Meatless Monday: Cook Like A Pippin Pro with our Zucchini Tortellini


Tired of the lackluster response when your family discovers the dinner menu?

 This summer, break from the monotony of hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad with something much more vibrant: Zucchini Tortellini!

Who doesn’t love pasta? From tortellini to penne, pesto to cream, veggies to meats. There’s a pasta recipe for every mood and every season. No, we aren’t talking about the heavy, wintry kind. We’re talking about its featherlight cousin – tortellini stuffed with our favorites: zucchini, goat cheese,
and of course… a little bit of parm.

Try it in your own kitchen, or come out to Pippin Hill for an afternoon lunch to enjoy this divine summer dish. Chef Scatena recommends pairing the tortellini with a crisp Pippin Hill Chardonnay Reserve.

Read on for Scatena’s recipe for Zucchini Tortellini and San Marzano Tomato Provencal. What are your waiting for? Get cooking, and submit your photos to for a chance to be featured on our blog.

Pippin Hill’s Zucchini Tortellini Filling

pasta-making-pippin-hill IMG_4728

1 pound of summer zucchini, grated and rung out of water
1/3 cup chevre goat cheese
1/3 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
2 teaspoons of minced thyme
2 teaspoons of minced chive
freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or mixer, except for the zucchini. If using a mixer, attach a paddle. Mix on medium speed until homogenous. Filling should be smooth and spreadable, but not too loose (like the consistency of cream cheese).
2. Once proper consistency is achieved, gently fold in the grated zucchini. Taste mixture and season to taste.
3. Place filling in a piping bag and use to stuff the tortellini shells (or any of your favorite pastas!).

Pippin Hill’s San Marzano Tomato Provencal

IMG_60451 12 ounce can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 fennel bulb, medium dice
1 yellow onion, medium dice
1 medium sized yellow summer squash, medium dice
1 medium sized summer zucchini, medium dice
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 small pinch of saffron threads
1 cup of Pippin Hill Chardonnay

1. Heat an 8 quart saucepan over medium flame for one minute. While waiting, smash tomatoes in a mixing bowl by squishing the tomatoes through your hands.
2. Add 3/4 cup olive oil to the pan. Once oil is hot, but not smoking (it should ripple and shimmer), add saffron threads and bloom for 20 seconds while stirring constantly.
3. As soon as you can smell the saffron, add the onion and fennel and sauté until soft (approximately 3 minutes). Deglaze with Pippin Hill’s Chardonnay. Cook out 3/4 of the wine, and then add the smashed tomatoes. Adjust heat so the sauce simmers. Cook for about 10 minutes.
4. Place another skillet over high heat for the squash. Once hot, add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and immediately add zucchini, squash, and garlic. Quickly roast in the pan so the vegetables achieve a caramelized look, but are still tender.
5. Fold zucchini and squash into tomato sauce and season well with freshly ground pepper and kosher salt. Add a handful of tortellini to the tomato sauce, pour yourself a glass of Pippin Hill’s Chardonnay, and enjoy!

Topics: Charlottesville, Charlottesville Cooking, Charlottesville VA Wine, Chefs Corner, cuisine, culinary, DIY, food and wine pairing, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, Summer Cuisine, Tips, White Wine, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding Wednesday – Stir up your Cocktail Hour

The pre-party before the main celebration sets the stage for the entire night.

From the ambiance, to the food, to the music — cocktail hour is getting more attention than ever.

Forget the lame hors d’oeuvres and elevator music, we have the ultimate tips to turn your cocktail party into the pre-party.

perfet-pear-signature-cocktailDress up your drinks

Signature cocktails have been in vogue for years. When we say dress up your drinks, we mean it, literally. It’s no longer just about the alcohol and garnish — the shape and color are now taking center stage.

One of our favorite seasonal sips is our perfect pear martini. Infused with pear liquor, St. Germain and pear nectar this lovely cocktail is garnished with a dried pear and served in a sleek martini glass for a sophisticated cocktail option.

NapkinsCocktail Accoutrements

Personalize the special details of your wedding. Consider customizing your cocktail napkins with a catchy phrase, “eat drink and be married,” or simply your name and wedding date for a wedding keepsake.

The cocktail napkins featured above are simple and straightforward with the Bride & Groom’s name and wedding date. Easton Events suggested that the couple select soft and wintry colors to elegantly tie into the evening and set the tone for a welcoming winter soirée.


Food & Drink Pairing

Don’t leave the food and drink pairings for the entrée only. Consider offering a mini-app or food station with a drink pairing. Get creative, pair a margarita with a fish taco or a beer with a mini slider.

Saying your “I Do’s” at a  winery? Incorporate the vineyard’s signature wine into the evening. Highlight something special or unique to you and your venue…Guests will be surprised and love the early-evening activity. It’s also a great way to spark up conversation.

Here on The Hill,  we are big fans of oysters on the half shell paired with the Sparkling Blanc de Blanc, a Pippin Hill favorite.


Unique Musicians

Share the talent early!

Cocktail hour is the prime time to entertain your guests. Guests are mingling, exploring and noshing on the apps without a focus on dancing and dinner. Select an alternate band or trio to make it special.

Have a 13 piece rock band? Consider a bluegrass trio, or capella group to mix up the mood.


first and third photo by Andrea Hubbell Photography
second photo by Elisa Bricker
fourth photo by Eric Kelley Photography

Topics: Catering, Charlottesville, Charlottesville VA Wine, cuisine, culinary, Cville, food and wine pairing, On the Hill, Tips, Tips and Trends, Virginia, We Recommend, Wedding venue, Wedding Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pippin Hill’s Kitchen Garden – Redefining the “Farm to Table” Experience

Pippin Hill’s Kitchen Garden
What’s in season, fresh and local?
What’s available in Pippin Hill’s kitchen garden?


Every season, Chef Amalia Scatena wows our vineyard guests with a standout menu celebrating the bountiful produce local to Virginia, and even our own front yard. Embracing the flavors of the season, Chef Amalia knows how to make simple flavors shine. In the winter, it’s heartwarming stews and hearty pastas. In the summer, it’s verdant salads and fresh seafoods.

Let’s just say…
Guests come for the wine and stay for the food.

shrimp-edible-flowerNo matter the season, one thing is guaranteed, every dish is seasonal, fresh and local. When we say local. We mean local. Our own front yard, kitchen garden, walk outside and pick it yourself…local.

Don’t get us wrong, we rely heavily on the bounty from our farm partners. Artisan cheese from Caromont Farm, fresh herbs & veggies from Harvest Thyme Herbs and high-quality meats from The Rock Barn, just to name a few.

With a plethora of great farm vendors, we certainly are spoiled here in North Garden. So spoiled, just out front is a fabulous spread of summer vegetation in our own kitchen garden. Our garden hosts an array of herbs including parsley, chives, dill, french tarragon, basil and sage. But, it doesn’t stop there. Baby beets and even an assortment of tomatoes are making an appearance.

Jen Fariello Photography
The Baby Garden Beet Salad is a seasonal favorite. Featuring beets directly from our garden, this salad is fresh, sweet and colorful. The humble beet has experienced a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, and, boy are we excited. This multifaceted root brings so much to the plate with bright colors from crimson gold to “beet red.”

Enhanced with side components of grilled Rockbarn mortadella, red wine pecorino, blackberries and peppercress — this is a must have summer salad.

Eric-Kelley-Photography-Kitchen-GardenSo, what are you waiting for?

Come check out the Pippin Hill kitchen garden and see what food has traveled from our kitchen garden onto your afternoon lunch plate!

first & fourth photo by Eric Kelley Photography
third photo by Jen Fariello Photography

Topics: Charlottesville, Charlottesville Cooking, cuisine, culinary, Cville, Lunch, On the Hill, Our Food, Tasting Room Lunch Menu, Virginia, Weekend, Weekend Plans, Wine, Wine Flights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding Wednesday: Hot Spots To Say “I Do” – The Ultimate Engagement Locations

pippin-hill-wedding-photos_0884We’re flattered! District Weddings has named Pippin Hill
to the “top 10 hottest places to pop the question!”

The proposal is the initial kick off to a series of celebratory engagement events and eventually, the big day! It is a beautiful moment that will be remembered forever. Too much pressure? No worries, gentlemen, we have a few helpful tips for you, especially if you are considering a Pippin Hill proposal.

Setting the Scene
Some people select a sentimental location, while others venture to an unfamiliar spot to make new memories. Whatever you decide, consider what is more important, public or private? Are you looking for a big crowd to applaud the moment, or a more intimate locale for a private experience?

Here on The Hill, we see both. During the week, you can expect a more private experience, but on the weekends, expect a bustle of people gushing over the proposal.

Here’s a helpful hint for a weekend proposal: escape to the vines!

Where to Ask:
Here on the Hill, we have seen it all. From between the vines, to the ceremony lawn and even on our Veranda patio — every proposal is unique! Not sure where to pop the question? Schedule a visit with Pippin Hill’s sales team for some insider’s information on the best proposal spots here on The Hill.

A Celebratory Toast:
After she says “Yes”, drinks are in order! Regardless of where you propose, be sure to include a refreshing beverage to toast your upcoming life together! Whether it’s packing a bottle of bubbly for your outdoor picnic, or contacting the restaurant bar to arrange for a speciality cocktail, it is a must!

At Pippin Hill, connect with one of our servers before the proposal to arrange for a surprise champagne delivery. Or, take a peak at our tasting room menu with a full list of full-bodied reds, crisp light whites and fruitful bright Rosés. We’re personally partial to the Pippin Hill Sparkling Rosé for the blushing bride to be.

first photo by Katelyn James Photography

Topics: Charlottesville, Charlottesville VA Wine, cuisine, Cville, DIY, On the Hill, Our Food, sparkling blanc de blanc, Tips, Tips and Trends, Upcoming Events, Virginia, We Recommend, Wedding venue, Wedding Wednesday, Weekend, Wine, Winery & Vineyard Weddings, Winery Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment