This Thursday, we took a break from school and headed out to Boxwood Winery in Middleburg, VA for a private tour and field trip!  Since we have now had two wine classes at school so far, it was exciting to visit a winery and learn a little bit more about the wine making process.  It was a beautiful property and, luckily, the weather was great!

boxwood winery

We started off the day with a quick tour of the grounds given by Boxwood’s head wine maker, who explained a little bit about the wine making process.  Though the winery is not certified organic, he explained that they practice organic and sustainable growing practices, which includes planting a wide variety of ground cover to prevent a monoculture, which inevitably ends up limiting the productivity of the vineyard.

boxwood winery

They winery is run by a very small team, to maximize quality, and despite the vineyard’s relatively small size, they have the facilities and equipment to oversee the entire wine making process, including bottling—which apparently many wineries have to outsource.

boxwood winery

Right now, Boxwood produces 5 varieties of grapes:  Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, & Malbec.   We ended up tasting three of their blends, as well as a rose.

The vineyard had just finished bottling the last year’s grapes within the last month or two!  And many of the grapes are just beginning to grow for the upcoming season…

boxwood wineryboxwood winery

Check out the bottling equipment and lab!

boxwood winery

After we had a tour of the grounds, cave (where the wine is aged in oak barrels) and the facility, which was absolutely spotless, we had a short tasting, during which we tried three reds, as well as their rose blend.  It was a lot of fun!

boxwood winery

We ended the day by heading into downtown Middleburg, where we had a very casual lunch—which our assistant, Allyson made and brought from school that morning–at their tasting room store.

Turkey sandwiches, cornichon pickles, Cheeto puffs, and Coke Zero.  Classy!

boxwood winery

At the end of lunch, a bunch of us walked around town before heading home!  Overall, it was a really fun, relaxing day and a nice break from the daily grind of school.

Still can’t believe we only have about 5 more weeks of school left before we start our restaurant externship…  I will miss these guys so much!

boxwood winery

From Left to Right:  Me, Lyndsay, Hadley, Blanca, & Tasha

boxwood winery

Market Basket #5 Update!

Friday, we all headed back to school for our 5th Market Basket challenge.  We were given sea scallops, flank steak, and nuts as our primary ingredients and had to come up with another three-course menu.  Blanca, my partner, and I ended up coming up with:

Pan Seared Scallops with Romesco Sauce

Pan Seared Flank Steak with Fresh Olive & Oregano Salsa, Roasted Blue Potatoes & Asparagus

Chocolate-Caramel Macadamia Nut Tart

chocolate caramel tart

Overall, we got pretty good feedback and the Chef Barry Koslow ended up choosing our flank steak as his favorite main course.

Back soon with another quick weekend update!