Archive for the ‘farm fresh’ Category

We ♥ Free Union Grass Farm Chicken

March 2, 2012

Happy Chicks at Free Union Grass Farm. Photo:

We’ve really enjoyed sharing local grass-fed, pastured beef and eggs from pastured chickens with our family and customers. It made us long for a local source of grass-fed, pastured chicken too. And now we are delighted to offer chickens from Free Union Grass Farm, right in our winery!

Erica Hellen and Joel Slezak, featured in Flavor Magazine. Photo: Molly McDonald Peterson

Owners Erica Hellen and Joel Slezak were featured in Flavor Magazine’s “Meet the Future of Farming” Issue. Self-described as “two farmer/foodies who decided to join passions and make a go of it”, Joel and Erica do a wonderful job raising the chickens humanely and healthily. We are happy to retail their whole chickens, legs and thighs, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts and tenders.

Here’s an easy, super savory, and tender chicken roast from Robert Clickner of Blue Ridge Oriental Medicine. It’s “très facile” to make and goes great with a bottle of our lightly oaked 2010 Chardonnay!

Chicken Adobo


4 – 6 chicken legs cut up (leave skin on or take off, optional)

2 Tbsp red wine (substitute rice wine or red wine vinegar)

¾ cup soy sauce

½ cup water

15 clove buds

15 peppercorns

2 bay leaves broken in half

3 cloves garlic chopped

Throw all the ingredients in a Dutch Oven. The liquid does not have to completely cover the chicken.

Bring to a light boil on stovetop under moderate heat. Cover and turn the heat down to a simmer. Occasionally stir so chicken on top gets submerged under the liquid.

Cook until the meat is darker from the liquid and loose on the bone. The minimum cooking time is 45 minutes.  Recommended cooking is at least 2 hours, up to 4 hours. If you plan to cook this long just keep the simmer very low. You’ll get much more flavor and nutrition this way.

Serve over rice.

*You can also marinade the meat in all of the ingredients overnight or for a few hours before making and then cook for more flavor.

Strain and save the sauce that is left over after you eat the meat. It is very tasty to make a pot of jasmine rice and pour the sauce over it for a light lunch.


Grape Juice is Also Fruit of the Vine

November 2, 2011

Grape Jellys for sale in the Tasting Room

The grape – it’s not just for wine.  We have real grape juice for sale from local Chambourcin and Seyval Blanc grapes grown by our neighbors at Oakencroft Farm on Garth Road.  This vineyard used to produce grapes for wines but switched over several years ago to fine grape juice production.  Their challenge is to produce the juice without fermenting the juice!  The grape juice is bottled in beautiful wine bottles.  It’s a real treat and a nice alternative drink for a special dinner in your home or as “un petit cadeau” when you’re a guest.

At Stinson Farms, we’ve been making a limited amount of Grape Jelly out of our winegrapes, including some delicious Tannat from our next door neighbor, Mount Juliet Vineyards.  We are loving Tannat this fall – its one the highest resevatrol grapes so makes us feel extra healthy when we’re eating/drinking it!  Look for our 2011 Dry Tannat as well as a 2011 Tannat Port in a few years.  Its important to barrel age this grape sufficiently as it has very strong tannins.

Tray below the sorting table, full of green berries, seeds, and squished berries

We also have Cabernet Sauvignon Jelly.  Rodney, our “Cellar Rat”, says the Cabernet Sauvignon jam is great on pancakes.  Mourvedre juice is in the refrigerator waiting to clear and then it will be made into jelly. Next I hope to make some from Petit Verdot.


Tomato Madness!

August 4, 2011

The tomato garden on a hot & hazy day

Its our favorite time of the summer – tomato season!  How are yours doing this year?  We’re having another serious dry spell, but ours are hanging in there.  I planted them further apart this summer in case of more of the same as last year – little rain.  They probably could be even further apart and be happier yet.  I’m doing the same for the tomatoes as our vineyard consultant Lucie Morton told me to do for the grapes – keep them in their own space and respect their neighbors!  That’s pretty good advise for everyone.  I know the trend has been for intensive vegetable gardening, but I don’t buy it unless you really like to water or it rains a lot.

Here are the tomatoes that are performing pretty well so far:

Health Kick – Consistent size and quality.  Good quantity.  This tomato is a determinate type that has 50% more lycopene than other tomatoes.  It’s really good for canning, but fine fresh.  I’ll definitely grow this one next year.  It’s a good example of why hybrids make sense.  The seeds are expensive  – 30 seeds for about $4.50, but I certainly don’t need that many plants each year, so I’ll save the seeds in the refrigerator.  Also, the plants could be purchased this year at Southern States and the Crozet Farmers Market.

Ripening Health Kick Tomatoes

Two other nice qualities of Health Kick:

1.  The skins peel very easily when dipped in boiling water.  Off like a jacket!

2.  There is no waste, no hard inner core or hard top.  They can be canned whole.


Left: Principe Borghese; Right: Chocolate Cherry


And Some Video from the Pig Roast

July 12, 2011

Because everything’s better set to Guns N’ Roses!

Stinson Vineyards from Thomas McGovern on Vimeo.

Thanks to Tom at for the amazing photo & video work.

A Grand Opening

July 12, 2011

All photos in this post © Thomas McGovern,

We had a great 4th of July Grand Opening Weekend and hope everyone who came out to help us celebrate did too!  Its not everyday that you get your friends, family, and neighbors all in one place listening to great music and munching on great food.  A very special thank you to Collins and Ramona Huff of Gryffon’s Aerie for sacrificing one of their beautiful home grown pigs in our honor and to Chef John McMillan for slicing and dicing it so perfectly.

The Pig Arrives!  Traveling in style.

We’d heard rumors that the pig was looking delicious, but when it showed up on its own trailor we knew the party was on.  Collins basted it with olive oil, garlic, and some light herbs and spices while it was cooking.  We served it up with his special Nilda’s Chimichurri sauce (see below for recipe) that we had made a few days before so the flavors could meld.

The Grill Master himself, Collins Huff of Gryffon’s Aerie


Left: A cool glass of Sugar Hollow White; Right: Johnny Mac goes to work 

Gayle, the latest addition to our Stinson Vineyards family, came up with some fresh, cooling sides that perfectly complemented The Pig.  She was inspired by the simple, effortless recipes in Francis Mallmann’s Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way.  Its a great book to check out for easy, inspired grilling techniques for everything from lamb to veggies.

A full plate of delicious pork, roasted potatoes, and jalapeno coleslaw