Archive for the ‘tasting room’ Category

Peony Madness in the Garden

May 15, 2012

Cora Stubbs, a raspberry pink Japanese form peony

You say Pee OH Nee, I say PEE Uh Nee – however you say it, Peonies are an early delight for the cutting garden. says both pronunciations are correct and depend on which region you come from. “If you said pee un nee in the Southern United States you would get strange looks from the locals.” Oh – That’s why!

Scott’s favorite is Cora Stubbs. He planted six plants some years ago and we were quite smitten with them, the way they hold their color and the contrast of textures and colors. Of course, there isn’t a peony we don’t like. Bartzella is a rare yellow peony that Scott is also fond of.

The Bartzella, with lemony yellow blooms and small red flares

Peony Meadows northeast of Charlottesville in Keswick, VA has a huge peony garden, which owners Jim and Sandy graciously let you wander through. I dare you to walk through and not make plans to order some peonies in the fall! You must look at them soon though, as they are blooming right now. Last year Rachel, Scott, and I wrote down the names of the peonies we liked best (we like them all really) and in the fall Jim dug out the eyes and we picked them up. Jim doesn’t have Cora Stubbs though. Paradise Garden usually has them, but they are available in limited supply and have to be ordered early. Paradise Garden also has “Karen Gray”, which got rave reviews from guests in our tasting room this weekend.

Karen Gray, an unusual wine red Japanese flower with a creamy center

After peonies finish blooming the foliage is pretty. I cut off all blooms – either as cut flowers, when they finish blooming, or if it rains and they fall to the ground. That way, the bush keeps it shape and looks perky.


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.


Wine Club and Online Store Launches

December 7, 2011

We’re happy to announce that delicious Stinson Vineyards wines are now available to ship directly to you!  Stock up on a favorite via our Online Store or join the Wine Club for a steady supply plus first access to new releases.  Many of our first year vintages are well on their way to selling out – 2010 was an ideal harvest year for reds AND whites, so make sure you get in on it!

Tbin City

November 23, 2011

Yes that is a photo of empty tbins. A beautiful sight! This Thanksgiving we are thankful for:

friends & family

our extended Stinson Vineyards & Virginia Wine families

a (mostly) successful 2011 harvest

wonderful customers

amazing neighbors

non leaky barrels

Enjoy the holiday weekend with your loved ones!  We’re open 11am – 5pm on Thanksgiving in case you need a last minute hostess gift, bottle of wine, or just to get out of the house.

Still #Winning!

November 18, 2011


Just like Charlie Sheen we’re still winning.. Wine competitions that is!  The smooth and delicious 2010 Petit Manseng took a bronze at The 2011 Monticello Cup while our crisp 2010 Chardonnay won a silver in The 2011 Governor’s Cup White Competition.