Franc – A wine that plays well with others. With complex berry, cherry and slight wood notes, this wine is poured in many restaurants across North Carolina. Its careful French Oak aging, with measured stirring and sampling consistently gives us one of the most food-friendly wines possible.
2015 Steel & Stone – An intriguing blend of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Merlot. Deep in flavor of dark berries, plum, and dried fig with an elegant note of spice, violet and cedar. A true dark velvet glove of the wine world. Yes Virginia, North Carolina can produce a wine of depth and caliber to compete with the best.
North Carolina is truly honored to be the home of amazing creameries that produce world-class cheeses. Chris has carefully selected the following that pair with each of the wines above. A full description of each is found here.
Boxxcar Handmade Cheese, Carrboro, NC – “Cottonbell”
Looking Glass Creamery, Fairview, NC – “Bear Wallow”
Goat Lady Dairy, Climax, NC – “Lindale”
What an incredible opportunity to share with your family, friends or send the perfect North Carolina gift to your customers and clients. Only $125 for the Holiday Wine & Cheese Pairing Gift Box, plus a $15 shipping fee. Discounts are not available for this special collection. It will be shipped in a secure carton with ice packs to ensure the freshness of the cheese. Orders must be received by December 18th for shipping or up to December 22nd for pickup at Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery. Order yours now!
Wine for Christmas! Only 21 days remain to ship in time for Christmas!
Order by the 21st to make sure your special gift is under the tree in time for Christmas Dinner or Fireside Time. Every shipment includes the wonderful Chloe Christmas Card with a message of your choice! Visit our online shop here!
The Tasting Room Opens!
Beginning Friday December 4th, we will open the Tasting Room for hosted tasting. We are doing this on a reservation system; click here to reserve your spot! We can accept walk-ins if the space permits. Per Covid-19 regulations, limited occupancy and spacing will be maintained. Masks will be required except when tasting. Groups no larger than 6 and no one under 21 will be allowed in the tasting room.
We will discontinue the patio wine flights, but glasses and bottles will be available for outside seating. Wine sales for take home are always available. We will maintain the Friday-Sunday hours of 12:00PM - 5:00PM, but if you need wine for that special occasion, dinner or just down time, call or email us. We will do our best to meet you at the winery or even deliver. Thank you.
In closing, let’s all remember to smile a little more, laugh a little louder and wish hope for all during this Holiday Season.
Since we were allowed to open on a limited basis, it is heart-warming to see so many old friends and new faces taking a few minutes away from home to relax and enjoy a glass of wine (all our tables are spaced at 6 foot intervals), pick-up wine club orders, or relax while sipping a self-directed wine tasting flight. The Tasting Room bar will remain closed for the near future as it is difficult to provide the distancing necessary and enforce occupancy limits. For now, the patio is a great place to enjoy JvD!
Labor Day weekend will bring the release of two new wines, the 2015 Estate Merlot and 2014 Merlot Reserve. Both wines have gone through extended aging and are tasting wonderfully.
Our tasting flights will be updated that weekend to include these two releases. Come, enjoy!
The vineyard is looking amazing. Eric and team have done a fantastic job tending these vines during a crazy year. As you drive through from the south gate, go slowly and look up the rows to see the fruit is looking great. During harvest we often have a treat of a bowl of freshly picked grapes for you to sample and enjoy. A sort of grape du jour.
Diana and I will continue our “direct to your door” wine deliveries (or UPS). We are so grateful for everyone’s support during the lockdown. While we are now open on a limited basis, we know many of you cannot make the trip or feel comfortable in doing so to pick up your favorite JvD wine. No worries, we will bring it to you! Free delivery with a case or more purchase and a fixed cost of $15 for 1-11 bottles. Visit our website to purchase. Why not send 6 bottles to your friends, co-workers, neighbors, family (we ship to Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Ohio) and introduce them to wines that are Proudly North Carolina.
What a time to build a performance venue and an event building, eh? Well, sooner or later the new “normal” will let us host great music and wine events. Thank you everyone for your patience in dealing with construction noise, dirt and barriers and the ever-confusing parking lot… I am told that the Stage and Event Building (Chloe Hall) will both be done by October 15. Fingers crossed. A formal dedication will be held in the Spring.
Many of you may be aware that Chloe went through another round of cancer removal surgery a few weeks ago. Her report came back all clear and she is back to work now, meeting and greeting. One tough girl. Drop by and say hello.
This year has been odd enough for us to create a special t-shirt. Here at JvD we have seen multiple frost events, 10 days of endless rain, millions of cicadas shrieking for three weeks, a direct lightning strike on the winery, and now a 5.1 magnitude earthquake with the epicenter about 10 miles up the mountain. And, of course, we are all impacted with the global pandemic. We think this shirt sums it up. Available for purchase in person at the winery or online. **These sold out very quickly and current online orders are pre-orders; allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Front View Back View
Watch for a newsletter on September 30th with wine selections and key dates. The wine club continues to see wonderful growth during this very odd time. We just cannot say thank you enough for all your past and future support!
We wish everyone to be well and stay well.
Cheers to all,
Photo courtesy of Wine Club members Grace and Al Waddell
It is so quiet here. We may sometimes wish for peace and quiet, but not now, not due to this circumstance. We hope all reading this are well and continue to stay well. But if you, or someone close to you, is ill with this wretched virus, we wish them a speedy recovery and a return to normal life soon.
We thank all who have purchased wine in the last few weeks and given us the opportunity to deliver to your home or work or send via UPS your way. Our income went to zero, so every dollar is most appreciated. And, Diana and I have enjoyed seeing many of our friends and meeting new ones (from the right distance…) as they open the door to receive their wine purchases. Be assured, we observe all the recommended protocols, to bring you contactless wine delivery from Jones von Drehle.
The free shipping program continues. From now until the end of April, when you purchase 6 bottles or more going to the same address, enter the codes below for free UPS shipping, or if you are in one of our North Carolina markets, Diana and I will gladly hand deliver. Visit our online store to see all available wines!
For Club Members use codes: six to eleven bottles: CLUBFREESHIP6 or twelve or more bottles: CLUBFREESHIP12
For Guests use codes: six to eleven bottles: GUESTFREESHIP6 or twelve or more bottles: GUESTFREESHIP12
Wednesdays : Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte
Thursdays : Triangle including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill and surrounding communities
Fridays : High Country (Boone, Banner Elk, Blowing Rock), Hickory, Asheville, WNC
Share our award-winning wines with family, business associates, or friends and amaze them with the quality of our Estate wines, “proudly North Carolina”. In addition to North Carolina, we also ship to Ohio, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, and Minnesota.
The winery is open for curbside pickup each Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5:00 PM. Please order online or by phone and let us know when you plan to pick-up your wine. Diana or I will be here to greet you. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336.874.2800 ext 3.
The orange safety fence is down! We are almost ready to install the top amphitheater seat wall in front of the winery and Chloe Hall. After 18 months. Progress is occurring, even in these times. Hopefully, we will host the first concert in September.
The 2019 Rosa Dia is being bottled on April 17; and will be available online or, hopefully, in the Tasting Room on May 4th. I can tell you it continues the tradition of amazing Rosé from Jones von Drehle.
Our Petit Verdot continues to win accolades across the country. At the 2020 Texsom International in Dallas, Texas in late February, it was awarded a Silver. A very tough competition and an exciting award for us.
The new plantings here are showing great promise: Gros Manseng, Courbou Blanc, and an exciting proprietary clone of Viognier from Condrieu, France. We have always believed our property has much in common with the southwest of France, so we are researching several new varieties for planting in the upcoming mountain block. As we like to say, stay tuned.
All for now. I cannot say thank you enough to all of you for keeping us going in this tough time. Please support your local restaurant, shop, brewery and wineries. We all need to come through this together.
Wishing all the best.
And, I think we have turned a corner. Construction is in the final stages. We thank everyone who has visited and sat behind the ragged orange safety fence or trudged to the tasting room around the parking lot construction.
Soft opening of Chloe Hall & Terrace is set for May 2nd with our annual Sip & Savor event (more on this below). Seating for up to 120 plus outdoors areas for wine and socials. It will take a few more months to put the finishing touches, we hope…
When you visit this summer, ask one of us to show you around if you are considering an event space for a future wedding, reunion, special gathering, or corporate meeting. Starting this fall, we will be holding exclusive wine tastings and dinners with guest chefs and visiting winemakers. We look forward to providing a special place for unique events.
The amphitheater construction starts in the next few weeks with seating installed first followed by the stage. Initially, we will seat 500-600 for musical performances with growth in the next few years that will double the capacity. We plan to host regional and national tours. Stay tuned for details on the 2021 concert series. As with all events at JvD, Cellar Club members will receive first offers for tickets as well as discounts. Thank you for your support!
In other news, we have begun our monthly Food & Wine Pairing Series with Chef Jessi. She features a JvD wine with a French-inspired recipe. On those days, join us for a little taste of French cuisine and a wine sample. (Free to all and available until gone.) Jessi will send out information soon on pairings for April, May and June. The next Food & Wine Pairing event is on Sunday, March 22nd beginning at 1:00 pm. Jessi will prepare Coq au Vin with 2015 Rock & Rail. Please join us!
Meanwhile in the vineyrd, the vines have all been pruned as we enter that period of time where use of the F word is banned...Frost. Vine health is excellent as Eric and Francisco begin preparations for the growing season. In the blink of an eye it will be September and harvest.
I was just advised our 2015 Petit Verdot Reserve was awarded a Silver at the very prestigious TexSom Wine Competition. Our Petit Verdot, both Estate and Reserve, continue to receive high scores and great accolades across the country. The Steel & Stone, named top wine in North Carolina in 2018, is 65% Petit Verdot. Think we may be on to something…
Soon we will return to unobstructed views of the vineyard, our omnipresent music and birds chirping, without the noise and distraction of construction. Thank you everyone for your continued support & patience!
This is Chef Clark Barlowe’s last wine dinner with JvD as he and Jocelyn move to Oregon. We are honored that he is cooking here on the ribbon cutting for Chloe Hall. Clark’s food is amazing and his dedication to all things North Carolina sets an example for all those who proclaim, "Go Local". No one exemplifies this better than Clark. We hope you can join us.
As always, members of our Cellar Club receive a discount on the first two tickets, and will be able to purchase event tickets before non-members.
This event is for presale ticket holders & has very limited seating. No tickets are available for sale on the day of the event. Thank you for understanding.
Tickets for Cellar Club members will be on sale on Wednesday, March 25th.
Please visit our website for more information and to preview the 2020 menu.
Winter. A quiet time.
The vineyard is a sweeping tapestry of bare tangled and twisted branches. Each season has a beauty of its own. This time of year, it is quiet, and the vines await the careful process of pruning, when we cut back last year’s growth to make way for new branches that will emerge to carry and ripen the grapes. Only now, do we see the intricate engineering of posts, wires, ties and clips. The numbers always amaze: 24,300 vines lined up to create almost 30 miles of grapes; nearly 1.4 million feet of wire to support the cordons, canes, irrigation tubing and posts, and about 50,000 clips placed to hold the catch wires in place. Each year, we hand tie over 200,000 ribbons to secure the cordons to the wire. A lot of hands touch these vines in very short order.
These numbers never cease to amaze us, yet we are a tiny vineyard when compared to the massive operations of California, Oregon, and Washington that produce wine by the millions of gallons. Wine on an industrial scale for certain. We hope as you drive through our vineyard or sit on the patio to enjoy the view you might reflect on the thousands of hours of hand-work it takes each year to grow these grapes that find their way into your glass. We do not depend on anyone else to grow our fruit; we are an estate winery. Our fate lies in the fruit we grow. Your support of our wines whether purchased from us, a neighborhood wine shop or your favorite restaurant enable us to farm, to harvest, to ferment, to barrel down and finally, to bottle. It is our hope our wines make you proud to share a glass with family and friends, saying to them “This wine is from North Carolina!”.
The New Year brings change at Jones von Drehle.
After three years of managing the Tasting Room, Karly Moore is returning to school this winter to realize her dream of following in her mom’s footsteps in a nursing career. While Karly takes up her studies, she will still manage our Cellar Club, Sip & Savor, and the ecommerce web store; from her home. It never ceases to amaze me how much work one can do remotely these days with laptop and phone. We will certainly miss seeing Karly day to day, but fear not, she will still be at the winery for meetings, special days and an occasional stint at the bar.
Many of you have already met Jessi Ratledge, our new Tasting Room manager. She has been working alongside Karly over the past three months in preparation for guiding the tasting experience and hosting our guests as you enjoy glasses and conversation while overlooking the vineyard. Jessi’s introduction follows below, as well as news of a new food pairing program she has created. We are very excited to have Jessi join our team with her strong background in food and management.
My name is Jessi Ratledge, the new Tasting Room Manager at JvD. I lived in the Winston Salem area until 2007 when I went to culinary school. In 2009, I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. I have worked in kitchens and restaurants in North Carolina, New York, Missouri, Colorado, and Alaska. Recently, I decided to take a step back from the Chef world to explore more about the wine industry, however I still enjoy all things food.
I'd like to share a few favorite recipes with you as we enter the New Year. Winter is an excellent season for warm, savory dishes and enjoying red wine. I especially love to cook with the wine I selected to drink with the meal.
For this French Onion Soup recipe, Jones von Drehle 2014 Merlot would be a great choice when deglazing the pan after caramelizing the onions. The author suggests duck stock for the soup, but it is also okay to use all beef stock, or even a hearty vegetable stock if you prefer a meatless-meal.
Chef Jenn Segal has an awesome Beef Stew recipe reminiscent of the classic Boeuf Bourguignon in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I cook with Jones von Drehle 2015 Cabernet Franc to add delicious depth of flavor to this stew.
Lastly, try making Coq Au Vin with Jones von Drehle 2015 Rock & Rail. Ina Garten always creates reliable, approachable recipes; and I especially love her interpretation of this traditional French dish. I usually omit the Cognac, but feel free to include it if you have some on hand.
We will be sampling these dishes in the Tasting Room
from 1 pm until they are gone on the following dates:
Sunday, January 19th - French Onion Soup
Sunday, February 23rd - Beef Stew
Sunday, March 22nd - Coq Au Vin
The new building, Chloe Hall, is coming along beautifully. Can’t say as much for the ground around it; mud again... With winter comes the cold, rain, snow and of course the mud. Chloe’s feet these days are always orange from her forays around the building.
Sip & Savor is just four months away. We are confident that the building will be ready to host this annual favorite as our inaugural event. Now if the rain will just hold off for a few weeks we can get the courtyard, terrace and amphitheater done. Fingers crossed. More detail on events planned for these facilities in a future newsletter. Working on concerts for 2021. Exciting days are ahead!
We are already receiving calls inquiring about weddings this Fall at Jones von Drehle! Look for an announcement on Jones von Drehle as a wedding venue in a few months and if you know of someone looking for a special venue for a ceremony and reception, feel free to pass the information along.
As mentioned above, the Sip & Savor dinner will be May 2nd. Time and menu will be in a separate newsletter in mid-March. This will be Chef Clark Barlowe’s last event with JvD as he and Jocelyn move to Oregon. Don’t miss his amazing artistry with food and the pairings he crafts with our wine.
We received a great deal of positive feedback from the Fall Cellar Club pick-up as we went to a two day event, with tables piled high of select cheeses, meats, fruits, and veggies designed by Jessi. We will continue with that theme for the summer pick-up, with a few fun additions! Weekend will be June 27th and 28th. Details in a newsletter to Cellar Club members in May.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone for your patience in putting up with mud, noise, and the awful orange safety fence since last summer. The addition of Chloe Hall will allow us a great space to hold club events, dinners, reserve tastings, corporate meetings, and yes, even weddings! The stage creates a wonderful live music venue that brings wine, music, food, and community together. I am looking forward to the ribbon cutting and celebration (and taking down that fence…)!
Wishing all good health, great friendships, and thankfulness for the days we have with one another.