MUTANT THINGS ON THE FARM (8/4/12)
Interesting things pop up here on the edge of Shenandoah National Park. Check out the mutant shroom and beehive guests discovered here today.
WE HAVE NAMED OUR RESIDENT BEAR (6/6/12)
Last year seeing bears on the farm was a rarity - we saw several pass through 4 or 5 times. The past few weeks we have seen several bears in the yard. It has been a rarity not to see a particular bear every day or two. We have added the one who keeps coming to dinner to the family. We'll call him Ossa.
What he's doing is looking for dinner. We watched him catch a rabbit in the compost pile from the picnic table. He did want to make sure we knew it was his fair and square so we came inside to let him enjoy dinner.
WOODY WOODPECKER VISITS (5/26/12)
We got a couple of good pictures of our elusive resident pileated woodpecker from our tasting room deck this morning. Well, we got a nice clear one and then one that is fuzzy but such a good pose it's worth sharing. We see a pair of these guys once in a while and know they live on the farm but this is the first time we have caught them right beside the tasting room deck.
CROW CONDO (5/1/12)
Three days ago our tree was just a tree but now it is the taj-ma-hal of Crowville. The pair of huge crows that are building this baby are so fun to watch as they both find their architectural elements and head back home to help each other construct their metropolis. Oh, did I mention, this thing is 30 feet from our tasting room deck. This picture was taken from inside the tasting room window. Shouldn't they need a zoning permit for that? Come watch the crow babies grow! Anybody know how to install a crowcam?
BACK TO WINTER WE GO (4/23/12)
Old Rag mountain just came out of the clouds for the first time in a couple of days and he is wearing snow. After the winter with no winter - go figure! Carl has been adamantly waiting until May 10th to plant anything ... now saying "I told you so" ... shhh, I try like the dickens not to ever let him know it but the truth is he's usually right.
FIRST SPRING CRITTER BABY VISIT (4/21/12)
Standing out on the tasting room deck talking to our new neighbors when a teenie tiny little squirrel comes waddling up ... you can compare his size to his sunflower seed. Apparently his mom forgot to tell him to be scared of big humans. We stood there making noise and being amused within 2 feet of him for awhile.
WE MADE THE GRADE FOR VIRGINIA GREEN (3/5/12)
We have just been notified that Little Washington Winery has been designated one of only 16 wineries in the State of Virginia to be designated Virginia Green! What does it mean? We are doing everything we can think of to run a sustainable and environmentally conscious farm. We're dry farming to conserve water. We're augering instead of ripping our vineyards to reduce soil erosion. We're recycling everything from bottles to boxes, paper, leaves and even corks. We've added birdboxes, bat houses and wildflower gardens to encourage insect eating guests to stay awhile and dine in the vineyards (reducing the need for pesticides). We're protecting the wildlife that live here in the forest. We're proud to be Virginia Green!
FIRST SNOW OF 2012 (1/9/12)
We've been longing to get pictures of this incredible farm in snow. Today we got a surprise snow shower - didn't last quite long enough to build a snowman but it is gorgeous just the same.
RED SKY AT NIGHT SAILORS DELIGHT (1/5/12)
January sunsets at Little Washington Winery with Old Rag as the centerfold of our panoramic Blue Ridge Mountain view are indescribably gorgeous. This is what we want you to see. Visit soon and often. We'll keep the tasting room open through sunset 'til dark every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night this winter. PS - the night sky is amazing too ... no city lights - just billions of stars on a clear night.
A TREE WHERE IT WAS MEANT TO BE (12/25/11)
OMG - The culmination of a sweet little love story and a big obsession can be seen in our Christmas tree. This is the first year our purple and grape inspired Christmas tree motif has felt at home since 2003 when we purchased all of the decorations. I know this is incredibly sappy, but putting up this tree on Christmas Tree Lane with all of the purple balls and grape cluster decorations sporting 2003 tags finally seemed appropriate in 2011. Every year since 2003 this tree has been our inspiration for what has finally become Little Washington Winery. Merry Christmas everyone from Carl and me and the tree that is finally where it was destined to be!
THE WINTER BIRDS HAVE COME HOME (12/10/11)
How many birds can you count in this picture? Little Washington Winery is definitely the optimal observation deck for watching the flight patterns of migratory birds. Just as the last of the phoebees, robins and hummingbirds leave here to fly south for the winter a plethora of other birds ... cardinals, bluejays, woodpeckers arrive from wherever they have flown south from to Little Washington Winery for the winter. The ground and forest around the tasting room is totally in motion every day now. We have a lot more species of birds in the winter than we do in the summer. Can't say as I blame them - Little Washington Winery is the perfect place to hang out for the winter!
BEAR IN THE TREE (11/2/11)
There's a baby bear in the top of a tree in our back yard! Holy shimoli that is cute! What would he be wanting up there? Beehive? Aha ... it is persimmons he's after. Wow - he is going to be up in our backyard trees for a week if he's planning on eating all of those persimmons!
SNOW-CAPPED ORANGE BLUERIDGE MOUNTIANS
Bet you've never seen that! Just as the leaves hit their peak fall foliage we got dowsed with a dollup of snow, making everything look like a big ice cream sunday!
TRACK MEET AT LILWASH WINERY (10/28/11)
The toughest high school track course in Virginia is on our driveway. When we first bought the property we noticed a guy out mowing one strip all the way around the farm. We introduced ourselves as the new owners and he said, well, you can live here if you want but we've had dibbs on using this place as our track course for 30 years! So ... if you are visiting and come upon hundreds of 17 year olds running through our vineyards, please stop until they get past you ... they've got a track meet to win!
AUTUMN SUNRISE ~SUNSET (10/8/11)
It's our second weekend open so we are figuring things out. We set our hours at the typical winery hours of 11-5 but that just doesn't seem to work at Little Washington Winery. Nobody wants to go home around here! How about Sunset Saturdays? 11am-sunset? That way you can stay and enjoy our Autumn display!
WE ARE OPEN (9/24/11)
WHEW ... This weekend we got to see just how it is to own a winery! We opened. We put out the open sign, hung up the flag and bam, just like that we were in business! Well, after a year of demolition, putting in windows, building a kitchen, building and trimming and painting a tasting room, planting (and hand-watering over and over) a vineyard, making wine, putting together furniture after furniture after furniture, and trying like the dickens to conquer stink bugs. We do still have a ways to go to make the place perfect - still building wine racks and walls and deck and steps - but we are getting there and we are open every weekend now for fall foliage and wine. Please stop by!
NO MORE MR. NICE GUY (9/4/11)
Well, ... everybody told us so ... we just couldn't bite the bullet and be so mean as to pop the little deers and bears on their noses with a zap of electricity to scare them away from the vineyard. We bought the electric deer fence then smugly kept it in the garage all summer, poo-pooing all of our vintner friends advice to get that thing up fast. We just knew that the critters would leave our vineyard alone.
Not. Yesterday we walked down to the vineyard and sure enough, somebody has been munching on grape leaves. "Up with the fence", Carl shouted! I guess we better put up the deer fence. It doesn't hurt them - just pops them on the nose. It's like yelling "stay out of the fridge" to children, right? At least it's September and this year we aren't expecting a crop.
WISH YOU WERE HERE (8/15/11)
The butterfies are out in full force. There are tons of dive-bomber hummingbirds now. The deer have decided we are not a threat. The sunsets are gorgeous.
OUR FIRST GROUP TOUR (8/3/11)
Having a cup of coffee this morning on the tasting room deck when a gaggle of gobblers came touring by. They toured the entire farm - up the lawn past the winery and tasting room, into the forest, over to the road at the upper end of the farm, down Christmas Tree Lane to the winery entrance, up the driveway, through the vineyard and into the wedding pavilion. They did not have time for a tasting.
WE HAVE SET A DATE! (8/1/11)
We have set a goal and a date for our official grand opening. We will be open on weekends starting September 24 and all through October. Things might not be quite perfect but please come for a sneak peek, help us practice doing tastings, and see the gorgeous panoramic Blue Ridge fall foliage from our tasting room deck any time in October.
Our official grand opening will be held on Friday, Veterans Day, November 11, 2011 with ribbon-cutting at 11:11am. We couldn't resist the opportunity to officially establish Little Washington Winery on this lucky once-in-a-century day. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us!
HEY, THAT'S OUR FARM! (7/24/11)
We were in the grocery store today and, while thumbing through the Rappahannock County Conservation Alliance's pack of 15 unique postcard scenes that capture the beauty of Rappahannock we came upon a gorgeous image of our farm! Carl said "Hey, that picture was taken from our front porch!" It is unanimous - everyone who comes here says we have a million dollar view ... don't forget your camera! Photo taken by E. Raymond Boc.
AND THE WINNER IS .... (7/20/11)
"Awe, look at the baby Viognier vineyard"! .... We have been hearing that a lot lately as visitors wander up the mountain to see what's going on. Our vines have been having a race to the top of their bamboo sticks. This week several of them made it so I guess it's time to get serious about building the trellis.
MOM & BABY BEAR VISIT THE WINERY (7/14/11)
Mom & baby bear paid a visit to the farm last night about 7pm. We were walking out the door to go get the mail and there they were sauntering down the driveway right behind the truck 50 feet from us. Where is the camera when you need it? We finally caught this one of Mom as she disappeared into the trees of the backyard.
IT'S HAY DAY AT LITTLE WASHINGTON WINERY (6/30/11)
Today we got hayed ...hopefully for the very last time! In order to keep the property in land use we must have five acres producing a crop. This Spring we put in a thousand Viognier vines and kept the rest in hay to qualify as a working farm. Next year we'll be expanding the vineyards to the area in front of the tasting room. Wish you were here for this gorgeous
pastoral view. Our granddaughter says we should have a hay field and a grape field!! Apparently, Capture the Flag is a lot more fun with bales! If hay was worth a tad more than $11 a bale that might be nice!
NEW OBSESSION (6/12/11)
Our neighbor gave us the most delightful housewarming gift the other day ... and we are obsessed! We've had hummingbird feeders before but, wow ... never on the edge of the Blue Ridge mountains. You should see
the dive-bomber drama that now happens on our tasting room deck. These little guys are so territorial! The feeder draws a hummingbird every 2 seconds or so, and there are about a dozen hummers that are fiercely defending the feeder from each other. Did you know in Rappahannock County you have to bring bird feeders in every night? If you don't by morning you will have had bears!
THE MOUNTAINS HAVE DISAPPEARED AGAIN (6/10/11)
If you want to know what the weather will be like in DC in a couple of hours call us! Little Washington Winery is the ultimate weather station for what is coming to the DC area. The Blue Ridge mountains change here moment by moment. When the mountains in front of our deck disappear, you can bet that in two hours Northern Virginia and "big" Washington are gonna get
wet. We can't wait to show you! Now all we need is more drywall, another door, a way to get into the building and wine!
THE VINEYARD IS ALIVE (6/4/11)
Five days after planting and baby viogniers are popping everywhere! We're "dry farming" which means we did not put in an irrigation system. Dry farming is the environmentally friendly thing to do, but we are definitely wishing for rain - watering 1000 baby viognier vines with a fermentation tank and a hose until they get themselves established
is hard work!!!
BEAR IN THE VINEYARD! (6/2/11)
Living on the edge of Shenandoah National Park, we occasionally get some very unique visitors at Little Washington Winery ... last night while we were eating dinner on the tasting room deck a huge black bear came sauntering by right in front of us! we were glad we were 2 stories up ... wish you were here! He
mozied along the full length
of the farm while we watched! Carl yelled "hey" to which the bear got up on his hind legs, looked Carl right in the eye, and said, "yo dude, what's for dinner"!