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Posts Tagged ‘Virginia wine’

Promoting Virginia Wine Week at NCC

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

In the Fall, we celebrate the best vintages in Virginia during Virgina Wine Month. In the spring, we celebrate the taste of Virginia wine during Wine Week, March 18-27th, 2011. To kick off the week, The National Conference Center will continue serving wine from local vineyards and wineries at the Hop ‘N Vine Wine Bar and The Black Olive Sports Bar, with the addition of a few vineyards. Wines from DC’s Wine Country include Sunset Hills in Purcellville, Breaux Vineyards in Purceville, and Fabbioli Cellars in Leesburg. From other Virginia vineyards, we’ll be serving the great wine of Horton Vineyard from Gordonsville, VA.

To further our sustainable farm-to-fork efforts, we encourage you to take part in Virginia Wine Week with us. Consume locally for the best products and quality. See you at Hop ‘N Vine or the Black Olive Sports Bar, open nightly at 5 pm. Questions, please call our Front Desk at (703) 729-8000.

When It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere… Know these Green Traveling Tips

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

It might be 5 o’clock somewhere, but when it comes to what’s in your glass, don’t fake the ingredients. How eco-friendly is your drink?

Not only have green trends emerged in recycling and food packaging but it made it’s way into the produce aisle encouraging families to choose local farm to table ingredients. Now green initiatives are a common topic for drinks.  Wineries saw this trend and predicted wine-drinkers would be choosing the eco-friendly wine over non-sustainable wine. Vineyards acted before they were left behind and adopted green initiatives to harvest organic grapes and bottle the wine in eco-friendly packaging.

Many vineyards haven’t had the chance to jump aboard with these efforts before the “green train” hit the distilleries.  Distillers are experiencing a trend of consumers choosing organic alcohol or other local distilled spirits. After 300 years of importing goods, consumers are becoming fascinated with consuming items that are local.  Promixity is key in today’s world of consumers – which is commendable because it reduces a company’s carbon footprint by generating less gas emissions.

Hop ‘N Vine, established as NCC’s wine bar traditionally serves seasonal selections from DC’s wine country.  The wine bar’s team is excited to offer 3 local spirits distilled at Catoctin Creek in Loudoun County. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, now you’ll know where your drink is from when you’re at the Hop ‘N Vine. Here are three local organic and kosher certified spirits from Catoctin Creek if you’re in the DC, Maryland, or Virginia area:

  1. Mosby’s Spirit- an unaged rye whisky that works well with cocktails using whiskey but also cocktails wanting vodka like a Bloody Mary.

  2. Roundstone Rye- a traditional rye whiskey made from 100% organic rye – meaning no wheat or corn to dilute the rye flavor – it has lots of sweet flan and caramel flavors.

  3. Watershed Gin- a smooth organic gin and the most popular of the three.

Traveling or in your own city? Ask  for a locally made drink – you’ll reduce your own carbon footprint by choosing a local distilled spirit. For anyone interested in learning more about these locally made products visit,

Green Wine and Views

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Do you like green wine and views?

I do like them, Virginia-I-am.

I do like – green wine and views.

New Green Wine

Vineyards from Napa Valley to Northern Virginia are becoming certified as organic properties. In most cases, it begins with the fertilizer.Viticulturists are using natural sulfur to combat agricultural obstacles, rather than chemical fungicides. Vineyards are also participating in companion planting, which means to harvest a plant alongside the grapevine such as a mustard seed; the plant discourages soil nematodes that would normally feed on the grapevine roots.

Composition also plays an important role in sustainable practices. One concept is to place all grape pumice back into the vineyard after composting it with manure, old hay, and garden waste.  A second concept entails going to the extent of owning sheep to graze the vineyards.  The sheep provide compost and minimize the cover cropping and weeds between vineyard rows. Both achieve sustainable soil and create healthy organic materials and minerals for the vineyards. And most importantly, organic “green-made” grapes.

Green Vineyards & Wineries

Wineries are reinventing the wheel of winemaking and distribution. Packing wine in a “green” way is the newest trend in eco-winemaking. You won’t be sent home with heavy glass bottles – green alternatives such as lighter glass, bag-in-a-box or cartons are emerging at eco-friendly vineyards.

Other green initiatives include solar energy.  Some vineyards recycle and reuse their water and/or have a solar water heating system.  Farming and bottling equipment is also solar powered such as forklifts, lights, pumps and more. Other vineyard vehicles operate off of biofuel to reduce pollution.

Virginia Green Wine & Views

Check out these well-known Virginia eco-friendly vineyards in DC’s Wine Country.

  1. Notaviva Vineyard – is in the process of creating their first organic wine. It will be an Elderberry wine produced from organically grown fruit (Visit Notaviva Vineyard).

  2. Fabbioli Cellars - uses various sustainable viticulture practices such as harvesting non-irrigated vines to preserve water and allow the vine to adapt to the true climate and spreading spent grapeskins (pumice) back into the vineyard as fertilizer and weed control. The winery utilizes geothermal energy for hot water and climate control. The new winery storage area for Fabbioli was constructed from burying used shipping containers. The cellar reduces the need for cooling and heating and now sets the example for other wineries.  Future plans include a rewards program for wine lovers who return the Raspberry Merlot bottles – saving on shipping, printing, and glass (Visit Fabbioli Cellars).

  3. 8 Chains North – orginially the wine at Fabbioli Cellars. 8 Chains North implements a similar fertilization system as Fabbioli Cellars.  Both vineyards place spent grapeskins (pumice) back into the vineyard as fertilizer and weed control (Visit 8 Chains North).

  4. North Gate Vineyard - these owners are in the process of building a LEED-certified tasting room, making it the only LEED-certified vineyard in DC’s wine country (Visit North Gate Vineyard).

Recipe Calls for 1 Ingredient of Sustainability

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Bring green initiatives to your table. And, maybe some wine.

It’s a week of green blogging at NCC and it’s also October – Virginia Wine Month.

We spoke to Executive Chef Craig Mason to find out how he would incorporate both these efforts in his kitchen. He provided us with a farm-to-table recipe different from any other. Chef Mason knows not everyone has the space to grow their own garden, so his sustainable recipes are very reasonable. Today’s recipe calls for purchasing a basil plant, small and inexpensive (on sale at Whole Foods for $3.00, and it’s already planted for you).  The plant is perfect for someone who wants to bring sustainability into their home. Forget the $3 plastic package of basil at the supermarket you continue to buy every few weeks. You can grow this herb in your kitchen and continue to use it for any recipes that call for basil.  And, for those wine lovers, Chef also matched this dish with the perfect pairing.


4 skinless chicken breasts
1 tomato
1 basil plant
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup feta cheese
1 tsp fresh garlic
1 tsp black pepper

Grease pan. Place chicken in pan and coat with olive oil, fresh garlic and pepper.

Extract 8-10 full-grown basil leaves from plant. Crumble 2-3 leaves and set aside to dry. On cutting board, cut tomato into 4 slices. Cover chicken with basil leaves and sliced tomato. Sprinkle feta cheese and dry basil crumbles over the chicken. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

Don’t forget the wine! It’s Virginia Wine Month – Chef’s suggestion is a Chardonnay, which complements most any basil dish. Since it is October, take a trip to a Virginia Vineyard and enjoy the many wines of Virginia. Chef’s recommendation is the 2008 Chardonnay from Tarara Winery in Leesburg, Virginia.