Day: June 2, 2020

Grapevine & Vintner Profile, Wining & Dining

How To Find Great Beer in Virginia’s Winery Scene

By Matt Fitzsimmons How To Find Great Beer in Virginia’s Winery Scene For years, Virginia’s wine and brewery scenes were separated by the red tape of ABC law; the former were only allowed to sell at the winery, and the later could only be sold at their tap room. But no longer! Now, you can visit over a dozen wineries that offer more than just wine. This change started in 2015, when breweries were re-designated as ‘farm’ enterprises; the same license Virginia’s wineries use. Sensing an opportunity, Barrel Oak Winery owner Brian Roeder contacted the state legislature with a question; since both breweries and wineries were now considered farm enterprises, why shouldn’t they sell their beverages side by side? Luckily for both beer and wine drinkers everywhere, the answer was – Yes, they can! The appeal of this setup is obvious; guests want option beyond wine. Given Virginia’s craft beer scene is exploding, there is definitely an ‘untapped’ clientele for additional sales. It’s also a huge relief for the winery owners who were once forced to guard against patrons from sneaking beer out of the taproom so they could enjoy a pint next to their spouse. Now, they can (legally) drink together. Barrel Oak Winery & Farm Taphouse Barrel Oak Winery (or as they like to call themselves, BOW) is about an hour west of D.C., right off I-66. Already known for its large outdoor space, wood fire pizza, and an assortment of sweet-to-dry wines, the taproom completes the scene. With a vibe like this, you don’t need to visit anywhere else. Of course BOW is more than a winery/brewery; it’s a mecca for dog owners. I don’t have a fur buddy anymore but here I don’t need one; all I have to do is visit on almost any random…

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Featured Post, History, History Column

Colored Rosemont – Part Two

Written by ©2020 Sarah Becker Copyright ©2020 Sarah Becker Colored Rosemont – Part Two “Of all the American states, Virginia can lay claim to the most thorough control by an oligarchy,” historian and political scientist V.O. Key, Jr., wrote in 1949.  “Political power has been closely held by a small group of leaders who, themselves or their predecessors, have subverted democratic institutions and deprived most Virginians of a voice in their government.” “Senator Harry F. Byrd [D-VA] heads the governing oligarchy,” Key continued.  “The political oligarchy is firmly rooted in the social structure of Virginia.”  In 1883 the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional; then decided Plessy v. Ferguson the racially divisive separate but equal Jim Crow Car Law in 1896.  The Commonwealth—readmitted to the Union in 1870—enacted its first statewide segregation law in 1900. In Alexandria—in 1949—musician and white socialite; heiress and third generation realtor Virginia Fitzhugh Wheat Thomas, Mrs. A.H. Thomas [1893-1987] sold two of her well-constructed deliverer-designed homes to colored buyers.  [603 N. Alfred Street and 1312 Wythe Street]  Gilbert and Elizabeth Haggins; John and Carrie Greene’s minimum model homes were part of the Thomas family’s privately funded housing project known as Colored Rosemont. Mrs. Thomas’ houses, like William J. Levitt’s 800 sq. ft. suburban houses were similar.  They represented the American dream though reduced.  Author James Truslow Adams first described the American dream in 1931, in his book The Epic of America. Though the Crash of 1929 signaled the beginning of the Great Depression, Adams argued there was also a spirit of progress.  He coined the phrase then explained “that ‘American dream’ of a better, richer, and happier life for all our citizens of every rank….” Douglas Southall Freeman, editor of the Richmond News Leader, also invented a phrase: the Virginia…

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