March 25, 2014
WTOP Living Section
We are thrilled to announce we have been featured in WTOP's Living section! Rachel Nania wrote an amazing article accurately capturing our brand vision as well as the unique wine and music pairing event we host each June.
Posted by Stephen at 8:55 AM
May 8, 2012
On-air personality Paula Kidwell joins Notaviva Vineyards team
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
On-air personality Paula Kidwell joins Notaviva Vineyards team
Purcellville, Virginia - May 7, 2012 - Paula Kidwell, long time on-air personality and music director at 92.5 WINC-FM has joined Notaviva Vineyards as tasting room manager.
"This is an exciting time for Notaviva Vineyards," says Stephen Mackey, co-founder and wine composer. "With our globally unique brand identity of pairing wine and music, Paula's vast experience and talent brings an entirely new dimension to our operation. In addition to managing the tasting room, Paula will oversee our wholesale and restaurant sales channels as we aggressively expand those opportunities."
Paula adds, "I am incredibly excited to be joining the Notaviva team, where I get to combine my two passions; music and excellent wine. Stephen and Shannon have created a winery like no other and I look forward to helping it grow under their innovative guidance. Add to that a great tasting room staff and a fun and friendly atmosphere. I have loved my years at WINC FM, and I'll still be on the radio from time to time, but only one job could make me hang up my headphones and this is it - it's a dream come true."
"Most encouraging however," Stephen continues, "is the potential that Paula brings as Notaviva strategically pursues new media initiatives with our other company, creative agency Mesh Multimedia. The wine industry is rapidly embracing social networking and multimedia technologies to build brand loyalty and create differentiation. With our in-house audio and video production capabilities we are well positioned to exploit cutting-edge technologies for enhanced customer experiences."
Since joining the Notaviva team as a part-time tasting associate in Fall 2011, Paula has seen first-hand many different aspects of the wine industry. Taking personal vacation time to harvest Petit Verdot and press Merlot elbow-to-elbow with the labor crew, she has gained a deeper understanding of the hands-on approach of creating award-winning handcrafted artisan wines. Her interest in exploring the wines of the world brings a fresh perspective to the Notaviva winemaking philosophy.
Co-founder and COO Shannon Mackey adds, "as we grow our thriving business we shall continue to pride ourselves on the strength of our hospitable and personable customer experiences. Having Paula at the helm guiding our team is critical for our future success. On a scale of one to ten in terms of talent, passion, and personality Paula 'goes to eleven' on all three!"
Notaviva Vineyards innovative brand identity pairing wine and music continues to garner attention and gain popularity throughout the wine industry. Wine composer Stephen Mackey is a contributor to Martin Sachse-Weinert's presentation on "Wine and Music" for the lecture series "Science of Wine" by Professor Dr. Helmut König coming to the University of Mainz in Mainz, Germany.
Wine paired with music. Pour. Listen. Believe.®
13274 Sagle Rd
Purcellville, VA 20132
Posted by Stephen at 8:53 AM
July 11, 2011
Alliance With Crooked Run Orchard
On Monday, 11-July-2011 the following letter was sent to Mayor Robert Lazaro and the Purcellville Town Council in response to their actions against Sam and Uta Brown, owners of Crooked Run Orchard. Additional background may be found here:
July 11, 2011
Mayor Lazaro, Purcellville Town Council Members:
I am writing to inform you of our alliance with Sam and Uta Brown, owners of Crooked Run Orchard in their efforts to preserve their farm.
For some time now, we have followed with mounting disappointment and ire the news reports of their ongoing battle with the Town of Purcellville. Perhaps, like many others in the community, we held high hopes the issue would somehow "sort itself out" and that the Browns would prevail in their campaign. And perhaps, like many others in the community, we also held high hopes that their rights as citizens, rural business owners, and landowners would be preserved.
We reacted with shock as we learned of the Town's aggressive tactics in removing the injunction preventing the seizure of the Brown's property, and your subsequent acquisition of their land. In our opinion, you have violated a sacred American right, and we find it unconscionable that the Town of Purcellville has engaged in such actions.
Your quick-take was our tipping point, and we have committed ourselves to assisting the Browns in any way possible. In the short time we have known Sam and Uta, we have found them to be intelligent, passionate, honest and wise - stewards of the land with agricultural knowledge far surpassing our own. Such wisdom should be treasured, nurtured and preserved for Loudoun's future generations, not abused like some inconsequential aggravation. It is a grave sign of Purcellville's societal and political priorities that this situation has deteriorated to this point.
Through business collaboration, awareness campaigns, social media, and professional networking, we shall bring every resource at our disposal to their aid. To that end, we have established a Virginia ABC remote license at Crooked Run Orchard and have begun conducting tasting of Notaviva wines on their property each weekend. Our license allows visitors the legal right to enjoy open bottles and glasses of wine as they sit under the trees enjoying the rural vistas, though inevitably the question arises "what are those stakes over there...?" We have very much enjoyed the passionate response from customers as we advise them of the situation, the Town's actions, and the many ways in which they can help. This collaboration has brought Crooked Run into the DC's Wine Country family, and we have begun advertising Crooked Run as a remote Notaviva Vineyards wine tasting facility.
In addition to our remote tasting operation, we will be producing our first fruit wine this month with fresh produce harvested from Crooked Run. We find it hypocritical that the same Town who created the Loudoun Grown Expo is now endangering not one, but two rural small businesses. Our ability to source high quality local produce is paramount to our winery production capabilities and our continued success. Loudoun wineries depend on a reliable network of dedicated suppliers, as our industry growth has far outpaced our ability to quickly establish our own crops to meet demand. Not only will Notaviva Vineyards products be available at Crooked Run, we will begin offering many of their Loudoun grown products, such as fresh produce and Christmas wreaths, in our tasting room. These interdependencies between rural enterprises are critical to the sustainable goals of our Western Loudoun economy, as well as the preservation of our open spaces.
A long-time dedicated servant of community and small business interests, I was recently elected to the Board of the Virginia Wine Council, a Richmond-based organization tasked with furthering the rights of the wine industry. I am President of the Loudoun Wineries Association, and through the LWA we have a direct and open dialogue with both Loudoun Department of Economic Development and Visit Loudoun. I also serve on the Loudoun Economic Development Commission and the Rural Economic Development Council, the EDC Marketing and Business Retention Committee, and we are members of the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce. Though this correspondence does not endeavor to speak on behalf of any of these organizations nor imply their involvement in any way, I have copied each of them so they may be advised of our intentions and commitment to these matters. I will continue to seek their advice and support as we proceed down this path. In addition to the above organizations and legislators, I am also copying local media channels; the complete list of recipients appears below:
Senator Jill Vogel
Delegate Joe May
Loudoun Board of Supervisors
Matt Conrad, Deputy Chief of Staff, Governor McDonnell
Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry
Patrick Cushing, Director, Virginia Wine Council
Chris Blosser, VP Loudoun Wineries Association
Bree Moore, Secretary Loudoun Wineries Association
Colleen Berg, Treasurer Loudoun Wineries Association
Tony Howard, President & CEO Loudoun Chamber
John Wood, Chair EDC
Kurt Krause, Chair EDC MBRC
Doug Fabbioli, Chair REDC
Tom Flynn, Director Loudoun DED
Kellie Boles, ADO Loudoun DED
Patrick Kaler, CEO Visit Loudoun
Gem Bingol, Piedmont Environmental Council
Blue Ridge Leader
Six (6) Virginia Wine Blogs
I implore you to cease your malicious activities and your intent to destroy the Brown's rights, property, crops and business. It is my understanding that the SCR is not funded, not engineered, and mired in lawsuits. Therefore any destruction of the Brown's property under the mantle of quick-take eminent domain may be construed as nothing more than a thinly-veiled pro-development land grab; how could it be perceived otherwise? These activities are a scar on the history of Purcellville, of Loudoun, and of Virginia. It is our understanding you intend to construct a fence to bar the Browns from their property. Should you commence with this initiative, we will organize a benefit concert to raise funds for the Brown's legal defense. This will be held adjacent to "town property" at Crooked Run and will engage a comprehensive social networking and media strategy.
If you feel there is no chance for further negotiations and that the Town's position is firm, then our destiny is aligned with that of Sam and Uta's. However, if there may be any possibility of the Town reconsidering its present course of action, we would gladly donate usage of our facility to bring all parties back to the table to re-establish a constructive dialogue. We do not believe the destruction of Crooked Run Orchards is a foregone conclusion, and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure its future.
I would welcome an opportunity to personally hear your responses to this correspondence; therefore I have a video crew standing by to meet us this Sunday, July 17th at 10 AM at Crooked Run. We are prepared to film you speaking in front of the 25-year old orchard, the 80-year old boxwood hedges, the previously working barn and the wide swath of private property you are intent on destroying. I would like to film you standing in front of the stakes you have placed delineating your unfunded roadway, as well as the stake you placed at the entrance to the Brown's barn. Further, we would like to film you reading aloud the condescending letters and lease offer you have submitted to the Browns. I believe it is critical for the community and our future generations to bear witness to this debacle - if we do not study our history we are doomed to repeat it. Bear in mind every word of your response will be included for release to YouTube, agricultural, environmental and heritage association websites, and any other media channel interested in carrying the piece.
Please reply to all and let us know how many of you will attend the video shoot so we may plan accordingly. We look forward to filming you this Sunday at 10 AM.
Co-Founder, CEO and President
Notaviva Vineyards, LLC
13274 Sagle Road
Purcellville, VA 20132
Posted by Stephen at 6:25 PM
September 28, 2010
Governor Announces Wine Sales Up
Governor McDonnell Announces Sales of Virginia Wines Up Nearly 13% in FY2010
Promotion of Virginia Wine Domestically and Internationally One Component of Governor's Economic Development Initiatives
Virginia Wineries Jump from 120 in 2005 to Nearly 180 Today; Industry Employees 3,000 People, Contributes $350 Million Annually To Virginia Economy
RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that sales of Virginia wine in FY2010 increased nearly 13% from FY2009. Total sales of Virginia wine amounted to $1,604,387 in wine liter tax collections during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, whereas the total wine liter tax collected by the state derived from the sale of Virginia wine in FY2009 amounted to $1,428,216.
Speaking about the increase in Virginia wine sales, Governor McDonnell said, "The increase in the sale of Virginia wine is good news for our grape growers and wine makers, both of whom are responsible for producing the outstanding wines that Virginia is now being recognized for both here and abroad. The growth of the wine industry in Virginia means more jobs for our citizens and needed economic development in our communities, particularly in the rural areas of the Commonwealth. The increase in sales also means more funds will be dedicated to wine grape education and research and wine marketing initiatives that will help the Virginia wine industry continue to grow, and lead to more jobs being created in the years ahead."
Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore stated, "These numbers reflect that more people are recognizing the high quality wines our farm wineries are producing. Working with our private sector partners, we're going to spread the good news about Virginia wines even farther. For the first time ever, we have in place both domestic and international marketing plans for Virginia wine that are already paying dividends. With the help of the new monies dedicated by the Governor and the General Assembly in 2010, as well as the Governor's Choose the Commonwealth campaign, we will continue to promote Virginia wine and all of our unequalled Virginia agricultural products as one of the best ways to grow our rural economy."
According to figures from the most recent economic impact study, the Virginia wine industry employs approximately 3,000 people and contributes almost $350 million to the Virginia economy on an annual basis. The study reflected the impact of 120 wineries in 2005; today, there are nearly 180 licensed farm wineries in the state. In recent years, Virginia has become a nationwide leader in wine and is now fifth in the nation both for wine production and number of wineries. The Governor has declared October Virginia Wine Month and encourages Virginians to support this thriving agricultural sector by visiting a winery or purchasing Virginia wine through their local restaurants, grocers and specialty shops.
The wine liter tax is applied at a rate of $3.60 per case of wine. The tax collection report is issued annually in a letter from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the House Appropriations Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Virginia Wine Board.
For more information about the Virginia wine industry, please visit www.virginiawine.org or contact the Virginia Wine Marketing Office at (804) 344-8200.
Posted by Stephen at 9:01 PM
June 13, 2010
The Great 2010 Facelift
Can't believe this house is over three years old! The outside was starting to look a bit weathered, and it was overdue for some siding repair and stain. I got a quote from a painter, and they wanted $12,000 to paint the whole outside - ouch. So being about $12,000 short of $12,000 I decided to do it myself. Rented a 60' articulated man lift from Rentals Unlimited for about $1,500 delivered both ways, and about $400 in semi-solid Cabot siding stain. Add to that about 70 hours over six days in the bucket of the man lift and it is done!
Still have to finish up the timber frame under the front porch and a few spots of blue, but the high-wire act is finished. We also added a great new element to the west wall, a 5' wide silver star to greet customers coming up from the parking lot. Come on out and see the results!
Posted by Stephen at 11:29 AM
December 31, 2009
Got quite behind on a lot of tasks during harvest, and am now trying to get caught up. Posted two new photo galleries from a couple projects at the end of the summer. Enjoy!
Posted by Stephen at 1:17 PM
November 7, 2009
New Tasting Room Milestone
Wow. What a crazy day! We set our new tasting room record with 260 tastings in a single day. Many thanks to Beth, Shayna, Mary Beth, and our newest recruit Lucinda who all hung in there through a very challenging afternoon.
In addition, we also had a wedding proposal at the tasting bar right in the middle of the madness. It's so great to be part of people's lives, and wish them the best!
Posted by Stephen at 12:05 PM
September 4, 2009
While we were in construction mode we decided to go ahead and finish the west deck handicap ramp. Not required by code, but definitely the right thing to do. Enjoyed quite a bit of assistance from my "assistants" !
Enjoy the pics.
Posted by Stephen at 1:13 PM
July 23, 2009
Notaviva Cheerleaders Let Us Hear You!
It's that time of year again, the Virginia wine events online popularity contest! If you've been out to Notaviva and had a good time, then give us a shout out by voting here:
You can vote once a day, so keep coming back!
Posted by Stephen at 5:28 PM
July 14, 2009
Preliminary Wine & Music Pairing Results Posted
I've been working hard at analyzing the results from our one-year anniversary celebration event a few weeks ago, our wine and music pairing event. Still have a lot of data mining I'll be conducting, and reading through the open ended comments is fantastic (I'll publish them in a week or so after the event participants have had their exclusive first peek) Also, I'll be putting together some "music metrics" i.e. tempo, key etc. to layer in those elements of the pairing data.
What I have done so far is put together some charts illustrating which music track the event participants chose as their favorite. To refresh your memory, each wine was poured blind, then we played the ten music tracks (30-second clip each) and everyone rated how well the music enhanced (or detracted from) the wine. Then each track was played again at a 15-second interval and everyone had to pick only one music track that was their favorite with that wine. This information is what I have created the charts from.
And for those of you who weren't aware of the event we hosted, here are the details!
To celebrate our one-year anniversary, we are pleased to announce the world's first wine & music pairing event
The Notaviva Experience
Saturday - June 27, 2009
7 pm - 10 pm
Admission $25 per person - Reservations Required
For the first time, a select group of wine and music enthusiasts can participate in a live experiment based on experiential sensory pairings. The event has been designed to ensure an unbiased forum for the consideration of the complex ways in which auditory stimuli can influence the perception of wines. The event shall proceed as follows:
- Five wines will be individually presented (4 oz blind tasting)
- Each wine will be accompanied by ten 1-minute clips of music from widely varying genres with a 10-second silent pause between clips
- Tasters will have evaluation materials available to rate each clip according to the current wine being tasted
- Evaluation materials will be collected at the end of the evening and loaded into a research database for graphical presentation on the Web
7:00 pm - Winemaker welcome, experiment overview and tasting tips
7:20 pm - Wine 1 presented
7:40 pm - Wine 2 presented
8:00 pm - Wine 3 presented
8:20 pm - Wine 4 presented
8:40 pm - Wine 5 presented
9:00 pm - Winemaker wrap-up, open discussion and group social
Hors d'oeuvres, gourmet cheeses, fresh breads and desserts will be served.
Don't miss this unique opportunity to be a part of wine history!
Posted by Stephen at 10:04 PM
June 16, 2009
This email put such a big smile on our faces that we thought we would share it with you - received this after the last newsletter went out:
Dear Stephen and Shannon,
Thank you for the emails you are sending to keep us apprised of the events at the vineyard and the development of your business/family. I watched every episode of Dream House and happily followed the realization of your dream. It was so enjoyable to watch the way you both pulled together during such an exciting/stressful situation. During previous installments of Dream House, I have been frustrated sometimes at the events that unfolded and how husbands/wives or friends treated each other during the construction. Having gone through a home renovation myself, I realize that is pretty much the norm, but it is not pleasant to watch on TV! Your family was a joy to watch and an inspiration/testimony to hard work and determination. I was in awe of both of you most of the time for juggling so many roles and not letting it get the best of you.
My husband and I are not wine experts by any means, and are just getting our feet wet in finding what we like. I wish your establishment was closer, so we could come enjoy all it has to offer! One day, however, we intend to include your vineyard on a trip "down south". Until then, I am thrilled to hear of your upcoming addition to your family. Hope the delivery goes well and all are healthy. What a great name you chose!
Best wishes for continued success in your business, but most of all in your lives.
Posted by Stephen at 8:44 AM
May 16, 2009
New Tasting Room Milestone
Wow, what a HUGE day in the tasting room. We passed another milestone today, crossing the 200+ tastings in a single day mark. Quickbooks shows 204, but safe to say there might be a dozen or so additional people from the groups who "got lost in the shuffle" - also set our single day group record with 12! By way of comparison, this same weekend in 2008 we did 34 tastings.
Fantastic people visiting today, several who had seen the HGTV show and were coming in to see the finished product, and lots of return visitors who we met last year and are coming back. Thanks to our great customers - your warm wishes and awesome compliments are what keep us going.
Great job by our team - thanks to Andrea, Brittany, Ryan & Ariel for holding it all together, and to Shannon for taking on several of the groups with just under two months to go until the baby is due. Also thanks to Grammy for taking the boys!
Posted by Stephen at 8:00 PM
May 14, 2009
Photo Gallery Catchup
Had the chance to catch up on some more of my photo galleries. Here are several from last fall - enjoy!
Posted by Stephen at 2:34 PM
March 30, 2009
Blog Catchup - New Photo Galleries
If you've been following this blog for any length of time you've by now figured out I'm devoted to keeping it up to date, no matter how far behind I get. I've just spent several hours building some new photo galleries from spring 2008 and have uploaded them into the appropriate blog entries. Will be posting several more over the next few days - stay tuned!!!
Posted by Stephen at 8:36 AM
February 24, 2009
Today Shannon and I participated in the "Responsible Sellers and Servers: Virginia's Program" seminar hosted by the Virginia ABC. It was an eye-opening learning experience, as we covered many topics such as various laws, proper ID techniques, handling intoxicated guests and other valuable information. We highly recommend this program for anyone working in an industry where alcohol is served. You're doing yourself and your patrons a great service by having the knowledge.
Here's the link:
Posted by Stephen at 9:01 PM
January 21, 2009
Say No to the Powerline
I am stating flatly for the public record that we are 100% absolutely opposed to the proposed powerline, which would cut through our scenic Between the Hills valley. We will do everything in our power to fight this, and encourage all who read this blog and support the Loudoun wine industry to follow suit. Here are some links to various articles and maps.
SAY NO TO THE POWERLINE.
Map of Proposed Route
(you can see Sagle Road just under the "116" on Map 1)
See the map
Leesburg Today article
Posted by Stephen at 11:26 PM
January 4, 2009
Vineyard Wedding Gifts
So at long last I've done it! I've finally updated our "Meet the Crew" page with the names of the family and friends who contributed nursery stock for our wedding registry. For those of you who aren't aware, when Shannon and I wed in June 2004 we provided family and friends the option of downloading a form whereby they could give money towards our first planting in 2005. Nearly half an acre of nursery stock came from these gifts, and our promise was to post those names on the Web site as well as on a plaque in the tasting room. So over the past few weeks as I've been getting caught up on organization I finally "unearthed" some boxes from the wedding and found the donation sheets. The list is posted on the page below, please let us know right away if you or someone you know is missing before we create the final plaque this spring!!!
Posted by Stephen at 7:32 PM
December 24, 2008
From our home to yours, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Posted by Stephen at 8:43 PM
November 21, 2008
Stephen Selected for Loudoun EDC
As if I didn't have enough going on! But I figure it's time to get serious about the future of both of our businesses as well as our county and the best way to do that is to get involved. Here's the press release:
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the slate of nominees for the Economic Development Commission November 18. The slate was put forward by the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development (DED) and was recommended for approval by the Loudoun County Economic Development Commission (EDC) members.
The EDC's Nominating Committee received 39 applications for this year's selection, the highest number in the EDC's 13-year history. By the end of the three-month recruitment and selection process, 11 new applicants were chosen for membership, and three previous EDC members were selected as Member Emeritus commissioners. John Wood of Telos Corporation was also selected as the Chairman of the EDC for 2009 and 2010.
Selected members and their respective companies are Joseph Boling, Middleburg Bank; Jerry Coughter, George Mason University; Linda Erbs, William H. Gordon Associates; Michelle Frank, Orbital Sciences; Alice Frazier, BB&T Bank; Tag Greason, Current Analysis; Mark Hassinger, WestDulles Properties; Kurt Krause, National Conference Center; Stephen Mackey, Notaviva Vineyards and Mesh Multimedia; Mark Stavish, Evergreen Partners; Bob Steere, Steere Consulting Partners; and Ed Zigo, Clarke-Hook Real Estate. Appointed Members Emeritus are Tamar Datan Johnston, Amazon Conservation Team; Joe Paciulli, Paciulli, Simmons & Associates; and Deborah Rochkind, Venable LLP.
Established in 1995 by the County's Board of Supervisors, the EDC is a public/private partnership responsible for promoting Loudoun's economic development. The EDC serves as a forum through which business and government leaders meet to exchange ideas and experiences about business growth in the county.
The Commission's responsibilities include:
• Updating and implementing the Community's Economic Development Strategic Plan.
• Providing program and policy recommendations to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.
• Coordinating economic development and marketing activities among public/private groups in the county.
• Providing the Department of Economic Development with ongoing support and oversight.
"We are very proud of our new members. They are all extremely well qualified to serve and represent our targeted business clusters," said DED Manager of Strategic Initiatives and EDC liaison Dorri O'Brien Morin. With twenty-seven voting members, the EDC features representatives from diverse industries such as aerospace, agribusiness, banking & finance, higher education, manufacturing, professional services, real estate development, retail, small business and telecommunications. Additional commissioners include elected officials and ex-officio members representing key economic development businesses and organizations.
# # #
Posted by Stephen at 4:20 PM
November 6, 2008
It just seems this year keeps getting more surreal by the week. Tonight we were surprised, yet thrilled to be named the Loudoun County Agricultural Small Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce! As you may have read a few weeks ago, we were nominated in two categories, Ag and Entrepreneur.
Obviously as parents and co-founders of two small businesses, we "don't get out much" so we decided to enjoy the evening to the fullest. We ponied up the money to buy an entire table so our friends and family could join us, since they've been so instrumental in our success this year. Of course when our name was called we got to go up on stage and receive our award, at which point Shannon "let" me go to the podium to say our thanks. :o)
So for those of you who weren't there, I first congratulated our fellow nominees and finalists, it is truly an honor to be named among you all. Then we thanked the Loudoun Chamber for putting on such a great event. Larry Rosenstrauch and the Loudoun DED and Warren Howell and the REDC for all the great work they do for small ag businesses. Special thanks of course goes to our winemaking consultant Doug Fabbioli for his wisdom and guidance over the years. Thanks and love to all the friends and family who have pitched in, and never stopped believing in us even when we had. I tried to thank my amazing wife Shannon, but couldn't get the words out and teared up on stage (I tear up as I write this as well.) And from the bottom of our hearts, thanks to our children Tristan and Duncan (and baby #3 who is on the way!) from whom we draw our inspiration, and who have often been passed from sitter to sitter at the craziest hours of the day as we've tried to manage all that life has thrown us this past year. Mommy and Papa have been put to the test, and it finally feels like we're turning the corner with great things to come.
Enjoy the pics!
A night out!
Our name announced!
Getting a pic onstage.
Posted by Stephen at 11:41 PM
October 31, 2008
Here are a few photos from this month - enjoy the pics!
Posted by Stephen at 2:30 PM
September 30, 2008
August & September Pics
Here are a few photos from the last two months - check them out!
Posted by Stephen at 2:27 PM
September 29, 2008
Small Business Awards
We are very honored to announce we've been selected as finalists in two categories for the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce 2008 Small Business Awards! You can check out the press release here:
Posted by Stephen at 5:47 PM
August 21, 2008
Online Shopping Launched!
To all you thirsty folks around the country we're now able to take online orders! To see if we can ship to your state, check the "Offsite" column at FedEx.com (make sure you read ALL the footnotes!) and if you see a "Yes" for your state then please visit the store!
Posted by Stephen at 9:14 PM
August 11, 2008
New Virginia Wine Web Site
Hey check out the new Web site focused on Virginia Wines:
Posted by Stephen at 9:17 AM
June 28, 2008
Although we've technically been open since March, we're officially calling today our "Grand Opening" as it is the first day we're doing live music up in the music loft. This is what it's all about, pairing up wine and music in a beautiful setting and letting guests enjoy the combination of everything. Today we hosted Chelsea Lee and Furnace Mountain, an up-and-coming amazing talent and a seasoned local trio. Hearing the live music and seeing the happy faces is what we've been working towards for so long, and to finally have it all come together, along with family and friends is just the greatest feeling in the world.
Posted by Stephen at 9:45 AM
April 14, 2008
Notaviva in the News
Been a great couple of weeks on the PR front. Shannon and I were featured in the recent issues of both the Washington Business Journal and the Loudoun Business Journal. They are not affiliated, just was a great coincidence that both stories hit at the same time. We were thrilled with both articles! The WBJ article really took a good look at the business side, while the LBJ article dove much deeper into the rationale behind the dream as well as some of the challenges that were overcome. Here's a link to the first few paragraphs of the WBJ article (you'd have to be a subscriber to see the whole thing...)
Here's the link to the LBJ article:
Posted by Stephen at 8:39 PM
April 8, 2008
Ralph J. "Whitie" Hubert
The Virginia wine industry lost a true pioneer yesterday, and we would like to pay our respects by saving a copy of his obituary here. As members of a new generation of winery owners we are indebted to the Hubert's vision and entrepreneurial spirit.
From the Leesburg Colonial Funeral Home Web site:
Ralph J. "Whitie" Hubert
(May 28, 1924 - April 7, 2008)
Ralph J. "Whitie" Hubert, 83, founder and chairman of the Gaithersburg, MD-based Hubert Construction, LLC and co-owner of Tarara Winery LLC, passed away at his home in Leesburg, VA on April 7, 2008. He had prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease.
Whitie was born in Avon Lake, Ohio in 1924 and was raised on a fruit farm that included a vineyard. He attended college at Bowling Green University before joining the Marines during War World II. Following his military service, during which he participated in several Pacific amphibious landings, he attended John Carroll University for a year before transferring to Catholic University, where he was a wrestling champion and the University football team quarterback. It was there that he received his nickname "Whitie" from a football coach who had trouble remembering his name and identified him by his light blond hair.
Between his junior and senior years of college, Whitie took a bicycle trip from Paris over the Alps to Rome. Returning to the U.S. in 1949, he met his future wife Margaret on the English Channel. He graduated Catholic University with an Architectural Engineering degree in 1950 and married Margaret in 1951 in Washington, D.C.
Whitie has been an icon in the Washington, D.C. area construction industry for over 40 years. With just $1,000 in start-up capital in 1959, following the birth of his fifth child, he founded Glen Construction Co. Inc. with then-partner Frank Darcey. In 1969, he bought out his partner and began building a reputation as one of the metropolitan area's largest contractors. For several years, Glen was included in Engineering News Record's list of the top 100 contractors in the nation.
By the 1980's, Glen was building over two million square feet of commercial space per year, including many of the area's landmark buildings such as the J.T.L. Tycon Towers office building in Tyson's Corner and the Radisson Mark Plaza in Alexandria. During this time, he served as President of the Metropolitan Washington Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and was National President and Fellow of the American Institute of Constructors. In the late 1990's, Whitie reduced his involvement in Glen Construction and sold his interest to his son, Michael Hubert. In 1998, realizing that he missed working in the construction industry, Whitie founded Hubert Construction, LLC. In 2002, he won the DC Metropolitan Subcontractors' Association Pinnacle Award for lifetime achievement in the building and construction industry.
Whitie believed that working in the construction field was a "great sport." He was proud of the "Glen Graduates," many of whom who started their construction careers with him and went on to positions of industry leadership. They shared a camaraderie and set of ethics unique to the construction industry. Known for his energy, integrity, and intense "type A" personality, Whitie often would say after a heated exchange: "I'm not mad at you."
Like many World War II veterans, Whitie developed an interest in flying. He received his pilot's license and owned several airplanes, one of which met its' demise in a crash landing. Whitie managed to walk away from that crash and from multiple other moving vehicle incidents, some of which he left while the vehicles were on fire. Friends and family learned that it was better to be Whitie's driver than his passenger, even while riding in a golf cart.
In 1985, Whitie and his wife Margaret bought a 475-acre farm on the Potomac River in Loudoun County, Virginia and named it Tarara. There they built a home and winery, planting 50 acres of grapes, fruit trees, and nursery stock. They opened Tarara's tasting room in 1989. Whitie was actively involved with the Virginia Wineries Association, encouraging state support of Virginia's nascent wine industry, which is now the nation's fifth largest.
Tarara Winery today is one of Virginia's most recognized destination wineries. It became Whitie's "sandbox" for an unending series of projects that precluded a slow-paced retirement. With Tarara, Whitie returned to his Ohio roots, living a life focused on family, farming, and growing grapes for wine.
Whitie is survived by his wife of 56 years, Margaret, five children: Karen Harvell of Atlanta, GA; Martha Hubert of San Francisco, CA; Steven Hubert of Bethesda, MD; Janet DuBois of Minneapolis, MN; and Michael Hubert of Gaithersburg, MD; and nine grandchildren: Andrea, Daniella, Casey, Jaime, Andrew, Melanie, Peter, Richard, and Erica. He was predeceased by his grandson Neil.
Family and friends may call on Thursday, April 10, 2008 from 2 to 4 PM and from 6 to 8 PM at Colonial Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 AM on Friday, April 11, 2008, at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church (King & Union Streets), Leesburg, VA. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his memory to the building fund of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, 101 Oakcrest Manor Drive, Leesburg, VA 20176.
Posted by Stephen at 8:27 PM
March 27, 2008
Mesh Multimedia LLC
Shannon and I are proud to announce we've formed a new multimedia production company! Mesh Multimedia LLC was formed to provide businesses and government agencies a one-stop multimedia solution for live event production, Web 2.0 integration, presentation support, Web design and graphic design.
So what is the mesh ...?
The mesh is the experiential network that enables integrated media delivery through multiple channels. This experiential network can be comprised of any combination of live events, collaborative Web applications, Internet communications, audiovisual mediums, and print. "Meshing" can be used to describe both the intentions and activities of an information provider, as well as the activities and motivations of an information receiver. For example, if you are at a corporate sales event and are engaged in collaborative Web activities with your colleagues you are "meshing". If you are watching a product marketing video and surfing the Web at the same time you are "meshing".
Learn more about our new initiative by visiting our Web site: www.meshmultimedia.com.
Posted by Stephen at 8:13 PM
Got caught up on a few more entries from last July, scroll down to check 'em out!
Posted by Stephen at 8:12 PM
March 26, 2008
LWGA Party Time
Tonight we hosted the Loudoun Winegrower's Association meeting at our place. It was so awesome to finally have everyone over who have been so supportive of our efforts over the past few years. We had a turnout of about 38 including Shannon and I. Well, 39 including Tristan who hung out for most of the meeting growling at people in his fierce Tyrannosaurus Rex way.
We were able to fit all the chairs upstairs in the loft, and it worked out great because we took care of business upstairs, then came down into the tasting room for the reception. Plenty of people donated wine, and the event was sponsored by Marlene Straughn of the Independent Insurance Center as they write winery and vineyard insurance policies and had a lot of good information for the association members.
All in all it was a great time, and Shannon and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to come out - we enjoyed visiting with all of you!
Posted by Stephen at 8:05 PM
March 24, 2008
Hardscaping is the design and installation of non-plant elements such as stone and woodwork. It also includes earth moving and other miserable chores. I call it hardscaping because it's, well, HARD. Seems like everything associated with this is heavy!
Anyhow, I spent 10 hours today working on a new terraced lawn design I'm creating by the pond. After the big brush fire a few weeks ago, I decided to cut in a terrace, and using the remaining boulders from the construction installed a retaining wall to hold the upper terrace. I left a gap in the middle for a stairway, which I created out of several large stones from the old fireplace that stood in the log home we tore down in May 2006. It really came together, and I was able to do the rough grading with the tractor, but will be relying on Ron Hawes to do the final grade with the Bobcat as 1) it is a more adept machine and 2) he is a more adept operator!
Posted by Stephen at 6:36 PM
March 15, 2008
Spent the better part of the day removing a tree by the pond that fell down during the last ice storm. Took several hours to chainsaw the branches and trunk in pieces, stack the small stuff into a burn pile, and stack the larger pieces to dry out for the eventual fire pit that we'll have at the pondside seating area. Then the really fun part was trying to get the giant roots out of the ground. Using the front end loader of the tractor, I took a couple tries at rolling it out but some of the larger roots just wouldn't break free. So after almost rolling the tractor a few times, I had to prop up the stump with the loader and cut the roots free with the chain saw. After that the stump tore loose from the ground and I dragged it out into the woods, leaving a gaping hole in the hillside to fill in tomorrow.
All in all it was a brutal day, and I'm feeling pretty wiped out at the moment. But after removing the tree and seeing how much it opens up the pondside seating area I'm kind of glad it's gone, now we'll have a much nicer area for customers to hang out so in the end it turned out for the better.
Posted by Stephen at 7:57 PM
March 1, 2008
Open For Business
Today was the first official day Notaviva Vineyards opened for business! It actually came about quite suddenly, as we weren't planning on opening for another few months. But we recently left our positions at Viva so we figured let's just do it. This past Monday we were driving the back roads having our coffee, and I turned to Shannon and said, "you know, our greatest opportunity is sitting empty on weekends. Let's open this Sunday." To which she replied "Let's just do it Saturday!" And that was that.
So we jumped on the phone with Doug Fabbioli and asked how to make this work, ended up driving over to his place to discuss the details. In short we are operating under a remote license through Fabbioli Cellars until our TTB and ABC licenses come through, should be any time now given they tell people 60 days and our paperwork was submitted last October...
We feel like we've crossed the finish line, all the years of hard work and dedication really feel like they're starting to pay off. It was an amazing feeling, chatting with customers and seeing their faces looking around the tasting room. We sold almost a case of our Viognier on futures, even though people can't take the bottles away until we're official. Awesome.
So come on by and check out the tasting room, and enjoy a tasting of the Fabbioli wines. Saturdays and Sundays 12pm - 6pm.
Dreams do come true.
Posted by Stephen at 8:48 PM
January 23, 2008
Just in case you wanted to see how cute the Notaviva swag looked on a yummy baby, check out our nephew James Beckford Mackey! This item is available in the Swag Shop.
(Click photo to enlarge)
Posted by Stephen at 9:46 AM
January 4, 2008
Made some progress on blog catchup - finished up the first part of May!
Posted by Stephen at 11:22 PM
November 28, 2007
Just finished uploading a bunch of new pictures from May, June, and July. Will continue uploading pictures until I'm current, then will go back and fill in the text.
Scroll down and enjoy!
Posted by Stephen at 11:35 AM
November 2, 2007
Still working on backfilling blog entries - just finished up April!
Posted by Stephen at 5:01 PM
October 18, 2007
Where Have We Been???
I'm sure by now many of you regular readers must think we have fallen off the planet, as our blog entries are so far behind. But fear not! We have been hard at work on many different initiatives, and trying to get some rest after the (semi) completion of our home and tasting room. Here's a quick look at what we've been up to:
- Designed and printed our letterhead and envelopes
- Harvested both the Viognier and Cabernet Franc (will post those pics and entries very soon!) Both wines are well underway under the watchful eye of Doug Fabbioli and Ben Renshaw. I kid you not - the Viognier is out of this world!
- Created our online store, which although in it's early stages is ready for customers. Check back often as products will be added frequently over the weeks and months ahead.
- Began development of the new Web site (probably 50% complete at this writing - anticipate a December launch) This is definitely a planes/trains/automobiles project as I have been squeezing this in amongst my travels all summer and fall. Several pages were created at Dulles airport boarding gates, others on the Acela express train, still others in the passenger seat while Shannon is driving. It will get done! Wanna sneak a peak...?
So thank you for your continued interest in our venture, and your continued patience in the tardiness of our blog entries. Rest assured however, that we are doing everything possible to make it all happen given our limited bandwidth with professional careers and two young boys. Check back often as I backfill blog entries and try hard to get caught up!
Posted by Stephen at 5:00 PM
May 15, 2007
Loudoun Business Journal
Notaviva Vineyards got some local ink in the Loudoun Business Journal article "Building a Wine Country".
Thanks to Therese Howe and her support of the Loudoun Winery industry - check out the article here.
Posted by Stephen at 12:54 PM
March 9, 2007
Notaviva Vineyards In The News
Copied from the Loudoun County Web site:
Travel the Loudoun Wine Trail: 2007 Brochure is Available
The 2007 Loudoun Wine Trail brochure is now available at wineries, the Loudoun Convention and Visitors Association office, Leesburg Corner Outlets, and many other locations.
The brochure lists the 12 local wineries in last year’s brochure and adds Loudoun’s newest winery, Fabbioli Cellars in Lucketts. By the end of this year, Notaviva Vineyards in Purcellville and Bluemont Vineyard will also be open, boosting the number of Loudoun wineries to fifteen.
Posted by Stephen at 4:56 PM
February 7, 2007
Thought I'd share some pics of the vineyard and house under a blanket of snow:
Posted by Stephen at 3:44 PM
January 9, 2007
WashingtonPost.com Blogging Summit
I was invited to the inaugural WashingtonPost.com blogging summit, held at the Washington Post auditorium in DC. Tammy Marcoullier, a former colleague of Shannon's from AOL is now a consultant for the Post and has been following our blog. It was her idea to have me attend, and I'm glad to have had the experience.
Essentially the summit was for DC-area non-political bloggers to come together to discuss blog-specific issues. The three-hour summit was divided into three segments. First was a panel comprised of top Washington Post executives, with we bloggers asking questions and offering suggestions. Second was a libel attorney discussing libel and defamation issues particular to bloggers. This was a very interesting and enlightening session. I didn't stick around for the third hour, as Shannon was home with the boys and feeling pretty tired.
I'd guess about 100 people attended, and it was very cool to see the diversity of the topic represented. As we walked in they were scrolling through all the bloggers' home pages and putting them up on the screens. It felt great to see our blog up there!
Posted by Stephen at 10:31 PM
November 17, 2006
Finally broke down and bought ourselves a pickup truck. Should have done it a while ago but figured we'd wait until the time was right. Surfed the net for a few weeks, and actually looked a few last Saturday down in Winchester but they all had too much mileage on them. Then as I was sitting in the Boston airport last night I came across a 1997 Ford F150 extended cab 4X4 for $8,995. Best part is that it only had 49,000 miles on it under one owner. So we took off from work a little early and went to see Hazem the Palestinian down in Manassas. What a great time, he and his team were so friendly and made the experience quite entertaining. In and out in two hours. Pics are at the end of this gallery.
Posted by Stephen at 10:00 PM
February 3, 2006
Magnus, son of Magnus arrived today!!! OK, for those of you who don't know about Magnus, that is the name of our old tractor. Named in honor of Shannon's great-grandfather who emigrated to the US from Sweden. Thus when we decided to purchase a new tractor, there was only one name to be considered - Magnus Magnusson - "Son of Magnus"
Have a look:
Happily, our old tractor gets to stay in the family. My cousin Julie's husband Randy is a closet hayseed who loves farming. They are actually getting a horse, cow, and other things that can get out of a fence and eat the neighbors bushes... Have fun with that - we'll stick to grapes! So they came and picked up Magnus and took him to his new home. Here's some pics of Shannon saying goodbye (you know how attached women get to their tractors...) :-)
Posted by Stephen at 9:08 PM
December 31, 2005
Closed For Winter
Notaviva Vineyards is officially closed for the winter! What an insane year - it still hasn't really sunk in that we actually accomplished everything we set out to do. Thanks again to everyone who pitched in and donated their time and muscles to our efforts - we will never forget it.
As for us, it's time to hibernate and spend the next six weeks playing with Tristan every weekend until it's time to start pruning and running trellis wire. But until then it will feel glorious to have nothing to do on weekends but relax. Now where did I put that guitar...?
Happy New Year from Stephen, Shannon, & Tristan!
Posted by Stephen at 7:38 PM
October 21, 2005
In an effort to expand our blog content offering, I've decided to begin syndicating other interesting vineyard and wine-related blogs. For you non-techy readers, syndication is essentially an automated process whereby our blog can display links to the articles on other blogs. I've found an interesting blog maintained by Tom Wark who is a public relations professional working in the wine industry and owner of Wark Communications, based in Sonoma Valley, CA. There are a lot of interesting articles related to the industry, from vineyards to wineries to legal issues to marketing, and everything in between. There are dozens of other wine-related blogs, soon to be hundreds I'm sure, so I'll be trying out different feeds from time to time as new blogs emerge.
So check out Tom's blog via the "Fermentations Feeds" links to the right. Enjoy!
Posted by Stephen at 2:00 PM
August 31, 2005
Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund
It could happen to any of us...
Posted by Stephen at 5:50 PM
May 16, 2005
Supreme Court Ruling
Court rejects ban on out-of-state wine sales
Ruling could extend to other alcoholic drinks, e-commerce
NBC, MSNBC and news services
Updated: 6:35 p.m. ET May 16, 2005
WASHINGTON - Raising the bar on states wanting to restrict online commerce, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that wine lovers may buy directly from out-of-state wineries, striking down laws banning a practice that has flourished because of the Internet and growing popularity of winery tours.
While the ruling only involves wine sales, industry groups expect that it will soon apply to beer and other alcoholic beverages currently regulated through state-licensed wholesalers and retailers.
Lawyers involved in the case say the ruling will also make it harder for states to restrict Internet commerce on other regulated items — from contact lenses to car insurance.
The 5-4 decision strikes down laws in New York and Michigan that make it a crime to buy wine directly from vineyards in another state. In all, 24 states have laws that bar interstate shipments.
The state bans are discriminatory and anti-competitive, the court said.
"States have broad power to regulate liquor," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority. "This power, however, does not allow states to ban, or severely limit, the direct shipment of out-of-state wine while simultaneously authorizing direct shipment by in-state producers."
'Evenhanded' policy required
"If a state chooses to allow direct shipments of wine, it must do so on evenhanded terms," he wrote.
Kennedy was joined in his opinion by Justices Antonin Scalia, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
At issue was the 21st Amendment, which ended Prohibition in 1933 and granted states authority to regulate alcohol sales. Nearly half the states subsequently passed laws requiring outside wineries to sell their products through licensed wholesalers within the state.
But the Constitution also prohibits states from passing laws that discriminate against out-of-state businesses. That led to a challenge to laws in Michigan and New York, which allow direct shipments for in-state wineries but not out-of-state ones.
Kennedy wrote that states do not have the authority to regulate liquor simply to protect their economic interests.
The decision puts in doubt laws in 24 states that ban out-of-state shipments, although the opinion suggests the laws will be upheld so long as in-state and out-of-state wineries are treated equally.
As a result, states could choose all wineries to sell to consumers directly, but could also bar all wineries from doing so.
Legislators in Michigan and New York, where local wine industries are rapidly expanding, will likely face pressure to upend their current shipping laws and allow out-of-state shipments. But in states like Connecticut and Florida, where few wineries are located, influential liquor wholesalers may have more success in shutting down all direct shipments.
Thomas writes dissent
In a dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that the ruling needlessly overturns long-established regulations aimed partly at protecting minors. State regulators under the 21st Amendment have clear authority to regulate alcohol as they see fit, he wrote.
"The court does this nation no service by ignoring the textual commands of the Constitution and acts of Congress," Thomas wrote.
He was joined in his opinion by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, as well as Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and John Paul Stevens.
Win for small wineries
The economic stakes are high in the $21.6 billion wine industry. Owners of small wineries, which have proliferated in recent years, say they can’t compete with huge companies unless they can sell directly to customers over the Internet or by allowing visitors to their wineries to ship bottles home.
"This does not by any means get us out of the woods entirely, but it does give us the full authority of the United States Supreme Court to say what you're doing is wrong," said David Sloane, executive director of WineAmerica, the wineries' national trade group. "It puts us on the moral high ground."
But states collect millions of dollars in alcohol taxes and say the established system helps stem fraud and underage drinking.
Nida Samona, chairwoman of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, said she will recommend that legislators ban all shipments of wine, a position certain to draw fire from Michigan wineries who currently ship to in-state customers. "Face to face purchase of alcohol is the safest way for the safety and health of everyone," Samona told MSNBC.com. "I understand that they're going to be not to happy with my position."
The Washington-based Institute for Justice says the 24 states that ban direct shipments from out-of-state wineries are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Vermont.
The cases are Granholm v. Heald, 03-1116; Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association v. Heald, 03-1120; and Swedenburg v. Kelly, 03-1274.
Posted by Stephen at 9:47 AM
September 21, 2004
First Blog Entry!
Welcome to Notaviva Vineyards! So this is the first-ever blog entry - I'm pretty excited actually. Thanks to Korte-san my blog sensei!
So where did the word 'Notaviva' come from? Check out the story here.
Think I'll go back in time now and create some old entries so we can give the whole story ...
August 6, 2003
Today the Commonwealth of Virginia approves the Certificate of Organization of Notaviva Vineyards, LLC!
Posted by Stephen at 5:31 PM
January 31, 2003
It's closing day! A balmy 24 degrees greets us this fine morning. A little known fact - today is the first day that Shannon has seen the place. Now that is trust my friends. Here is a picture of the castle I picked out for my princess. She loved it!
So closing was almost great except for some money that had to go into an escrow account. If we could have only known what a disaster that would turn into...
Posted by Stephen at 5:35 PM
October 9, 2002
Real Estate Contract
Today we submitted a contract for the purchase of 42.25 acres, located at 13295 Sagle Road in Purcellville, VA. Well actually the address is 13274 Sagle Road but the wrong address has been on the house and mailbox for so long nobody really knew WHAT the real address is. Hey that's life in the country...
Posted by Stephen at 4:43 PM
September 28, 2002
Let's found a vineyard...?
The notion of founding a vineyard is conceived while visiting neighboring Breaux Vineyards Harvest Festival. As we were walking away from the outside tasting tent, Shannon turned to me and asked "Do people really get to do this for a living?" and I replied "You wanna?"
And that was that...
Posted by Stephen at 4:40 PM