By Beth Hester
Chatham Vineyards on Church Creek
What wine goes best with oysters? Try Chatham Vineyards 2020 Steel Chardonnay, an un-oaked pure expression of Chardonnay that exhibits terroir, a French term for wine with a “sense of place” indicative of the region in which it was produced. Jon Wehner, his wife Mills, and their three children own and operate the vineyard and winery on historic property in Machipongo on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. It’s been a working farm for four centuries. The high density, European-style vineyards are home to Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot vines. The Wehner’s take land stewardship seriously, utilizing ecologically sound farming practices and protecting the farm and vineyards in perpetuity under an easement with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. The Vineyards are open year-round for tastings and seasonal events. Try flights of wine with the special cheese board featuring sourdough cranberry peacan bread, aged gouda and charcuterie. Or explore the Shore by booking a stay at their restored circa 1915 farmhouse.
White Stone Oyster Company
Like food writer M.F.K. Fisher, company founder Tom Perry wants you to “consider the oyster.” Thanks to innovative aquaculture techniques and ultra-speedy cold shipping, fresh, beautifully curated oysters from White Stone are always in season. When Perry graduated from college, he realized his calling by blending his business degree with the romance of a hard-working waterman’s lifestyle. Perry is pioneer of the Chesapeake’s first floating oyster farm. From floating cages in the just north of the Rappahannock, Perry and his crew produce “no grit” plump oysters with a well-balanced flavor profile that is both briny and sweet – just like the Chesapeake. Customers can order oysters in the shell or shucked, and find tasty, simple recipes on their blog. White Stone makes entertaining a snap with smoked trout and wild hackleback caviars; a range of party-ready oyster kits and shooter packs; and locally harvested soft-shell crabs. Also check out their exclusive custom oyster knives handcrafted by Virginia’s Join or Die Knives. Happy slurping!
Glassblowing was one of England’s first industries in North America. It’s uncertain how successful those first forays into large-scale glassblowing were, but at ‘glass point’ near Jamestown, 17th century glass furnaces were discovered and excavated in 1948. Today, visitors can watch as artisans in period costume craft glassware reproductions and adaptations based upon 17th and 18th century patterns. Glassblowers at Jamestown Glasshouse apprentice for four years to be able to produce the traditional wine decanters, wine bottles, beer glasses, candleholders, and vases common during the period, as well as contemporary decorative and functional pieces. These lovely objects can be purchased at the Jamestown Glasshouse, or online at the Glasshouse Gift Shop. A portion of all sales goes to support glassblowing demonstrations and the National Park Service at historic Jamestown.