Tuesday Tunes: The Grapevine

Meadows of Dan, Virginia  Blue Ridge Parkway   Recently, Farmguy and I participated in the grape harvest at a local winery just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Southwestern Virginia.  Located in the Rocky Knob American Viticultural Area (AVA), Chateau Morrisette Winery sits at an elevation of nearly 3500 feet.  Boasting spectacular views, it’s amid one of the most rugged and mountainous parts of the state.  Although the winery is at 3500 feet, most of its vineyards are down the mountain at 1600 feet. Chateau Morrisette Winery was founded by David Morrisette in 1978, making it among the oldest wineries in Virginia.  It has 13 acres of land and produces approximately 70,000 cases of wine each year. Chardonnay, Viognier, Chambourcin, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng, and Vidal blanc are among the varietals used in making Chateau Morrisette’s wines.  Besides growing many of its own grapes, the winery also buys grapes from other vineyards in Virginia.  Due to the state’s climate and growing season, Viognier and Cabernet Franc are some the winery’s most successful varieties. In the photos, Farmguy and I are harvesting Niagara grapes—a variety of the North American grape species Vitis labrusca.  Niagara grapes are one of the few grape varieties that can grow at such a high elevation. These green grapes are table grapes and are also used in making jams, juices, and wines.  They are mainly used in Chateau Morrisette’s sweet/dessert wines—Sweet Mountain Laurel and Red […]

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In the Garden

  As she sat looking out the window, her gaze settled on the sunflowers blooming in the garden below her room.  She watched as a light wind caused them to sway back and forth in the afternoon sunshine. Becoming entranced with the movement of the flowers, her mind drifted, but only for a moment.  When she looked up, she saw a figure in the distance walking up the path towards the house.  It was Graham. They had only known one another for a short while, but her heart jumped at the sight of him.  He was well-mannered, possessing a gentle nature that had impressed her from the beginning of their acquaintance. And, he had the most delightful smile. She always looked forward to their walks together.  They often took the same walk:  up the hill, past the folly, and through the meadows of blooming wild flowers.  As they walked along, chatting, he smiled affectionately at her, and she couldn’t remember feeling happier.  Being in his company felt so natural. Walking past the tulip populars, they finally arrived at the boxwood-enclosed rose garden.  Boxwoods, only about two feet high, formed a perimeter around a spacious area filled with pink and red roses as well as French lavender. Upon entering the garden, she felt a faint, heady sensation.  A feeling she wasn’t sure she should attribute to the fragrance of the flowers, or to the fact that she was falling in love. […]

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The Joys of Springtime

“The Zen master Ling Chi said that the miracle is not to walk on burning charcoal or in the thin air or on the water; the miracle is just to walk on earth. You breathe in. You become aware of the fact that you are alive. You are still alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet….The greatest of […]

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Tuesday Tunes: Peaceful Skies

Green Hill Farm   I often listen to Pandora’s symphonic music station while I’m in my makeshift art studio.  It’s relaxing and helps my right brain to engage while I’m working on a painting.  Recently, I heard the beautiful “Flower Duet” from Lakmé—a three-act opera composed by Léo Delibes between 1881 and 1882 and based on a novel by Pierre Loti. You’ve probably heard this lovely, ethereal music—either at the opera, or perhaps, you’ll recognize it as the boarding music of British Air. Anyway, I thought it accompanied this peaceful scene from Green Hill Farm perfectly. I hope you enjoy the music and the view!     Happy Tuesday!  

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Happy New Year!

Green Hill Farm November 2018   “Where there is the greatest love, there are always miracles.” ~Willa Cather   “Let nothing disturb you,/ Nothing frighten you–/ All things pass,/ But God never changes.” ~Sainte Thérèse D’Avila   “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven […]

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Tuesday Tunes: The Grapevine

Meadows of Dan, Virginia  Blue Ridge Parkway   Recently, Farmguy and I participated in the grape harvest at a local winery just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Southwestern Virginia.  Located in the Rocky Knob American Viticultural Area (AVA), Chateau Morrisette Winery sits at an elevation of nearly 3500 feet.  Boasting spectacular views, it’s amid one of the most rugged and mountainous parts of the state.  Although the winery is at 3500 feet, most of its vineyards are down the mountain at 1600 feet. Chateau Morrisette Winery was founded by David Morrisette in 1978, making it among the oldest wineries in Virginia.  It has 13 acres of land and produces approximately 70,000 cases of wine each year. Chardonnay, Viognier, Chambourcin, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng, and Vidal blanc are among the varietals used in making Chateau Morrisette’s wines.  Besides growing many of its own grapes, the winery also buys grapes from other vineyards in Virginia.  Due to the state’s climate and growing season, Viognier and Cabernet Franc are some the winery’s most successful varieties. In the photos, Farmguy and I are harvesting Niagara grapes—a variety of the North American grape species Vitis labrusca.  Niagara grapes are one of the few grape varieties that can grow at such a high elevation. These green grapes are table grapes and are also used in making jams, juices, and wines.  They are mainly used in Chateau Morrisette’s sweet/dessert wines—Sweet Mountain Laurel and Red […]

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Tuesday Tunes: Jerusalem

The Cotswolds   Unofficially, the beautiful hymn,  “Jerusalem” is often seen as a national hymn by many English people.  “Jerusalem” was originally written as a poem by William Blake in 1804.  The lyrics, written by Hubert Parry, were added to music in 1916 during the gloom of WWI when an uplifting new English hymn was well received and needed.   “Bring me my bow of burning gold! Bring me my arrows of desire! Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold! Bring me my chariot of fire! I will not cease from mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem In England’s green and pleasant land.”     After visiting a number of wonderful art galleries in the Cotswolds as well as spending the last week in England’s “green and pleasant land,” I was inspired by this country’s many breathtaking landscapes to pass an afternoon painting.  Here’s the result. 🙂 “Sea Dreams” 8.5 x 11.5″ acrylic on canvas. by Tonya Rieley Hengerer   Enjoy your day!

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