Day: September 30, 2021

Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

From the Vine to the Vat

Exploring VA Wines By Doug Fabbioli From the Vine to the Vat The harvest season in the wine industry consumes time, energy and focus of the winemaker and the team in a way that is difficult to describe adequately. This process of crop preservation has happened since the beginning of agriculture and civilization. In a very short time, all the effort of the growing season is transferred from the vine to the vat. Hot days, rain storms, equipment malfunctions, exhausted staff, long days and nights, and critical decisions all add up to an opportunity to give the job everything you have and to set the bar for the quality of the vintage. I am deep in the middle of this annual event as I write this so you may see a different side of my thoughts.   The weather this season has been inconsistent: hot, cool, wet, dry. This means more challenges and transitions in the vineyard. I could have done better this year: being a little overextended kept me and the team a little behind this year, mainly when the weather shifted and I didn’t react quickly enough. With challenge comes opportunity, though, and I am very proud of how my staff has been working this year. We incorporated some of our Ag School students in with the regular team, which has worked out well. My regulars got a chance to teach and lead more as a result, and to work with people they were not used to working with. I also have had more opportunity to teach and nurture some fresh folks, as well as encourage seasoned team members stretching out of their comfort zone.   In addition to the harvest season, this is normally our busiest time in the tasting room. September and October have traditionally been…

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Dining Out, Wining & Dining

The Village Brauhaus – The Premier Place for Post Oktoberfest Feasting

By the Gastronomes The Village Brauhaus – The Premier Place for Post Oktoberfest Feasting If you read our newest column, Let’s Get Crafty, in the September issue you probably already have a pretty good idea of what Oktoberfest is. However, as a recap, it is tagged as the world’s largest Volksfest (folk festival). It is a 16-18 day festival running from mid-or late September to the first Sunday in October with more than six million people from around the world attending the event every year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Here in Old Town Alexandria we have our own Oktoberfest headquarters at 710 King Street. The Village Brauhaus was opened three years ago by Bill and Chelsea Gross and it has been a hit since day one. Located at the east end of the block, Brauhaus is surrounded by Nando’s Peri Peri, Signature Thai, King’s Ransom, Five Guys, Pita House, Magnolias Restaurant, Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub and the Light Horse Restaurant. The 700 Block – on its own – is a dining mecca. During the middle of Oktoberfest, we thought it a good time to visit Brauhaus and have dinner and join in the celebration. The physical area of the restaurant is actually the combination of two former popular restaurants that occupied the space several years ago. The result was a huge space with accommodations for large groups as well as secluded hideaways like the Paulaner Bar on the second floor. On this Monday night the place was very busy because of Oktoberfest, so we opted for a table in the bar area for our dinner. After ordering two small (16 0z) drafts of German beer we decided to start with the Giant Bavarian Pretzel. When they say GIANT, they are not kidding. The pretzel is at least an inch in…

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Caribbean Connection, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

A Great Reason to Visit St. Barth in Early November

By Caribbean Journal Staff A Great Reason to Visit St. Barth in Early November Early November is one of the best times to visit the remarkable French Caribbean island of St Barth. You won’t find the crowds of December and January, but the villas, hotels, restaurants and hotspots are open. Here’s all you need to know about where to stay on the island – and here’s how to get there The weather is just about perfect, that unparalleled hybrid between summer heat and winter cool. But there’s one particularly great reason to visit St Barth in November: the Caribbean Rum Awards (, set for Nov. 2-7, 2021 in St Barth. Now in its fourth year, it’s an epic, week-long celebration of the greatest rums (and cigars) on earth, a gourmand’s delight that indulges in all of the things that make fine rum such a magical Caribbean product. While it’s anchored by a panel of international judges testing the world’s leading bottles of rum, this is an event that’s really designed for travelers — a way to journey the Caribbean by sampling its finest gastronomic export. Every day is filled with indulgent experiences — chances to try the rarest rum and rhum agricole; to explore the nexus between rum and cigars; and to embark on culinary odysseys in one of the world’s true culinary capitals. Just imagine yourself in your WIMCO villa, sipping on rare aged rhum from Martinique, peering out at the bustle of Gustavia or the placid waves of Grand Cul de Sac, followed by an evening at the Caribbean’s most legendary rum bar for rum and Davidoffs. Or imagine enjoying a multi-course pairing of molecular gastronomy and rum cocktails at the island’s buzzy eatery, the Quarter Kitchen and Cocktail Lab. Whether you’re attending master classes from world-renowned rum companies…

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Business Profile

Get Fixed at The Physical Therapy Zone

By Bob Tagert Get Fixed at The Physical Therapy Zone Leading an active life can sometimes result in accidents where medical treatment is necessary and then physical therapy to return our bodies to the condition prior to the accident or incident. In 1968 I fractured my right femur in a motorcycle accident. I was six weeks in traction, six weeks in a body cast. The cast didn’t work so the doctors decided to insert a rod inside the femur and graft a portion of my hip bone around the break. When all of this was over, I could not have physical therapy to get my knee to bend more than 30 degrees for fear of causing a separation of the break. Over time the break healed, the rod was removed and I became active again even to the point of wrecking another motorcycle (only broke a tooth) and learning to play rugby. By constant use I achieved 90 degree movement over the next 50 years. Seven months ago I had my knee replaced. I was standing on the leg a day after surgery and even taking some steps. After the use of a walker for a few days, I was walking on my own but I had limited movement in the knee due to scar tissue. I needed physical therapy. Through therapy we got the knee to bend as much as 110 degrees and that is where it stands now. My therapy began in Calvert County near the hospital where I had the surgery but also near a friend’s house where I spent the first two weeks in rehabilitation. When I returned to Old Town I continued my therapy at The Physical Therapy Zone in Old Town. Dr. Lori Alexander began her career as a physical therapist working for the…

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