The effects of Coronavirus have been disheartening, from businesses shutting down to the utter boredom that comes from staying at home for weeks on end. But there are silver linings to the situation that allow us to see the LOVE in every corner of Virginia. Sharing these “good news” stories help us get through this troubling time and appreciate the integrity and kindness found in communities all around the Commonwealth.
Photo Credit: Emma Rebein Andrews
One such story is happening at Blenheim Vineyards, the winery owned by native Virginian Dave Matthews. They will be releasing 350 cases of a new red wine blend (followed by a white wine blend) named “On the Line” that recognizes the heroic efforts of frontline workers during this trying time. The proceeds from the wine sales will benefit Charlottesville’s Frontline Foods and World Central Kitchen, programs that use donations to partner with local restaurants and provide food to the area’s essential workers.
In conjunction with the wine release, Blenheim Vineyards has also created a limited release of merchandise with the logo designed by Dave Matthews, including stickers, posters, and t-shirts, of which the proceeds will also benefit Frontline Foods Charlottesville and the World Central Kitchen.
We virtually “sat down” with Blenheim Vineyards general manager and winemaker, Kirsty Harmon, who has been producing exceptional wines at the vineyard since 2008, to ask her about the “On the Line” blend.
How did you come up with the “On the Line” special release?
An old friend of mine, John Kluge Jr., reached out to me several weeks ago about a potential collaboration. He had and continues to work with Frontline Foods in Charlottesville. He was looking for a way to increase interest and donations to feeding front line workers in Charlottesville, and thought that a wine specific to the cause might make a lot of sense. My husband, sister and niece, are all front line workers, so the idea immediately resonated with me.
Can you explain the winemaking process and bottling process?
The wine for this blend is a combination of wines from both 2018 and 2019. The goal was to make a fruit forward, approachable wine that pairs widely with a range of food and occasions.
What kind of impact do you think the “On the Line” wine is having on the community in Charlottesville and in Virginia as a whole?
I hope that the wine is a way to bring focus to the community of workers on the Front Lines – from health care to grocery store. It is hopefully a way for those folks living in Charlottesville, Virginia and beyond to be able to support those workers from afar.
As we look to reopening the state, what will Blenheim Vineyards be doing to welcome visitors again?
We are excited to welcome guests back to Blenheim at some point, but feel that we are best serving our guests by remaining closed at this time. We are offering home delivery, free shipping and local and Richmond pick ups of our wines.
Looking for more good news during COVID-19? Stay tuned for more Sharing the LOVE stories that highlight the best of Virginia’s businesses and citizens!