We welcomed May with Amanda and Harry for our first wedding of the month! Amanda and Harry are a couple I will never forget. When Harry and his family walked into my office, my first though was, which one is the bride? The answer took me by surprise. Amanda was in Singapore for work at the time and she sent Harry to dive into wedding plans on their behalf. For all of you couples out there you can imagine how impressive (and stressful) that can be on a guy! But, low and behold, he handled it well and chose not only the perfect venue, but the perfect date as well!
Simplicity was key here, but all of their details were definitely done right! When you start with a beautiful location, not much else is needed to supplement the picturesque grounds you have to work with. The couple really paid attention to that and showcased Keswick Vineyards simply for what it is....breathtaking!
They had a unique ceremony location (a first here at the vineyard for us) which angled their guests with sweeping vineyard and mountain views. Playing softly in the background was Gallatin Canyon, a bluegrass acoustic ensemble. They continued beats with their banjo throughout cocktail hour as well. Truly a crowd pleaser!
Underneath of the Sperry tent, bistro lights swept the ceiling creating a more romantic and fairytale feel. When guests weren't enjoying the "starry night" atmosphere within the tent, dining on Harvest Moon's delicious food, or dancing the night away they snuck to our Gazebo for some photo booth fun! Those always are a huge hit and leave the couple and their guest with even more lasting memories.
Thank you to the following vendors for putting on another killer performance! Catering, Harvest Moon Catering. Wedding Planner, Margaret Bloom Weddings. Photography, Jamie Kay Photography. Florist, Phlour Designs. Desserts, Cakes by Rachel. DJ, John Garland. Musicians, Gallatin Canyon. Hair and Makeup, The Spot Beauty Shop. Photo Booth, Photo Booth of Charlottesville. Transportation, Quick's Bus Company. Officiant, Julie Trump. Sperry Tent Lighting, Skyline Tent Company.
You know you have a good thing going when you can maintain it for years. Even better, you know you have a really good thing going when you can maintain it for seven years...long distance. Stephanie and Blake did just that.
Their wedding day was long anticipated. Having been together for close to a decade and waiting two years after they booked their venue, April 30, 2016 was a day they would always remember. Not only for the sheer fact that they were getting married, however. Much like our last week's couple, their wedding date held a significant meaning to them. Stephanie and Blake loved sports and were both former college athletes. Stephanie played hockey and Blake lacrosse. For anyone who has played sports of any kind you know and understand the special meaning behind your jersey number. Stephanie was number 16. Blake was number 43. So on their wedding date of 4.30.16 they celebrating the joining of their college numbers with a ring. Cue the tears!
Navy and blush were the couples colors. They incorporated pops of both into their decor with really beautiful floral and decor both done by Kim Moody Design. A few things among many that we really enjoyed in their details was the fringe and Chinese lanterns in the Sperry tent, the gorgeous greenery so elegantly placed on their cocktail tables, and the perfect shade of blush to match the groom and his guys wedding attire. Well done!
A special thank you to our vendors. As always, this could not have been done without you all! Wedding Planner, Kim Moody Design. Catering, Harvest Moon Catering. Photographer, Robert Radifera Photography. Flowers, Kim Moody Design. Cake, Buttercream Dreams, LLC. Sperry Tent Lighting, Skyline Tent Company. Hair and Makeup, Laurie Nicole Salon. Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Musician, Ford Combs. DJ, Dennis Payne with Playback DJ. Transportation, Ambassador Limousine & Easy Riders. Rentals, Harvest Moon Catering and Festive Fare. Officiant, Judy Worthington
There was no secret that for Arielle and Stephen’s wedding on Saturday, April 23rd that this couple loved wine! From their wine ceremony down to their wine décor it was clear that a vineyard wedding was a match made in heaven for them.
Wine ceremonies have become very popular. The couple will each take two different wines and simultaneously pour them into a wine glass and then drink from the combined wines. They symbolize the blending of two families into one, which is exactly what marriage is all about. For this wedding in particular, the ceremony was an extremely important and sentimental part of their day. In remembrance of her father, Arielle’s mother walked her down the aisle as a continuance of her support and guidance throughout all of the days of her life. It was a truly breathtaking moment as they soaked in an overwhelming sense of love with each step they took down the aisle towards Arielle’s soon to be husband.
Wine was highlighted in all other areas of their wedding as well! We loved seeing them incorporate Keswick Vineyards’ wine bottle table numbers, handmade wine cork letters, and wine colored floral accents. It was simplicity at its finest letting for the beauty of Keswick Vineyards and its scenic views to really be the focus.
Thank you to our vendors for another great wedding! Catering, Southern Inn Catering. Photography, Amanda Robbins Photography. Videographer, Brandon Mitchell. Wedding Planner, Karissa Coffey Wedding & Event Rentals. Florist, Hedge Fine Blooms. Hair, Brianna B. Adams. Makeup, Kara Waggoner. DJ, Bob Mednikov. Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Musician, Mike Heuer. Officiant, Dave Glasgow. Transportation, Albemarle Limousine.
We welcomed Areizo and Thomas to Keswick Vineyards on Friday, April 22nd. A Friday wedding you say? Yes! The date held a big sentiment to the couple. Ever since they got engaged they knew “4/22” would be the one. Areizo and Thomas are both firefighters. Their station number is 422. Cute right?
Outside of their date, there were many, many details done right. You could tell this couple paid close attention to “the little things” as they were making their wedding day plans. Let’s start with the ceremony. The bride came in on a horse drawn carriage! The massive Clydesdale horses circled around our winding drive as they carried the bride and her father towards the front of the estate, past the fountain, and to the aisle. It truly was a beautiful moment.
Following ceremony, guests enjoyed signature mocktails and assorted cheeses and snacks provided by Harvest Moon Catering. Guests stayed entertained while the couple, family, and wedding party were off taking photos by diving into lawn games for fun! A handmade escort card board held keys for guests to find their way to their assigned tables and guests were encouraged to sign their “guest book” by writing notes to the couple on vintage post cards from around the world.
In lieu of a traditional photo booth, they decided to make their own! As a treat to the bride, the groom constructed a massive 10’x14’ photo frame station with gold picture frames which overlooked a glorious backdrop of our fountain. Clever!
To honor the bride’s culture, they offered a traditional array of Afghan cuisine. It was quite the spread! Guests had 10 different Afghan options to feast on, and they relished in every bit of it! But what’s dinner without something sweet? We all know its custom to have a cake…but this couple went all out and had a massive 8 tiered cake beautifully designed by Maliha Creations. It was such a beauty! In addition to cake, guests also enjoyed late night s’mores. You can’t go wrong with that!
A special thanks to our vendors who made this day possible: Catering, Afghan Restaurant & Harvest Moon Catering. Photographer: Jillian Michelle Photography. Videographer: With This Ring. Rentals, MS Events. Desserts, Maliah Creations. DJ, Rick Haggad. Hair & Makeup: Moxie Hair Salon. Florist: Lotus Productions. Transportation, Albemarle Limousine. Horse & Carriage, Classic Carriage. Officiant, Dan Stana. Wedding Planner, Becca Bee Events.
Blog Photography courtesy of Cindy Schornberg.
Our 2016 wedding season has officially begun! We welcomed Robin and James to Keswick Vineyards to celebrate their love on Saturday, April 16th. With a beautiful 75 and not a cloud in sight, this couple relished in not only the good weather but the good vibes shared with their family and loved ones.
Having met while playing in a summer kickball league, the couple locked eyes on second base. From there, their love grew and they spent many years traveling around the globe together. With traveling and adventure being a key point in their relationship, they knew they wanted to incorporate it into their wedding day as well. The groomsmen’s boutonnières (while traditionally made out of flowers) were crafted out of comic-books. How neat! Robin’s bouquet had a special touch as well being made out of paper with a special map accent in a few of her flowers.
Continuing along with the theme, each table was designated with wine bottles marked with the many places of their lives. Such a simple, yet personal touch! Every moment was perfectly captured by C. Tyler Corvin Studios. We even were able to sneak away for a private moment in our Tasting Room for the couple to take a picture with our 2016 Governors Gold Cup! Roadside Chive Catering had a huge role to fill with this foodie couple and they did not disappoint. Everything from their creative menus with multiple food stations, their individual bread and cheese boards at each guest table with infused olive oil, all the way down to the “vendor meal” table they treated all of the hardworking vendors of this wedding to were absolutely wonderful. A treat we could really get use to at Keswick Vineyards!
To round out the evening, the couple and their guests enjoyed a delicious two tiered cake courtesy of Paradox Pastry followed by dancing and after dinner cigars. All in all…the first wedding of the season for 2016 was a major success!
Thank you to all of our incredible vendors who made this day come to life: Event planner, Ashley Kovach with Roadside Chive Catering. Caterer, Roadside Chive Catering. Pastry Chef, Paradox Pastry. DJ, Jamaal Botticelli. Photographer, C. Tyler Corvin Studios. Hair and Makeup, Jeanne Cusick. Officiant, David Norris.
Blog Photography courtesy of Cindy Schornberg.
~ Keswick’s Winning Vintage Joins 11 Other Virginia Wines to Comprise 2016 Governor’s Cup Case ~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe tonight awarded the 2016 Virginia Wineries Association’s (VWA) Governor's Cup to Keswick Vineyards for its 2014 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve, a pure Cabernet Franc varietal. This award marks the second Virginia Governor’s Cup for Keswick Vineyards, who received its first in 2009 for its 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Governor’s Cup was awarded Monday evening, February 22 at the Hotel John Marshall.
Speaking at the Governor’s Cup awards ceremony, Governor McAuliffe said, “I am honored to award the 2016 Governor’s Cup award to Keswick Vineyards’ winemaker Stephen Barnard and owners, Al and Cindy Schornberg. Their work at Keswick Vineyards embodies those characteristics that are imperative for Virginia farmers and winemakers: an entrepreneurial spirt, a drive to excel, a healthy tolerance for risk, and a desire to see what Virginia’s land and terroir can do. It no secret the Commonwealth’s wine industry has experienced tremendous growth both in quality and quantity in recent years. Such growth has an enormous impact on Virginia in terms of economic development and job creation, especially in rural areas, and the craft beverage industry as a whole is playing a key role in helping build the new Virginia economy. I offer my congratulations to Keswick Vineyards and its 2014 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve – a beautiful 100% estate-grown wine."
The Keswick 2014 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve is a 100% varietal Cabernet Franc. According to the winemaker’s tasting notes, “this wine is light and graceful, but also powerful – dense with black pepper and exotic spices that turn into darker fruits as the wine is aerated. The wood tannins are firm, yet are well balanced with ample acidity and fruit. The palate is savory with accenting mocha, brambleberry, and bitter chocolate tones that are punctuated with a long finish.”
“It has always been my dream to make a great red wine from the soils of Virginia, and my wife and I settled here to establish Keswick Vineyards,” said Al Schornberg, proprietor of Keswick Vineyards. “Thomas Jefferson noted that cultivators of the earth are the most virtuous and independent citizens, and so I am very proud to be honored with our second Governor’s Cup win for our 2014 Cabernet Franc. I am grateful for our team at Keswick Vineyards, our son-in-law and winemaker Stephen Barnard, and the entire wine community in Virginia for turning my dream into reality.”
Stephen Barnard, winemaker at Keswick Vineyards commented, “The 2014 vintage will stand out in the years to come, I believe, as one of Virginia's finest. With clean ripe fruit harvested, our intention was to stand back and let the soul of the vineyard shine through in the wine. As we taste the wines developing in bottle, I am happy that we achieved what we set out to do. These wines are authentic and communicate the spirit of our winery, vineyard, and souls.”
"I join Governor McAuliffe in congratulating Al, Cindy, Stephen and the entire Keswick family for their achievement, one that will help bring more attention to Virginia's vibrant craft beverage industry," said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. "The development of the wine industry over the last decade has made it one of the fastest growing sectors of Virginia's agricultural economy. Today, there are more than 275 wineries in Virginia and 360 vineyards that cultivate more than 3,500 acres of grapes. The Governor's Cup winners show that advancements in Virginia wine quality are helping to grow the industry's footprint in the Commonwealth and its reputation in the global marketplace."
The 2016 Virginia Governor’s Cup Competition was conducted over four weeks of preliminary tastings, held at the Capital Wine School in Washington, D.C in January. The final round of tastings was held at The Jefferson Hotel, in Richmond in early February. The Governor's Cup award winner was selected from the 2016 Governor's Cup Case, a selection of the top 12 scoring wines chosen from 432 entries of both red and white wines, from 95 wineries. The esteemed panel of judges, including Jay Youmans – one of only 138 Masters of Wine (MW) in the U.S. – had the difficult task of ranking each wine based on aunified scoring system.
In addition to Keswick Vineyards’ 2014 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve, the other 11 wines included in the 2016 Governor’s Cup Case are:
Barboursville Vineyards, 2014 Vermentino
Bluestone Vineyard, 2014 Chardonnay
Cardinal Point Winery, 2014 Clay Hill Cabernet Franc
Fabbioli Cellars, 2012, Cabernet Franc
Glen Manor Vineyards, 2013 Hodder Hill
Granite Heights Winery, 2010 Evening Serenade
Horton Vineyards, 2014 Petit Manseng
Michael Shaps, 2014 Petit Manseng
Naked Mountain Winery, 2012 Petit Verdot
North Gate Vineyard, 2013 Meritage
Stone Tower Winery, 2013 Hogback Mountain
This year's results show a wide variety of wines, highlighting the diversity of grapes growing with distinction in Virginia’s climate and soil. Two wines hail from the Shenandoah Valley, five from Northern Virginia, and five from the Central Virginia area. Several wineries are making their inaugural showing this year in the Governor's Cup case, including Naked Mountain Winery, Stone Tower Winery, Granite Heights Winery, and Cardinal Point Winery.
Now in its 34th year, the Virginia Governor’s Cup competition was revamped in 2012 to become one of the most stringent and thorough wine competitions in the country. The competition is a result of a partnership among the gubernatorial-appointed Virginia Wine Board (VWB), the Virginia Vineyards Association (VVA), and the VWA, which owns and manages the competition. Any wine made from 100% Virginia fruit was eligible for the competition, while ciders and fruit wines had their own category and medalists. All entries included an affidavit with a certification of 100% Virginia fruit and vineyard particulars, including grower names and location, as well as information on alcohol, acidity or basicity (pH), and residual sugar.
Both the Governor's Cup Competition and the resulting Governor’s Cup Case boost the visibility of the state's highest-scoring wines through various programs and exposure to top industry critics and tastemakers. Wine included in the Governor’s Cup Case will be used by the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office for marketing purposes in Virginia, across the country, and around the world. A number of cases will be shipped to select wine media, promoting Virginia wines to a larger national and international audience. The award-winning wines will be used for education purposes at Virginia winemaker roundtable discussions to improve overall quality of Virginia wines. Governor’s Cup Case wines will also be used by Governor McAuliffe on select domestic and international marketing missions and other events designed to promote Virginia’s burgeoning wine and winery tourism industries.
For interviews and photo requests, please contact Annette Boyd at 802.402.1896 or Annette.Boyd@Virginiawine.org. For a complete list of previous Governor’s Cup winners and information about the Virginia wine industry, please visithttp://www.virginiawine.org/governors-cup/awards/ or call the Virginia Wine Marketing Office at 804.344.8200.
According to a 2012 economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs more than 4,700 people and contributes almost $750 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis. Nationwide, Virginia is in the top five states in number of wineries and wine grape production. In 2015, Virginia wine sales reached an all-time high of more than 524,000 cases or nearly 6.3 million bottles. More than 1.6 million tourists visited Virginia wineries in 2015.
We are so excited to find out that two of our wines were awarded Gold Medals at this year's Virginia Governor's Cup Wine Competition- our 2013 Signature Series Cabernet Franc and our 2014 Cabernet Franc Reserve!
And great news for our Keswick Select Wine Club Members- the 2014 Cabernet Franc Reserve is one of the featured wines in your February wine club shipment!
If you aren't a member of our wine club, find out how to join here.
Read the full press release here.
"This is mostly a miscellaneous collection of wines in the interest of timeliness. Some highlights include the new Keswick releases, one of my favorite Virginia wineries from the first report, and the first notes on some Georgia wines. The reds were interesting, but that Petit Manseng was lovely. Give them a try."
Keswick Vineyards' 2012 Signature Series Viognier received a 91 point score and was named "Best of East Coast" by Mark Squires on eRobertParker.com! This is a huge honor for this fantastic Virginia wine, which can be enjoyed for another 5 years. Take a look at his whole report here, and order it online before it's gone!
Saturday, November 7th, was the wedding day for Ginny & Brian at Keswick Vineyards located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia. It would also be the final wedding for our 2015 wedding season that began in April. To everyone’s dislike, Mother Nature was not being cooperative with the weather. When all vendors arrived for the day we started to discuss the weather situation. Almost all forecast where showing rain still at 4:00; the time the ceremony was to start. Ginny was not embracing the weather and really wanted her ceremony outside and we all knew that and we were going to do everything possible to make that happen. We prepared the Sperry tent for our rain plan ceremony location. It was important to Ginny to have the vineyard in her back drop so her ceremony location under the tent was a little different then our recommended rain plan. As you can see by my photos, the tent was looking beautiful to host their wedding ceremony. In the mean time, everyone was on stand by to see if we would get a break in the weather and get lucky to keep the ceremony outside to fulfill Ginny & Brian’s wishes and guess what? We did!!!!!!!!! Ginny & Brian started to do photos outside while everyone else hustled to create their outdoor wedding ceremony within 10 minutes. I can’t tell you how hard it is for the caterers to be that flexible since it is so time consuming setting up for a wedding. Most caterers and wedding planners would not do what was done this day. It required an amazing amount of flexibility, work and compromise from everyone to pull this off. Hats off to Meghan Streit of Shindig Weddings and Events, LLC and Cristine from Harvest Moon Catering and the rest of the Keswick Vineyards team for working extra hard to make Ginny & Brian have their dream wedding outside. I don’t think Ginny ever got to see what the tent looked like for the rain plan until now with these photos. I’m sure she would have been happy with it but definitely was happier being outside and we are all about making our brides happy here at Keswick Vineyards!
I can’t thank enough all the vendors that day for all their hard work. It was so great to be part of an amazing team which included: Meghan Streit of Shindig Weddings and Events LLC, Caterer Harvest Moon, Photographer Jen Fariello, DJ John Garland, Desserts by Pearl’s Bake Shoppe, Officiant Kyle Hoover, Flowers by Blue Ridge Floral, Transportation by Albemarle Limousine, Lighting by Skyline Tent Company and Hair & Make-up by Top Knot Studios.