Root to Table’s Spring Salute to Women in Food & Wine
Spring Event – Sunday, March 26th 2023
Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery – Bluemont, VA
Join us for an Exclusive Culinary Experience Celebrating Women’s History Month!
Participating Tea and Wine Makers for the March 26th Event
Host – Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery
“Come Together & Visit Often”
Many of you may remember our Pickled and Roasted event in October 2020 or The Great Chef’s Table last Summer in August 2022. Bluemont Station (formerly Celebrations Farm) opened in 2022. Their Agri-tourism and Cultural Center sits on 50 scenic acres, surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains in Bluemont, Virginia.
Loretta Briede – Owner, Briede Family Vineyards
Loretta Briede has been in the wine business ten years. It was her goal to establish a vineyard in Virginia with a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming.” During the first 4 years she grew grapes under the USDA Organic certification. Her wines are as close to the grape as possible. In addition to her commitment to Farming responsibly, we have a habitat for beneficial insects. “We try to work with nature and create wines to that end.” Her wines have won many awards and her grape Arandell has brought interest from several countries around the world. They have also been tasted and evaluated by Julia Harding/Jancis Robinson in England. “We maintain some of the oldest vines in the world of this grape.” Her farm has varietals like Pinot Meunier (champagne grape), La Crescent (Hybrid), Marquette (Hybrid), and Cayuga White (hybrid) producing wines with unique flavors new to Virginia. Be sure to stop by and taste her number one selling wine ARANDELL.
Erica Cavanaugh – Owner, Honeysuckle Creek Farm
Erica’s love and knack for growing plants is a pastime she has inherited from both of her grandfather’s. She has spent the last few years helping her paternal grandfather grow a variety of vegetables on his Fluvanna property both as a way to spend more time with him and as a way to cultivate her love of gardening. With continuous bountiful harvests, they were often giving much of the produce away. In the Spring of 2022, Erica decided to open Honeysuckle Creek Farm alongside her grandfather, father, and brother. At times, you can even find other family members contributing to the effort including her mother, partner, young daughter and nephews.
One of Erica’s goals for this woman led, small family farm, is to incorporate more environmentally friendly growing practices and reduce food waste. For example, using more natural herbs and edible flowers to reduce the effects of pests. While these herbs can be sold fresh at local farmer’s markets, there is often a surplus. As a result, she has introduced both spice blends and loose leaf tea blends as part of the product offerings from Honeysuckle Creek Farm, using the extra herbs in their dehydrated forms and extending their shelf life.
Hillary Coley – Owner, Dominion Tea
Hillary Coley is the Owner of Dominion Tea in Purcellville, Virginia. Hillary’s life-long love of tea, combined with her business education and training, lead to the creation of Dominion Tea in 2013. As an importer and manufacturer of tea, Hillary travels with her husband and son to find historic, high-end loose leaf tea manufacturers in tea growing counties and to understand how they produce their tea. Their story is just an important to Hillary as their tea. Hillary is also active in Loudoun County serving as a Board of Directors member for both the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce and Visit Loudoun.
At Dominion Tea we are in awe of the impact that specialty tea has had on global history and culture. It is a product that symbolizes cultural awareness, personal connections, adventure, and a connection to the land. We are honored to search the globe for authentic tea and tisane products, satisfying individual growth and curiosity. We chose the name Dominion Tea for a variety of reasons. For us the name symbolizes both global and American history, conjures visions of ships under sail, tea as a force impacting the spread of culture and ideas, and of course the state we call home: Virginia (Loudoun County). Dominion Tea imports and manufactures loose leaf tea, creates custom blends for other businesses and educates all current and future tea lovers on the history and culture around tea.
Athena Eastwood – Owner, Eastwood Farm & Winery
Athena Eastwood is a commodities lawyer, recognized for her work helping agricultural clients develop innovative strategies to combat and adapt to climate change. She was recognized as a 2021 Trailblazer by the National Law Journal for her work designing products to support innovation in sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. Eager to transition to a more local community focus, she purchased a small farm just outside the Charlottesville city limits in 2016 where she, her daughters and partner started building what is now Eastwood Farm and Winery.
Shannon and Caitlin Horton –
Shannon was raised in the wine industry. Her father, Dennis Horton instilled in her the importance of hard work and to follow her passion. This passion has led her to work in a more active role at Horton Vineyards. Her wine knowledge has come as “on the job training” which started at a young age. She remembers punching down reds after school when she was no more than 10 years old. Many family events and conversations centered around the weather, the crop and the wine in the cellar. She is proud to be a part of what her father built. She is a national board member of the Rhone Rangers, making her the only East coast member!
Caitlin Horton is a third generation winemaker. Who has been inducted in 2022 into Marquis Who’s Who of America. She spent her early years with her grandmother in the field. This is where she learned how the grapes were grown from pruning to harvest. From there, Caitlin transitioned for a short internship in the cellar to learn winemaking. After this, she transitioned to a tasting room staff and built her way up to general manager of the tasting room while still keeping her hands in the cellar. Now she is in the wine cellar permanently doing what she loves and experimenting with blends and different harvest techniques that she learned in her certificate in winemaking from Cornell University. Caitlin has award winning and publication worthy lines of wines, Gear and Lace.
Cara Mroczek – Owner & Wine Maker,
Star in the Valley Estate Winery
As a 4th generation grape grower raised on a 2000-acre farm in western Michigan, Cara Mroczek grew up with a connection to agriculture. After obtaining her law degree, Cara worked as a federal environmental attorney for more than a decade. Motivated by her interest in wine and wide-open spaces, Cara purchased a farm in the Shenandoah Valley, took viticulture classes specific to Virginia grape-growing, and earned a Wine Spirits Education Trust, Level 2 certification.
Along with her husband Shane, Cara planted the vineyard at her farm in Strasburg, Virginia in 2016 and established Star in the Valley Estate Winery. 12,000 vines cover Star in the Valley’s 15-acre vineyard, which include Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Chardonel, Vidal Blanc, and Roussanne. Core to Star in the Valley’s mission to operate as an authentic farm winery, Cara and Shane use estate-grown grapes and independently produce high-quality wines on site. We are proud of our small environmental footprint and the authenticity this brings to our wine.
Star in the Valley is committed to doing what’s best for our community – using sustainable farming practices, supporting our neighbors, acting with honesty and integrity, and embracing diversity. Star in the Valley was voted Shenandoah County’s best winery in 2020 and 2022. Its’ estate-grown wines have earned numerous awards, including a gold medal in the 2023 Virginia Governor’s Cup.
Plan your weekend around this great destination
Taste of Blue Ridge has a line up of award-winning hotel and resort partners around the region. Itinerary ideas are listed for each lodging location so you can plan a weekend around this Root to Table event.
Bluemont, VA is less than an hour from Dulles International Airport and Washington DC.
Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery
18301 Whitehall Estate Lane
Bluemont, VA 20135
Top Dishes from 2022 Series
Let these dishes inspire you for what’s to come March 26th!