Pippin Hill’s – 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Harvest – A Labor of Love

IMG_4614Summer has brought us an overflowing harvest from our vineyard, warm summer nights and misty mornings, perfect for ripening fresh grapes on the vine and early morning strolls through the vineyard.

Tuesday, September 2nd was a different kind of morning.
It’s 6 AM, and not just another day on our bustling Vineyard.
Tuesday was Harvest Day.
The harvest of our estate grown Sauvignon Blanc.

Pippin-hill-harvestWe are beyond pleased with the harvest of our 2014 Sauvignon Blanc grapes. This year, we had great success with a generous crop of 6.5 tons on one acre!

If you recall last year, mother nature turned on her spigot for most of August, resulting in a very wet harvest season. This year, we were fortunate enough to experience a drier season, with ideal temperatures, great weather conditions for our Sauvignon Blanc.

So,  how did we determine that Tuesday would be harvest day?

We sat down with Pippin Hill’s Viticulturist, Chris Hill, to get a better understanding of determining harvest dates. When we asked a simple, how did you know? He explained,


“We sample the grapes as they mature. We track their progress and take cluster samples, squeeze the juice and measure the sugar content of the grapes, the PH of the juice and the total acidity.  Then, we taste it.   The final flavor of the grape is full bodied, delicious and very sweet.” – Chris Hill

Chris emphasized that there is no single idea as powerful as ripeness for describing and differentiating between our famous wine selections.

Over at  Virginia Wineworks our winemaker,  Michael Shaps agreed that this year’s Sauvignon Blanc juice was absolutely delicious.  The juice offers a balanced, nuanced sense of fruit forward with slight essence of herbs and great nose.

So, why is the sweetness level and taste so important? The nuanced balance of flavors in the grape is what determines if they are ready to harvest.  This changes the color of the grape as well as the taste of the final product.  When under-ripe, the Sauvignon Blanc grapes ares our, bitter, and have a leafy vegetable flavor. In order to get them to the delicious, juicy stage, the grapes require sunlight, and lots of it.  With those ideal temperatures and conditions this August, our grapes thrived.

Sauvignon Blanc is more easily recognizable than the majority of other whites. The nose is delightfully floral, followed by a deliciously fruity body and a equal parts mineral and acidic finish. When you breathe in the fresh aromas in your glass you’re most likely experiencing a mixture of herbs, vegetables, or green fruit.  As a medium-bodied, dry wine, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most pungent that you’ll experience. In a tasting, look for the sharp acidity that comes when sampling this particular kind of wine.


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Stay tuned over the coming two weeks as we harvest our Petit Verdot!


Topics: Charlottesville, Charlottesville VA Wine, Cville, Harvest, On the Hill, Sauvignon Blanc, Uncategorized, Viognier, Virginia, White Wine, Wine, Wine Release | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding Wednesday – A Winery Wedding; Bringing the Vineyard Inside

Many brides find themselves torn between two extremes: the casualty of an intimate backyard wedding, and the luxuriousness of a destination event.

A vineyard wedding offers the perfect compromise!


Balance comfort and class by channeling the unstructured elegance of a mountain vineyard into your wedding. Whether you plan on celebrating the big day onsite or off, there are several simple ways to design your very own winery wedding.

Take cues from the vines blanketing the rolling hillsides by incorporating rustic accents into various parts of your special day. Rather than a large princess-style gown, experiment with light, breezy dresses that move with the wind like hanging vine tendrils. The bolder bride might even choose a rich leaf-green or deep purple hue for her bridesmaids’ dresses. Imitation grapes and rich plum shades create a fun, but sophisticated, bouquet. Don’t forget to “go for the gold” rather than silver; golden necklaces and hair accessories mimic a vineyard sunset.

Jen Fariello-Beehive Events

The reception is the perfect time to continue your winery-wedding theme. Decorate with wooden accents and vivid purple and indigo flowers to imitate autumnal grape vines.

Try wooden lanterns as centerpieces, and use a decorated wooden trellis as a backdrop for guest photos.


For a fun, interactive project before the ceremony, the bride and groom can fashion their own corkboards for guests’ well-wishing messages. Using a large picture frame, glue various wine corks to a thin wooden backing; then, invite guests to pin notes to the board throughout the reception.

Extend your vineyard theme into food selections. Try buffets of cheeses and charcuterie that pair with the wine offerings, and invite guests to find their favorite pairing.

Wine barrels function as fun, unexpected tables during cocktail hour, or even consider a cutting board to complement the rustic flare of your wedding!


Bring the vineyard indoors and savor the elegant intimacy of a winery wedding. Sit down, relax, and let us pour you a glass of our finest. Let yourself be swept away by a Winery Wedding— because after all, nothing’s quite as tranquil as raising a glass to the new Mr. and Mrs.

7 First Photo by Holland Photo Arts
Second Photo by Jen Fariello with Easton Events
Third Photo by Eric Kelley Photography with Southern Blooms
Fourth photo by Jen Fariello with Beehive Events
Fifth Photo by Andrea Hubbell Photography
Sixth Photo by Elisa Bricker Photography with Southern Blooms 

Topics: Charlottesville, Charlottesville Activities, Charlottesville VA Wine, Cville, Events, Florals, Uncategorized, Winery Wedding | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Bucket List at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

Pippin Hill Farm Summer Bucket List
Send Summer out with a Bang with our Summer Bucket Listunnamed-2Fight the heat and end-of-summer blahs with a few of our summertime favorites:

1. Sip on a crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc
Our estate grown Sauvignon Blanc recalls the style of wines classic to the Loire Valley, but with a breezy, floral character that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is fresh and full of verve with citrus and orchard fruit highlighting the richness in the mid-palate and finishes with a cleansing minerality. This would pair well with goat cheese or lighter preparations of seafood. But let’s be honest, it’s really a wine that pairs well with life.

2. Indulge in a Sweet Summer Memory with House Churned Gelato
We view summer as an unlimited license to eat all the icecream we want and our seasonal house churned gelato is a must-have, cool summer treat.  Our Manikantowne Blackberries are noteworthy in size, and memorable in taste.
(Check out our Instagram to see just how big these berries are).

3. Enjoy Live Soothing Sounds from Musician, Gina Sobel 
See a dynamic performance from this singer-songwriter who will calm your senses with relaxing songs on the flute and saxophone. Join us Sunday from 2-5:00 PM for this Labor Day Weekend Performance!

pippin-hill-vineyardpippin-hill-tasting-roomunnamed-13wine-tasting-pippin-hillpippin-hillpippin-hill-farm-wine-tastingunnamed-1Photo credit to Anna with OMG Yum! Blog

Topics: Catering, Charlottesville, Charlottesville Activities, Charlottesville VA Wine, cuisine, culinary, Cville, Events, Local Photographers, Lunch, On the Hill, Our Food, Summer Cuisine, Tasting Room Lunch Menu, Things to Do, Virginia, Weekend, Weekend Plans, White Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting, Wine Tasting Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding Wednesday – Escort Cards: Small Detail, Big Impact

Escort Cards :
Small Detail, Big Impact


You put so much thought into your dress, invitations and menu for your wedding day, but it’s essential to also remember the small details that are easy to overlook.
With that, we bring to you Escort Card 101! 

The Escort Card is a small card printed with each guest’s name and table number assignment. The cards are an essential element to the celebration to ensure each guest sits at the correct table, and does so in an organized fashion

Where to feature the display? Director of Sales, Megan Moses suggests to , “feature the display in an obvious location that is accessible to your guests during cocktail hour. This will avoid the chaos that can occur as you invite guests to dinner.”

To help you check a “to-do” off your list, we have a few ideas for the classic detail that will impress your guests as they enter the reception, while getting them to their table in an organized fashion.

From classic and traditional, to unique and creative – we have seen it all! Check out a few of our favorite escort card displays from weddings here on The Hill:

perfectly-peach Meg-Runion-Wine-Cork-escort-Cardpeach-and-mint-Pippin-Hill-wedding-Katelyn-James-Photography-Glamour-Grace-25-1chalkboards-pippin-hillescort-card-traditional-pippin-hill

Photo one by Jen Fariello
Photo two by Aaron Watson Photography
Photo three by Meg Runion Studios
Photo four by Katelyn James Photography 
Photo five by Jen Fariello with Easton Events
Photo six by Eric Kelley Photography with Easton Events

Topics: Charlottesville, Tips, Tips and Trends, Virginia, We Recommend, Wedding venue, Wedding Wednesday, Winery & Vineyard Weddings, Winery Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment