Wedding Wednesday – Top Five Reasons we say YES to Summer Weddings

In the heat of summer we can’t help but belt Kenny Chesney’s catchy lyrics,
“It’s a smile, it’s a kiss. It’s a sip of wine, it’s summertime.

Lucy-O-Photo Here are the top five reasons we say YES to summer weddings:

1. Sunny Skies & Bright Bouquets- This is the most obvious advantage of a Summer wedding. Summer weddings are full of sunshine and warmth, and of course, allow you to get married outside in a garden courtyard, on a beach, or our favorite, against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Tip: When scouting for your venue, be sure there is a rain backup plan.

2. Hello Holiday’s – With a number of holidays in the summer, including July 4th, Labor Day & Columbus Day, you have the opportunity to select a holiday weekend for your wedding celebration.  Your out of town guests will appreciate this, and will likely turn it into a weekend vacation.

Forget a single celebration, plan a wedding weekend. Create an itinerary for your guests with a list of “must do” activities. Getting married in C’ville? We suggest an itinerary packed with winery & brewery tours, local hikes and dinner on the downtown mall.

3. More Sun, More Fun - With extended hours in the summer, you have the option for a pre-party, the party, and the after-party. The celebrations are endless, and what’s better? Most of the activities can take place outside… consider corn hole for a lawn game or host your cocktail hour on the patio. The best part? More sunlight for that killer photograph.

4. Bronzed Beauties - In the summer, we often look and feel our best. With the opportunity to be fit, bronzed and energized, what’s not to love about congregating with your loved ones when you look and feel fabulous.

5. Seasonal Summer Cuisine – Consider your menu. In the summer, fresh & local produce is in abundance. Translation: From the canapes to the entrée, the food will incorporate summer’s flavors at it’s finest. Insider’s Tip: Ask about a special signature cocktail that incorporates a summer garnish. At Pippin Hill, we recommend Sparkling Blanc de Blanc with our garden Lavender. Or, Chef’s favorite – a cool cocktail infused with watermelon.

beautiful-summer-weddinglavender-champagne11-3Pippin-Hill-Cocktail-Hour1407-CanonGreen-0040Screen shot 2014-08-06 at 1.36.37 PM17-2First photo by Lucy O photo
Second – Third photo by Easton Events through Jen Fariello
Four, Five & Eight photo by Easton Events with Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral through Patricia Lyons
Sixth photo by Andrea Hubbell Photography
Seventh photo by Aaron Watson Photography

Topics: Catering, Charlottesville VA Wine, Events, Florals, On the Hill, Private Events, Virginia, Wedding Wednesday, Wine, Winery & Vineyard Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrate with our Summer Farm Rose: Classic Seasonal Wine with Style

IMG_6147Reach for Rosé to Savor the Height of the Summer Season!

We’re pretty much obsessed with our 2014 Summer Farm Rosé, so this tasting room wine recommendation comes easily. With the end of summer quickly approaching, now is the time to capitalize on this straightforward, versatile and downright charming wine.

Rosé is making a comeback and our rosé is cheerful, bright and a pure palate pleasure. It might even make you blush with a glow. Yes, it is sheer deliciousness. Our Rosé is both floral and fruity in the aromatics, like a basket of strawberries and yellow raspberries garnished with dogwood blossom and honeysuckle.
Sound like summer in a bottle? We think so too.

It is the perfect wine for that hot, sunny day, chilled and within arm’s reach, so that you can refill your glass without having to get out of the hammock.
Getting out of the hammock is the worst.

We recommend pairing our Summer Farm Rosé with one of our new
Farm Table & Wine Bar Menu Items:
Best of the Summer Heirloom Tomato Salad.

pippin-hill-heirloom-salad summer-farm-rose-lunchOur Heirloom Tomato Salad features burrata cheese, lemon basil, jacobsen sea salt and grilled french bread.

The strawberry notes of the Rosé enhance the juiciness and sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes as the dry finish cuts through the richness of the Ligurian Olive oil, making this the ideal summertime salad for your afternoon lunch.

As we enter prime time of the summer season, our Executive Chef, Bill Scatena knows what flavors and produce scream the season’s best,

“There’s something to be said about the relationship between the burrata cheese and the summertime tomatoes. The burrata cheese with its light, deep flavor combined with sweet summertime tomatoes and freshly picked basil is utterly irresistable.  The flavors on this dish, is sort of like a match made in heaven and the perfect pairing with the light, crispness of our Rosé. 

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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, Recipes, 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